CAMEROON SOCIAL CLUB
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
DATE: SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
HOST: METRO BOSTON REGION
DURATION: 4HRS, 21MINUTES, 30SECONDS
Before the start of the meeting, the agenda of the day was handed to all and amendments of the agenda before the kick off which began at about 4:20pm. Opening prayer was given by President Bridget Nambouh who called on the Lord to be around so we all can deliberate properly for the best of our community.
Welcome address by Bridget Nambouh, Metro Boston region President
This was followed by a welcome address from the Metro Boston Region’s President Bridget Nambouh who welcomed all the various CAMSOC members present and urged all to support, initiate and lead the way for our community success. She also welcomed all our guests present and hoped that they will actively participate in our larger community discussions that will continue after today’s meeting and also send in their advice, comments, recommendations and important data that will benefit our community. She also said there is nothing or no such thing like too much information especially when it comes to regulating the policies that impact a small emerging and united community as ours.
To the Board of Directors, the metro Boston President expressed gratitude “I lack words to appreciate your efforts”. She went ahead to state that CAMSOC has only had the Board for 2 years and it feels like 10 years. She enumerated that the different Regions and other Stake holders have given the Organization a much higher community profile than in the previous years because of the presence of the Board by strengthening its governance mechanism. By electing Board members to oversee and make sure CAMSOC operates under the norms of the 501C of the Organization for 2 years and it feels like 10 years. She continued by saying we need the expertise, leadership and guidance because this process needs to be successful in supporting members’ action which is the base or foundation of making progress in our community issues. This target calls for greater accountability for making progress from all regions and we have to work together to set up a strong and transparent system to monitor, implement and reports on the results achieved across all regions. These are all examples needed to enhance and maintain CAMSOC.
To the founder, “Everything begins with an idea, the idea becomes a dream and if the dreamer is courageous and has what it takes to make the dream, it becomes a reality. The dream is abstract until matched with actions. CAMSOC is not an exemption of this principle.” Ma Bridget quoted. It was somebody’s idea and he shared with some members of the community who worked with him to actualize the idea to what it’s today. She added and ended by thanking Mr. Peter Tamajong who is the founder and also the Board Chairman for the Organization. This was followed by applause and humor from the CAMSOC Chairman, Mr. Gerald A. Tabi who said upon all his life or years on earth that was the longest welcome speech he ever listened to.
World from the Camsoc board of Directors Chairman, Mr. Peter Tamajong
That wonderful welcome address by Ma Bridget Nambouh (Metro Boston Region’s President) was followed by a word from the Board Chairman, Mr. Peter Tamajong, who thanked the Chairman of CAMSOC and welcomed all CAMSOC members on behalf of the Board. He said he was honored to welcome members to the second General Assembly since the Board was put in place. The Board Chairman also emphasized and reminded all CAMSOC members that the GA’s are the most important meetings or unions, gatherings or assembly for an Organization as ours. These meetings should be taken seriously because these are venues where policies, laws, rules and regulations are changed or mended, elect new ones and also choose people to lead the Organization. He encouraged all to be very discipline and in all deliberations, we should think of the Organization 10 years from now. He as well reminded all that as when CAMSOC started, if we all had overlooked CAMSOC at the beginning, it wouldn’t have come this far and having a conversation like this wouldn’t happen. Mr. Tamajong also explained that when an Organization like this is created, it’s always good to have a plan for it 10years down the road and he pleaded that whatever decisions, changes or way of life we discuss or put in place today, we should think and reflect on it, if in 5 years we are not there, would these laws be acceptable by our children? If we look at it that way, then we are building something good for the future so on that note or lite, he told the assembly that the Board was given certain assignments including Fundraisings, Bylaws, Bereavement committees and all have work hard and on the time allocated and therefore will be discussed by one of the Board members (Mr. Nobert Kong), who is leading that department and we’ll get the chance to listen to team leaders and the Executive Bureau as well. He also assured all of the hard work behind the scene by the leadership team and the Board. He declared the General Assembly open and welcomed every member and hoped we all have productive and fruitful deliberations. This was followed by Applause. The CAMSOC Chairman, Mr. Gerald Tabi thanked Mr. Peter Tamanjong (the Board Chairman) and appreciated all his efforts and sacrifices for the Organization.
Reading of last year’s G.A. minutes
Next on the agenda was reading of last year’s G.A. minutes. But before that happened, the Chairman noticed tension amongst members and encouraged members to loosen up, shake up and speak up. He also said the General Assembly is where things are shaped up and urged members to speak up. He also pointed the bathroom positions and refreshments at the back of the hall. The minutes of last year were 15 pages notes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go through all of them. Also, the author of the minutes is of late. Copies were made and placed at the back of the hall.
Mr. Gerald Tabi went through the minutes and picked out most important notes such as the amendments which were basically the original quotes. The motions, the Bylaws amendments proposals, the General Assembly agreed upon proposals and he suggested we go through the G.A. agreed proposals adopted to educate ourselves. Dr. Steve Bate also proposed we go through the motions adopted and that there are nine (9) of them as well as on page 14, adopted amendments 1-5.
Mr. Peter Tamajong also thought that members should be accorded time to go and read via the minutes since there are 15 pages while it’s important we should today go via the highlighted motions adopted and he also agreed with Dr. Bate to read the amendments adopted and proposals because there will be suggestions from the Bylaws committee on how to form committees and when its time, will see how to put these amendments in there. But the main goal for now is to read the adopted proposals. Mr. Emmanuel Tokombonda also agreed to that. In this regard, the Chairman (Gerald) read the motions adopted from last year minutes on page 8.
Motions Read after discussions and voted are:
- All members should pay registration regardless of status
- The notion of extended EB is no more. All Regional Presidents are considered full EB members.
- Bereavement records should be made public for transparency
- Registration list should be published quarterly
- Each region should manage their sinking funds
- Motion to streamline regional announcements: All regional announcements of CAMSOC to members must receive a clearance from the regional Presidents.
- Non-CAMSOC member announcements should not be sent exception if a Cameroonian dies.
- Regional monthly minutes should be sent to CAMSOC EB
- Brockton region should pay past bereavements like other regions in CAMSOC
Page 14: Adopted Amendments were:
- The Board will be made up of 9 members, 2 per region with the largest region having the privilege to choose or select the 9th
- The word founding member should be removed from the document.
- BOD term: 3 years renewable once
- The Board should not vet members. Each region should be responsible for vetting their members for the BOD. The only time the BOD would be vetting a member is if he/she happens to be a non-CAMSOC members. All BOD members should be elected by their regions respectively.
Page 15 matter arising
- Thank you message from the Che family
- After the presentation of reports from the Chairman and Vice Chairman, Mr. Evaristus Nkongchu of Metro West region tabled a motion that moving forward and during years of elections, the Chairman would run together with a vice and this vice has to be chosen from a different region preferably a woman and this motion was adopted by the General Assembly and would be incorporated into the Bylaws. There was some discrepancy about the sex of the vice and there was an argument put forward about specification. Mr. Emmanuel Tokombonda explained that after the motion, the sex of the vice didn’t matter but has to come from a different region and everyone concurred to that.
The former Vice Chairman, Mr. Emile Kamadeu urged members to mindful that it’s very difficult to concentrate during the G.A. deliberations when members are not paying attention and also it’s difficult for the Secretary to take notes in a very noisy environment for instance there is a lot of noise and interruptions between speakers. Secondly, members should introduce themselves before making points for proper references in the future. Members were made to understand that the minutes of the GA are being recorded and it will be difficult if members don’t introduce themselves before speaking and we are going to experience such issue. In this lite, he recapped there was a proposal from Mr. Evaristus (about the Chairman running with a vice) but this motion was adopted. It was proposed this year so it’s good to talk about it now.
President Bridget Nambouh asked if the minutes were adopted and the Chairman (Gerald Tabi) responded the minutes have been posted online for over a year and if there were any amendments, members should have brought it up or to the attention of the Secretary General. A hard copy was sent to him (Gerald) but it was on CAMSOC website. Mr. Bienvenue Biyame (A Board Member) also said he remembered it was brought up but not voted, He also supported Mr. Emile Kamadeu’s idea to talk about it and said he has a copy of the GA report in the computer and it’s not matching. The Chairman said what he has (the copy of the GA last year) was a read only copy from the late Secretary and he doesn’t know how to go and amend a read only copy and when the minutes went out, it was for members to send any amendments before the final copy. So it was a get go. Mr. Nobert Kong stated he remembers very well when Barrister Nkongchu put out the motion, a vote was taken and it passed overwhelmingly. So we don’t have to revisit anymore. Mr. Kima Tabong stated we are here as a group and as one so we should be very careful about what we say and we are not going to rely on some people’s memory. He added that some people remember that it was voted upon and others don’t but the defining copy is there so we should go by that document written by the secretary because if we want to amend the motion, then we have to amend all the amendments. After much arguments and since the author of the minutes is of late to explain, the General Assembly has to go with what is on the papers (Last year’s GA) and the motions have to be on the Bylaws when the committee meets to harmonize the laws “said the chairman”.
Reports from the Various Regions
Metro Boston Region
First Region was the Boston Metro Region and the report was presented by the President Bridget Nambouh. (Please read the complete reports).
93 Registered members and meet every 3rd Saturday of the month and hope to double the number next year
Metro West Region
Second was the Metro West Region report presented by President James Kunju. He started by asking for a minute of silence for the late William Ganjui (former Secretary General. Membership grew from 38 to 57 members as of last year to this year. (Please see complete reports).
South Shore region
Third report came from South Shore region presented by President Pentocoster Fombe. The region has grown from 40 to 50 members and holds meetings every third Saturday of each month. (Please also see complete report).
Metro North region
Fourth report came from Metro North region presented by Dr. Solomon Basame (President). (Please also read complete Regional report).
Financial Statements by the treasurer
Next on the agenda was the Financial Statements by the treasurer followed by the financial Secretary. There was some arguments put forward that the financial Secretary should come first and the treasurer comes next to finalize. There was no financial statement given by the former financial secretary. She complained about not on the same page with the treasurer but the Chairman took her blames. This was such a disappointment for the Organization.
EB members’ progress reports and State of the Association
Also, there were EB members’ progress reports and State of the Association. The Activity Secretary gave a rundown of the year’s programs and the Chairman reported on behalf of the EB Team.
Bylaws amendments, presentation and adoption
Under Bylaws amendments, presentation and adoption, the various regional presidents were asked to forward their motions to the constitutional committee to harmonize.
Cameroon Cultural Center (C.C.C) Hall Project and CAMSOC Fund Raising
Mr. Nobert Kong gave a lecture about the Cameroon Cultural Center (C.C.C) Hall Project and CAMSOC Fund Raising and it was agreed that the first will happen on October 22, 2016.
Elections and Presentation of the New EB
Next on the agenda was Elections and Presentation of the New EB. First was the Position of the Chairman with a Vice Chairman. There was a disagreement by the majority of the Assembly about the Vice because she didn’t discharge her duty as a financial secretary. First, she was nominated to join the constitutional committee but she declined saying she didn’t have time so in this lite Amanda asked her how she will handle the position of the V.C? But the assembly went with what was in the last year’s GA minutes (motion of Chairman with a vice.)
The following members were elected or re-elected:
- Chairman—-Gerald A. Tabi
- Vice Chair lady—Janet Minang
- Secretary General—Edward (Teddy) Ake
- Publicity Secretary—Stella Kumcho
- Financial Secretary—Jean Assobmo
- Treasurer—Moses Nkwenti
- Activity Secretary—Open
- Regional Coordinator—Amanda Perez
- Event Coordinator—Stanley Kisob
Swearing in and the Presentation of the New CAMSOC Executive Bureau
Next was the swearing in and the Presentation of the New CAMSOC Executive Bureau for the next 2 years that was done by Mr. Nobert Kong.
Constitutional committee member’s appointment
The following members were elected for the constitutional committee:
- Kima Tabong (Team Leader)
- Elza Etchu
- Bridget Nambouh
- Steve Bate
- Pamela Tambi
- Pascal Nyumfor
- Njiki Wanda
- More Chingdon
Closing remarks given by Board Chairman
Next was closing remarks given by Board Chairman, Mr. Peter Tamajong followed by refreshment (assorted) by the Boston Region and adjournment of the General Assembly.
For any remarks or amendments concerning this minutes, please contact your region. Regions are responsible to compile all amendments and/or remarks concerning this GA 2016 minutes and channel it to the Camsoc Executive Bureau 4 weeks prior the next GA.
Subject: GA 2016 minutes amendment(s)
President`s or Rep Signature