AGM Australian Vellore Board 2015

The AGM of the Australian Board of Vellore Christian Medical College & Hospital was held on Saturday 22nd August 2015 at Queens College, Melbourne

The following were present at the meeting Dr. Bella George, President; Dr. Stephen Aseervatham, Vice-President; Liz Guiver, Secretary, Dr. Susan Jacob, Alumni Representative; Rev. Colin Honey, David Price, David Runia & Evelyn Lehman from Victoria; Rev Ian Kerr and Pam Kerr from Queensland; Dr. Jeanette Hyland from Tasmania, Dr. Robyn Bradley from New South Wales; Dr. Anil Roy from South Australia and Dr. Sunil Chandy, the Director of CMC.

Apologies were received from Richard Caitens, the Treasurer and various state FOV members.

Dr. Bella welcomed Dr. Sunil Chandy and all the Board members to the Meeting.

Devotions were led by Liz Guiver. It was based on Hebrews 11: 1- 12: 3. The passage of scripture focused on the nature of faith, trusting without seeing, fearing God and not man. Reference was made to the way in which Ida Scudder lived in faith and how her leadership paved the way for CMCH today.

Dr. Sunil Chandy addressed the meeting and mentioned about the concern regarding political interference for continuing survival of CMCH, but by the grace of God that had not happened. The Hospital was recognized by receiving nine Awards and; the number of patients coming through the gates (6,500 to 10,500) confirms the reason for its existence. Patients prefer CMCH because they get an honest opinion and treatment and the perceived the lack of reliability at other hospitals. The medical Staff works approximately ten to twelve hours each day to meet the demands.

He outlaid his priorities:

  • Development
  • Up gradation
  • People
  • Mission Mandate
  • Footprint

The current issues include a new building in Kannigapuram which will reduce the congestion in the main hospital. Some of the hospital buildings are 78 years old and they need refurbishing. The biggest killer in Tamil Nadu is road accidents so in the new hospital in Kannigapuram, a modern Trauma Unit is being planned. Five Ambulances are needed, as mobile hospitals, given the roads are difficult to manage. Discussion followed regarding the need for ambulances at a cost of $28,000 to $30,000 each. He encouraged FOV groups to pray fully consider contributing towards them. The Director emphasized about the importance of FRIEND raising, rather than FUND raising.

Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on 23 August 2014 at St. Matthew?s Church, Marryatville, South Australia, which was circulated earlier, was accepted.

On matters arising from Previous Minutes, it was pointed out that the list of elective students who had been to CMCH, which we used to receive until a few years ago has not been sent to us. It was decided that we will follow it up with Hugh Skiel, the Development officer at CMCH.

The annual reports were presented. The President, Dr. Bella George?s report is on the web site as a separate posting. Secretary Liz Guiver presented in her report about all the teleconferences which were held during the past year. It was noted that the cost of conducting such a conference is very reasonable ? about $28.00.

In Richard?s absence Bella distributed and read the treasurer?s report. Following the report there was a discussion about how should we be disbursing our donations. Traditionally vast majority of our donations go towards the Endowment Fund at CMCH, which provides high technology care for patients who can?t afford to pay for them, when required.

It was suggested that we should probably be a bit more proactive in deciding whether we should be supporting any designated project in CMC. There was a fair amount of enthusiasm for buying an ambulance, mentioned above. It will be discussed at a forthcoming teleconference.

Publicity Officer Stephen Aseervatham mentioned in his report that we have replicated 1000 copies of the new DVD ? our Stories, Our CMC –  and it has been sent to all the state branches. It has been well received. There has been some problem with the current Online Donation account we have on our web page. The receipt issued at present does not indicate that it is a tax deductible donation to the ?Vellore CMCH Support Fund?, the proper name of the tax deductible charity. It was pointed out that we did try to alter the wordings but with the current contract with PayPal, it was not possible and the only option left to us is to cancel the current account and apply for a new one under the name of the ?Support Fund?. It was decided to request Richard to attend to it as early as possible.

The reports from various state branches of the FOV were presented.

Tasmania ? Jeanette Hyland mentioned that the new President Dr. S. Dhara, is a PG Alumnus from Vellore and was hoping that it will bring more of the alumni in Tasmania into the fold.

Robyn Bradley presented the report from NSW. Even though the numbers were not large, the donors have been extremely generous with their giving to the support fund.

Queensland ? Ian Kerr in his report mentioned that $2,500 had been raised at the Annual Dinner and, that it was encouraging to see young members on the Committee. A morning tea was held to recognize the role of the volunteers and to thank them.

South Australia ? Anil Roy mentioned that the CMC staff on their sabbatical years of leave often came to mainly South Australia, and worked for 2or 3 years and it has been a great contribution to the training of the CMC faculty. But, recently the numbers have decreased, for various reasons. It was pointed out that about 80% of the current Directors at CMC have done part of their training in Australia. The annual dinner has been a great success, well supported by Friends as well as the alumni.

Victoria ? David Price spoke of the trends in Victoria; 4 Medical students hosted by David Runia at Queens, Colin gave a talk on Bio Ethics at the AGM and an amount of $35,000, mainly donated by the Gilbertson?s has been sent to CMCH. There is now a larger committee of 12 and it provides a new impression and has vitality. He noted Louise Joy has been instrumental in gathering committee members over many years.

Alumni ? Bella commented on the Alumni gathering in Brisbane in September last year, which was attended by 35 people. The next meeting is going to be held in Melbourne in September. There have been a complaint about the alumni not supporting the activities of the state FOVs. It was pointed out that many alumni help Vellore through various ?Class Funds? which target to help certain projects at CMC and also small mission hospitals in India which hardly get any financial support.

Western Australia – Colin mentioned that in 1996 he was a member of the WA FOV, but over the period of time, with aging of its members, it has died off.

Bella mentioned that the Northern Territory group had not really taken off as expected because Devi Conde, who was in the process of organising it, unfortunately passed away during the year.

Election of Office Bearers: The following were re nominated and accepted to fill their current positions.

President ? Bella George

Vice-President ? Stephen Aseervatham

Treasurer ? Richard Caitens.

Secretary Liz Guiver gave notice that she is unable to continue in that role. The position of the publicity officer has also been vacant for the past year. The existing members of the Executive were asked to negotiate in the coming days with various people and find out who will be willing to take up the positions of the Secretary and Publicity office.

The next Meeting was schedule to take place on 20th August 2016 in Sydney, N.S.W.

The President Bella George thanked the committee of the Victorian FOV for organising the AGM and for their kind hospitality. The meeting was concluded with a word of prayer.

After the AGM, the Board members attended the annual dinner of the Victorian FOV. Dr. Sunil Chandy and Dr. Nitin Verma, an alumnus of CMC were the speakers. It was an enjoyable evening and gave an opportunity for the Board members to mingle with the Victorian Friends.




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