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OLA Bylaws – Final discussion on limited issues to be completed by 7th March 2012

Dear all,

The OLA President has asked me to post the following message on his behalf. It contains the remaining issues on the OLA Bylaws on which opinion is sought from OLs. The discussion process will be set up by Yohaan John as was done earlier, so as to have a cogent record from which the final version of the OLA Bylaws to be placed before an EGM is prepared and made available. The discussion will close on 7th March 2012.


Kind regards,

Mathew Antony (Website Admin)



As you all know
that a  committee was constituted by me the President, OLA to review the by laws
in accordance with the direction of the General Body.
Mr. Joseph Thomas
(1957) was appointed as the convenor of the committee.
Although no
meeting was held, some discussions were held by email and suggestions received
from members of the committee. Some inputs were also received from
However, Mr.
Joseph Thomas resigned suddenly from the convenor’s
 Mr. J.
Balamurugan (1979) was requested by me to coordinate the committee’s work and
collate the decisions.
Ms. Anusha
Ramanthan assisted in the collation effort.
These are the
points, that we need more clarity on, as pointed out by
On a perusal of
the various inputs of the committee members, while consensus has been arrived at
in most areas, there are a few areas where consensus has not been arrived
Hence it is
proposed to invite inputs on these areas so that the final draft can be prepared
with the inputs from the OLA members.
The following are
the points:
1. Membership
The existing
bylaws allow either former students or teaching staff to become regular members
with full voting rights. It has now been suggested that only past students
should be allowed to become regular members and former staff should only be
associate members.
The opinion in
favour of retaining the exisitng eligibility criteria is on the grounds that it
is unfair to disqualify a class of members from an exisitng position to a lower
position and that former staff also need to be treated on par with former
students. A question in whether it is legally advisable to disenfranchise a
class of members who presently have voting rights. The original objects of the
Association (when registered in 1987-88) state
“To provide a
forum for old students and teachers of the Lawrence School, Lovedale,
hereinafter referred to as “Old Lawrencians” to keep in touch with each other
and with the school….”
The opinion in
favour  of restricting membership is on the gournds that it is ok and
permissible to have different classes of members.
2. The number of
Vice Presidents – there is mention that there can be up to 3 Vice Presidents. No
particular reason has been advanced for this. However, there also exists an
opinion that the managing body should not become unwieldy with too many office
3. Should there
be a “CORE” – Committee Of Representatives ? The draft had suggested this to
provide guidance to the officebearers, but opinion was expressed that this may
create unnecessary conflicts and make the decision making process cumbersome. If
they do not have statutory powers, whether they need to be mentioned in the
4. Whether there
should be strong mechanism for verifying the authenticity of a person seeking to
join as a member. Any ideas for implementing the authentication
The other general
remarks are – on many occasions, it has been found to difficult to get people to
volunteer for positions. Hence very tight restrictions on period in office etc
can lead to a difficult situation at times.
Once inputs are
received from the members of the Association, the final draft will be compiled,
taking into account some of the statutory clauses needed. The draft will then be
vetted by a legal adviser and steps taken for calling an EGM to vote on the new
bylaws well before Founders’ 2012.
9 44 30 11 3 88


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