As part of the Centenary celebrations of St George Cathedral, the Myrrh Bearing Women Ladies Guild (SGMBW) held their High Tea in the Queen Victoria Building on August 31, 2023.
The event was well attended, with the venue at capacity with 200 Ladies present to celebrate and share in the joy of such a wonderful occasion. The most important aspect of this occasion was to acknowledge the achievements of Past, Present and Future ladies of the Cathedral.
The full program included entertainment, countless pictures (as provided by the curator of the Cathedral Mr. Emil Dan AM), a raffle, a silent auction, and several surprises, including some fun games. The highlight however were the speakers who delivered insightful and uplifting messages.
On arrival, His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios blessed the food and the gathering. His Eminence with the clergy was welcomed by the President of the SGMBW, Mrs Yvette Jammal-Wassaf, who also extended a warm welcome to all the guests including Mrs Roula Azar, the wife of the Lebanese Ambassador Mr Milad Raad who is based in Canberra; Mrs Joelle Macaron, the wife of Lebanese Consul General in Sydney Mr Charbel Macaron and the guest speaker Mrs Josephine Sukkar AM.
Mrs. Yvette Jammal-Wassaf highlighted the past Presidents of the Ladies Guild and their mighty works that they have achieved. She acknowledged and thanked all the ladies of her team for their love and dedication to St George Cathedral and their loyalty to the ministry of Stewardship. She went on to say how grateful and thankful for her involvement with St Cathedral at an early age and how she progressed to become the president of the Ladies Guild.
Mrs. Josephine Sukkar presented a slide show highlighting the various families who were involved in the Cathedral including the Kaleel and Makdessi families who played a pivotal role in the life of the Cathedral, which was then headed by the late Fr Nicolas Mansour of Blessed Memory. Mrs Sukkar also spoke about the youth Ministry TAOYO and the many activities they organised and how they worked so hard to keep the parish alive in an ambience of love and mutual respect.
Archimandrite Nabil, Dean of the Cathedral, outlined the reasons behind the joy of the gathering, especially the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios who gracefully joined in the spirit of the celebration, the fellowship among the faithful, and a reflection on the number of young members attending.
The great and Joyful news was about the opening and full operation of St Nicholas Seniors Care Centre. The Centre is most certainly modern with state-of-the-art facilities as delivered by the Archdiocese under Antiochian Care LTD.
Fr Nabil introduced Sayedna, expressing the Cathedral’s sincere thanks and gratitude for His ongoing support, love and care, and the significant role that he played during the whole preparation of the centenary events.
On behalf of the Parish Council, the Ladies guild of the Cathedral and all the faithful of St George, Fr Nabil presented his Eminence with a centenary gift set consisting of a Cross and an Engolpion, a type of set that Sayedna wears during the Divine Liturgy.
At the conclusion Sayedna shared some words of Wisdom, thanking the SGMBW for organising such a successful event and all the ladies in attendance. He encouraged the Ladies and emphasized the important role that the Ladies play within the church and how much Sayedna appreciated their good works. His Eminence commended them for keeping the spirit of love and fellowship growing, supporting charity work, and extending hospitality to those who are in need. Regarding the newly opened aged care facility, His eminence added:
“Care for vulnerable members of our society like the elderly shows a society’s degree of civilization but also the depth of Christian living as we reflect on the words of our Saviour: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Our ambition for this care centre is to provide a friendly place for our elderly to enjoy the culture, service, and appreciation of Antiochian heritage and care. The activities and services will be delivered so as to meet all of the needs and wants of our residents and to honour them with our love and attention. We also seek to give comfort and peace of mind to the families of those we serve, that their loved ones will receive the tender care and support they deserve.”
Sayedna concluded by conferring on them his Fatherly Benediction.