Members of the Hellenic Community of Vancouver are an integral part of a significant network of Greek Canadians who represent the voice of Greece outside Greece and who play an important role in economic development activities and are a part of our Vancouver Community. The Hellenic Community of Vancouver is British Columbia’s Greek community. Established in 1927, it serves as a spiritual, cultural and social gathering place for Greeks of Vancouver and has been an integral part of Vancouver’s vibrant history.
The Hellenic Community’s roots first began on Vine and 7th Avenue, in the heart of the Kitsilano neighborhood. As the Greek population began to grow in the 1960s and 1970s, the Hellenic Community expanded and moved to its current location at 4500 Arbutus at Valley Drive where St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1974 and the Hellenic Community Centre was built shortly thereafter in 1977.
Membership is open to all individuals and companies with an interest in business links between Western Canada and Greece and are a part of our growing community.
BEING A MEMBER OF THE HELLENIC COMMUNITY OF VANCOUVER OPENS UP A WIDE RANGE OF BENEFITS:
- Learn about other cultures and your own culture
- Expand your understanding of the multicultural community
- Develop your “cultural competency” – your ability to communicate and work comfortably with people of other cultural backgrounds
- Make new friendships that can last a lifetime
- See your community through the eyes of a newcomer
- Practice teaching skills and Develop community outreach skills
- Share the fun and energy at social events
- Learn about the structure and operations of a not for profit organization
- Contribute towards growing your community’s population and building its future
THE HELLENIC COMMUNITY OF VANCOUVER
(referred to as the community)
RESOLVED as a special resolution that the Purposes of the Society be amended by rescinding the present purposes and substituting the following:
(Passed June 24, 1999)
- To perpetuate the culture, language, mores, customs, and traditions of the people of Hellenic Heritage.
- To encourage Greek speaking people to use the official languages of Canada and conversely to encourage persons using the official languages of Canada to communicate in the Greek language.
- To act as a charitable organization to assist persons of Hellenic Heritage to assist themselves to improve their homes and families in keeping with the teachings of the Greek Orthodox Faith as promulgated by the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- To encourage persons to better observe, preserve, and perpetuate in the true authentic form of the Greek Orthodox Faith and tradition, in conformity with the doctrines, canons, rights, administrative rulings, usages and customs of the Archdiocese of Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)
- To encourage persons of Hellenic Heritage to gain a better respect, understanding, and tolerance, without limiting the independence of the Hellenic character.
- To encourage harmony and productivity among the members, their family, and friends.
- To keep and proclaim pure and undefiled the Orthodox Christian Faith traditions in conformity with the doctrine, canons, worship, discipline, usages, and customs of the Greek Orthodox Church.
- To administer the Gospel in accordance with the Orthodox Faith sanctifying its members through worship, the diving Liturgy, and other sacraments, adding to members by instructing others and admitting them to the church through baptism and/or chrismation, educating in the Orthodox faith and in the language of the church through the establishment of appropriate schools and philanthropic institutions and carrying on conscientiously philanthropic activities.
- In the event of winding up or dissolution of the community, any personal and real property or funds of the community remaining after the satisfaction of its debts and liabilities, shall be given or transferred pursuant to section 70 to such organization or organizations concerned with social problems and promoting the same objects of this community. Such organization or organizations shall be recognized by the Department of National Revenue of Canada as being qualified as a charitable institution of the provisions of the Income Tax Act of Canada from the time in effect.
- The Community guarantees the=at the Community recreational facility of the Community will be available to any person or persons who wish to use it in accordance with the purpose of the facility and that participation and membership fees will not be a discriminatory factor in the use of the facility.
RESOLVED as a special resolution that the By-Laws of the Hellenic Community of Vancouver be altered by rescinding the present By-Laws and substituting the following:
(passed June 24 1999)
THE HELLENIC COMMUNITY OF VANCOUVER
(referred to as the “Community”)
ARTICLE I – OPERATIONS OF THE COMMUNITY
The Community shall concern itself with all persons interested in the Greek ethnic in the Province of British Columbia
ARTICLE II – HEAD OFFICE
- The head office and locality in which the chief operations in the Community are currently held is within the City of Vancouver, Province of British Columbia.
ARTICLE III – SEAL
- The Seal of the Community shall be kept in the custody and control of the secretary and must be affixed to all official documents in the presence of the President and either the Secretary or Treasurer.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
- Any person of Greek descent, their spouse and children irrespective of place of birth, or any person following the Greek custom, culture, and faith shall be entitled to application for membership upon the payment of dues, fees, and conditions prescribed by the Directors pursuant to the by-laws herein.
- No person shall be entitled to membership if it is proven to the Directors in consultation with the Priest, that such a person does not adhere to the principles of the Greek Community or conducts themselves in a manner clearly inconsistent to the Objects of the Community and if at any time the aforesaid has been proven to the satisfaction of the Directors, the person is subject to immediate expulsion as a member. Any member expelled by the Community has a right to appeal the expulsion to the membership of the Community at a general meeting. The majority of the vote of the members at the general meeting is final. The member may reapply for membership after two (2) years.
ARTICLE V – DUES AND FEES
(A) The fee to accompany the application for membership and the annual membership dues shall be the amounts as recommended by the Directors and as approved by the General Assembly by three quarters (3/4) majority vote, and shall be payable in advance.
ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS
- The Annual General Meeting shall be held within seventy-five days after the year end. One additional General meeting shall be held in the year, preferable in October. Extra-ordinary or Special Meetings may be called at any time by the Board of Directors or signed by Ten (10%) Percent of members in good standing.
- Notice of any meeting shall be mailed to each member at their last known address at least Fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting, and the Notice shall contain the proposed agenda of the meeting.
- A quorum shall consist of Sixty (60) members present when the Meeting is called to order by the President at an appointed time. If a quorum not present within one-half hour after the time set for the Meeting, the Meeting shall be adjourned to a date within Three (3) weeks of the adjournment, at which time Twelve (12) members shall constitute a quorum. Notice of the adjournment and the date of the next meeting shall be sent to all members fourteen days prior to the date of the next meeting.
- The agenda of the General Meeting shall be as follows:
- All members wishing to vote in the Meeting and being of voting age, namely Nineteen (19) years old or over, must sign the attendance register and all members participating shall have their identity and membership qualifications ready for checking;
- Reading of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting, to be approved by majority;
- Reading of correspondence;
- Reading of Treasurer’s report;
- Reports of:
- Standing Committees;
- Special committees,
- Sickness and Distress;
- Reports on membership;
- Unfinished business;
- New business;
- Consider and adopt the budget submitted by the directors;
- Consider the reports of the Constitution Committee and representative of the Clergy-Laity Congress;
- Business for the good of the Community;
- Statement of receipts since last report; and
- Closing prayer.
ARITICLE VII – ADMINISTRATION
- The administration of the Community shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors, duly elected and installed, and their duties and responsibilities shall continue until a new Board of Directors has been Duly elected and installed to replace them.
- The Board of Directors shall consist of seventeen (17) members in good standing and who follow Greek customs, culture, and the Greek Orthodox Faith.
- The Board shall meet regularly at least once a month and shall attend such Special Meetings as are called by the President. Nine (9) members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
- The Board shall be responsible for the membership roll and shall post a current roll of members in good standing on the Notice Board at the Community’s offices Thirty (30) days before any elections.
- The Board of Directors shall be responsible for appointing and supervising all Committees.
- The Board of Directors shall be responsible for collecting and accounting for all revenue of the Community. The Directors shall give an accounting to any member requesting an accounting upon receiving reasonable written notice from a member.
- The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the administration and operation of the church with the guidance and instruction of the priest.
- The Board of Directors shall be responsible for collecting and accounting for all revenue of the Community. The Directors shall issue a receipt for all funds received by the community. The Directors will ensure that all funds disbursed by the community shall be by cheque, with the exception of petty cash items. The Directors shall ensure that all financial transactions al duly recorded.
- In particular, the Board of Directors shall see that all bills and accounts, wages, salaries, duties and assessments within the budget of the Community are paid by the Community
- The Board of Directors may purchase property including equipment and icons necessary for the daily operation of the Community.
- The Board of Directors is not authorized to mortgage, pledge, or sell any real property and property relating to the operation of the community unless they have firstly received the approval of three quarters (3/4) or the members present at a properly constituted meeting, and providing the members receive notice of the said Meeting mailed fourteen (14) days prior to the said meeting and full particulars of the proposed mortgage, pledge or sale. In the event of a proposed sale of the Church, the Directors shall pay special attention to the wishes of the Archdiocese.
- The board of Directors shall annually submit the budgets, financial statement and annual report to the members for their approval at the Annual General Meeting
- The Board of Directors shall have the authority to conduct an inquiry of hearing into any non-ecclesiastical matter relating to the Community and to give their decision on such a matter. The directors shall, within three months of the matter being brought before the board, render a decision. An appeal of the decision of the Directors shall be brought before the members at a general meeting.
- The Board of Directors, after consultation with the Priest, shall submit all spiritual, clerical, or ecclesiastical matters to the spiritual Court of the Archdiocese for disposition.
- The Board of Directors shall administer the Greek school program. It will put into effect in the schools a recognized and approved program. The Board of Directors shall establish a Greek School Committee comprised of parents of the students and teachers to assist in the school program.
- With the co-operation of the Priest, the Board of Directors shall acquire the necessary implements and material for divine service and shall be responsible for order during these services
- The Board of Directors shall, whenever possible, attend the divine services regularly, thereby setting an example of devout fulfillment of one’s religious duties.
- Th Board of directors shall see that the use of the Community’s premises and property is conducted in a safe an orderly manner consistent with the objects of the Community.
- Upon a new slate of Directors being duly elected and installed, the previous Board of Directors shall relinquish all authority to act on behalf of the community and shall immediately surrender to the succeeding Board of Directors, all books, records, lists, minutes, bank statements and records, cheques, deposits, accounts, equipment and property relating to the community, and the acknowledgement of the transfer shall be called a letter of transmittal to be signed by the former President and the new President and sent to the Archdiocese Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)
- The priest, the President (or the President’s representative), and two members of the community, who will be appointed by the Board of Directors shall represent the Community at the biennial Clergy-Laity Congress
ARTICLE VIII – BOARD OF ELECTIONS
- The Board of Elections shall consist of Seven (7) members elected from those who are not candidates for the Board of Directors at the last General Meeting of the Community prior to the elections, at which shall convene at least Thirty (30) Days before the elections. The Priest at his discretion, may attend the meeting of the Board of Elections, but may not have a vote.
- The Board of Elections shall check the list of candidates, shall notify all eligible members to vote in the elections for the Board of Directors and the Board of Auditors, shall supervise the elections, tabulate results, and report to the members.
ARTICLE IX – ELECTION OF DIRECTORS AND AUDITORS
- The biannual election day for directors and auditors of the community shall not be earlier than the last Sunday in November and not later than the first Sunday in December each election year.
- Nominations shall be called for by the presiding Chairman at the Fall General Meeting and shall be made by members in good standing. A nominator may nominate a member who must be a member present to accept the nomination and declare that the member is fully qualified to act in the office to which the member is nominated. The list of nominations shall be turned over to the Board of Elections for checking.
- Further nominations may be received by the Board of Elections present under the signatures of two members in good standing and signed by the nominee declaring acceptance of the nomination, and that they are fully qualified to act in office, any time prior to fifteen 915) days prior to election day.
- The Board of directors shall see that all the names on the nominations and nominees are in good standing before acting on the nominations.
- A Candidate for the Board of Directors must be a member for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the elections, in order to be elected.
- New members must be members of the Community for at least three (3) months in order to vote.
- An adolescent who reaches the ae of nineteen (19) years before the elections date, and whose parents are currently enrolled and in good standing in the Community, may vote at the current election, provided they pay the adult’s dues any time before the election.
- The Board of Elections shall cause a notice containing a list of nominees, time and place of election to be posted on the community’s Notice Board, and also sent to the members at least one (1) week before the election day.
- A member who is enrolled in the register of the community prior to the fall general meeting, but who has neglected to pay the current dues, must pay such dues, and thus be eligible to vote in the election, provided of course that the member is of voting age. A member that is listed in the Register of members of the Community who has neglected to pay the dues owing to the community for five years shall be considered a new member.
- The elections shall be by secret ballot placed by the elector personally in a sealed ballot box. The elections shall be open at 12:00 noon, and shall continue to remain open until 6:00 p.m. of the voting day.
- Advance Poll voting shall take place at a designated location one (1) week before the election day.
Members wishing to vote by advance Poll shall:
- Register with members of the Board of Elections present at the Advance Poll location.
- Vote for the candidates of their choice, by marking an “x” or “+” before their name, from one (1) up to seventeen (17) manes.
- Place ballot in Advance Poll Ballot Box in person
- A statement of elections results signed by the board of elections shall be entered in the official book of elections of the Community, and will indicate the number of votes cast for each candidate. The candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be considered elected for the ensuing term. In case of equal votes, a majority vote of the Board of Elections is necessary to determine the winner, in the event that the parties involved do not consent to a toss of a coin for determination thereof.
- Any member questioning the validity of the elections must, within five (5) days of the elections, protest in writing to the Board of elections. The Board of Elections shall review their decision and render a decision within 5 days. If the member is not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Elections, the member shall inform the board of elections in writing. An appeal of the decision of the board of elections shall be heard by a panel comprised of the past three living Presidents of the Community that were not running for a contested office. The appeal shall be heard within five days of the review decision of the Board of Elections. The appeal panel shall render a decision with five days of the appeal hearing.
- A salaried employee of the community cannot serve as a member of the board of Directors, the Board of Auditors, or the Board of Elections.
- On the Sunday following the ratification of the elections by the Board of Elections, a special installation ceremony will be held upon the termination of the Divine Liturgy at which the newly elected members of the Board of Directors will take the oath of office. The affirmation will be given by the priest and repeated by the newly elected Directors.
- Upon being elected to office and before assuming duties of office, each elected member shall consent to the following oath of office before the Priest:
“I do solemnly affirm that I will uphold the dogma, teachings, traditions, holy canons, worship and moral principles of the Greek Orthodox Church under the ecclesiastical authority of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada), and I will faithfully observe an uphold the by- laws and Purposes of the Hellenic community and faithfully fulfill the duties and obligations required by me in office; So, Help Me God.”
- Immediately after the installation ceremony the Board of Directors shall convene under the chairmanship of the Priest or in the alternative, the Chairman of the Board of elections, and elect the following executive officers: – President, First Vice-President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Property Guardian.
ARTICLE X – VACANCIES
- A vacancy on the Board of Directors or on the Board of Auditors shall exist –
- When a member thereof resigns,
- When the election of a member thereof has been declared invalid
- When it has been found that a member thereof has violated the oath of office, and/or
- When a member thereof is unable to fulfill the duties as a Director.
- A member of the board of Directors or Auditors shall be subject to expulsion from office, effective by a majority resolution of the directors, when the member has been absent from Meetings of the directors without justifiable cause for more than three (3) consecutive regular meetings.
- Where possible, any vacancy on the Board of Directors or Board of auditors shall be filled by the candidate who received the next highest number of votes in the previous election.
ARICLE XI – POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUETIVE OFFICERS
Section 49. The President:
- To call meetings of the Board of Director and preside over all meetings of the Community.
- When possible request the Priest to give the opening prayer.
- To prepare and present the agenda at all meetings.
- To encourage discussions, to rule impartially upon motions pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, to submit questions to a vote, to give the floor to speakers, and maintain decorum.
- To sign the minutes of the meetings, correspondence and documents and to affix the community’s seal to documents as required and sign all cheques jointly with either the secretary or treasurer.
- To supervise the other directors and employees
- To prepare the letter of transmittal of all documents and submit them to the incoming board of directors and forward a copy of the Letter of Transmittal to the Archdiocese together with a list of new directors and officers.
Section 50. The Vice President
- The Vice President shall have all the powers and duties of the president whenever the vice president acts in the president’s place and stead. The vice president may sign cheques whenever the treasurer or president is absent. The vice president shall assist the president to maintain the good conduct of the members.
Section 51. The Secretary:
- To have custody of the community’s seal
- To attend all meetings of the Board of Directors and the general meeting and to keep the minutes of such meetings
- To keep the official correspondence and records of the Community.
- To co-sign with the President all documents of the community and to co-sign with the Priest all documents of the Church.
- A salaried clerical secretary may be hired by the Board of Directors who shall not, however, have a vote on the board.
Section 52. the Treasurer:
- The treasurer shall collect all community funds and deposit the same in the name of the community with depositories selected by the Board of Directors. The funds of the community shall be deposited in one or more banks chosen by the board of directors.
- The treasurer shall keep a separate record of the revenue and expenses of the community.
- The treasurer shall sign cheques jointly with the President of Vice President.
- The treasurer shall obtain a surety bond for the protection of community funds, the premium of which shall be paid out of the community treasury.
- The Treasurer shall turn over everything pertaining to the office of the Treasurer office and the conclusion of the Treasurers term to the successor in good order upon proper receipt, a copy of which if directed by the board of directors shall be sent to the Archdiocese
Section 53. Property Guardian:
- The Property Guardian shall maintain an inventory of all the real and personal property of the Community and shall be responsible to the Board of directors for an accounting of same.
ARTICLE XII – BORROWING
- The signing officers of the Board of Directors shall sign promissory notes, mortgages and other documents to borrow or secure the payment of any amounts on behalf of the Community, pursuant only to the provisions of the “Societies Act” and with the sanction special resolution of the Community.
ARTICLE XIII – AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS
- The board of Auditors shall consist of at least Three (3) members elected during the elections of the Board of Directors. The Board of Auditors has the following rights and duties:
- To audit the accounting books of the community for the ensuing year;
- To prepare a report of such audit in duplicate for presentation at the first annual general meeting of the Community. One copy thereof shall be submitted to the General Meeting shall be sent to the Archdiocese if directed by the board of directors to do so; and
- The copy of the report shall be deposited for safekeeping in the office of the community together with the previous Board of Auditors reports.
- The book and records of the community may be inspected by the members at the office of the Community, 4500 arbutus street, Vancouver, B.C. during business hours on appointment with the treasurer
ARTICLE XIV – FISCAL YEAR AND BUDGET
- The Community’s fiscal year shall commence on January 1st and end on December 31st. The financial report of the Board of Directors for the preceding year shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting. A copy of the report shall be sent to the Archdiocese following the Annual General Meeting. A copy of the financial report shall be sent with the annual report to the registrar of companies for the Province of British Columbia.
- The budget for the coming fiscal year shall be submitted for approval at the Annual General Meeting. The Board of Directors shall pay special attention to the recommendations of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada). A copy shall be sent to the Archdiocese.
ARTICLE XV- REVISION OF BY-LAWS
- The by-laws of the Community, may by special resolution (requiring at least3/4 majority) be amended at any general meeting provided that not less than fourteen (14) days’ notice of the amendment or proposed amendments shall have been given in such manner as may be prescribed by the board of directors.
ARTICLE XVI – ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY
- The community shall conform strictly to the decisions of the biennial Assembly of communities and of the Archdiocesan council of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada), Canonically Dependent on the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in respect to all matters strictly ecclesiastical in nature. The matters include: church doctrines, practices, teachings, services, customs, and traditions.
- The Community shall be represented at every biennial assembly of communities and of the Communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada), and shall enforce the regulations of the Metropolis Communities Assembly provided that all such decisions and regulations are approved by three quarters (3/4) of the community entitled to vote at a General Meeting.
- The Clergy are assigned or transferred by the Archbishop by virtue of the Authority of his office in accordance with the canons, ecclesiastical procedure and the needs for the Church as a whole. Prior to the assignment or transfer of a priest, the Directors of the community shall be informed by the Archdiocese regarding it decision.
- The appointment of clergymen shall be considered permanent, but the agreement to serve the community ceases to be permanent if a clergyman is dismissed or suspended from the Community by disciplinary action of the Spiritual Court, or if a clergyman is appointed to a higher position by the archdiocese.
- The Priest, by virtue of his position and high office, may take part in the meetings of the board of directors as a non-participant and may attend general meeting of the community and may state for the record his opinion on business transacted. The Board of Directors shall consider the opinions of the Priest with particular respect for the position of the Priest and the Archdiocese at meetings of the Board of Directors.
- The priest shall be accountable to the Archbishop for the fulfillment of his sacred duties in keeping with the faith, worship, and discipline of the Greek Orthodox Church, and in compliance with the encyclicals of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada) and Archdiocese.
- In every matter and at all times the Priest shall cooperate fully with the directors of the Community.
- The priest shall arrange with the Board of directors for holding holy services, including the designation of the time of commencement and termination thereof.
- The Priest and the Board of directors shall strive to promote the financial wellbeing of the Community by imparting to the members an awareness of its financial obligations thereto. They shall also take steps to have a census taken of all members, and shall attend the collection of the prescribed dues accruing to the community.
ARTICLE XVII – TITLE AND DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY, FUNDS, GIFTS, BEQUESTS, AND, DEVISES
- The Community shall have absolute title to and control of all its real and personal property. Such property shall be held subject to, and shall be administered at all times in accordance with the community’s by-laws and the laws of the Province of British Columbia.
- All special gifts, requests, and devises shall be administered by the Board of Directors in one or more special funds or trusts in keeping with the intent and purpose of the donor thereof.
ARTICLE XVIII – DISSOLUTION OF THE COMMUNITY
- When it is determined by the Board of Directors and it is verified by the Archdiocese, that the community is incapable of supporting itself and wishes to be dissolved, a General Meeting of the Members of the community shall be called and if three quarters (3/4) of the existing membership in good standing confirms such determination, the Community shall be dissolved and the property of the Community shall be disposed of in the manner provided by these by laws.
ACTICLE XIX – AFFILIATED SOCIETIES AND GROUPS
- The community is authorized to organize and promote auxiliary societies such as the Philoptochos Society and the Greek Orthodox Youth of Canada for the benefit of the members. The Community is also authorized to participate in and co-operate with other societies or groups for the development of cultural and recreational activities and related physical plants that would serve the community members in their own aim to serve the purposes of the Community.
- Save as heirin before provided, the Community shall be guided in all its meetings by Roberts Rules of order.
- A ¾ majority vote will be required to amend the By-Laws heirin or pass any business at an Extra-ordinary meeting of the community.
- The Community budget shall include appropriations for the financial support of the clergy pension fund as well as for travel and related expenses for the community representatives at the biennial assembly.
- In the budget of the community the annual minimal financial obligation the community of every adult Greek Orthodox Christian, i.e. each, husband, each wife, and each emancipated child, shall be determined by the members of a general meeting.
- The Directors and the Priest shall judge cases of indigence within the Community. The Directors shall consider all of the circumstances of the indigent member prior to making a final decision and shall have full discretion to waive the payment by the member or the member’s family in those circumstances determined by the Board of Directors to warrant such a decision.
- In the event of any inconsistency between the English and Greek versions of these Purposes and By-Laws, the English version shall prevail.