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Disbursements - JPAA Canada Trust Fund

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Disbursements – JPAA Canada Trust Fund

Posted on 01 October 2018 by admin

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

This report is authored by Upali Obeyesekere, Founding President of JPAA Canada based on hard facts and documentation at hand. The following quotes were our guiding light in dealing with the challenges the Joint Trustees had in safeguarding the funds in the JPAA Trust Account.

 

QUOTES: 

  • Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing. John D. Rockefeller 
  • Leadership is about doing the right thing, even if it is going against a vast number of naysayers and mediocre people. N. R. Narayana Murthy 
  • With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. Zig Ziglar
  • The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • One of the best paradoxes of leadership is a leader's need to be both stubborn, strong and open-minded. A leader must insist on sticking to the vision and stay on course to the destination. But he must be open-minded during the process. Simon Sinek

 

THE STORY

The JPAA Trust Fund (In Canadian Dollars) was created at the turn of the century to conserve funds from JPAA Canada fund-raising events such as "Fellowship Nite" and "JPAA Annual Dance". What started off as a sound financial move turned into a nightmare that posed an ongoing challenge to the two trustees who were entrusted to manage the funds. It is alleged that the funds in this trust account was the bone of contention that may have eventually led to “sabotage” and the formation of the two breakaway groups in 2012 and 2017. There were ongoing attempts to move funds from the trust account for frivolous projects in Sri Lanka that were turned down. It transpired that the parties who recommended the transfer funds of the JPAA Trust Account were working in liaison with interested parties in Colombo. Subsequent investigations revealed this to be a correct revelation.

The trust fund was originally opened in a Canadian Bank branch in Scarborough where the Branch Manager was an Old Peterite. In one instance the Manager of the Bank showed Upali Obeyesekere and Christy Joseph a letter written by the then General Secretary and Hony. Treasurer requesting total withdrawal of funds. On seeing this unauthorised letter, Upali & Christy promptly took pro-active steps to close the account at Scotiabank immediately and move it to another Canadian bank to secure the funds. Strict instructions were issued that only the assigned two trustees are authorized to deal with the bank with regards to the funds in the JPAA Trust Account. This safeguard was necessary as it was alleged a handful of deceitful members were attempting to withdraw funds from JPAA Canada Trust Fund surreptitiously. Had it not been for due diligence of the two trustees (Upali Obeyesekere & Jeevan Pragasam), this could very well have happened.

In the case of the initial bank, the branch manager apparently had been a classmate of the then Hony. Treasurer at St. Peter's College. This same bank manager made a startling revelation to Upali Obeyesekere and Christy Joseph. He claimed to have attended a meeting in new millennium where a group had gathered in the basement of a house in Scarborough and formed a breakaway Peterite Association with the specific intent of giving the new organization legitimacy and authenticity to manage the JPAA Trust Fund. He also named a past-president of JPAA Canada (name withheld) as the 'president-elect' of this breakaway group that never took off after this illegitimate initial meeting. Probably this rebellious group realised it wan not that easy to fool all the people in this fraudulent plan and abandoned the idea. Had it not been for the due diligence exercised by the two trustees and Christy Joseph (JPAA President), the trust fund may have got hijacked at some point in time in the last 8 – 12 years. Upali Obeyesekere, Jeevan Pragasam and Christy Joseph should be commended for securing the funds of JPAA Canada and ensuring it was diverted to the alma mater.

The founding President Upali Obeyesekere (SPC) was entrusted to manage the "Trust Fund" along with co-trustee Jeevan Pragasam (SJC). A strict policy was established that disbursements from the 'trust fund' would be made only to the Alma Mater for specific projects. All donations from the trust fund would only be sent directly to the two rectors and not to the respective parent OBUs in Colombo. Word on the street is that this policy was not a popular one as the OBU had leaned on getting the funds directly to them.

JPAA Canada Select Committee comprised of incumbent President Christy Joseph, Executive Committee Member Aubrey Atton & Founding President Upali Obeyesekere

Incumbent JPAA Canada President Christy Joseph, founding president Upali Obeyesekere and Interim General Secretary, JPAA Canada Aubrey Atton formed a three-man Special Committee to manage and disburse the funds in the "trust account" and the "operating account". After much deliberation and reconciliation – the special committee decided to disburse balance funds in two separate payments to the two Rectors of SJC & SPC, equally.

The first disbursement of $5,713.20 each was mailed by JPAA Canada President Christy Joseph to past-president SPC-OBU Roshan Dharmaratne who personally handed over the bank drafts to the two rectors on behalf of JPAA Canada, along with SPC-OBU President Asela Lihinikaduwa.

The second and final disbursement of $2,167.03 was personally handed over to Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin – Rector, SPC and Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel – Rector, SJC by JPAA Founding President Upali Obeyesekere in the presence of SPC-OBU past-president Roshan Dharmaratne. This was done last December (2017). Specific projects were identified when the donations were made and Fr. Trevor and Fr. Travis both agreed with our direction on this matter. In total, a sum of $7,880.23 each was given to the two schools by JPAA Canada in 2017. This amount in Sri Lankan currency came to slightly less than a million rupees, per school.

 

 

 

-THE END –

 

 

 

 

 

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St. Peter’s College welcomes Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerad Martin as the 11th Rector

Posted on 12 February 2014 by admin

St. Peter's welcomed Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerad Martin as the 11th Rector of their hallowed institute today (12th February).

A board straddling the gate posts of the College told all passersby of the event and needless to say the event was a well organised and well orchestrated one. The well manicured lawns and methodically and tastefully laid out flowerbeds with flowers blooming, at the front of the College and the fountain at the centre, made the setting picturesque and the new Rector could be forgiven if he thought he was walking in to a curator managed institute connected to a botanical garden instead of a school premises. He would have been surely happy that it was such a beautiful legacy that he would be expected to give leadership and guidance. The quadrangle was no less well decorated and took on an astral quality with stars in blue, white and gold hanging from trees to welcome the new leader.

The newly appointed Rector Fr. Trevor Martin arrived with the General Manager of the Catholic Schools, Fr. Ranjith Madurawala just after 8.00 a.m. to be welcomed with garlands by prefects and the erstwhile Rector Fr. Travis Gabriel. There was also the priest community representing the priests at St. Peter's and other priests from parishes and institutes of the Archdiocese, including the Episcopal Vicar. The tutorial staff, invited staff from Loyola College where he had served for 14 long years and his family members were also at hand to welcome him to St. Peter's.

A ceremonial salute was accorded to him by the Air Cadet Wing of St. Peter's College while oriental dancers led the way to conduct him to the porch at the front. Here he was greeted by a Prefect and presented a pot of flowers which he laid at the foot of the statue of St. Peter and after a brief prayer he returned to the porch where all the priests robed themselves in preparation for Holy Mass that was to follow at the altar erected specially in the foyer of the quadrangle.

The quadrangle was overflowing not only with students and teachers from College and Old Peterites but also staff members and students from Loyola College who had come to say farewell to their beloved Rector, Fr. Trevor. The chief celebrants at the concelebrated Mass were the incoming and outgoing Rectors Frs. Trevor Martin and Travis Gabriel, respectively (referred to as the two Ts by the new Rector in his address later on in the proceedings) and Fr. Madurawala. In a very meaningful sermon delivered by Fr. Cyril Gamini, he illustrated that the hand of the teacher is one that has to guide, help, nurture, develop and educate the students in his care and said that the need of the hour was to inculcate good values among the present generation. He expressed his confidence that Fr. Trevor was one such teacher who would inspire the students and teachers alike at St. Peter's.

After the conclusion of the liturgical ceremony the welcome "Assembly" commenced with another procession from the porch to the foyer and this was led by the western band with the scouts, cubs, air cadets, sportsmen and prefects lining the aisle to welcome their new Rector. The welcome address was delivered by Mr. Canicius Ranasinghe of the tutorial staff and Fr. Crispin Leo whose association with Fr. Trevor goes back to his student days, then addressed the gathering to give his impressions of Fr. Trevor as an introduction.

A Sinhala song was sung by Mas. Clifford Fernando alluding to the fact that Fr. Trevor will rule at St. Peter's and welcoming him to College.

Thereafter the President of the OBU Surgeon Rear Admiral Dr. Nicholas Jayasekera spoke and pledged the support of the OBU to the new Rector in carrying out his vision for College and in true Naval style wished for fair winds and calm seas in reaching the ultimate goal of excellence. It was then the turn of the western choir of St. Peter's to demonstrate their singing prowess and they did so in harmony, singing the praises of "Jesus, the Rock of salvation".

The official handing over and taking over took place thereafter with Fr. Ranjith Madurawala, General Manager or the Catholic Schools signing the "Log Book" of St. Peter's followed by Fr. Travis Gabriel relinquishing duties and Fr. Trevor Martin assuming duties as Rector, also placing their signatures. The Peterite Air Cadets then presented the College flag to the outgoing Rector who in turn presented in to Fr. Trevor. It was then Fr. Vincent Ashley's turn as the newly appointed Vice Rector of St. Peter's to hand of the Keys of St. Peter's in reality and metaphorically to the new Rector.

After Fr. Ranjith Madurawala's address which followed the handing over of the keys, the newly appointed Rector of St. Peter's, Fr. Trevor Martin addressed the gathering. His opening remarks were to thank God for the blessings he had received and said that all priests are expected to bloom wherever they were planted and that he too would do so as would Fr. Travis when he goes to St. Joseph's. He added that he had a plan for St. Peter's and spoke at length on education, motivation, quality of the out going student and the need for preparation for such a quality student from grade 1 and the need for inculcation of discipline and values, all of which he said he aimed to achieve making St. Peter's the best school in the island in the process, with the help from staff and Old Boys and other associations connected with the College. The proceedings came to a close with the lusty singing of the College Anthem.

JPAA Canada thanks the hard working Hony. Editor of the SPC-OBU Algi Wijewickrema for sending us the above news item. It is eloquently written and contains a full account of what happened on this sacred day. Thanks Algi!

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