Meeting of the General Council of the Theosophical Society
held on Friday, 25 December 2009, at Adyar
Mrs Radha Burnier - President (in the chair) and proxy for Joy Mills,Ricardo Lindemann, East Africa and Mexico
Mrs Linda Oliveira - Vice-President
Miss Keshwar Dastur - Treasurer and proxy for Surendra Narayan
Mrs Kusum Satapathy - Secretary
Mrs DaraTatray - General Secretary, Australia and proxy for Greece and New Zealand
Mr Marcos L. B. Resende - General Secretary, Brazil and proxy for Argentina
Mr Jan Jelle Keppler - General Secretary, Belgium
Mr S. Sundaram - General Secretary, India
Mr Antonio Girardi - General Secretary, Italy
Mrs Helen Jamieson - Additional Member
Mr D. K. Govindaraj - Additional Member
Mr H. K. Sharan - Additional Member
Mr Sriram Panchu - Additional Member
Present as Observers by invitation:
Dr Dusan Zagar - Organizing Secretary, Slovenia
Mrs Agnes Gasemyr - Organizing Secretary, Norway
Mr Colin Price - England
Mr Aroon Parshottam - New Zealand
Mr Govert van der Wal - Netherlands
Maria Mengelt - Mexico
Patrizia Calvi - Italy
The list of proxies was read out as above.
The President welcomed those present.
1. Confirmation of Minutes
The Minutes of the meeting held at Adyar on 25 December 2008 having been circulated, were taken as read, and signed.
2. Matters arriving out of the Minutes
There were no matters arising.
3. Confirmation of voting
Election of Mr D K Govindoraj as Additional Member of the General Council. The President had nominated Mr D K Govindaraj for election under Ru1e 20(b) of the Rules and Regulations as Additional Member of the General Council for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. The result of the voting was as follows:
. For: Against: Abstained:
Mr D K Govindoraj 22 0 15
Mr D K Govindaraj was declared elected as Additiona1 Member of the General Council for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
4. Report on the Non-English Publications Fund
The Secretary reported that the value of the Fund increased by $16,529 due to Bank Interest and increases in the value of USB Bonds There was no expenditure during this year and the value of the Fund now stands at $110,159.
5. Report on the International Funds
The Secretary presented a report on the International Funds held in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, for the year ended 30 September 2009. There was a loss in realized Capital Gains of $112,557 in the American ABC Fund and $92,000 was transferred to it from the Short Term Investments. AU $25,000 was donated to the Australian Adyar Security Fund by the Australian Section. Disbursements from the Fund included US $3000 to TOS International, and US $2,818 for travel expenses.
6. Report by the President on Headquarters
Due to the demand for perfumes, the sandalwood trees are still attracting thieves. There is a shortage of workers. Many of the workers are attracted to jobs outside the campus by the higher salaries being paid, with which Adyar cannot compete. Institutions like ours are having to outsource work.
The old labour Court case was started in 1982 by a few disgruntled workers. It is still pending a final decision by the courts. Fortunately, the lawyers support the TS and only charge expenses. Generally there is appreciation of the Society’s work, particularly in Chennai.
7. Appointment of the Executive Committee for 2009
The following Executive Committee members were appointed for 2010:
Mrs Radha Burnier - President (ex-officio)
Mrs Linda Oliveira - Vice-President (ex-officio)
Miss Keshwar Dastur - Treasurer (ex-officio)
Mrs Kusum Satapathy - Secretary (ex-officio)
Mr D K Govindaraj - General Council Member
Mr Surendra Narayan - General Council Member
Mr H K Sharan - General Council Member
Mr Sriram Panchu - General Council Member
Mr S. Harihara Raghavan - Member
8. Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2009
The Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2009, which had been previously circulated, were considered and approved. It was suggested that expenditure for labour and materials may be combined under one head and shown in future reports.
9. The Budget for the year ending 31 March 2011
The Budget for the year ending 31 March 2011, which had been previously circulated, was considered and approved.
10. Appointment of Auditors for the year ending 31 March 2010
M/s Shrihari & Co, who were the Auditors for 2008-2009 were again appointed as Auditors of the Theosophical Society for the year ending 31 March 2010 on the same terms.
11. Need for changes in the Society’s Rules and Regulations was discussed
It was noted that changes in the Society’s Rules and Regulations may only be made by the General Council on their own motion or on the motion of the Executive Committee under International Rule 49. However, the changes proposed individually by the General Secretary of the American Section were discussed at length and in the absence of the sponsor of the points. It was decided that the Executive Committee should make suggestions on any changes to the Rules & Regulations which seem necessary, for consideration by the General Council.
12. Discussion on work around the world
The General Secretary of Italy, Mr Antonio Girardi, said that as soon as the programme for the World Congress in 2010 has been finalized, he will circulate a leaflet for general information; the programme details will also be made available on the Internet.
It was reported that the Greek Section expressed an interest in hosting the following World Congress.
The International Secretary of the TOS had requested an allocation of $5000 this year instead of $3000 allocated in earlier years for TOS work. The desirability of the TOS accounting for the usage of the donated funds was emphasized. The increase of $2000 was approved but it was decided that the TOS should consider raising its own funds in future.
The Belgian Section will be celebrating its centenary on 1 June 2010 and a personal invitation was extended to all members.
The Brazilian Section hosted a meeting in Brazil of Spanish and Portuguese speaking members last July where 17 countries were represented. The meeting was attended by 220 members.
12.1 Two suggestions made by the General Secretary of the Australian Section were discussed. It was found that the issues raised therein needed elaboration; the General Secretary of the Australian Section may prepare and circulate background papers on the proposals so that they can be taken up for discussion in the next General Council meeting.
13. Any other business
1. The Vice-President intimated that the new website of the Theosophical Society would be launched as soon as possible, with upgraded facilities including provision for audio & video recordings.
2. A question was raised about the possibility of changing the regular date of the General Council meeting on Christmas Day, which is important to many Westerners. It was agreed that such a matter would need wider discussion within the General Council and noted that it would also have implications for the dates on which the Convention is held, but the matter will be considered.