History


While initial discussions about starting the YMCA in Chittagong began in 1972, the first informal meeting of interested leaders took place on 12 May 1973. At that meeting it was decided to call for a larger gathering. The date fixed was 26 May 1973, the venue was the Christ Church Hall situated at 69 Jubilee Road. Information about the meeting was announced in all the local Churches in Chittagong. It was at this meeting that an Ad Hoc Committee and an Advisory Board were formed to campaign for membership and to take further steps in organizing the YMCA.
The members of the Ad Hoc Committee were: Messrs. D.K. Biswas (President), J. Matthias (Vice President), M.S. Baroi (Secretary), Augustine Pare (Asst. Secretary), U.N. Roy (Treasurer), John Bose (Member), S. Karmakar (Member). The Members of the Advisory Board were Messrs. Michael S. Das, B.I. Hillary, B. Gangully and Rev. Fr. S. Broughton.
Through the kind permission of Christ Church Vestry Committee, the Christ Church Hall was used at times for meetings of members. Mr. Michael Das, as a leader of the Christ Church Vestry Committee, played a pioneering role in the formation and development of the Chittagong YMCA. It was through his first contribution of Tk. 800 raised together with his other business friends; the first programmes of the Chittagong YMCA were started.
Mr. Michael S. Baroi, who is now a Bishop of the Church of Bangladesh, a man of great vision and dynamism, gave important leadership as the Secretary of the newly formed YMCA by contacting the local leaders. He also contacted Mr. William Harte, who was then based in Dhaka as the Director of the "YMCA Services in Bangladesh", which was a project of the Refugee and Rehabilitation Department of the World Alliance of YMCAs in Geneva. Mr. Bill Harte, hearing about the initiatives taken to form the Chittagong YMCA, made a visit on 30 June 1973.
Thereafter, the development of the Chittagong YMCA moved very quickly. On 22 July 1973, the Ad Hoc Committee and the Advisory Board were merged together to form the Board of Directors with Honorary Office Bearers. Mr. A.R. Mitchell was elected President and Mr. Michael Das became the Hon. Secretary of the newly formed Board. On 12 August of the same year, a Personal Committee was formed to recruit a full time General Secretary of the Association. Applications for the position were invited through advertisement in the local newspapers. The selected person was none but Mr. Bart Shaha.