Latest trip to Lebanon

Latest trip to Lebanon

19th October 2012
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