Y’s Men International Asia Pacific Area President YM Ohno Ben Tsutomu
Y’s Men International movement, the premier movement oriented to serve MCAs and is also renowned for assisting communities across Sri Lanka for over 90 years, will hold its 46th national convention today at the Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo.
No less than the Y’s Men International Asia Pacific Area President YM Ohno Ben Tsutomu (of Kobe Port Y’s Men’s Club, Japan West Region) will address this year’s event as the Chief Guest. YM Tsutomu leads the large group of diverse Clubs spread across Asia Pacific Y’s Men Area that includes Sri Lanka, along with the Regions of Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan East and Japan West, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
At today’s convention in Colombo, the Present Sri Lanka Regional Director Milroy Manuel will conclude his term thus opening the way for incoming 2022/’23 Sri Lanka Regional Director YM Anton Kandiah, who held the mantle of the Sri Lanka Regional Director previously on two occasions.
Renowned compere, TV Presenter, show-biz personality and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation former Director General Dr. Vijaya Corea will deliver the keynote address of the Convention.
The global Y’s Men movement was one of the earliest global community service movements to be launched and was founded in Toledo, Ohio, USA in 1922. Despite being titled, “Y’s Men”, many women too are among its members today and family participation is widely seen in numerous service activities.
The movement was introduced to Sri Lanka by the Colombo YMCA first General Secretary the late YM R.O. Buell. He launched it in Sri Lanka upon his return to the country after attending an International Y’s Men Convention in Minneapolis, USA. The first Y’s Men’s Club in Sri Lanka began its operations in 1929 in Colombo and was called Y’s Men’s Club of Colombo, which continues to function and grow to this day.
The milestone event of Chartering the “Colombo Club” to be part of International Y’s Men, Geneva, took place in December 1930 with late Sir Oliver Goonetilleka, the former Governor-General of Ceylon, being the Club’s first Charter President. It was also through the Colombo Club that the Y’s Men’s movement was introduced to India.
Later Sri Lanka became a separate Region of its own in 1975. The first Regional Convention of the newborn “Sri Lanka Region” was held in Kandy in September 1976, attended by a large gathering.