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The Chahoud family migration to Australia began with the arrival of Monseigneur Chahoud, as the Parish Priest of St Michael’s Waterloo in 1934. Monseigneur Chahoud was born in Safita, Syria.
Monseigneur Chahoud sponsored his nieces, nephews, and great nephew Elias (Louis) Bettar to Australia. In 1936 Zahie (Josie) Chahoud arrived, Issa in 1937 and from 1947 Ibrahim (Brian), Faraj (Frank), Georgette and Moussa Chahoud arrived. Finally, Louis at 15-years-old joined them on 5 May 1951.
Issa Chahoud, set the groundwork for the family by establishing a successful shirt manufacturing company, Ambassador Clothing, in Belmore, Sydney. The siblings initially all worked in the business before establishing their own families and successful businesses.
The Melkite Church has been the centre and core of the Chahoud and Bettar families for generations. Like all Melkites, the Church is their steadfast home, where they turn to in joy and solace.
The Chahoud and Bettar families’ contribution and dedication to our Church and the Melkite community has been consistent through the generations. They have been generous financial benefactors, assisted with sponsorships, provided jobs and assistance to our new Melkites. Issa and Frank Chahoud served as Trustees and President of the Board. Issa’s son Michael continued his father’s legacy of support. Brian’s son Edward remains a support to the Church and a member of the Melkite Charitable Foundation board. Louis Bettar and his family have also remained steadfast in their assistance and contribution.
The Gazal family migration to Australia began with the arrival of Nome Abraham Gazal on 17 October 1896 on board the Armand Behic. The Gazal family originates from Muschurra, Lebanon. Nome was nationalised an Australian citizen in 1902.
On 19 February 1926 siblings Lawrence (Laurie) and Matilda Gazal accompanied by their aunt Selma Gazal, departed Syria to join their grandfather Nome. They arrived in Bathurst, NSW on 18 March 1926 and two days later Laurie, with £8 in his pocket and a ‘white blanket’ was put on a train to Melbourne to find work. In a short time, Laurie, at 15-years-old established his clothing factory and set the groundwork for the Gazal family’s move into the rag trade.
Twenty-one years later, on 25 July 1947, Laurie’s youngest brother, Joseph (Joe) Gazal migrated to Australia. Joe was born in Muschurra, Lebanon on 23 April 1923.
On arriving in Sydney, Joe worked in Laurie’s clothing factory. Soon after he established his own clothing business, which he built into the clothing and textile group Gazal Corporation Ltd.
In 1961 Joe married Judith and they have four sons. In 1989, Joe received the Order of Australia.
From his arrival in Sydney, Joe and indeed Laurie and all members of the Gazal family were champions of the Melkite Church. Joe was always ready to assist, was a generous financial benefactor and assisted our new migrants with jobs and financial assistance.
Joe and Judy always expressed in word and deed their affinity to their Melkite Church and community. Their son Michael, served for many years on St Michael’s Parish Council and on its youth group.
KHALIL AND JANETTE HERRO
Khalil Herro was born in Ain Bourday, Baalbek, Lebanon on 15 May 1925. He completed his secondary school education, and his first job was with the British Army, as a driver.
Khalil migrated to Australia on 10 March 1950. He first worked in the building industry and later successfully built a retail menswear chain. Khalil married Janette and they have two sons. The family continue to operate, the corporate business, Kelly Country, which has been synonymous with clothing design and manufacturing for over 40 years.
Khalil’s dedication and contributions to our Church have been enormous:
1963 Contributing to the restoration and renovation of St Michael’s, Waterloo.
1981 Contributing to the building of St Michael’s, Darlington and member of the Building Committee.
1980-1987 Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Khalil has also contributed to many other Churches and humanitarian projects.
He has been awarded the Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem by Patriarch Maximos V Hakim and The Medal of The Order of Australia. Janette Herro was president of the Women's Committee for many years and their sons where active in the Church’s Youth Group for many years.
Khalil and Janette’s sons and daughters-in-law continue their parents’ commitment and support of our Melkite Church.
SALIM AND JEANETTE MAAKRUN
Salim Maakrun was born in Rayak, Lebanon on 7 December 1927. He migrated to Australia in 1951 and married Jeanette Maakrun, from Zahlé, Lebanon in 1962. They have a son, four daughters and six grandchildren. In Lebanon Salim worked in the jewellery business, in Australia he worked as a builder.
On Salim’s arrival in 1951, he proceeded directly to St Michael’s Melkite Church, Waterloo and introduced himself to Monseigneur Chahoud. From that day forward he served our Church with devotion and generosity of spirit. In 1987, Salim was appointed a Trustee of the Board.
It was said of Salim, “his passion for our Church is unbounded. He loves it as he does his home and constantly puts God before even his family. Trust and generosity are two of Salim’s qualities”.
Jeanette Maakrun established the Women’s Committee in 1991 and worked tirelessly for the Church for decades. Jeanette still attends mass at St Michael the Archangel Cathedral, Darlington.
The Maakrun children, continue their parent’s tradition of service. Indeed, their daughter, Dr Julie Maakrun was the first Principal of our Holy Saviour School, Greenacre, Sydney from 1997-2007.
FOUAD AND SOUAD NAMOUR
Fouad Namour was born in Aajlon, Jordan on 18 February 1920. He was a teacher of Arabic language at Aajlon Primary School. He also lectured at the University in Jordan and translated many Arabic texts to English and vice versa.
Fouad and his wife Souad migrated to Australia in 1975. In Australia Fouad, continued his profession as a schoolteacher and was also appointed to the Arabic Language Department, Sydney University, where he published several books.
On their arrival in 1975, Fouad and Souad attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church Granville, Sydney. When the Eparchy announced they were purchasing St Elias the Prophet Church, Guildford, Fouad was one of its greatest contributors.
In retirement Fouad devoted his life to the service of our Church and God. It was said of Foaud, that he was a humble and grateful man and “carried his devotion and service to St Elias without failure.” Knowing of his great commitment and of his unfailing contribution to the Church, it was said “abou George deserved the credit!”
Fouad’s children uphold their father’s commitment and have dedicated their service to the Church.
The Skaff (Scarf) family migration to Australia began in 1897 when Frank Scarf, his wife, Nahida Herro and his younger brother Michael arrived. The Scarf family originates from Ain Bourday, Baalbek Lebanon.
Frank, Nahida and Michael settled in Hillgrove, near Armidale, NSW. Frank and Nahida had nine children. Over years, Frank successfully established The Frank G Scarf, haberdashery family business, in Hilllgrove. Later three of their children Alexander, Reuben and Charles Scarf, successfully transitioned the business into premier menswear retailers nationally―Reuben F Scarf, Scarf Brothers, Scarfs Prestige Stores, Oxford, Ron Bennett, Tony Barlow, CEO. Their stores are still owned and managed by the younger generations of Scarfs.
Michael Scarf in the meantime moved to Tenterfield, NSW and in 1907 married Sophie Malouf, who was born in Zahlé, Lebanon. Michael continued to work successfully in the menswear trade, establishing his own business. Michael and Sophie had five children and the family eventually settled in Randwick, Sydney and continued to prosper. They had 14 grandchildren, including the well-known anaesthetist Dr Michael Scarf and his brother, acclaimed paediatrician Dr Charles Scarf. Both are still practising.
The Scarf, Herro and Malouf families are still closely linked through marriage.
Frank and Michael Scarf were one of the first Trustees of the Melkite Church. Frank’s sons Charles and Reuben were also Trustees and Charles’ son David has been Chairman of the Melkite Board and Trustee of the Melkite Eparchy. David continues to support the Church.
Through the generations the Scarf family have embraced the Melkite community and the Church. Through the Frank and Nahida Scarf Memorial Foundation, they have provided financial support to the Melkite Church, other churches, non-profitable organisations, alcohol and drug centres, the elderly, hospitals, and overseas funds aimed at overcoming war, poverty, and disease.
Frank Scarf said: “The Scarf family has learnt the wise way of nature and that is, that giving back to your community is the way to happiness, prosperity and longevity.”
HANNA NAKHLA YOWAKIM
Hanna Yowakim was born in Maghdouché, Lebanon on 12 November 1927. His first job was with the British Army in Ain al-Hilwa, Saida, Lebanon. Later he was in the engraving, art, and craft business.
Hanna migrated to Australia in 1977 and attended St Vincent’s Catholic Church Ashfield, Sydney. He later attended St Michael’s, Darlington and then Holy Trinity, Granville.
Hanna was very involved in the purchase of St Elias the Prophet, Guildford. He dedicated his life to the Church, undertaking charity work and organising the Church’s social events.
Hanna’s children uphold their father’s commitment and are strong supporters of the Church.
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