Speech of WSG at the inauguration of EL-Emigrante statue in Brisbane 21 Feb. 2010.

Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great dream that started long ago, and after years of planning and anticipation, it finally comes to life today- as a date with history- this inauguration will leave a legacy, that will reshape the structure of the Lebanese –Australia Community for the years to come.

As we all know, the World Lebanese Cultural Union was established in Mexico in 1959 as a Non Governmental Organization, and spread to all continents as the sole representative of the Lebanese Diaspora in the world.

The idea of the statue was conceived and realized in Mexico by Ramez Baraquet, a Lebanese Mexican, and the statue, is being installed in this wonderful city today, after being unveiled in BC Canada, and Vera Cruz Mexico, hoping that every city inhabited by Lebanese will have its own.

This statue represent the symbol of early Lebanese settlers and offered as a token of appreciation and friendship to Australia.

Very soon you will be able to examine the statue closely ,you will imagine in his eyes the vision and the determination for a better life, you will check his hands, they ready for hard work, he stands facing us but never turned his back to Lebanon, his traditional Lebanese clothes that some Lebanese still wear in Lebanese mountain area, are authentically from Lebanese History , he could be Maronite or Druze, Greek Orthodox or Mel kite, Sunni or Shia ,doesn’t matter for us ,he is simply Lebanese came to Australia 140 years ago and with a will to build this country.

Thank you Antoine Ghanem and the vibrant team of Culture and Heritage affairs, for the hard, tireless and successful work, in which you had the capacity that translated your vision into reality, you make us feel proud.

Thank you Brisbane for your donation and support to the “Lebanese Project “.

Thank you Australia…