The story of the family of Gabriel John Fakhry ( Farry) begins with the immigration of Sherriffe and Anthony Coory in the 1880s. Sherriffe and her husband first made their home in Melbourne where they were partners with Sherriffe’s brothers in a firm known as “Kahlil and Lettooff.” The firm was a manufacturer of women’s clothing and traded very successfully until the 1960s.
Sherriffe and Anthony had a disagreement with the firm and decided to continue their search for a better life in New Zealand. The city of Dunedin was still the commercial centre and their trading instincts lead them to the decision to settle in the city. They had one daughter named Jamelie who was born before they left Lebanon.
Meanwhile Gabriel John Farry had also found his way to Dunedin after spending time in Australia. He was a hard working young man whose ambition was to earn enough money to return to the village of Becharre in North Lebanon with his family. He met and married Jamelie Coory at St Josephs Cathedral in Dunedin on the 18th January 1899. He was 26 years of age and his bride was 16.
Gabriel carried on with his hawking business around Otago and Southland. The couple’s first child (Saba Gabriel) was born in 1903 and their second child (Joseph Gabriel) was born in1905. By the latter date Gabriel had accumulated cash and assets of approximately three thousand pounds and he decided that it was time to go home. The family returned to Becharre in 1907 intending to permanently settle in the homeland. Gabriel and Jamelie built a small house in Shewetta and purchased some land to grow olives. They also planned to raise silk worms.
Two further children, Mary and John, were born over the next five years and the family was comfortable and happy in the mountain stronghold of Becharre. However, the dream did not last. At the tender age of thirty nine Gabriel was stricken with pneumonia and passed away leaving his widow with four young children. The situation was worsened by the outbreak of the First World War, a locust strike and the devaluation of the Lebanese currency by the Turks who held Lebanon under mandate from the League of Nations.
Within a short time the family was destitute and suffered considerable deprivation until 1923 when Sherriffe arranged for their return to New Zealand. By now Saba was 19 and Joseph was 17 while Mary and John were still children. The older boys set about making a living as hawkers while Mary and John completed their schooling.
Saba married Bedeia Lettoof and Joseph married Jamelie La Hood and they initially settled in Dunedin. Later both families shifted to Gore for some 18 years before returning to Dunedin in the late 1950s. Mary married Edward (Ned) La Hood and John married Houda Kayrouz from Lebanon.
Saba and Bedeia had seven children: Gabriel, Tony, Lila, Gloria, Jamelie, Malcolm and Richard.
Joseph and Jamelie had four children: Pauline, Margaret, John and Patrick.
Mary and Ned had four children: Joseph, Gordon, Saba and Richard.
John and Houda had five children: Antoinette, Monique, Hind-Marie, Nicole and John.
The family of Joseph and Jamelie Farry
Pauline Sherriffe Farry married Anthony (Tom) Farry in Dunedin in 1958.
12 Alva Street, Dunedin.
The couple had a varied business career in Dunedin. Their first venture was a Superette in Waverley immediately after they were married. Later they managed Wains Hotel (now Mecure Hotel – Princes Street, Dunedin) for about 10 years. At that time Wains could be fairly described as the city’s leading hotel.
When the hotel was sold they managed the Gardens Tavern, which the family promoted and built in the northern end of the city. Later Tom operated the new Downtown Tavern (also built by the family) and leased the Victoria Tavern.
The couple spent about 10 years operating the furniture store known as Martins Art Furnishers Ltd, which later became Peacock of London Street.
Pauline and Tom have four children: Marcelle, Liane, Tracey, Mathew and eight
Margaret Mary Farry and Thomas John Williams married in Dunedin in 1965.
7 Alva Street, Dunedin.
Tom was a builder by occupation and developed a number of substantial homes in Dunedin before being involved for some years in the hospitality industry as co-licensee of the Gardens Tavern and Downtown Tavern.
Later he was the owner and manager of the Knox Joinery Ltd.
Tom played rugby for Otago and coached various teams to first grade level.
Margaret opened and operated a model and talent agency known as Vanity Walk Ltd which became an icon of the Dunedin fashion scene. Thousands of young men and women passed through her school and some went on to achieve national and international success.
The couple have three daughters: Lisa, Jami, Tara and one grandchild.
John Edward Farry and Pamela Diana Duff were married at St Josephs Cathedral Dunedin on 19th April 1969.
16 Norfolk Street, Dunedin.
John is a lawyer by occupation and after working in legal offices for four years he set up his own legal practise. After various mergers the firm became known as Webb Farry and the firm continues to practise under that name with offices in Dunedin and Mosgiel.
John had a lifetime involvement in private broadcastings, various commercial activities and property developments. In 1999 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for community services and The Papal Gold Medal for services to the Church.
Pamela was a successful professional model for some ten years in Australia before her marriage. She has three sisters and a brother and maintains an interest in modelling and fashion by assisting with various aspects of the agency operated by her sister-in-law – Margaret Williams.
The couple have a son and four daughters: Emma, Joseph, Annabel, Claudia, Olivia and three grandchildren.
Patrick Joseph Farry and Suzanne Gay Flight were married on Ohope Beach in 1971
Punatapu, Glenorcy Road, Queenstown.
Patrick is a medical graduate of the University of Otago and after a brief period in Dunedin he moved to Queenstown where he is a General Practitioner.
He has had extensive involvement in medical education and holds a teaching appointment at the Otago Medical School and has a particular interest in rural general practice. He held the position of Director of Rural Health for the South Island. Sue is a qualified physiotherapist who practised in Queenstown for many years before the couple developed the luxury lodge known as “Punatapu” on the Glenorchy Road. The lodge caters to the top end of the international market and entertains guests from all around the world.
The couple have three sons and two grandchildren.