Victorian Cypriot members reject Tsindos vision

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Members of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria (CCMV) have ditched a proposal of its Executive Committee to reframe the Community’s assets and reduce its $1.5 million debt. The proposition involved selling off the Community’s existing Lygon Steet premises and relocating to a newly-renovated historic building close-by, whilst continuing to lease out two retail premises. When asked to give the green-light to the plan at a special general meeting on 11 September, the Committee’s ideas were dismissed. Sixty-three members voted for the resolution, whilst 265 voted against. “It was a tough day at the office,” CCMV’s president Harry Tsindos told Neos Kosmos, “our vision and plans were resoundingly rejected.” Asked why the proposal received such a drubbing, Mr Tsindos said that members who voted against, “made a very simple analysis, they just didn’t see the benefits. They simply said ‘why should we sell a large piece of land for a small piece of land?’” At the heart of Tsindos’ vision was the concept of reforming the organisation’s property assets in order to expand their use by the community, particularly its younger members, and at the same time reduce the burden of debt that hangs over CCMV. “The problem is the facility is used by 150 people and of those 120 would be elderly. The challenge is – how do you open the resources to the wider community? It wasn’t to be. The members always said they wanted to get the second and third generation involved and I said at the meeting ‘here we are, right in front of you’. And they shot us down. “The only concrete thing that came out of the meeting is that four senior members of the community will take responsibility for the interest on the CCMV loans for the next 12 months. With that undertaking, and income through rent coming in, it does give some oxygen to the Community.” Ex vice-president of CCMV, George Georgiades voted against the resolution. “The committee tried their best,” said Mr Georgiades, “but there was uproar from the members, because they were dead set against it.” The former committee member said he believed the resolution came down to exchanging property assets worth betwee $5.5 million and $7 million, for a smaller property worth $2 million, and that the proposed new building would be limited in terms of the resources it could provide. “At the end of the day the figures did not add up enough to benefit the community,” Mr Georgiades told Neos Kosmos. He said many members becaming agitated during the general meeting after a lengthy and detailed presentation by the committee. Mr Georgiades said that he believes the Community will now need to back one of two possible scenarios: “The easiest way out is to sell just one of the buildings, for say $2 million. We pay off the debt to the bank and we have money left to do some refurbishments. That’s an easy way out. The hard way is to look at ways of raising money and sell nothing.” The CCMV’s Annual General Meeting will take place in mid-October and elections for a new Executive Committee will take place within 21 days of the AGM. After five years on the board and a trying year as president, Harry Tsindos has confirmed that he and others on the committee who proposed the latest plan, will not seek re-election. “We made it clear, that if the resolution was passed, myself and key members of the committee would stay on to make sure the job gets done. The reason I’m not standing next month, is not to make a stance, but because there are other people, with other ideas, and I need to leave them to muster the energy to realise whatever their vision is.” Asked if he had a message for the incoming president, Mr Tsindos said, “the message is: ‘don’t give up on the second and third generations.’”last_img read more