The Future of the Trust
By Rosemary Monk
Times are moving fast and the Phiroz Mehta Trust will have to move also.
There are a number of problems facing the Trust. One major one is that the people who look after it at present are no longer young, and, in common with many other small organisations with similar aims, few younger people are becoming members. But the most immediate problem is the question of the house at Lillian Road. I am 83, and although I am in reasonably good health, the time cannot be very far off when I take my final departure. 47 Lillian Road has been the centre of the Trust for over twenty years. Will the centre continue to operate after my death, and if so, how?
Several suggestions have been put forward:
- The house should be kept on, the antique furniture sold and replaced by modern furniture more suitable for a centre. Meetings should be continued as before. The disadvantage would be that somebody would have either to live in the house or within easy access to hold meetings and to maintain the house in good condition.
- The house should be kept on, the contents sold and replaced as above. The scope of the Trust should be extended to a wider circle with outside speakers and members of other organisations invited to hold meetings (for example Buddhists). There would still be a need for somebody to live on the spot or nearby to arrange meetings etc., and look after the house.
- The house and contents should be sold. A room would be hired for meetings of the Trust. The disadvantages are that a home would have to be found for Phiroz’s personal library, his papers, unsold stock of books, and oil painting. Also the Trust would lose a physical home and address.
It should be stated that, whatever decision is taken, the future of the Trust should be reasonably financially secure, short of there being a complete national economic disaster.
Please let me know your views and suggestions and if you are able to offer any practical help in the future.
I don’t know if you will remember me but we corresponded quite a bit in the past when I was the Chairman of The Buddhist Hospice Trust.
All three suggestions have an upside and a downside it seems. If the Trust is to have a future I would opt for suggestion number three — yes it would lose a physical home and address and a place would need to be found for Phiroz’s papers etc but his spirit would live on wherever the PMT is located, wouldn’t it?
These are just random thoughts Rosemary, so feel free to ignore them! Glad to hear you are in reasonably good health.
Dennis Sibley, 25th November 2011