Members of various chapters of GOPIO New Zealand elected a new Executive Committee to govern the National Chapter (GOPIO New Zealand) at their Annual General Meeting held at Stamford Plaza Auckland on November 7, 2011.
Alkesh Sharma, President of the GOPIO (Auckland) West Chapter was elected to the post of National President for the forthcoming year.
Other members of the Executive Committee elected were Nitin Seth (National Area Coordinator), Dr Ajit S (National General Secretary), Karnail Singh (National Joint Secretary) and Sandeep Aggarwal (National Treasurer).
Community leader Harnam Golian and prominent lawyer Shobhna Golian were returning officers at the election.
Mr Sharma said the primary task of the new Executive Committee would be to consolidate the activities of GOPIO.
“We also aim to add more Chapters throughout New Zealand to further GOPIO’s objective of serving the People of Indian Origin (PIO) and establish a closer working relationship with community leaders,” he said.
GOPIO New Zealand held its anniversary dinner at Sudima Auckland Airport Hotel on November 5, attended by members and their guests.
Members of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (National) and Dr Rajen Prasad (Labour) shared their thoughts on PIO, the Indian Diaspora and the Indian community in New Zealand, emphasising the need for coordinated activities for optimum benefits.
Among the highlights of the event was the official recognition of the Christchurch Chapter. Judge Dr Ajit Swaran Singh of Manukau District Court chartered the Chapter and presented the Certificate to GOPIO (Auckland) West Chapter President Virinder Aggarwal.
Outgoing National President Rakesh Gupta said this year’s Committee had completed a detailed study of the new Constitution prepared by Ms Golian and that its draft had been sent to the individual chapters.
“The Executive Committee of each Chapter will review and adopt the Chapter Constitution with appropriate amendments deemed necessary,” he said.
Mr Gupta said GOPIO New Zealand planned to meet other organisations and organise community projects.
“As well as donating $5350 to Red Cross New Zealand for its relief efforts in Christchurch, GOPIO National Chapter collected $7000 to St John’s for its Ambulance project,” he said.
“We participated in the ‘One Day Fast’ along with the members of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust on August 21 at the Aoetea Square in Auckland City in support of Anna Hazare’s Anti-Corruption movement in India,” Mr Gupta added.
Dev Dhingra was the Master of Ceremonies at the Anniversary celebrations, among the highlights of which was a classical dance item presented by Saakshi Hegde, a disciple of Padmlatha Dev Pandadu.
The photograph, taken at the GOPIO Anniversary held on November 5, 2011 at Sudima Auckland Airport shows (from left) Nek Mohammed, Subodh Seth, Alkesh Sharma, Satish Sharma, Rakesh Gupta, Sandeep Aggarwal, Shobhna Golian, Harjeet Golian (partly hidden), Shefali Mehta, Karnail Singh, Rohini Jagmohan and Shailen Mehta.
Awards of Excellence
As a part of its anniversary celebrations, GOPIO New Zealand presented a number of Awards in recognition of the outstanding services rendered by officials and members in various chapters.
Outgoing President Rakesh Gupta presented the Awards to the following:
Alkesh Sharma (President GOPIO West) for excellence in fundraising
Ameeta Naidu (GOPIO North) of Magic Prints for providing printing services
Dr Kanta Soni (GOPIO North) on her appointment as Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year
Harish Bajaj for chartering GOPIO in New Zealand; Former National President Ashok Bhatia received the Award on his behalf
Nek Mohammed for excellence in organising fundraising for St John Ambulance
Sandeep Aggarwal for excellence in maintaining GOPIO Accounts
Shefali Mehta for excellence in her role as National Secretary
Shobhna Golian for excellence in legal services including reviewing and finalising the National and Chapter Constitutions
Subodh Seth (GOPIO Botany), for excellence in management of the Chapter
Suman Kapoor (President of GOPIO Waikato) for organising the largest number of community activities in Hamilton. Satish Sharma received the Award on her behalf
Sunny Kaushal for excellence in marketing, membership and GOPIO website
Contributors to Auction
Laxmi Jhunjhnuwala (Paintings)
Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala (Two nights’ accommodation at Sudima, Rotorua)
Anurag Sharma (A Wicket signed by four players of the Black Caps)