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Filipino senior citizens group in Melbourne’s South-East welcomes new officers

YGFSCC President bids farewell at annual Christmas event

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Maria Smith
Maria Smith
Maria Smith is the former Chairperson of the Australian Filipino Community Services, a non-profit organisation based in Victoria.

December 18 marked another generous day of giving for the Young Generation Filipino Seniors Citizens Club of the South-East (YGFSCC) during its Christmas event at the John Pandazopoulos Hall (JPH) in Doveton.

However, this year is more than just carols and giving gifts as YGFSCC welcomed its new officers while celebrating and acknowledging the 23-year achievements of outgoing President Demetria ‘Nanay Metz’ Reyes.

President Reyes was gifted a special award (meaningfully crafted by Julie Wright) for her loyalty, hard work and love for the organisation. Through the years, the outgoing President has always delivered a beautiful message reflecting the Bible verse John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” The former President also thanked donors, officers, members and volunteers for their ongoing support.

Outgoing YGFSCC President Demetria ‘Nanay Metz’ Reyes
Outgoing YGFSCC President Demetria ‘Nanay Metz’ Reyes

Incoming President Maria Norma Patrizi welcomed everyone with an inspirational message, followed by the introduction of the rest of the new office bearers: Vice President, Rod Bagon; Secretary/Treasurer Virginia Wright; Assistant Treasurer Evelyn Unwin; and Advisers, outgoing President Reyes and AFCS Chaplain Norminda Forteza.

Olaf the Snowman with YG members
Olaf the Snowman with YG members

Guest Speaker JPH Chairperson Brian Oates expressed his admiration for the YGFSCC and its mission to uplift the wellbeing of seniors and attend to their emerging needs. 

However, the surprise acknowledgment of Secretary/Treasurer Wright has left a remarkable impression on the character of outgoing President Reyes, who made a surprise presentation to Wright for her impressive leadership, hard work and resilience since volunteering for YGFSCC several years ago. What a grateful and beautiful working relationship!

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Officer Wright has been immensely satisfied with the outcome of the YGFSCC Christmas party after a long lockdown, as the organisation has made people happy again. “Despite the new officers and so many members, we managed to maintain the same culture and ambiance from a few years back.”

However, Wright expressed her sadness on the departure of their beloved outgoing President ‘Nay Metring’ after 23 years of service and likewise saying goodbye to Olaf (YG’s ‘recycled’ snowman for so many Christmases) as plastic cups are no longer allowed to be used starting next year. On a positive note, Wright reflected: “Too many goodbyes but we welcome the change! I hope it will be better.”

Overall, Filipino families look forward to this annual YGFSCC event, with children excitedly awaiting the arrival of Father Christmas with gifts, including for newly-arrived migrant families. There were also games with Amelia’s collectible teddies, likewise spreading love, thanks to former AFCS Chair Smith for the fluffy donations. YGFSCC cultural dancers were impressed with “Estudyantina” and “Charleston Dance” performances. There was community singing of Christmas carols and certainly the favourite dancing.

With vibrant and spiritually-inspiring Pastor Eric Maliwat as master of ceremonies combined with the coordinated skills of various organising and hardworking committees, unsurprisingly, this annual YGFSCC event has been another remarkable success! 

Maria Smith
Maria Smith
Maria Smith is the former Chairperson of the Australian Filipino Community Services, a non-profit organisation based in Victoria.

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