On Sunday June 12th, 2016, the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) BC Council held its annual meeting at the Delta Town and Country Inn. There were representatives from Vancouver, Victoria and the Youth.
WLCU BC Council President Nick Kahwaji opened up the meeting by acknowledging the great relationship between Vancouver and Victoria which has spanned over 20 years inside the BC council so far.
LCS president Carla Zarifeh recapped the activities that took place over the past year:
- The untold stories of the 125 Lebanese who dies onboard the Titanic by Dr. Josyanne Abissab held at the Vancouver Public Library on April 17th, 2015
- Installation of two commemorative benches at Queen Elizabeth Park on June 7th, 2015 (Joint venture between Vancouver and Victoria Chapters)
- Visit of the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Gebran Bassil, to Vancouver on June 9th, 2015 which included a visit to SFU Gebran monument, as well as benches at Queen Elizabeth Park
- Celebration of the International Day of the Lebanese Emigrant held on March 5th at Queen Elizabeth Park. We were honoured to have in attendance Mr. Bill VanderZalm (former premier of BC), Acting Vancouver Mayor, and Ambassador to Lebanon HE Sami Haddad Park. On March 6th, 2016, at SFU, a Cedar tree was planted followed by the Cabriolet film festival
President Nick Kahwaji briefed everyone about the Lebanese Diaspora energy conference 2016. BC delegations included himself and past President Mr John Badr, his wife Nadia and son Robin Badr. BC delegations had many meeting with the UNDP –Live lebanon initiative, with Norman Nahas the head of the Lebanese Canadian house project in Batroun, also explain our involvement in the Titanic Exhibition during the LDE 2016. There were 29 submissions. Paintings will be donated to the Emigration museum at NDU. Recognition will be given to BC as the idea was initiated here.
Mr Georges Murr gave an update in regards to the Migrant statue in Victoria stating that there are 3 potential sites, one of which will become the permanent “home” of the statue. They have been in constant contact with representatives of the City of Victoria and they are hoping to get a visible spot close to city center.
The Scholarship criteria was revisited and updated. Instead of holding a Scholarship evening on its own, this year, the scholarship winners will be celebrated at the LCS of BC New Year’s Eve party.
The Lebanese Youth of BC (LYBC) group was discussed. It was agreed that all youth group members must be active members of the LCS of BC. It was also discussed that the LYBC group will work in direct contact and under the supervision and mentorship of the president of the LCS of BC.
Nominations were next on the agenda. Carla Zarifeh stepped down as WLCU Vice President and accepted the position of the secretary. Mr. Murr Murr was nominated for Vice President and he accepted the position.
The meeting concluded with WLCU President Nick Kahwaji and Mr. Georges Murr discussing and providing an update on the relationship with WLCU Regional and WLCU world body and the needed reform of the mother organization.
Next year’s WLCU BC Council annual meeting has tentatively been scheduled for Sunday March 27th, 2016.