2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the British Columbia Council of the WLCU. That is 20 years of active existence in “Beautiful British Columbia”; Canada’s western province.
Our activities spanned beyond the province to sponsor many cultural activities, and attend many worldwide meetings in the Diaspora and in Lebanon.
In addition to coordinating local activities between the three local chapters (Vancouver, Victoria, and the Youth) and without any moral or financial support from the world or regional bodies, we had an integral role in running, directing and participating (partially or fully) in the following projects:
- An International website in 5 Languages (www.ulcm.org or www.wlcu.org)
- A successful Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wlcu.org/
- A monthly newsletter “The Lebanese Heritage” with an email list of over 30,000 addresses http://ulcm.org/about-us/our-newsletter-the-lebanese-heritage
- An “International Lebanese Titanic Committee“ with a mission statement to identify the Lebanese on board the Titanic and to unveil their names and stories with a webpage: http://ulcm.org/titanic/home
- The “Phoenician International Research Center” based in New Jersey, USA. with a webpage : http://ulcm.org/phoeniciancenter/home
- The Phoenician Boat expedition across the Atlantic (Captain Philip Beale). with a webpage : http://www.phoeniciansbeforecolumbus.com/
- Lebanon Land of Dialogue (Initiative started with President Michel Sleiman, June 2013), with a webpage: http://ulcm.org/emigration/lebanon-land-of-dialogue Since its inception in August 2010, we continue to execute the terms of the cooperation treaty between the WLCU and the Lebanese Emigration Research Center (LERC) at the Notre Dame University in Lebanon.
- The project of the Lebanese-Canadian house in the Emigrant village in Batroun-Lebanon with the Halifax community represented by Honorary Council Eng. Wadih Fares.
- Promoting the objective of the Train/Train organization, a Lebanese NGO, to reestablish the train in Lebanon and save the train stations and their archives.
- Celebrating the “International Day of the Lebanese Emigrant” 2016, on March 5th and 6th. The celebration will include the inauguration of 2 additional benches at Queen Elizabeth park, in Vancouver and the opening of the first International Lebanese short Film festival at Simon Fraser University, under the patronage of the Lebanese embassy in Ottawa.(event sponsored by CCSMSC-SFU).
- A Call for the Lebanese painters to participate in the artistic expression of the Lebanese immigration and Titanic tragic incident.” An exhibition prepared by the “International Lebanese Titanic Committee“ under the patronage of the ministry of Foreign affairs to be shown during the Lebanese Diaspora Energy conference in Beirut on May 5th and 6th, 2016.
- Upcoming AGM for the British Columbia Council to modernize ourselves and establish the actions and the events of the coming year 2016.
After the AGM, we will solely focus on our own achievements and continued progress. We will concentrate on our own local affairs, invest more energy in the Youth group, and renovate our website and newsletter (starting this year it will have 6 publications, one publication every 2 months). We will also have to continue our joint venture with the City of Victoria, BC towards finding a permanent public space in the downtown area to host the Lebanese Emigrant statue which is currently placed in a private property on Douglas Street.
We need to continue our focus on growing our society by welcoming the new comers to BC and inviting them to join our societies while ensuring that we do not neglect to nurture the support of the current members. We will also make an effort to reach out to past members and encourage them to renew/rejoin the society.
Finally, I would like to thank the BC Youth for their successful events during the past year (2015), our local leaders in Victoria and in Vancouver, especially Mrs. Carla Zarifeh (President LCS of BC- WLCU Vancouver) that even with her harsh medical treatment, work and family duties was able to take the society to a higher level of accomplishment.
Dr Nick Kahwaji
BC council of WLCU
Representing (LCSBC. Vancouver – CLCA. Victoria – BC Youth)