Latest trip to Lebanon - 19th Oct 2012

Latest trip to Lebanon Last month a few members of the community traveled back to the homeland of Lebanon.  One of those members Tony Farry has sent an email through letting us know how their trip went.  It is below for your interest.

Hi Richard,I thought you may want to post this letter on the website re the recent tour of the class of 2012.Many congratulations to all involved. Firstly the huge effort of Vince & Rosann, getting the group together(and keeping them together) and the even bigger commitment of the group who made the trip.

I felt there was a lot of pleasure gained by everyone and the experience will last a lifetime.Many will regard it as their first trip but not their last,with some telling me they would love to come again. A lot of contact was made with relations, and friends were made in the process. One of the highlights was Yvette seeing her sister-in-law after many years, I think she said 50yrs, others seeing where their grandparents were either born, lived or were buried, a lot of emotion all round. Another beautiful aspect was the willingness of the locals to pour out into the street and mingle with the group as they were genuinely excited about them being there. We found that quite evident prior to the group coming with the huge effort made by Phillip George in regard to finding out where the relevant homes were and establishing family connections where he could. I personally haven't done so much walking in years and having to translate really helped improve my language skills, but when you saw the looks on everyone's faces it was worth every step. Everybody was so hospitable and we have never been invited into so many homes for coffee and food. Phillip's tireless work and documentation will make it so much easier for future journeys.

We hope that there will be many more future journeys generated by the positive experiences relayed to others from the group so that those who were unable to participate this time, are motivated to join tours in the future. After the tour left, we had a meeting with the Mayor and Councillors and they relayed to us that they want to know in advance of any future groups' visits so that they can plan accordingly. They also acknowledged the group's commitment, sacrifice and willingness to understand better their heritage, especially by the younger members of the group. Also I would like to express gratitude to Roley (Spielberg) McIntyre who tirelessly dragged all her equipment with her whilst capturing the story of the group's journey, funny or otherwise, some may end up on the cutting room floor depending on how much people are willing to pay her. (ha ha) Remember what happens on the tour, stays on the tour, so it may be a short DVD. I would also like to make mention of the help given by Father Simon especially in relation to establishing some link for Val, Donna and Rozeta with success as previously we had difficulty in getting information for that side of the family. Also Father Simon made special mention and acknowledgement of the group in his sermon on the day we attended his mass. That was also the first day of rain, with thunder and lightening, for the season - could it have been coincidence? Or was it a message that it was noted by the Lord that so many of us attended? It was such a worthwhile and rewarding experience, being a part of it all and it was only made possible as we said earlier, by the efforts of so many people to which we are eternally grateful. Let us hope that it is the first of many such journeys.

Warmest regards,

Tony and Tracy Farry

Irish do "The Gathering" - 9th Oct 2012

As we were reading through this month's issue of the New Zealand Listener, we came across this article called "Irish Roots", they are organising people of Irish decent for an event called "The Gathering"...... copycats ;-)

Samantha Michael's recap of her time at World Championships - 9th Oct 2012

Samantha Michael has written us a recap of her time at the World Championships.  It is below for you to read.  We would just like to take this opportunity once again to congratulate Samantha and her brother Peter for making it to the championships and making our community very proud.

"Hi Richard and Committee,

I have written out a recap of how my first Senior World Championships went.

Saturday 1st day of racing didn't quite go to plan but I was still happy at how I went it was the 15km elimination crashed straight off the line not ideal but we got a restart so I was happy with that and I didn't hurt myself so it was ok. At about 41 laps to go there was a big crash I jumped and got away well I thought I did and next minute i no I'm flying though the air and come crashing down on my right side and bruised my hip along with smacking my head on the ground this was not good! I couldn't get up by myself I needed help up but once I got up they decided to restart the race again (this does not normally happen) so I go and hop back on the line and didn't last very long as I didn't feel good on my skates at all next minute about 37 laps to go another big crash I didn't go down but it meant another restart and after this restart I survived about 2 eliminations before getting eliminated myself. I was very happy at how that race went the only thing I could have done to have performed better would have not to have crashed but hey that's sport and racing!

Day 2 started with a 500m sprint I'm not a sprinter but I went in it anyway and was pleased at how I went gave my legs a chance to stretch out, later that night we had the 10km points Elimination I did absolute shocking it just wasn't my day it all!

Monday 3rd day of racing 1km heat I had just finished warming up and came off to do some stretching and have a word to the manager to see who I have in my heat to find out they didn't even have my name on the start list well we thought that we got that sorted, well we were wrong then I go out to race and go on the start line and what happens no your not on our list it's the last heat anyway you will just have to go in it anyway! My heat went off the line so I thought great this will b a fast one I wasn’t on the front bunch which meant I had to chase them down as I did this they went up the bank and slowed down so I went straight passed to the front to try and keep the pace going and then got passed in the last lap and ended up 5th in my heat because it was the 2nd slowest heat only the winner went though to the semi.

So over all the track racing is all done and dusted I fully enjoyed myself and love every moment of it except the crash of course!

Now on to the road after a days rest!

The first race for me on the road was the 20km elimination started off well getting myself up in the pack and to the front Colombia nor Italy like this so next minute I find myself half way down the pack fighting to get back into the line, once I was in I was sitting quite comfy for a few laps next minute I realize I'm at the back off the pack and have to start fighting and moving my way back up to not get eliminated I managed to stay safe for a few laps and then got caught out and that was me. I have learnt a lot from this race
Day two of road was looking like the best race for myself as it was pouring down with rain and I love to skate in the wet let alone the rain so I was very excited to race, I was doing well then with in the first five laps I hit the one and only slippery patch in the track next thing I find myself sliding on my back passing the skaters in the pack I tried hard to get back on but as it was the 10km points they were sprinting so I lasted a few laps but soon enough got caught and had to pull out, I was very gutted that I crashed as I was looking forward to that race so much!

Day three was the 500m I'm not a sprinter but I think I still managed to pull out a personal best so I sure was happy with that!

We finished with a marathon I had dropped off the pack with a French girl and we were catching when we more or less caught the bunch I forgot there was a here pin corner coming up as I was in the zone next minute I feel like I'm going to crash and yip I did and ended up sliding into a tree along with smashing my face and a couple of teeth got moved it wasn't pleasant at all! So that was the end of my first senior world championships. With a trip to the hospital it's all getting sorted back here in Timaru, at a local dentist.

I would like to thank you once again for the support you gave me as I learned a lot and enjoyed myself and was so good to be able to watch my older brother Peter win not one but two world titles this was one amazing moment in my life! If it wasn't for your help and support I wouldn't of been able to see this and compete and enjoy my first senior world championships!

So thank you again

Samantha Michael

Lebanese Culture influences mural in Dunedin - 9th Oct 2012

Hoyts Lane off the Octagon is being transformed into a sort of time tunnel.

Dunedin's colourful history is being woven into a tapestry which will be rolled out during the Otago Festival of the Arts.

Artist Dan Mills, of Mangawhai, said the mural was a blend of Maori, Scottish, Chinese and Lebanese culture.

"The mural also features..... influential Dunedin forefathers, including Lebanese businessman Gabriel Farry."
Click the below link to view the full article in the ODT:

Peter Michael Wins Back to Back Gold - 10th Sep 2012

Samantha & Peter Michael We are very proud to inform you that Peter Michael (Fred Michael's grandson) has just won the 15k Elimination at the 2012 Inline World Speed Skating Championships in Italy.  In so doing he made history by winning back to back titles.  Below is a link to the exciting race.  On behalf of the Cedars of Lebanon community in Dunedin, we congratulate Peter on this outstanding achievement.

Watch Samantha Michael's Race @ the World Championships Live Online - 6th Sep 2012

Watch Samantha Michael's Race @ the World Championships Live Online Below are some sites with live streaming and the programme for Samatha's races to watch online.

Race times in the programme finals at night 7pm onwards New Zealand time will be 5am next day live. Junior skaters female and male are always before the seniors.

Bill Harris' New Book - 28th Aug 2012

Bill Harris' New Book Professor Bill Harris has just completed a new book on Lebanon, which delves into the long and complicated history of Lebanese sectarianism.  Click on the link below to find out more about the book and to read an interview with Bill.

On behalf of the Cedars of Lebanon community, we congratulate Bill on another wonderful achievement.  We are fortunate indeed to have such a revered international author as a member of the Cedars of Lebanon Club in Dunedin.

Samantha Michael - Inline Speed Skating World Championships - 10th Aug 2012

It is with great pleasure that the Cedars of Lebanon Club Dunedin have sponsored Samantha Michael to help get her to the World Championships for Inline Speed Skating in Italy in September.  To earn the right to compete in a world championship in any code calls for outstanding skill, discipline, commitment and a lot of sacrifice, amongst other things, and we wish Samantha every personal success for this championship.  Keep your eye out for more details about her racing here on the website, so we can send her as much support as possible.

Below is a letter we received from Samantha:

Hi Richard and Committee,

I would like to thank you once again for your support, to be able to help me get to Italy at the end of August for the Inline Speed Skating World Championships.

I am unsure at this stage of what events I will be racing in, but we start racing on the 6th September on the track which is 3 days worth of racing and then we have a day off to recover and rest and then start the road on the 11th which is also 3days worth of racing and we then have another day off to recover and rest up ready for the last event of the Championships which is the Marathon on the 15th of September.

Closer to the Championships I will be able to send you another email with some websites hopefully with a Live coverage link.

Once again thank you very much.

Samantha Michael

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