Third General Assembly: May 2016

3935 Macomb St. NW, Wash., D.C. 20016
MAY 29, 2016, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

10:00        CALL TO ORDER and Welcome, Alem Woldehawariat, Vice President
10:05        Welcome Remarks, Bisrat Aklilu, President
10:10        TMSAANA Board Reports
                                   Bisrat Aklilu, “The State of TMSAANA”
                                   Selam Yisma, Membership Development
                                   Temesgen Petros, Treasurer, TMSAANA Financial Reports
10:45        Questions, Comments and Observations from Alumni

11:00        Keynote Address: “Remembering Tafari Makonnen”, Mr. Doug Eadie, TMS Peace Corps Volunteer 1964-1967and President & CEO of Doug Eadie & Co and discussion

1:00 Lunch

  • History of TMS” – Drama performed by current “TMS” Students on the Occasion of the TMS 90th
  •  Brief Tour of the TMSAANA Website,, Bisrat Aklilu
  • TMSAANA Award Ceremony: Alem Woldehawariat and Aklilu Mekonnen

2:30          Alumni Group Photo
2:45          Presentation of the “2016-2018 TMSAANA Draft Work Program & Budget” and Group Discussion of ‘Ways of
                 Funding the Work Program’, Dr. Adem Abdallah, Chair
3:45          Election of TMSAANA Board Vice-President and Treasurer, Bayou Tadesse, Chair of Election Committee
4:00          Closing Remarks: Bisrat Aklilu & Singing of

Call to Order and Welcome
Alem Wolde-Hawariat,
Vice-President TMSAANA Board of Directors

Good Morning.

We are delighted to have you here to participate in the Third General Assembly of our beloved Tafari Makonnen School Alumni Association in North America – TMSAANA.


A lot has happened in the last couple of years.  Some good, some challenging and some sad.  We’d like to start with a moment of silence for two of our active alumni who passed away since our Second General Assembly:

Tesfu Tesfaye, Class of ’70, and
Yonas Gebremariam, Class of ’71

Thank you and May they rest in peace.

We have a great program to present to you today.  Prepare yourselves to reminisce, to be inspired and to be challenged. 

We will start our program with a message on the State of TMSAANA from our President Bisrat Aklilu, followed by reports on Membership Development by Selamawit Yisma and Financial Report from our Treasurer Temesgen Petros. 

After a brief Q&A session, our Keynote speaker Mr. Doug Eadie, Peace Corps Volunteer at TMS from 1964-67 and still very well connected to TMS and its Alumni will take the podium to take us down memory lane…   We’re all looking forward to his remarks knowing his unforgettable teaching talent and his stories will remind us more of the privilege we had growing up. We remain grateful. 

In the interest of time, we’ll show the drama on “History of TMS” during lunch.  It was performed by current students on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary. That will be followed by an award ceremony to recognize those who’ve gone the extra mile to strengthen TMSAANA and realize its vision. 

The 2016-2018 TMSAANA Work Program and Budget and means of funding will be discussed and the General Assembly’s recommendation will be adopted.

Meeting will adjourn promptly at 4 pm. 

Thank you again for coming and enjoy the rest of the program.


Opening Remarks,
Bisrat Aklilu,
President, TMSAANA Board of Directors

Dear TMS Alumni,

On behalf of the Board of Directors let me also convey a very warm welcome to all of you.

As Alem has said, since our last GA in May 2014 TMSAANA has made significant achievements and also encountered some tragic losses. Let us also pay tribute to a great Friend of TMS we recently lost by standing for a minute of silence of remembrance to Ambassador Zewde Retta, a gifted Ethiopian author, diplomat and historian one of whose book was about Tafari Makonnen and who delivered the First TMSAANA General Assembly Keynote Speech.

Before we proceed to the various TMSAANA Board reports, I would like to thank members of the TMSAANA Board – Alem W/Hawariat, Vice President, Garedew Atnafseged, Secretary, Temsegen Petros, Treasurer and Selam Yisma and Aklilu Mekonnen Board Members – for the great work the Board has accomplished over the last 18 months since the Second GA and for the preparation of this Third GA.

Thank You.

“The State of TMSAANA”,
Board of Directors Report to the Third General Assembly:
Bisrat Aklilu, President

During the two years since our last General Assembly (GA), the TMSAANA Board has been meeting thru Tele Con (and sometimes in person) at least every quarter and has done a lot of work. We hope you are well informed of TMSAANA’s work, through the Quarterly TMSAANA Board Updates that we have regularly sent you.

The Board believes “The State of TMSAANA” is good but can and should be better.

Let me briefly present the decisions you took at the Second General Assembly on May 2014 and what actions have been taken.
The Second GA took five decisions.
1- Membership: Convinced that members are the foundation of any organization, it was decided to enhance the participation of Alumni in TMSAANA activities and also to recruit new members. Two specific actions were agreed, namely

  • Identify Key Alumni Contact Members by City/Region and
  • Hold Quarterly Regional Meetings.

    Selam Yisma will present after me the actions that have been taken on Membership Development.

2- Expand the TMSAANA Tuition Scholarship Grants from the 132 students supported in 2014 to 200 in 2015. As you know, TMSAANA provides two type of support to TMS students.

  • The 1st, is a Merit and Need based Tuition Payment Scholarship for both male and female students,
  • While the 2nd is a purely need based support to female students to cover their monthly sanitary costs.

Regarding actions Taken: You will be pleased to know that during the 2016 school years, TMSAANA provided support to 800 students – merit and need based Scholarship Assistance grant to 400 female and male students and monthly grant to cover sanitary cost for 400 needy female students. This is a marked increase from the 482 students assisted in 2015 (against the General Assembly target of 200 students) and the 132 students supported in 2014.

As you will note from Temesgen’s financial report, it is not the annual membership payment that enabled us to support these 800 students but the generous Student Support contributions received from some alumni, in particular Dr. Moges Gebremariam including his immediate family, friends and his office mates. Thank you Dr. Moges.

3- Financing of Additional Desktops for the IT Department and Other Teaching Equipment: The Board did not find a well demonstrated need as well as a convincing program for utilization of additional computers or equipment and decided not to fund it.

4- Strengthening the College Library through provision of priority books, though the GA had cautioned about the difficulty of importing books in Ethiopia. The Board explored with the College the possibility of installing a software programme that provides students and teachers electronic access to millions of books and publications relevant to the college curricula, that has been successfully installed in other Colleges. Despite considerable work, done by the current and previous Board, the programme was abandoned due to the lack of committed interest by both the College administration and the teachers.

5- Support and participate the TMS’ 90th Anniversary. TMSAANA along with the Addis based Tafari Makonnen School Alumni Charity Association (TMSACA), which at that time had not received official recognition, supported and actively participated in the Anniversary, which was held on April 27, 2015. The 90th Anniversary is displayed in the TMSANA website Photo Gallery. One highlight of the Anniversary was a Theatre on the history of TMS that was performed by the students, which will be shown at this GA at 10:30 am.

In addition, let me highlight some other areas the Board has been working on:

A- Restoration of the TMS Name.
As reported in the various Quarterly Updates, TMSAANA has been actively following-up with the Addis Ababa City Administration our long-standing request for the restoration of the TMS name. The procedure indicated with the Addis Ababa City Administration Mayor was for TMSAANA and TMSACA to submit to the Technical and Vocational Bureau of the City Administration, a written justification for the name change, for further submission to the Ministry of Justice and the City Bureau of Culture and Tourism to seek their opinion. This was done in 2014 and after almost a year and continuous follow-up, the approval of the two organizations was received. It is now awaiting the Mayor’s final decision. We will continue to follow-up. 

B- The TMS Event at Wabi Shebelle Hotel.
Since a lot of TMS Alumni did not have the opportunity to see the TMS History performed by the current students during he TMS 90th Anniversary, a special event was organized on 20 June 2015, at Wabi Shebelle hotel where the TMS History was again performed, which was well attended.

C-TMSAANA booth at the 2015 Ethiopian Sports Federation of North America (ESFNA) Event.
During the July 4 week the ESFANA event was held at University of Maryland, where TMSAANA had a booth. It was an opportunity to recruit alumni and publicize the activities of TMSAANA and network with alumni and other schools.

D-TMSAANA – TMSACA Cooperation:
In August 2015, the Charities and Societies Agency (CSA) officially issued a license to TMSACA to operate as an Ethiopian Charity organization valid for three years. TMSACA is now able to mobilize TMS Alumni residing in Ethiopia and raise funds to finance activities to support TMS in partnership with TMSAANA. We have been working very closely and coordinating our support to TMS. To this end we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines in what and how we cooperate.

We are now developing a joint work programs to be supported by our respective associations, which would require increased funding. We will present in the afternoon the broad contours of a Work Programme for 2016/2017, which the GA can discuss and decide on the different available options to increase TMSAANA’s resources. Such options include

  • Increased membership drive,
  • Broad based membership fee payments, which to-date is unfortunately inadequate, and
  • Agreement on a major TMSAANA fund raising event

E-TMSAANA Financed the publication of Father Roland Turenne’s book.
TMSAANA published Father Turenne’s  book- “As I Remember … Memoires of a former TMS teacher” after the Canadian Embassy, which had initially agreed to support it declined to finance it. The book’s publication involved very close collaboration between TMSAANA and TMSACA Board members and a TMS Alumnus, Capt. Yegzeru Bellete, arranged the shipment to Wash DC in time for the TMSAANA GA. This remarkable book, with many memorable pictures, covers very interesting accounts of the work and life of the Canadian Jesuits who taught at TMS for over thirty years from 1945 to 1976 and in between at the University College of Addis Ababa.

F-Regarding TMSAANA Board activity management, we are well organized with well-established systems and procedures.
Starting from the most important one, TMSAANA finances, thanks to our Treasurer Temesgen Petros, he has established a solid financial management system that allows TMSAANA to receive, record and report our finance with full compliance of the IRS requirements for our 501(c) (3) non-profit organization status.

On alumni services, we have a well-established system of;

  • Welcoming new alumni,
  • Acknowledging on time membership contribution payments,
  • Extending condolences to alumni, on behalf of the full membership, during times of family bereavement,
  • Sending regular Quarterly Board Updates.

On our public outreach and image, thanks to the efforts of our webmaster Mack Mekasha, who unfortunately could not be with us today, and the invaluable support of Michael Tesfaye (an alumni thru his father!), we are continuously working to improve our tmsaana website, which we will brief you about during lunch time.

Let me end on a personal note, how proud I am for what we are doing as TMSAANA. I received a message last week from an Ethiopian in California who has heard of our GA thanking us for what we are doing to support our former school and stating that we are a great inspiration to graduates of other Ethiopian Schools.

I often visit TMS during my travels to Addis Ababa and meet the current students and some alumni who are teachers or administrators at the College. These visits remind me how lucky we were to have received a stellar education and to have been taken care of by so may committed and dedicated teachers, one of whom – Doug Eaide – is fortunately here with us. Thanks Doug.

We look forward to your views, assessments and decisions on ways of strengthening TMSAANA so that it can sustain and expand its assistance programme to TMS – the school that gave us the educational and moral foundation that made us who we are today.

Thank You.

TMSAANA Membership Development
Selam Yisma,
TMSAANA Board Member

Let me give you a brief account of the TMSAANA Membership Development but start by giving you the alumni membership number and membership payments, which Temesgen will elaborate in more detail during the TMSAANA finance report.

In 2014, we had 203 registered alumni and 42 paying members
In 2015, we had 213 alumni with 62 paying membership fee
As of 20 May 2016, 32 out of the 213 alumni have made payments

Despite many efforts made by the previous and the current Board, TMSAANA membership development and membership fee payment continues to be a challenging task.

In line with the last General Assembly decision, of identifying key Alumni Contacts by Cities/Regions, in early 2015, the Board designated and established six TMSAANA Regional Units in the US and Canada based on expected concentrations of TMS Alumni and identified and appointed Regional TMSAANA Coordinators.

The TMSAANA Regional Units and Coordinators are:
       > DC /Maryland Area, Aklilu Mekonnen,
       > Conn/NY/NJ Area, myself, Selam Yisma,
       > Greater Los Angeles Area, Yafet Tekle,
       > San Francisco Area, Mebeyin Lakew,
       > Virginia Area, no one was available and Temesgen Petros temporarily assumed the post, and
       > Ottawa/Toronto/Montreal Admassu Abebe and Getahun Haile,

Regarding holding Quarterly informal meetings, this is being done regularly in NY/NJ area but not in the other Regions despite the efforts of the Regional Coordinators. In the case of NY/NJ area, 8-10 Alumni meet in the evening for dinner at one of the Ethiopian restaurants. It is an informal gathering where Bisrat briefs us on TMS and TMSAANA activities and we discuss ways of getting TMS alumni in the greater NY area to join.

In the Maryland area, they recently organized in Silver Spring a good meeting.  They are now trying to have a joint DC, Virginia and MD meeting.  They have over 30 alumni in MD area and are trying to have more members to come to their next meeting

In the Greater Los Angels area, alumni have also been meeting, though not regularly. They held a successful TMSAANA event in September 2015 during the Little Ethiopia Cultural Event using a separate booth sponsored by TMSAANA. The event gave TMSAANA exposure, helped membership drive and was a good reminder for registered members to pay their dues.

The Board has on number of occasions discussed ways of mapping out steps towards development of membership that will strength the current membership and bring young alumni.  We might have to establish a Membership Development Task Force from different regions and use social media.

We look forward to our discussion in the afternoon on how best to address these challenges

Temesgen Petros,
Treasurer, TMSAANA Board of Directors

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“Remembering Tafari Makonnen”
Keynote Address at the Third TMSAANA General Assembly,
Doug Eadie,
TMS Peace Corps Volunteer 1964-1967and President & CEO of Doug Eadie & Co

I am pleased to share these two videos* of the keynote address I delivered at the third General Assembly of the Tafari Makonnen Alumni Association of North America on May 29: “Remembering Tafari Makonnen.” 

I was truly honored to be invited to speak by Bisrat Aklilu and his TMSAANA Board colleagues, but, to be honest, I was very reluctant to accept the invitation, in light of the many distinguished Ethiopian graduates of Tafari Makonnen School more worthy of the honor than I.

I am certainly glad that I did accept the invitation to reflect on my experience as a TMS teacher from 1964 to 1967. Not only did the keynote afford me the pleasure of reuniting with several former students and meeting other members of the extended TMS family that I’m proud to be part of, I found preparing my comments to be a path to rediscovering my love for TMS and for the students whose lives had become entwined with mine during my three years at what was then Ethiopia’s premier secondary institution. I didn’t anticipate the emotion I’d feel as I worked on my keynote, searching for the right words to describe my experience as a twenty-something thousands of miles from home a half-century ago, and I certainly didn’t expect the intense joy that frequently engulfed me as I rehearsed the words I’d speak on May 29.

Allow me to tell a story I forgot to share at the General Assembly. In the summer of 1966, after my first two years at TMS, I returned to the States to spend a few weeks with my parents, who were then living in Pocatello, Idaho, where Dad, who’d sold his business in Illinois, was a university freshman. It was great to be with my parents and three of my siblings again, and to hear about Dad’s exciting educational journey, but as my visit drew to a close, I woke up one night thinking, “I’m really ready to get back home to Addis.” And as my plane landed in Addis a few days later, it did, indeed, feel like arriving back home.

How wonderful to have the opportunity – in spirit at least – to travel back home with you on May 29! I deeply appreciate your making me feel so much a part of the TMS family at the General Assembly, and I hope these video recordings of my keynote address will enrich your memory of our day together. By the way, I’m sorry about the two brief interruptions in the first video – resulting from a faulty camera battery – but the record of my comments is 99 percent complete.

Please do share your thoughts by commenting on this post.
*The two videos are also posted on Doug Eadie’s blog

“As I Remember Them ….Memoirs of a TMS Teacher”,
by Father Roland Turenne, Society of Jesus

As I remember them - cover final

“Here they are as I remember – Memoirs of Tafari Makonnen School (TMS), my dear Jesuits brothers with whom I lived many decades in Ethiopia and taught with me at TMS.  

I offer these pages most most especially to the former students of TMS residing both in Ethiopia as well as dispersed in many foreign countries around the world. Like migrant birds, TMS alumni always return to their native Ethiopia and their beloved TMS to reminiscence about the “good old days” in their old TMS.

I am grateful to the Tafari Makonnen SchoolAlumni Association in North America (TMSAANA) for financing the publication of my book. ….”.  Extracts from Father Roland Turenne’s INTRODUCTION. 


Draft TMSAANA 2016- 2018 Annual Work Programme & Budget

 1. Student Support Programme for 800 students

    Tuition Scholarship –                     400x30x10=Birr 144,000=$7,200
    Sanitation Cost Support               400x60X10=Birr 240,00=$12,000
————————–                   ——————————–
    Total Student Support                   Birr 300,000=$19,200

2- TMS History Book Publication     Birr 50,000 =$2,500

3- TMSACA/TMSAANA Office         Birr 6,000×12= 72,000=$3,600

4- Support to 1-2, Depts.                Birr 100 to 200,000=$5,000 to $10,000
TOTAL COST:                    Birr 522,000 to 622,000=$26,100 to $31,100
(Equivalent to 218 to 259 alumni fee payments hence the need for a special TMSAANA
Fund Raising Event)  ______________________________________________________________________

End of the Third General Assembly Programme
“We Are the Voice of Tafari Makonnen”

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