"Preserve the past to protect the present so that we can build the future"
The Antiochian Heritage Foundation honored Dr. George J. Farha as the Foundation's “Person of the Year” on Tuesday July 30th, 2013. Following the convention in Houston, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip travelled to Wichita to attend the event; following the celebration of Vespers on Tuesday evening, he presented Dr. George J. Farha the specially designed “Person of the Year” plaque signed by our Primate and Economos Antony Gabriel.
Well over 350 people attended the dinner in honor of Dr. Farha. Archpriest Father Paul O’Callaghan was the Master of Ceremony. Economos Antony Gabriel made a presentation on the Antiochian Heritage Foundation as well as giving remarks about Dr. George Farha. Brenda Farha gave her personal expression of gratitude for this honor. She is certainly a gracious woman.Metropolitan Philip spoke eloquently about his many years working with Dr. Farha and the many trips they took together to the Middle-East. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Fawaz El Khoury, who has great respect for Dr. Farha, had some humorous anecdotes they experienced during their travels to the Middle East to share with us. His Grace Bishop Basil gave the benediction and was a hospitable host to all of us.
All in all, the evening was not only a success but it was a wonderful family gathering. Bishop Basil and Fr. Paul, through their ministry in Wichita, cultivated a family atmosphere so that no one thought they were attending a banquet, but rather a lovely celebration for a wonderful man who contributed so much during his lifetime: in Wichita, in his community, in his church and the Archdiocese. Dr. George J. Farha is not only a man of great faith but he unstintingly gives of himself and of his resources to make this world a better place.
We were also fortunate to be have been hosted by Doctor Sam and Jacque Kouri. Nancy Colhmia also hosted the out of town guests to an extremely pleasant dinner. Looking back at these few days that were spent in Wichita, all of us felt so good that we there after so many years.
Saidna Philip was received with a great deal of love by his flock in Wichita and while he was extremely tired after the convention I am sure he was invigorated by the response generated by his presence. It really was a special event.
The idea of the “Person of the Year” award originated with the suggestion by Khourieh Lynn Gabriel. The first recipient was Helen Thomas and it was providential that it preceded her death and she received an affirmation of her long career by being so honored by Metropolitan Philip.
The “Person of the Year” award is bestowed upon those who have given of themselves in an extraordinary way to the Church and the community. The Antiochian Heritage Foundation is very proud to have initiated this award with the blessing of Metropolitan Philip and as proven to be a valuable vehicle to recognize the many outstanding achievements of people who have distinguished themselves in the service of others.
In concluding this reflection, it is also hoped that the faithful of this Archdiocese have a better understanding of the purposes and the goals of the Antiochian Heritage Foundation and by such will support it spiritually, financially and morally.
Economos Antony Gabriel – Chairman
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
555-575 Jean-Talon East
Canada H2R 1T8
His Eminence Archbishop Joseph – Episcopal Overseer
Dan Abraham – Co-Chairman
His Grace Bishop Anthony, Stephen Q. Adams, Kh. Lynn Gabriel, David Ghiz, Khalil E. Kardous, Robert H. Laham, Nick Reid, Philip Saliba
Homage Sub-Committee: Thomasine Ilyas Alvarez, Albert Mokhiber