On Sunday 25 October 2015 the Pallaconian Brotherhood Leonidas conducted it Annual General Meeting (AGM). More than half the membership had attended the AGM which was indeed very pleasing to see. It was a fine day, attracting members far and wide. However what was more pleasing to note was the 20 to 30 members of the youth group being present, swelling the congregation of members. It was reminiscent of a bygone era where the community centre was full on such days. Being held on the Sunday, there were no outstanding issues with free parking available at the rear of the community centre.
Members had received in advance a detailed account of the achievement for the previous twelve months, along with a calendar of events and a financial statement. This was well received by all members who many said that it was the first time that it had ever had happened. The coordination, administration and logistics coordinator was Kon Glekas, Secretary of the Pallaconian Brotherhood and catering coordinated by the Facility Manager, Jim Bakis.
ELECTION OF AGM COMMITTEE
The President of the AGM was Thomas Illiopoulos, the Vice President was George Foundas and Kon Glekas the Secretary. A detailed report of the AGM has been compiled by the AGM Secretary Kon Glekas as minutes. The following is but a brief outline of the matters discussed and reported upon.
Opening address and remarks by the AGM President. Thomas Illiopoulos thanked the members for electing him as President and indicated that he would conduct the AGM in accordance with the Constitution and the Agenda items. The previous AGM minutes were read and much discussion took place as to their validity before a consensus was finally agreed upon. Discussion regarding holding the AGM in accordance with the constitution was also discussed before it was pointed out to the AGM President that a precedent had been already set and that Committee of Management must run their full course in accordance with Constitution, It was also pointed out to the AGM President, by Chris Paikopoulos that when there are deviations from the constitution, they must be in accordance with the Incorporation Act of Victoria. This matter was also settled amicably and approved by the members.
COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT REPORTS
Presidents Report. The President, Peter Adamis spoke about the good work of Chris Paikopoulos and the previous Committee of Management. He went onto speak about the changes that had occurred throughout the previous twelve months and the reasons for those changes. He said the Committee of management welcomed the new generation and looked forward to the day when they could take over the reins of responsibility of the Pallaconian Brotherhood, Leonidas.
He praised the current Committee of Management for their dedication, hard work and professionalism and said that in all of his life experiences he had never come across a committee that had worked so well together. He gave examples of how leadership principals were in fact demonstrated and the work and responsibilities of each member.
He also advised the members that the Pallaconian Brotherhood, Leonidas was the only Hellenic organisation in the Diaspora to have presented plaques to the Laconian villages and towns in Laconia Greece. He went onto say that many of those he met in Greece were overcome with emotion that Laconians on the other side of the world still thought of them and their origins.
The President indicated that there will be many other changes that will enable the Pallaconian Brotherhood Leonidas to be known in the local and wider community by their actions and deeds. He said that he looked forward to the 2016 Greek Independence day march where expected over a 100 strong contingent of Laconians to march on the day.
He also advised members that one of the cornerstones of the Committee of Management was “RESPECT FOR THE ELDER”. However, having said that, he expected the same “RESPECT BY THE ELDERS TOWARDS THE YOUTH”. This was met with approval and applause by the congregation of members. Many remarked that the youth were the ones to carry on the traditions and culture of the Laconians in Australia long after they had gone.
The President summarised the previous twelve months as a succession of plans and objectives being created, implemented and amended according to local environmental conditions. He thanked the members for their ongoing support and contributions and looked forward to another year of good work.
Treasurers Report. John Panagiotakakos gave a spiriting and well spoken account of the finances of the Community which also attracted a robust debate regarding loans and financial support to the Pallaconian Brotherhood. It was pleasing to note that the Committee of Management had indeed increased the profits on previous years by good financial management practices and planning. The members in unison approved the Treasurers financial report.
Womens Committee. Mary Tsaganas, the coordinator of the Womens Committee provided an excellent account on the activities of the Womens Committee, providing examples of what they had achieved in such a short space of time and what they as a committee were going to achieve in the future. Mary’s report was overwhelming received by all members and they welcomed the concept of the Womens Committee being reinstated to a level commensurate to the past. We can expect to hear much more from Mary and her committee.
Youth Committee. Stacey Kannelakos, President of the Youth Committee provide the members with a statement on the Youth, thanking Chris Paikopoulos the Previous President for initiating the concept of the Youth and thanked members and current Committee of Management for their ongoing support. The members were pleased to see that an active Youth committee was in place and expected much from them in the future.
Cultural Centre. Stavroula Psarakis (Nee Zouzoulas) was in her element as the Vice President of the Pallaconian Brotherhood and reveled in being the coordinator of the Cultural Centre. Stavroula excited the members with the plans being considered for the Cultural Centre and how it was to record and maintain oral and written histories of all members, along with a pictorial library of the past and of members of the early years. Stavroula also gave a personal example of her own childhood and how those memories were accentuated by merely looking at a photograph. Furthermore, the Cultural Centre. can be expected to have cocktail parties, pictorial displays, book launches, lectures, conferences, meetings and other like minded events. The Cultural Centre. report was met with enthusiasm and overwhelming approval and support by members. We expect great things from Stavroula Psarakis and her team of volunteers over the next twelve months.
Communications and Relationships. Avgostina (Roumpos) Torcello the coordinator of the Communications and Media relations report was most appreciated and met with warm and enthusiastic approval by the members. Avgostina went on to speak about what was to be expected in the future regarding the enhancement of the Pallaconian Brotherhood Leonidas image in the local and wider community. She cited examples of articles, photos being published in the Australian Hellenic media and also on social media and the community’s website. She went on to say that she would be working closely with the Womens Committee, Youth Committee and that of the Cultural Centre. to enhance the image of the Pallaconian Brotherhood Leonidas. Avgostina ended her report by reminding members of the 2015 New Years Eve Party and looked forward to all the members supporting the event by attending.
George Foundas Gift. George Foundas, the AGM President, former Pallaconian and Greek Orthodox of Melbourne and Victoria President presented to the Pallaconian Brotherhood frame which contained the image of a Laconian military officer who had fought during WW2 in defence of Greece. He asked and it was accepted by the president on behalf of the Pallaconian Brotherhood to be hung on the walls of the community centre. This gesture on behalf of George Foundas was supported and approved by the members of the AGM.
Motion to extend Committee of Management Tenure. The President Peter Adamis had in accordance with the Constitution put forward a proposal that members consider over the next twelve months consider and debate the concept of three year tenure for any future Committee of management. Peter Adamis went onto demonstrate and describe in detail the reasons behind this concept, citing the introduction of new technologies and the requirement to embrace changes that the next generation of leaders could benefit from the foresight of the current generation. This proposal attracted much debate and was finally recognised as a proposal that did not require a vote but merely an acceptance by members to consider.
Post AGM Cocktail Refreshments. On cessation of the AGM, the President invited all the members to a post AGM refreshments and cocktail style meal that was provided by the Committee of Management on behalf of its members. The catering had been organised by the community’s Facility Manager, Jim Bakis and his wife Hariklea.