Minutes of 19th Annual General Meeting

April 1, 2007



15 Roosevelt Drive , Bedford Hills , NY 10507 (home of Anton and Iyeswari Anandappa)


Juventinus Thampoe (President), Neil DeVotta (Secretary), Luke De Silva (Treasurer), Anton Anandappa, Chitra Benedict, Nimal Fernando, Ranjit Swaris, Joe Bonjean Thampoe, and G. Yogarajah.


The meeting began with a prayer offered by Bonjean Thampoe. Thereafter the adoption of minutes was proposed by Casey Thampoe and seconded by G. Yogarajah.

Treasurer’s Report:

The report was tabled. Ranjit Swaris proposed that the treasurer get in touch with those who have not paid their membership dues and collect these contributions. Luke proposed we reimburse Casey for the $100.00 he gave the SBC Tamil Literary Union on behalf of our association after the Union solicited an advertisement for its 60th anniversary souvenir. The advertisement also included a photograph of the New York membership taken at last year’s AGM. It was decided that the New York association would hereafter not consider making contributions to any ancillary organizations at St. Benedict’s unless the request was specifically made via the OBU in Colombo . This is in keeping with the decision recently taken by Bro. Director and the Colombo OBU.
Luke De Silva elaborated on the Treasurer’s Report and said there was a shortfall of $192.00, this being money we were due to receive from Manhattan College but did not. Casey Thampoe further explained how in an instance or two contributions we thought would be matched by certain members’ companies were not matched and how all this has contributed towards the discrepancy. The members unanimously decided that the $192.00 ought to be written off as a donation to Manhattan College for letting us use the school’s premises for the last two meetings.
Ranjit Swaris proposed adoption of the Treasurer’s Report and Casey Thampoe seconded the motion.

Other Business:

Casey Thampoe noted how Dean Merriman decided not to take any Manhattan College students to Sri Lanka due to the escalation of violence in the island. Neil DeVotta observed that he too had been forced to cancel a study abroad program in Sri Lanka due to the problems there. Casey said that he would look into the possibility of sending a student qualified to coach basketball from Manhattan College to SBC next summer. He proposed that this be promoted as a scholarship for MC students so that it is considered both competitive and prestigious. Given the financial costs, it is expected that the New York association would cover the air ticket and stipend while support bodies associated with SBC would provide board and food.

Luke De Silva noted that old boys of St. Joseph’s College Colombo domiciled in the United States now send an English teacher to SJC for a year and that we too should consider doing so. Neil DeVotta said that some of the stalwart Old Bens in Colombo would love to see Lasallian Volunteers sent to SBC. He observed that thus far the vast majority of Lasallian Volunteers in the United States serve in underprivileged areas in the U.S. and it may be hard to get people to go all the way to Sri Lanka . But Casey Thampoe was encouraged to look into this possibility.

Casey Thampoe outlined a plan to raise a sufficient quantity of money (which the committee decided ought to at least add up to $5,000.00) to set up a scholarship in the memory of Edward Benedict. Casey and Neil are to work on a letter underlining Edward’s services to SBC, Bens’ Alumni Association New York, and the Sri Lankan community especially in the tri state area and encourage Old Bens and all those who knew Edward to contribute towards the scholarship. Following a discussion on what sort of scholarship ought to be created, it was generally agreed that should be left to Bro. Director and the scholarship committee at SBC. Bens’ Alumni Association New York, however, will insist that the fund be set up in a separate fixed deposit and that the organization be provided a detailed yearly report on how all monies were spent.

Ranjit Swaris proposed that we invite Ashan Benedict (Edward’s and Chitra’s son) to join the organization even though he did not attend SBC. Yoga seconded the motion.

Casey Thampoe proposed that Ranjit Swaris, in light of all his wonderful services to the committee and College over the years, be made the first ever Vice Patron of Bens’ Alumni Association New York. The motion was unanimously approved and officially seconded by Anton Anandappa. Consequently, the above masthead for the very first time includes the position of Vice Patron.

After much discussion it was decided to ask members to volunteer $10.00 towards Ben News. While much of the news that appears in this newsletter is available on the College web site, a number of members said they enjoyed getting the hard copy. Neil DeVotta also noted that many Old Bens in Sri Lanka do not have access to the internet and this was an inexpensive way for us to help subsidize the publication. G. Yogarajah volunteered to mail out the New York members’ copies provided Felix Dias sent him all future editions of Ben News.

Sydney Old Bens Union President Doug Jones is due to visit New York City in mid June. Luke and Rohini De Silva have graciously volunteered to host Doug for lunch on June 16th at their home in Stamford , Connecticut . The committee will hold its second meeting of the year on this day.

Bonjean Thampoe informed the committee that Bro. Baptist Croos celebrates his golden jubilee as a Lasallian brother this year and that we ought to send him a card as a token of our appreciation. It was agreed that we should do so.

Election of Office Bearers:

The present office bearers were elected to continue serving through next year. They are:

President: Juventinus Thampoe—Proposed by Luke De Silva and seconded by G. Yogarajah.
Vice President: Julian Fernando—Proposed by Anton Anandappa and seconded by G. Yogarajah
Secretary: Neil DeVotta—Proposed by Luke De Silva and seconded by Ranjit Swaris
Treasurer: Luke De Silva—Proposed by Anton Anandappa and seconded by G. Yogarajah.

Vote of Thanks:

Luke De Silva proposed a vote of thanks to Anton and Iyeswari Anandappa for volunteering to hold the AGM at their home and being such superb hosts. Ranjit Swaris seconded the motion. The membership thereafter gathered to watch the cricket world cup game between Sri Lanka and the West Indies, which Sri Lanka won handily!