Mr. David Price OAM


Prof. David Runia

Vice President:

Rev. Colin Honey


Mrs. Viviane Harangozo


Mr. Ken Gilbertson

Newsletter Editor:

Dr. Nancy Nicholas

Minutes Secretary:

Rev. John Connan

Committee Members:

Mr. Jim Richardson
Prof. Lynette Joubert

Alumni Liaison:

Dr. Sunil Datta

Address for Correspondence:

P O Box 455
Essendon, North Victoria 3041

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

Treasurer, FOVV
P O Box 455
Essendon North Victoria 3041

Direct transfer or deposits to:

Friends of Vellore
Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633 000
Account No.: 139 185 151
Please Email details of any deposits to :



March 2021




Annual Report 2021?22

In 2022 the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic started to lessen. Nevertheless, its effects were still be felt, particularly in a general reluctance to hold events and attend public gatherings. The public activities of the Friends of Vellore were thus necessarily restricted. But I am pleased to report that our work on behalf of the work of the CMC continued and we are able to look back on a successful year.

The Annual General Meeting of the FOVV was held on 27 November 2021. We were delighted that Queen?s College offered to be the venue for a physical meeting, the first such event to be held at the College all year (two days after the meeting we got news that our patron Mr David Price had become positive for COVID, but fortunately he did not infect any others present). About twenty friends attended the meeting. Our guest speaker was Dr Sunny Philip, well-known to many people associated with the CMC. He inspired us with an account of some of his associations with the work of the CMC, not just in Vellore, but also throughout India and abroad. In particular he described his experiences with CMC alumni Drs Anil and Shalini Cherian, who have been working and teaching in Jonglei, South Sudan, under extremely difficult conditions. During the meeting the President drew attention to the lengthy and highly significant contributions made to the FOVV by Dr John Gault and Rev John Connan (also a former President of the AVB). A motion was passed awarding them the honour of life membership as prescribed in the Guidelines. This honour had previously already been awarded to Dr Gault?s sister, Mrs Louise Joy. The members of the committee, with the exception of Rev Connan, who had stepped down, were re-elected as follows:
Patron Mr David Price OAM
President Prof David Runia
Vice-President Rev. Colin
Honey Secretary Mrs Viviane Harangozo
Treasurer Mr Ken Gilbertson
Publicity Officer Mr Neil Champion
Events coordinator Mr Jim Richardson UoM liaisons Prof Lynette Joubert and A/Prof Nathan Grills
Alumni liaison Dr Sunil Datta
General member Dr Nancy Nicholas.

A first meeting for the year was held, as in previous years, in the form of a lunch at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club on 27 January. We discussed plans for the year. But sadly, it proved not possible to have any more in person meetings for the year and also no events. However, three committee meetings were held via zoom during the year so far, and this enabled us to plan our communications with our friends in Victoria.

It was decided that it was important to continue our friend-raising and fund-raising activities. The main vehicle for these activities has been the Annual Giving Project, which has been a feature of our group since 2016. The projects for which support was asked for this year:
The Development Department Emergency Fund;
The Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs;
The Distance Learning Unit.

In addition, donations could also be made to the General Support Fund of the AVB. In practice some of the undesignated donations received were designated for this fund. The results of the campaign were heartening. Although the number of donors was well down compared to recent years (no doubt because of post-COVID weariness), some very generous donations were received, with the $50,000 donation from Dr John Gault an absolute standout. This generosity is reflected in the total amount of donations. It proved possible to transfer $81,000 to the CMC via the AVB, only a little less than the record amount of the previous financial year. The important role that the FOVV plays as a conduit for donations to the CMC was once again demonstrated.

It was decided, on the basis of a recommendation from the President of the AVB, that it was not necessary to audit or review the finances every year, so after successive reviews in previous years, it was decided not to do so this year. Our Treasurer, Ken Gilbertson, is once again heartily to be thanked for his meticulous work in keeping track of donations and transfers. All donors were individually thanked with letters from the Treasurer and the President.

For the crucial communication with our friends, we have continued the practice of sending out compact emails via mailchimp, with links for further information. The process can be tracked, and we can see how much gets noticed. The results are not discouraging, but we are aware of the battle for attention that rages in electronic communication. It remains a challenge, as does the quest to build up relations with CMC alumni who are scattered throughout Melbourne and Victoria. My thanks go out to Neil Champion, Viviane Harangozo and Nancy Nicholas for all their work in this area of communications.

In the past the FOVV was linked to The University of Melbourne and Queen?s College via the Gault Trust, established in memory of Dr Edward Gault, who was Professor of Pathology at Vellore from 1947 to 1963, and also for some years Warden of the men?s Hostel. In recent years the original purpose of the Trust fund had lost its relevance. It has now been decided to wind up the Trust and transfer the funds to India, where it will become the Edward Gault Travelling Scholarship Fund and will be used to support the travel costs of CMC staff members who have embarked on PhDs in a joint program of the University of Melbourne and CMC. The first to obtain such a travelling scholarship is Dr Anu Oommen, faculty member of the Community Health Department and doing her PhD on cervical screening for vulnerable women in Tamil Nadu. She has agreed to be our guest speaker at the AGM planned to be held at Queen?s College on Saturday 12 November. This will be our first opportunity to invite our friends to an actual event this year.

 It remains to me to thank the committee for their loyal and enthusiastic involvement in the work of the Friends this year, and also to thank the Australian Vellore Board for its invaluable support. May we continue to be inspired by the example of Dr Ida Scudder and all those who continue the work that she set in motion more than a century ago.

David Runia
President Friends of Vellore Victoria
2 October 2022

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