Speech of the WLCU BC council President, Dr Nick Kahwaji during the unveiling of two commemorative benches on Sunday, June 7th, 2015 at Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver.
Today, we give thanks to 2 great people, Najib Asfar of Victoria and Shawqi Rashed of Vancouver, who devoted themselves to the wellbeing of the Lebanese Community in B.C.
2 men of high integrity and principles who continuously supported and participated in our activities locally and internationally.
Some would ask what they did:
It may not be visible to the eye because it is not always determined by the physical aspect, it was an accumulation of all positive understandings and proactive support. They encouraged us to always improve the work and learn from our mistakes. They shared a lot with us…They, inspired us.
If we look back to the Cedar Tree behind us, it was planted 60 years ago, by the latest British Viceroy. Some of the Lebanese Community members witnessed the planting of the Cedar Tree.
20 years ago, the LCS celebrated it’s thirtieth anniversary by placing the Rock at the base of the tree and the Bronze Plaque. Together, they became the Lebanese Memorial.
In the Greater Vancouver area, adding 2 benches to the Lebanese Memorial and recognizing our 2 local heroes, it will make this area “de Facto” a Lebanese plaza that is able to grow. It will also witness the true everlasting friendship between the Lebanese community in Vancouver and in Victoria. A friendship that we want to last for generations to come.
Thank you all for being here today.