01. Call to order by National Representative, Akbar Lody Kieken at 11:14 AM (PST).
02. Present at the meeting were National Representative, Akbar Lody Kieken, Secretary Jelaluddin Gary Sill, Treasurer, Fazalunissa Carole Harmon and Council members Kuan-yin Pujos-Michel and Maharaj Smoky Smokorowski.
03. The minutes from the previous meeting were read and accepted.
04. There were no items arising from the previous minutes
05. Reports a. Treasurer’s Report
The Sufi Movement in Canada Treasurer’s Report - 2008/09
In early 2009 we lost Padmani Smokorowski, our dear Sufi friend and longtime Treasurer of the Sufi Movement in Canada. This was a devastating event for many people personally and also for the Sufi community in Canada.
I volunteered to take over the position of treasurer because there was no time to have an election of officers. I worked with Padmani, and later with Smoky, to transfer signing authority for the SMIC bank account, which is in Toronto at Toronto Dominion Bank. This was no small feat. The bank informed us that it is now very difficult to get an account of this sort and we should hang onto it for dear life.
We eventually succeeded in transferring the signing authority to me, in arranging a contact with a TD branch in Vancouver, and in putting this account online. One of the problems we faced is that there is only one person with signing authority for this account.
ACTION NEEDED - SIGNING AUTHORITY I suggest that a second person be given signing authority. This will require a discussion and motion.
The other major event of this year was the kind offer of Vancouver Sufi Paula Clancy, who is a registered CA, to do the year end for SMIC. Paula did the year end for 2007-08 and it went smoothly. I was surprised how involved it is for such a small organization, we are very lucky to have Paula.
There is presently $6218.18 in the TD Account and $305.02 in a sister account which I opened in 2007 to handle the book keeping transactions for MOSC. Paula has suggested that we close the later account and transfer the money to the TD Account. The money in the main account consists of an accumulation of membership fees, GST refunds from camps, and donations, primarily from the Far and Wide project. We are expected by Revenue Canada to spend this money in ways consistent with our bylaws. We are not able to spend it in contributions to sister organizations outside Canada or to cover expenses abroad. In the past Padmani was concerned that we would lose our charitable status if the organization remained dormant, she had received correspondence from Revenue Canada in this regard. MOSC staved off these worries for the present but we should do something with it soon. It would be fine to create a $ flow in and out, we needn’t delete the balance, simply do something with it.
ACTION NEEDED - AUDIT Our bylaws currently require audited financial statements which is ludicrous. Each year we have to pass a motion to waive the audit. It would be better to amend the bylaws to require Notice to Reader financial statements.
Background: In the past all Sufi camps except MOSC have been run independently as far as book keeping and accounting were concerned. Not exactly at arms length but not SMIC events either. SMIC was involved in a minor way in handling bursar’s, donations to the camp for some things, and GST refunds. Somehow we managed to have our cake and eat it, I have no idea how. With MOSC I set up a bank account under The Sufi Movement in Canada as a satellite account. In 2007 for the first time all the expenses and revenue for MOSC were reported with our year end.
It was of great help to do things this way. We got non profit discounts on venues, advertising, and many other things as well as a GST rebate. We had thought that MOSC might have made money so were unwilling to take on such a big event personally. As it transpired, due to the strike in Vancouver and other unforeseen circumstances, the reverse was true but I believe every camp other than MOSC has recovered it’s costs and had a small surplus.
It is also fine to run camps separately from SMIC but we would lose these advantages and camp organizers would be theoretically responsible for the revenues, and debts for that matter, should Revenue Canada ever inquire.
ACTION NEEDED - DECISION RE ACCOUNTING FOR FUTURE RETREATS
We will need to send out notices soon for 2010 registration. Jelaluddin has the figures for the number of members we had in 2008 and 2009. There are some long time Sufis who don’t bother to join each year but some still consider themselves in the family and would participate in future events. My feeling is that if we have a retreat soon, next fall or the following spring, that this and the momentum from Mosc will generate renewed membership and interest. This will be especially true if we do retreats which are organized by SMIC.
ACTION NEEDED - TREASURER’S POSITION
We really should officially elect a treasurer as I am just a fly in on the wings of crisis.
06. Treasurer formal appointment and signing authorities.
• MOVED by David Murray that Fazalunissa Carole Harmon be formally appointed as treasurer. Seconded by Kuan-Yin. Passed.
• MOVED by Fazalunissa that members holding the positions of National Representative and Treasurer will have signing authority for the SMIC bank accounts. Seconded by Kuan-Yin. Passed.
b. National representative’s Report
Akbar noted that it is very encouraging that there is now more activity and the organization is moving forward.
c. Secretary’s Report Recent and Pending Tasks
•Coordinate the 2010 membership drive • Maintain the SMIC website • Placing messages and documents on the SMIC website and emailing the links to those items • Scans of the Bylaws and Incorporation documents are on the website although for the moment at least, access is restricted to members. • Murshidas Nuria Sabato and Rabia Ana Perez Chisti have been added to the SMIC internal mailing list to better help find ways in which the Canadian and American organizations can work together and support each other. • David and Kuan-yin commented on the importance of finding ways to work with other Movement organizations especially the Amercans. • Kuan-Yin commented that she is working with members of the Healing Activity internationally. • Fazalunissa opined that perhaps some of the Secretary’s work might be shared out to other members in the future.
07. Centre Reports a. Toronto • Maharaj told the meeting that the Toronto Centre has been quite inactive however Robert and Fazal-Mai on the Island have been back-ups in the past and might perhaps be contact people for inquiries. Maharaj will contact them. • 6 or 7 Toronto members get together for a 5 or 6 day retreat in July at Maharaj’s summer cabin outside of Toronto. b. Banff • Kuan-Yin reports that Banff is meets bi-weekly. There are 15 regulars with 25 on the emailout list and others in areas close by. Sufi Dancing has recently been started. There is a lot interest in retreats where they Banff people could meet many of the other Sufis that they have only heard about. Wonderful human beings. c. Edmonton David reports that in Edmonton they meet weekly and always do Zikar. Readings are likely to be added in the future. Karim has been bringing new people to the meetings. The centre is generally pretty active and 3 or 4 new members are likely. There is also strong interest in sharing retreats. d. Vancouver • Fazalunissa thought that she and Jelaluddin must be living at the South Pole since there are so few members. But Paula Clancy and David Wiggs are regular and enthusiastic. Paula is an accountant and does the SMIC year end for us. Meetings have more readings and discussions than before. Practices include breathing, Wazifas and Zikar. The Vancouver Sufis are small but sweet. e. Salmon Arm Akbar reports that although there was interest for a while in Sufi dancing that Salmon Arm is fairly inactive as a centre. Akbar goes each year to nearby Naramata to present Sufi workshops. f. Victoria (Nirtan Sokoloff sent this note regarding activity in Victoria) “For the moment our schedule is: Dance Meeting, first Tues. of month, Sufi Study Circle, first Sunday of the month. I found a wonderful (small) retreat centre for us on Bowen Island, but we must book years in advance. Check out Rivendell”
08. General Business
a. Donation to International Headquarters
• Akbar stated that once the Sufi Movement in Canada (SMIC) has put money into it’s account, it was not allowed to transfer the money out of the country. • Fazalunissa pointed out that in the past with Lake O’Hara money sent but that was because Lake O’Hara was not a SMIC sponsored event so neither was the money. • Akbar - SMI has asked centres to send 25% of membership dues for the year. • ACTION: Fazalunissa will send an email, first to Council members for input then to Siddartha in Holland explaining that our status as a charitable organization in Canada requires us not to send money out of the country.
b. Bylaws re-write
• MOVED by Fazalunissa that the Council revise the SMIC Bylaws over the next year at which time a decision will be made whether or not to do an official filing. Seconded by Kuan-Yin. Passed.
• ACTION: Council members will work together using email to prepare a revised Bylaws document. If further action is decided upon, the revised Bylaws will be presented at an extraordinary meeting and a resolution passed. Revenue Canada will then be asked to review the proposed changes and approve them. Then SMIC can make an official filing and pay for only one document.
c. Annual SMIC ‘Camp’
• Possible locations were discussed. Kuan-Yin reported on Quantum Leaps Lodge near Golden BC which could accommodate up to 40 people for about $100/day per person. • David pointed out that we might necessarily use the same location year after year. • After discussion about dates and costs, Kuan-yin agreed to take the lead in exploring the lodge as a location for SMIC Summer Camp 2011.
d. SMIC Council Retreat
• David suggested that maybe we could get together sometime over the summer or perhaps the fall. • Kuan-Yin suggested that maybe Quatum Leaps Lodge might work for a Council retreat. • Discussion about Vancouver with meetings at Fazalunissa and Jelaluddin’s home. • ACTION: David will suggest possible dates for a SMIC Council retreat and Council members will respond by email. e. 2010 Federation Retreat in San Francisco April 27 to May 2
Akbar and Sharda will be going to the Federation Retreat..
f. Membership - encouragement, dues for 2010
• A membership drive starting in March will be initiated by Jelaluddin. Dues will once again be $25.00 for the year although in future years the amount could be increased. • Akbar suggested and all agreed that the membership form should encourage people to make private donations to the Sufi Movement International, thereby avoiding any irregularities regarding our charitable status. An address in Holland for money orders will be proved. • Kuan-yin thought it a good idea to include mention of the annual camp in the emailout and Maharaj thought a short explanation of What is Sufism is also a good idea. • Fazalunissa suggested that Council members actively encourage older members who have perhaps lost interest to pay the nominal membership dues.
g. SMIC Website
• Several people have used the website contact SMIC with questions about Sufism, the organization and so on. • It was agreed that Jelaluddin be reimbursed for the SMIC website hosting fees he has paid for.
09. Date and time of next meeting TBA
Jelaluddin will poll the new Council to determine the next meeting.
10. Good Wishes
David expressed that Fazalunissa, Jelaluddin, Kuan-Yin and Ayaz take all the love and good wishes from the Canadian Sufis to Hidayat and Aziza when they go to Holland this February. Cheers all around.
10. Meeting was adjourned by Akbar.
Submitted by Jelaluddin Gary Sill Secretary, SMIC
By-law changes proposed.
Bylaw 3, change principal address to 455 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5V 1B2, Canada.
Moved that Bylaw 3 of the movement be amended to read:
• The principal office of the Movement shall be located at 455 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5V 1B2, Canada where the business of the Movement may from time to time be carried on.
• Moved that the phrase "as the spiritual head of all Sufis in the world." in Section III, paragraph "a" of the Movement bylaws be deleted.
?. Bylaw # 35. states that any council vacancy is nominated by the Rep. General - change to 'nominated by the Council?
?. Rotation of Council Members - one third of Council members shall retire at each General meeting.
other changes to be discussed prior to voting at the next meeting
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2010.01.18 SMIC Council Meeting
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Sufi Circle Canada Is a Sufi Movement In Canada Community affiliated with the Sufi Movement International