Mr. David Price OAM


Prof. David Runia
Email: [email protected]

Vice President:

Rev. Colin Honey
Email: [email protected]


Mrs. Viviane Harangozo
Email: [email protected]


Mrs. Viviane Harangozo
Email: [email protected]

Assistant Treasurer:

Ms. Evelyn Lehman

Newsletter Editor:

Dr. Nancy Nicholas
Email: [email protected]

Minutes Secretary:

Rev. John Connan

Committee Members:

Mr. Jim Richardson
Prof. Lynette Joubert

Alumni Liaison:

Dr. Sunil Datta

Address for Correspondence:

3 Fallon Street
Brunswick Vic 3056

Please post all Donations ( cheque & money order) to:

Treasurer, FOVV
3 Fallon Street
Brunswick Vic 3056

Direct transfer or deposits to:

Friends of Vellore
Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633 000
Account No.: 139 185 151
Please Email details of aby deposits to : [email protected]


The AGM – Friends of Vellore, Victoria – 2018

The Annual General Meeting of Friends of Vellore Victoria was held on Saturday, 1st December, 2018, at Stafford Room, Queen’s College, University of Melbourne. The meeting commenced at 2.30 pm,
The President, Prof David Runia, expressed his regret that the AGM had been set so late in the year because of his long absence overseas. He then read Mark 2: 1–12 and remarked about this incident in which a strong effort was made to remove every obstacle to healing. He saw a parallel in this to the work done by CMCH, Vellore.
Vice-President Rev Colin Honey then pronounced a short prayer after sharing some of his thoughts.
Attendance: Prof David Runia (President); Rev Colin Honey (Vice President); Heidi Winnen (Treasurer); Viviane Harangozo (Secretary/Treasurer); Dr Nancy Nicholas (Newsletter Editor); Rev. John Connan (Minute Secretary); Jim Richardson; Neil Champion; Dr Jeet Patel; Mrs Asher Patel.
Apologies: Dr David Price; Dr Stuart Gill; the Joy family.
The Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting:
The Minutes having been circulated in advance, it was agreed that they be accepted as a true and correct record.
President’s Report:
Prof. David Runia circulated printed copies of his Report. The Report was received.
Colin Honey inquired about the status of the MoU between the University of Melbourne Social Work and Health Sciences with CMC. Neil Champion raised the issue of widening the membership base and doing more to involved younger people through schools and education. Colin Honey commended Prof Runia for his initiative in trying to involve younger alumni and commented on the way the Australian community is no longer as involved in committees and boards but will come to special events. Dr Jeet Patel spoke of electives and the ongoing links that can result from medical and other students spending time at Vellore.
Financial Report:
Viviane Harangozo presented printed copies of the Financial records for the year 2017–18 and pointed out that since July 1st, 2018, $13,809 had been sent to Vellore, leaving some $22,000 currently in the branch accounts. Normally about $10,000 is retained, allowing another $12,000 to be transferred.
Viviane Harangozo reported that Peter Bau was prepared to audit the accounts. Rev Colin Honey moved that he be appointed Auditor for the past year.
The Financial records as presented were accepted.
Rev Colin Honey took the Chair for the election of the President. There was a single nomination and Prof David Runia was returned to office.
Apart from Evelyn Lehmann, who wishes to concentrate on her position as Secretary of the Australian Vellore Board, all other Committee Members had indicated their willingness to continue. David Runia suggested Neil Champion be elected a Committee member. The Committee was declared elected. Prof Runia expressed his thanks for the re-elected committee members. He was looking forward to working productively and harmoniously with the committee.
It was noted that the next Committee Meeting would be held on December 12th.
Guest Speaker: Dr Jeet Patel
Dr Jeet Patel, currently working in Carrum, but planning to move to St George, Queensland, was Guest Speaker.
He spoke of how much he owed to CMC and his experiences there, before moving to Kolhapur, MP, before moving to Britain, Isle of Wight and the British Army, including time in Afghanistan.
He suggested the differences that marked the CMC could be put under 6 headings:
1. Values and ethos.
2. Administrative processes.
3. Fee structures.
4. Camaraderie.
5. Teaching.
6. Culture (Christian).
Dr Nancy Nicholas thanked Dr. Patel warmly for his very personal presentation. The meeting closed at 4 pm.



President’s Report – Prof David Runia


As President of the Victorian branch of the Friends of Vellore, I am pleased to present the Annual Report for the year 2017–2018. As has been our custom in recent years, the report will not adhere strictly to that time period, but will cover the period of the branch’s activities since the last General Meeting, which was held on 16 September 2017. During this time two events were organised. On 20 May a choir and organ concert was held in the Chapel of Queen’s College featuring the Queen’s College choir under the direction of John Weretka together with organist David Agg. The main purpose of the event was to publicise our activities and launch the annual giving programme. Dr Sunil Datta also spoke briefly about the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore (CMCH). Held on a stormy Sunday afternoon, the event was moderately well attended and enabled the group to do some limited fund-raising.

The highlight of the year was the annual fundraising dinner, held on 18 August at the
Abel Tasman Club in the Melbourne suburb of Carnegie. Guest speakers were Dr J V
Peter, Director of the CMCH, and his wife Dr Jayanthi Peter. The Director gave a
presentation of the latest developments at the College and Hospital and of his plans for
the future. This year the College celebrated the 100th anniversary of the institution of the
medical course for women only in 1918. Dr J V Peter spoke about the difficult political
climate, but also of the remarkable progress being made in the building and development
of the two new hospitals in Chittoor and Kannigapuram. The old Hospital has for some
time been operating at, or even over, maximum capacity, so these new developments will
not only bring relief, but also allow for further expansion. They will assist in meeting some
of the needs of the new middle class in India. But the needs of the disadvantaged are as
great as ever. Dr Peter reiterated the strong commitment of his organisation to Christ’s call
to help the poor and destitute. Thereafter Dr Jayanthi Peter spoke eloquently of the work
she is doing in the ophthalmology department of the Hospital. The dinner was attended by
60 persons, including a table of alumni, who were given the opportunity to have a separate
conversation with the Director before the dinner. The dinner raised funds of $5340 for the
CMCH and the Australian Vellore Board (AVB).
The Victorian branch has also been able to distribute news about our activities and
the College and Hospital through the Newsletter. Three issues have seen the light of day
since the last AGM. This has largely been the work of our Newsletter editor, Nancy
Nicholas, assisted by the secretary and other members of the committee.
This year the Annual giving fund-raising campaign was revitalised. After consultation
with CMCH Development Director Hugh Skeil, three projects were chosen as destinations
for donations provided by our supporters, all focusing on giving assistance to the
disadvantaged: the Development Department Emergency Fund; the Person to Person
Assistance Scheme; and the Allied Health Scholarships Endowment Fund. It was also
possible to make donations to the General support fund of the AVB. The campaign is still
underway, but so far a good number of donations have been received. Our deep gratitude is
extended towards all those who have generously supported the campaign. Special mention
should be made of one supporter, Dr Sydney Paul, who for a number of years now has
made a substantial monthly donation to an education training programme at Vellore.
In the financial year 2017–18 a sum $20,000 was transferred to the AVB, which was
significantly less than the $50,000 transferred in the previous year and also less than the
target of $30,000 set by the AVB. Partly this diminished result is the result of calendar
issues, but it should also be seen as a stimulus to the branch to intensify its fund-raising
efforts on behalf of the many worthy projects at Vellore.
This year again we have experienced an excellent collaboration with the AVB under
the inspiring leadership of Stephen Aseervatham. The geographically far-flung board
keeps in touch through regular teleconferences. I myself as President of the branch
attended the AGM of the board in Adelaide in August and was hugely impressed by the
dinner organised by the South Australian branch. During the meeting it was resolved that
the next AGM would be hosted by the Victorian branch in August 2019. A most pleasing
initiative recently set in motion by Stephen Aseervatham is that the AVB, together with
other Friends groups abroad, will be supporting the purchase of a mobile diagnostic unit
which will enable the Ophthalmology department to service all the campuses for the sole
purposes of diagnosing and following up Diabetic retinopathy and related ailments. This
dear wish of the Department, which its budget has not been able to cover, was brought to
the attention of the AVB by Dr Jayanthi Peter during her visit to Australia in August. The
AVB is committed to donating $18,000 per year for three years.
During the year there were some interim changes to the committee. Heidi Winnen
laid down her role as treasurer. Louise Joy decided that it was time to step down from her
participation after decades of being the very life and soul of the branch. Her contribution
was honoured by the awarding of an honorary life membership. Letters of appreciation
were sent to her and Heidi. In addition, Evelyn Lehmann indicated that she did not wish to
continue her committee role, but rather focus on her tasks as secretary of the AVB. On
behalf of all the friends of Vellore in Victoria and beyond I thank all three for their
significant contributions to our work. It was most pleasing that Sunil Datta joined the
committee informally as alumni liaison person and we look forward to continuing
collaboration with him and the group with which he connects us.
The committee met on five occasions since the last AGM, in itself an indication of its
hard work and devotion to the cause. I am particularly grateful to Viviane Harangozo and
Nancy Nicholas for being prepared to ‘look after the shop’ during my not insignificant
absences abroad. I thank all the committee members most warmly for their labours on
behalf of the branch and the College and Hospital during the past year, and I look forward
to continuing to work together with them in the coming year. There are certainly challenges
lying before us. The outreach towards new supporters, especially those belonging to
younger age groups, need to continue. As already noted, our fund-raising efforts must be
intensified if we are to fulfil our goals in that area. It would be very good if our interaction
and collaboration with alumni of the College could increase. We must commit to doing
what we can, drawing our motivation and inspiration from the CMCH itself and the
miraculous medical work that it is doing in Christ’s name in southern India.
Lastly, I would like to thank Queen’s College, its Director of Development, Nicole
Crook, and its Conference coordinator, Kristen Fletcher, for the outstanding support they
have given our activities during the past year, including providing the venue for today’s
                                                                                                       David Runia, President FOVV


Minutes of the AGM 2017

Minutes AGM 2017









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