St. Benedict’s College Alumni Association (Canada) AGM Annual Report Highlights
June 2019 – June 2020
The Association expresses its gratitude to all Old Bens, their families and friends, for rallying around the Green and White Flag, for the cause and glory of our Alma Mater, and for fostering fellowship and camaraderie amongst the Benedictines in Canada and overseas. We truly are one large family – The Benedictine Family.
Contributions To Alma Mater
Since the inauguration of our Alumni Association in 1990, our Association has contributed / committed approximately $40,000 to St. Benedict’s College, Colombo. Some of the key projects funded over the years include the new primary school building, the Aquatic Centre, improvements to the College cricket grounds, renovations to the pavilion, donations to the Cricket Wing, contribution to the Athletics Wing, contributions to Rev. Bro. Alexander Building Fund and to the Retired Christian Brothers Trust Fund, and our on-going annual scholarship fund.
As in prior years, a sum of $500 was sent to St. Benedict’s College in 2019 for the annual St. Benedict’s College Alumni Association (Canada) Branch Scholarship. This flagship scholarship fund was established in the 1990’s and supports students from grades six to twelve.
The Council appointed a sub-committee to start a dialogue with the Bro. Director and the Development Fund of the Alma Mater to identify areas where the Association would have opportunities to further support the Alma Mater. The sub-committee is comprised of:
- Darrel Fernandopulle
- Nimal Dissanayake
- Dayan Baddeliyanage
- Donald Bastiampillai
- Kevin Rosairo
On the recommendation of this sub-committee, a contribution of $1,000 was made in 2019 to be used for activities of the Athletics wing of the College.
Subscriptions and Membership Activities
The annual membership subscriptions collected during the period January 1 to December 31, 2019, amounted to $640 (prior year – $760). This equates to 32 Old Bens (prior year – 38 Old Bens) who paid their annual Membership subscriptions out of a total of approximately 110 Old Bens in our database (less than 30%). A big “Thank You’ to those who paid their annual membership dues.
After consideration of the current circumstances surrounding the pandemic and its potential impact on the membership of the Association, the Council decided to waive the annual membership fee for 2020. Any member of the Association who has paid the membership fees for 2020 will have the funds applied against the membership fees for 2021.
We look forward to more Benedictines joining the Association and participating in the growth of our Alumni Association.
29th Annual General Meeting – June 2nd, 2019
The 28th AGM was held at the Party Room of Wedgewood Grove Condos, 30 Thunder Grove, Scarborough. The AGM was immediately followed by a fellowship and dinner.
The minutes of the AGM along with the list of Office-bearers and Council members elected have been circulated.
Bens Family Picnic – July 28th, 2018
The Bens family picnic for the wider Bens family including Old Bens, their families and friends was held on Sunday July 28th, 2019 at Magna (Simeon) Park, Stouffville. The activities included a cricket match among the Old Bens.
Benedictine Invitational Golf Tournament – September 22nd, 2019
The Benedictine Invitational Golf Tournament was conducted on Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 at the beautiful Bathurst Glen Golf Course in Richmond Hill. The Tournament was organized by a sub-committee headed by Old Ben Mike Alvis. The Council extends its appreciation to Mike Alvis for reviving the Golf Tournament after a few years.
Seniors Home Carols – December 8th, 2019
Singing of Christmas Carols at the North York Seniors’ Centre took place on Sunday December 8th, 2019. This annual event of “giving back” to the Community has been an important event of the Association for around 25 years. Many of the Old Bens who attended displayed their vocal talents and brought immense joy to the seniors at the Centre. The seniors and their care givers who very much look forward to this annual event that brings great cheer to them during the festive season, enjoyed the carols, by singing and dancing.
Christmas Party – December 8th, 2019
This annual Christmas party was held at the Party Room, of the Wedgewood Grove condos, Scarborough, after the singing of carols at the Seniors’ Centre. The Association provided toys and other gifts to the children and grand-children of paid members at no charge. The children had a great time participating in various activities and truly enjoyed Santa’s presence and presents.
The event concluded with music, singing of Christmas carols and dancing. All enjoyed the dinner and it was a good, fun-filled time for everyone and an unforgettable night for the kids.
Heart To Heart – Valentine’s Dinner Dance – February 8, 2020
The Annual Dinner Dance of the Association was conducted as a Valentine’s dance for the second year. This year, the dance “Heart to Heart” was held at the Calireport Banquet & convention Centre on February 8th, 2020 with over 300 guests.
Live Band “Memory Lane” and DJ Chamil provided the music. Our very own MC Tyrone Pulle was marvelous – as always.
There were plenty of Entrance Gifts, Door Prizes, and Raffle Ticket draws. Dinner was a sumptuous buffet with complementary red and white wine for each table.
Many thanks to all the Council members and their spouses who worked tirelessly and contributed both time and money to make this event a success. Most of all thanks to our loyal Benedictines and their guests who helped make our dance the premier event of the year.
Lenten Retreat – April 11th, 2020
The annual Lenten Retreat was conducted on Saturday April 11th, 2020 on an electronic platform, online. Initially planned to be conducted at the St Wilfred’s Church in Toronto on April 5th, 2020, the social distancing rules due to the pandemic resulted in the Council taking the retreat online.
The retreat was facilitated by Bishop John Corriveau, a retired Bishop, with several theological publications to his credit. The program started at 10.00 am and covered four topics and the recitation of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross. The topics covered included Conversion: Living our Baptism, The Cross: The mystery of Compassionate Love, The Church: The Inspired Word and Our Mission: Transforming Love.
There were more than 30 active connections, which could mean much more participants huddled together as family around a computer or other electronic device. In the new normal of the post-pandemic era, your Council plans to continue with its program of activities using new technologies, where available.
Social Media Communications & New Technologies
At the 28th AGM, an amendment to the constitution was carried to create a new position of Social Media Secretary. Kevin Rosairo, who was elected to this newly created position has successfully activated the social media communications of the Association through the website and Facebook page. Please visit the website (bensalumnicanada.ca) and the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/sbcaa.canada) for information on the activities of the Council.
The Council has also subscribed to an electronic platform, enabling the Council to conduct activities during the pandemic, including the Lenten Retreat.
We record with very deep regret the passing away of members of our Benedictine Family and offer our sympathies, thoughts and prayers to the immediate families.
May these souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.
During the Annual General Meeting we will observe an one minute reflection and silent prayer for their souls.
In conclusion, we are happy to note most of the activities were well attended by our Old Bens fraternity, their families and well-wishers. We offer our sincere gratitude to all those for supporting these activities. The Counci1 is ever grateful to the spouses and their children, who tirelessly worked behind the scenes in order to ensure the success of these events. We earnestly look forward to your support and assistance, now and in the future, for the growth and advancement of our Beloved Alumni and Alma Mater.
Thank you and May God Bless you and your loved ones.
Sgd: Mallory Wijesinghe
Hony. General Secretary