Vienna, 21 March 2021 – In an unprecedented action, Bikol Society Austria (BSA) conducted its Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually, in view of the current CoViD-19 pandemic restrictions in Austria. This was also in accordance with BSA Executive Board decision and instructions received from the Landespolizeidirektion Wien (LPD Wien).
At the AGM, outgoing BSA President, Maria Zelda Magistrado ROJAS, delivered a presentation on the activities, events and projects undertaken by BSA in 2020. This included the:
✓ Annual General Meeting (AGM 2020), 31 July
✓ BSA Booth at the Filipino Food Festival, July-August
✓ Trip to Myra Falls and Hohe Wand Skywalk, 29 August
✓ 27th annual 10 day festivities in honour of Our Lady of Peñafrancia on 11-22 Septemberwith the 1st Procession on land in lieu of the 18th Fluvial Procession on the Danube River
✓ Fundraising activities, #TabangBicol, for calamity victims in Bicol
✓ Monthly Novena Mass in honour of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, last Friday of the month
✓ Regular virtual meetings of the BSA Executive Board and Hermana Mayors 2020
Marizel thanked the outgoing Officers for their dedication and hard work towards the realization of BSA activities, events and projects in 2020. She further thanked the 2020 Hermanas, Lolit Vendivil KASZUBA and Malou Olea GUEVARRA, who have agreed to continue to be Hermanas in 2021, with the addition of a dynamic couple, Alvin and Sonia ALCANTARA.
At the end of the presentation, Marizel stated that she is confident that If the pandemic did not manage to derail BSA from doing its work in 2020, surely, BSA will be unstoppable again in 2021-2022.
Also presented at the AGM was the Financial Report 2020. Despite the pandemic, BSA members and supporters have been very generous in supporting #TabangBicol fundraising campaigns. Beneficiaries of the fundraisers were those affected by the CoViD-19 pandemic and the parade of typhoons in the Bicol regions. Financial assistance was extended through partners such as the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy in Vienna (FCC), Associates in Research and Community Empowerment Services (ARCES), Adenubenta (Ateneo de Naga Alumni Batch 90) as well as other individual partners in other parts of the Philippines. It was agreed that BSA will continue which its charity projects and activities, concentrating not just on beneficiaries in the Philippines but also on fellow Filipinos, specially Bicolanos, living in Austria, in need of assistance, financial or otherwise.
At the said AGM, it was also agreed to recruit members, encouraging former, current and new members to actively participate in the activities, events and projects of BSA. According to BSA Statutes, there are three types of members: ordinary, extraordinary and honorary. To be a member, submit a duly filled membership form and pay a symbolic annual fee of 1 EUR.
Future plans discussed at the AGM, subject to applicable CoViD-19 restrictions, included:
- 28th Annual Festivities in honour of Our Lady of Penafrancia
Including the 18th Fluvial Procession to Tulln or 2nd Procession in Salavator am Wienerfeld
- Fundraisers for beneficiaries in the Philippines as well as in Austria, #TabangBicol
- Team Building and Bonding activities
E-voting was made possible through the dedicated work of the COMELEC 2021, Chairwoman Lolit Vendivil Kaszuba, Members:
Myrna Sales Andaya and Maria Teresa Ocfemia. The Chairwoman congratulated the newly elected Officers and subsequently announced this via the BSA Facebook site, which is then communications forum for BSA and its supporters.
- Marizel Rojas. More information on BSA can be found on its website: http://www.bikolsociety-austria.org
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