The Foreign Residents in the TRNC
16th Annual General Meeting
5th October 2013
By Margaret Sheard
The 16th Annual General Meeting of the Foreign Residents in the TRNC (TFR) was held on Saturday 5th October 2013 at the Silver Rocks Restaurant in Lapta and was attended by around 70 people.
Robin Melhuish acted as Chairman for the meeting which started at 11.35am and he called on Heinz Nauroth, the TFR Chairman, to give the Chairman’s Report and Heinz firstly asked for a minutes silence as a mark of respect for a deceased member – Klaus Wente (German). Heinz stated that there was a vacancy on the committee due to the resignation of Susan Murphy who has now left the island and then proceeded to give his report to the members, thanking them for attending and giving information about the activities of the association over the past year both for the social events and the more serious side with regard to the cemetery and burial arrangements which are handled by the cemetery sub-committee. He said that some money has been used to build a covered shelter at the Lapta Cemetery and for the cemetery to be secured by the fitting of gates. On the social side there was a Christmas Dinner and “Glöök“ afternoon at the Aeria Bar last December, a visit to the Ethnographic Museum in January, the presentation of a plaque to the Lapta Mayor, the first bowling tournament in March (since then a regular monthly event), an Orchid Walk in March, a garden party at Nirwana and Adolf’s house in April, a picnic in Pinarbasi in May, a visit to Akincilar, a boat trip in August and the recent Black Sea holiday in September. Heinz confirmed that there will be many more events during the 2013/14 year and with the growing membership of now 177 people of different nationalities, the committee will be aiming to arrange social events to suit all members.
The Secretary, Ralph Kratzer, was then asked to give his report to the members. Ralph was elected as Secretary at the last AGM and since this time has worked hard on the website which was created for the benefit of the TFR members. Ralph started his report saying that he would not bore everyone with a long speech and with an old German saying: “do good things – and don´t forget to talk about it”. He extended his thanks to Chris Elliott and Margaret Sheard for their help in setting up the website and for their ongoing help with editing and other related matters. The members were given a report about the success of the website which started at Christmas 2012, it has been very well received and is read by people in many countries. Ralph gave a few statistics.
• We have been online now for 285 days
• We have published more than 600 posts during this time
• To date we have had over 30.000 views (every time a post is read)
• Average of more than 100 views a day
• The best day was 335 views
• Ranking of views by country: Turkey incl. TRNC, UK, Germany, followed by USA, Finland, Belgium and Netherlands
• More than 7,500 new first time visitors from 120 different countries worldwide
• Ranking by countries: Turkey incl.TRNC, UK, USA, followed by South Cyprus, Germany and France, then come Canada, Australia, Netherlands and India
• Top posts published by number of views are: TRNC post codes, TFR Trip to Akincilar, Snakes of Cyprus, followed by Snow Wonder in Cyprus, Bone marrow transplant for Bengu Shail, Mare Monte Beach and Deadly dangers for dogs
Ralph ended his report by asking members to think about making their own contributions to the website which could cover any topic such as gardening, cookery, travel and any other interesting hobbies or pursuits.
Horst Gutowski, the Treasurer, was then asked to give his report on the financial side of TFR and he gave details of the expenditure and balances on both the TFR and Cemetery accounts for the year to the 15th September which is the financial year of TFR. It was suggested to the members that in view of rising costs the membership fee should be increased to 40TL per annum which would come into effect for the year 2014 renewal. The members were asked to show their agreement to this increase by raising their hands and Horst confirmed that this would be put forward as a resolution at the next AGM. The Auditors were then asked to confirm that the accounts were in order and I spoke on behalf of myself and Ruth Reiter when we carried out the audit on 2nd October and stated that we had found the accounts to be a true record, there were no anomalies and Horst had an excellent book-keeping system which made it very easy to verify all of the accounting information.
There then followed a report by Tommy Rognmo on behalf of the Cemetery sub-committee and he thanked the other members of the committee who do so much work with the 4 cemeteries which TFR are now involved with, namely: Girne, Edremit (Karmi), Lapta and the newly adopted Alsancak site. He thanked Lynda Harris, Sylvia Ustin, Sandy Oram, Ken Hartill and Horst Gutowski, who are responsible for the maintenance of the cemeteries. Tommy stressed that it is always a sad time and between all of the committee members they do everything they can to help the bereaved. The current cost of a burial is 1,200TL for members of TFR and 1,400TL for non-members. The main aim of the TFR Cemetery Committee is to ensure that people living in Cyprus, no matter what the nationality, when they die they will have a dignified burial. Member Hans Aus, on behalf of other members came forward to say how important the work of the TFR cemetery committee work is to the members.
The Chairman of the meeting then asked for the discharge of the Committee who will now serve for a second year: Chairman – Heinz Nauroth, Vice Chairman – Willy Lindh, Secretary – Ralph Kratzer, Treasurer – Horst Gutowski. As there was a vacancy on the stand-by committee the members were asked to vote on the election of Richard Bradley (Brad) to the committee. As a committee member, Brad will be continuing with the task he has already been undertaking with social events. The members gave a show of hands for Richard Bradley to be a committee member. The Auditors were released as well by the members and will also serve for a second term – Ruth Reiter and Margaret Sheard.
The meeting then came to a close and most of the members remained to enjoy the lunch which had been arranged by the Silver Rocks Restaurant. While the members moved outside for a cooling drink and a chat with friends, the room was very quickly re-arranged back to a dining room and soon the waiters were buzzing around with mezes, main course, dessert and drinks to be followed by fruit, coffee and brandy. It was an excellent meal and thanks are given to the staff at Silver Rocks for their excellent service and good food. At the start of the meal Willy Lindh told the members about the recent trip to the Black Sea Coast, Trabzon and Georgia and the many sightseeing tours the group did while they were there. It is hoped to arrange another trip next year and the members were asked to give some ideas of places they would like to visit for consideration.
So, another year in the life of TFR was at an end and we can look forward to another year of enjoyable events with this very friendly association. We are a group of 16 different nationalities and we all get on so well together and this is how it should be – different languages, different cultures but mainly people who have chosen to live in a different country who have come together to enjoy their new life here in their new home in North Cyprus.