"Reminiscences of Azaria Nufail" book launching event concluded successfully
“One of the best organised events that I have attended in a long time”
“It is refreshing to note that all communities in Sri Lanka were represented in the gathering and it says about the person and ALMA should be congratulated for leading the way”
“It was a very professionally organised event with not a minute wasted and the attention of the audience intact the whole time”
These were some of the comments made by a few of the participants at the Book Launch “Reminiscences of Azaria Nufail” held on Saturday 23rd July 2011 at Auburn Town Hall. Over 200 attended the event and their parting words were “Thank you for inviting us” or “Glad we attended”.
The proceedings started at 7:20PM, 5 minutes after the schedule time with the traditional Qui’rath by Rabi Alisabri with the English translation by Aadhil Ansareen.
Mohamed Yoosuff, the Master of Ceremonies for the evening briefed the audience on the significance of the occasion and shed an insight to the personality of Sister Azaria Nufail.
As bro. Fazli, President of ALMA, had to postpone his return trip from Sri Lanka due to his daughter’s unexpected illness, Dr. Mohamed Anzar, the Secretary rose to the occasion and very ably filled up the void. He welcomed the audience with the traditional Muslim greetings and thanked everyone for gracing the occasion.
The first speaker on the night was the Consul General of Sri Lanka Mr. P. D. Fernando. He was extremely happy to note that all communities of Sri Lanka – Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Malays – were all assembled under one roof, which was a very rare sight in the recent history. He also mentioned that the nation need more people like Azaria who was able to cross boundaries and relate to everyone irrespective of race, religion, social status, etc.
Surgeon Commodore Basil Goonawardena, Rtd. Asst. Director of Medical Services in the Sri Lankan Navy, related his and his wife’s relationship with Azaria since their University days in Newcastle and how the friendship blossomed over the years.
Dushanthy Gunanathan, Parramatta District Public Prosecutor, shared her and her family’s experience with aunty Azaria who she had known from the age of five. It was indeed very touching when she recollected some of the personal moments she had had with her.
Nizar Sappideen who was a former President of ALMA and founder President of Sri Lanka Australian Malays Association (SLAMA) said that Azaria had been a binding force within the community and between communities.
Zafar Rizvi, an year 11 student at Sydney Boys’ School, traced back his childhood memories when he felt that aunty Azaria’s and uncle Nufail’s home was like his second home and how they had encouraged him in every step of his life.
Nawaz Vilcassim, former Crown Counsel (Sri Lanka) and Retd. Managing Director of DBS Bank in Singapore, who is also Azaria’s “Gamme Miniha” – both hailing from Galle – was able to shed some light on Azaria’s childhood days and how she progressed educationally and climbed the professional ladder. It is indeed a very emotional disclosure.
After speeches the first copy of the book “Reminiscences of Azaria Nufail” was presented to Br. Ali M. Nufail by Dr. Mohamed Anzar. Then the e-version of the book, which is available at www.azaria.nufail.com, was launched by Br. Nufail.
In keeping up with sister Azaria’s wishes of encouraging younger generation, the young writers were invited to the stage and books were presented to them by br. Nufail and Dr. Anzar.
Proposal of vote of thanks was made by br. Nufail, who put the clock back to August 2009 and thanked all those who had helped them in numerous ways in a tumultuous period of their lives. He also commended on the excellent team effort in organising this event and thanked everyone who had helped in the task.
After the vote of thanks the MC made an unscheduled announcement which was not in the agenda. ALMA secretary Dr Anzar was called upon to hand over a token of appreciation to the Project Coordinator br. Rafi Mubarak, who was taken aback by surprise. Indeed it was the Project Coordinator’s methodical approach and perseverance which was the key to the success of this project.
After all the formalities it was time to taste some of the delicacies that were well spread on the table. Br. Nilam and his team’s culinary and hospitality skills were well evident and much appreciated by everyone.
It was indeed a memorable event to all who attended and was as a result of an excellent team work.
Following are some pictures of the evening
Welcoming the Guest of Honour
Consul General Mr. P.D. Fernando and Mrs. Fernando
section of the audience
Section of the audience
Section of the audience
Section of the audience
Master of Ceremonies, Mohamed Yoosuff, starting the proceedings of the evening
Raabi Alisabri reciting Qui'rath
Aadhil Ansareen reading the translation of the Qui'rath
Dr Mohamed Anzar, ALMA Secretary, delivering the Welcome Address
Consul General of Sri Lanka Mr. P. D. Fernando's speech
Dr Basil Gunawardena addressing the gathering
Dushanthy Gunanathan addressing the gathering
Nizar Sappideen addressing the gathering
Zafar Rizvi's speech sharing his experience with aunty Azaria
Nawaz Vilcassim addressing the gathering
Officially releasing the book by presenting the first copy to Ali M. Nufail
by ALMA Secretary Dr. Mohamed Anzar
Ali M. Nufail launching the e-version of the book (www.azaria.nufail.com)
Ali M. Nufail proposing the vote of thanks
Some other moments...