PRESIDENTS of the Australian Blouza Association
A founding member of the Australian Blouza Association (known as the Blouza Charitable Association at that time). Known for his generosity and help to the needy in Blouza, Simon was the first President of the Association in 1953.
A founding member of the Association (then known as the Star of Lebanon), Roger first became President in 1956. Balancing two full time jobs at Scots Pies and Hoover, Roger still made time to ensure the Association was a success. Today, Roger resides in America. Along with his family, he is credited with the construction of the Blouza Medical centre and refurbishment of the lower Parish Hall in Blouza.
The very first meeting of the Association was held at the home of Joe Ghalloub. Also a founding member, Joe later became President in 1958. One of the main priorities of his committee was to help the needy in Blouza.
Joseph Assad Wehbe
Becoming President in 1959, the late Joseph Assad Wehbe was also a key contributor to the Association during the late 50’s and 60’s. Known for his contribution to local Arabic newspapers (in the 70’s & 80’s) and an avid St George Rugby League supporter, Mr Wehbe is survived by wife, three daughters and son Raymond.
Youssef Elias Michael
The late Joe Michael became President in 1960. He was a well known and much loved member of Blouza. A great mechanic, story teller and champion of the youth.
Elias Loubos Takchi
Elias became President in 1966. A proud and humble man, Elias was a strong supporter of the Association and is survived by his wife, Hasna and four children.
The son of Blouza’s first President, Anthony was arguably the youngest member of Blouza (at age 23 years) to became President of the Association in 1974. He continued to support the Association as a legal advisor over a number of years.
Philip Lebnan Menassa
Philip Menassa became President in 1975 shortly before the Blouza House at 5 School Parade, Westmead was purchased by the Association. Regrettably, Philip passed away during his term of office. He is survived by his wife and two sons who reside in Argentina.
Elias Nabih Toubji
Elias Nabih Toubji, eldest son of the Blouza Town Mayor, took over as President in late 1975. Elias was also instrumental in the purchase of the Blouza House at Westmead (being a co-guarantor on the NAB loan along with Raymond Roumanous).
Rev Father Antoun Chidiac
A prominent member of the Blouza Clergy, Fr Antoun became President of the Association in 1976.
Tony Saba Elias
The elder son of the late Saba – the teacher, Tony was President of the Association in 1977. Against the back drop of an escalating civil war in Lebanon, Tony and his committee worked hard to raise much needed funds for our village in Lebanon. Some of these funds were also used in the construction of the Parish Hall in Blouza.
Popularly known as Shirl and a prominent member of the hugely successful Blouza 70’s musical band, LODI, Amine took over as President in 1978. The elder son of Raymond and Philomena Bechara, Amine has been an active contributor to the success of the Blouza Talent Quest over many years.
Son of the late Elias Bechara Chidiac, Antoun became President in 1979. A long time supporter of Blouza both in Australia and Lebanon, Antoun has also served as Treasurer of the Association and is a keen promoter of Blouza History.
Raymond Jamil Wehbe
Raymond has been involved with the Blouza Association in Australia over a 30 year period. His love for Blouza and contribution to the Association (particularly during the 70’s period), is truly inspirational and unwaivering. Having served as President in 1983 and later in 1999, Raymond has also served as Committee Chairman on numerous occasions.
Charlie Youseff Wehbe
Son of Youseff Sagih Wehbe, Charlie became President in 1986. Whilst a popular advocate and promoter of Blouza Youth, Charlie was also a key link to the elder folk in the Blouza community.
The son of Raymond Nehamtalla Roumanous, Anthony is arguably the second youngest member of Blouza to serve as President in 1988 at the age of 25 years. Since that time, he also served as Vice President. Anthony is a proud member of Blouza and has or had the number plates to prove it.
Tony Rachid Wehbe
Son of the late Rachid Khoury Wehbe, and also popularly known as BOMBA, Tony became President of the Association in 1989. Having also served as Chairman, Tony was instrumental (along with Anthony Roumanous) in taking the first steps towards developing the original property at Westmead.
Anton El Takchi
The son of Youseff Francis Takchi, Anton first became President of the Association in 1990. His involvement with the Association includes time served as Treasurer and Secretary on several occasions over the past three decades.
Raymond Wehbe Wehbe
The son of the late Wehbe Wehbe, Raymond became President of the Association in 1991 and was most prominent in the development and construction of the Blouza Houses at Westmead. A role he fulfilled with Antonios Youseff. Raymond has also served as Treasurer of the Association, and along with his wife Shirley, are well known for their charity work – culminating in a civic reception held by the Parramatta City Council on 25 September 1996 in honour of Ray & Shirley and the Australian Blouza Association. Raymond also served as President in 2006, 2008 and again in 2012 and 2013.
Raymond passed away in February 2020.
Joseph Bachir Younis
The eldest son of Bachir Antonios Younis, Joe is a dedicated and the longest serving active member of the Association, becoming President in 1995. He has also served the Association in various other roles, including Chairman, and most notably as Treasurer – a position which he currently holds and one he has held for many years. Joe was instrumental in the development and implementation of the current Blouza Constitution, and the organisational structure, financial integrity and administration of the and audity integrity.
Elias Toufic Chidiac
The son of Toufic Khoury Antonios Chidiac, Elias, known as a keen promoter of Blouza youth, has been involved with the Association over a long period of time culminating in his Presidency in 1996.
Tony Wajih Hanna
The son of Wajih Wadih Hanna, Tony became President of the Association in 2001, having also served as Vice President earlier. During this time, the Association realised it’s dream of bringing water to the village of Blouza.
The son of Youseff Nabih Toubji, Nabil is an active and dedicated member of the Association having served as Secretary, Treasurer, and President in 2002. Popularly known as “Billie”, his love for Blouza is without question, and indeed his contribution to the success and organisation of many Blouza functions.
The son of Nazih Sabah Hassaratti, Sam became president of the Association in 2003. A dedicated and highly respected member, Sam has also served as Vice President and Treasurer of the Association. Sam again served as President for the 2016/2017 period.
A long and active participation in the Association over many years, including Secretary and Vice President, culminated in Yvette becoming the Association’s first female President in 2004.
Hamid Karim Hanna
The eldest son of the late Karim Youseff Hanna, Hamid became President in 2010. Prior to this time, he served as Vice President. Hamid’s support of bringing to realisation the ownership and ongoing improvement of the Blouza Hall at Blaxcell Street Granville for the future of the Blouza Association and its youth, is to be commended.
Joe Dib Younis
A much loved and well respected Souths Rugby League fanatic, Joe was the second son of Dib Ousta Younis, becoming President of the Association in 2013, 2014, 2015 until April 2016. Joe also served as Chairman, and was instrumental with all aspects of the flagship Blouza Hall, function co-ordination and staging, and promotion of the Blouza identity from uniforms, to pens, to dress pins, ties and scarves.
Joe passed away in April 2020.
The eldest son of Tansa Francis Eltakchi, Ray became the President of the Association from 2018 and remains in the position currently. Inspired by a trip to Blouza, Lebanon in 2008, Ray’s love for the village lead him to join the committee and further his involvement with the local Blouza community in Australia. Originally acting as the Blouza Youth coordinator from 2012-2017, Ray went on to serve as President of the ABA during the very trying times of COVID-19.