The Anglo-Indian Australasian Association of Victoria
There's often a modest beginning to every successful story ..... and mine commences in Golden Rock- a railway colony in South India.
The fourth of five siblings, my parents worked selflessly to provide us with all that was required for a productive future, including the right moral, spiritual and ethical compass.
Despite the emphasis placed on the value of education, my focus to a greater extent was directed to sport. I excelled in hockey representing many victorious school and state teams. Having graduated from High School in 1968, and with sport as my prowess, I was fortunate in gaining meaningful employment with a reputable Steel Company in West Bengal. As an employee, I was also a popular member of the Company's teams competing at inter/intra state events.
I also had the privilege of coaching the local school teams, thus forming many valuable and lasting friendships. In 1970, at the age of twenty-one, I migrated and called Melbourne "Home". In 1971, with a group of ' like-minded friends' we founded the ' Cosmos Hockey Club'. We were one of the best local teams at that time, spending many weekends involved in sport and other social activities.
To meet the needs of the Club, as the membership increased, it became apparent that a stable, social avenue be instituted , providing facilities for accomodation and entertainment. A venue to meet and renew old frienships and also form new relationships. Many dances, week-end pokie-trips to New South Wales (Victoria was devoid of such venues at that time), and coach tours were organised and well supported. With the funds raised it was time to widen the horizon, to establish something concrete, to encourage and support our very unique community! To lay the foundations for the future!
In 1986, the "Anglo-Indian Australasian Association of Victoria " was formally instituted and incorporated. Three blocks of land was purchased at Llewelyn Court, Noble Park.
In 1992, with further lobbying, we succeeded in securing a Grant from Bob Hawke's Labour Government to found the first of its kind out of India! St.Joseph's Hostel, comprising of 16 single bedrooms with en-suites, common kitchen, dining and laundry facilities. Vacancy rates at this residence is always at a minimum.
With astute financial management and continued fund-raising activities, and no government aid, the Association successfully completed in
1998 : St. Mary's Retirement Village of seven self-contained units.
2000 : A Three-bedroom guest home for new migrants.
2010 : St. Joseph's Villas consisting of five one-bedroom units.
2012 : St. Joseph 's Extension - six additional rooms with en-suites, a multi-purpose and common room.
2013 : Purchase of property at St Albans for future development.
2019: Property purchased at Lakes Entrance
2020: Property purchased at Pakenham
All of these achievements of which we are aptly proud of, could not be attained without the support of family and committed members of the Association. Congratulations and thanks to Audrey Osborne and Douglas Emmanuel for their long and unswerving service to the Association since 1988. Their willingness to take on board constructive criticisms and suggestions is particularly encouraging!
We as a committee, are ever grateful to the late Michael Simpson, Solicitor, who voluntarily provided us with free legal services, thus saving us a 'packet' in fees.
Our gratitude for the services of the following past Presidents:
1971 - 1980 Late Brother Barry Parton.
1980 - 1986 Late Father John Murphy ( Catholic Immigration)
1986- 2012 Late Brian DeMonte.
It was my aspiration and vision for providing our Community and more recently members from other Ethnic groups with safe and affordable facilities, that compelled me to work tirelessly with past and present Committee members. Thanks for your labour and support!
And as there is always a beginning, a middle and an end phase to all things visible and invisible, a New Resolution was passed unanimously by the members present at the 2010 General Body Meeting: That is, should the management of the Association become untenable and dysfunctional, the existing assets be handed over to the Archdiocese of Melbourne for the sole benefit of its members.
Under the Agreement, the status quo will be retained with preference given to the members of the Association. ( Current membership:2000+)
My gratitude to all committee and non-committee members for your support and patronage, for your attendance at social events, inter and intra state tours, not forgetting the very popular cruises!
UNITY IS STRENGTH!