From SI Exco News
Bob Luitweiler is grandfather of Servas. Read his Seeds of Servas and compare to "Big Picture". See how far we have come!
Let us celebrate the life our founder, Bob Luitweiler who, over his long life, instilled a sense of purpose in many lives that he touched. Remember the greatness and goodness of the man. Bob liked a photo that I took of him at our first meeting in 1989 at my first-attended SI Conference, in Montreal, Canada. I think it shows him as a man of vision.
Brides on Tour
On the road to the essence of humanity
If you rapidly spin a color chart, the color image that you see is white…White symbolizes peace, purity and innocence. It is open to changes, external influences and all taht is new. White has the capacity to have this effect on us and help us to understand the meaning of time and flow.
A bride dressed in white symbolizes a new expansion, innocence, fullness and peace with all its reflections. Two good friends, Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro, set out on a journey in March. Wearing white wedding dresses to symbolize purity, beauty and change, their dream was to live this experience and have a positive effect on others.A philosopher once said, "A journey is an ideal like a star we can never reach. But just like the sailors, its the sign that helps us find our way" It is not known whether this is the same for all of us, but to move forward for our ideals and living in this way is real for the ones who share it.
Today, we faced one of those journeys. A journey that is difficult to understand, but with a spiritual message. A journey with no timescale but that was tragically cut short after only one month. A journey that has now had an impact on everybody's heart. A journey that began in Europe traveling through many civilizations with the Holy City of Jerusalem being the final destination. A pure, naive journey of peace… Brides On Tour…
Today we are on a very different stage of this journey, but not very different from the one that was planned. Today Pippa Baca has left the physical stage of this journey; however her spirit continues with Silvia Moro, heightening its awareness.
She showed us how to risk everything for the sake of our dreams, even if it is very difficult. She reminded us that the move towards peace is more difficult than anybody knows. She reminded us that peace for all is more important than individual peace and the first stage is peace within ourselves. She, herself, took this first step.
We may not be Pippa Bacca or Sylvia Moro, but today we can feel what they feel and see the light in their path. This light not only showed us the path, but gave us warm feelings and also reminded us that the belief of change comes from inside and awakens our awareness.
It was a pleasure to know Pippa, to come together with her family at this stage of the journey, to listen to Sylvia sharing her thoughts with us and to feel the support of friends from around the world. Most importantly it is to share these feelings.
Pippa, we send you our deepest love for everything that you remind us of on your journey to peace with Silvia and including us in your path to your inner self.
Pippa, we send you our deepest love for the road that you showed us Peace and for including us in your journey towards your inner self.
Sercan DUYGAN (translated by Arzu Altinanıt & İrem Levend)
We were sorry to hear of the recent death of Derek Lenn, joint Coordinator for Region B.
Derek and his wife Yvonne joined Servas 8 years ago when they heard about it through contacts at the National Union of Teachers. The Lenns had previously hosted many visitors through their schools and church during their 43- year marriage. They became Regional Coordinators at the AGM 2 years ago.
Always active, Derek maintained a holiday home in France, their boat, and ably hosted a well-attended regional gathering. He enjoyed received Servas visitors and he and Yvonne also travelled with Sevas, usually to the USA.
Derek died at home on January 22, 2008, and will be missed by all who knew him. Yvonne will stay on as Joint Coordinator.
Jamie McOuat (08/25)
In Memoriam Felipe Azaña
Ex National Secretary Servas Peru
You passed away on Friday 27th of June 2008 after some months of severe illness, you didn’t win the struggle…doctors couldn’t help you…hope, faith and prayers weren’t enough to survive … 47 years is too young to die…Your family and your friends still have to overcome the sadness of your death.
You were Servas member for 25 years, you loved to meet travellers from all over the world in Lima. Although you had a busy and active professional life you always found time to share with them a Peruvian dinner, a pisco sour, to go out to listen to Peruvian music, to go for a walk in Barranco, to have a good talk about the cultural differences between Peru and the country of the traveller. As you spoke fluently four languages you could solve a lot of problems of Servas travellers, you simply helped everyone who needed you. You were above all very proud to be Peruvian and enjoyed sharing the beauty of Peru with your Servas guests.
You was National Secretary during a very difficult period in Servas Peru (2003-2004), your leadership was vigorous and inspiring and your dedication to Peace was great but you never wanted to be in the picture. Family, Peace and Friendship have always been very important values in your life and that’s why you were so unhappy when someone disappointed you. Felipe, we are very sad for the lost of such a good friend like you, but we are grateful that we had the privilege to be your friend. Thank you Felipe for the joy you brought into our lifes! We will miss you …but you’ll remain one of us…you are in our heart for ever... You always ended your letters in the same way, two simple words, two basic principles of Servas…Servas that has been part of your life. “ In Peace & Friendship”, “ En Paz & Amistad”, Rita Dessauvage NS Servas Belgium & Luxembourg
Rita Weiss of Austria
-Rita Weiss of Austria
Dear Servas Friends, I have the sad duty to report that Rita Weiss, long-time national secretary (recently deputy national secretary) and main interviewer of Servas Austria, passed away on 29 June 2008 following severe illness which she had been fighting bravely for the last couple of years. Rita was not quite 58 years old, and had been in Servas for almost 40 years. For more of this time she had also been actively involved in our Servas branch, first as an interviewer (I was approved by her as a young Servas traveller in 1976!), and then as national secretary (from 1980 until last year).
We have yet to overcome the shock of her death, which -although it was obviously coming closer- still came suddenly after her condition deteriorated very dramatically only during the past few days. We will have to find a suitable successor for her role in Servas Austria.
Eva Meggeneder Servas Austria
Helen Rees: Fairview historian, civil rights marcher dies at 98
Helen Guyton Rees, author and Fairview historian, died Thursday, Oct. 2, in Gresham at the age of 98.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, 17405 N.E. Glisan St. Interment will follow at St. Aidan’s.
Rees, a resident of Fairview since 1942, was a postal clerk, homemaker and a Civil Rights marcher in Washington, D.C. She wrote five history books. Her motto, she said in an interview in 2005, was “Write what is true.”
In 1945, when Gresham business leaders organized in an attempt to prevent interned Japanese residents from returning to Gresham, she was the only reader to challenge the idea in a letter to The Outlook saying, “This move is surely against our very constitutional rights. It cannot be called a Christian attitude, nor an American one either.”
She began her work as an author/historian when she was provoked to write a history of Shaniko after reading a dime-novel approach to her hometown in Central Oregon. She later wrote a history, “Fairview, On Duck Lane,” about Fairview’s Dunbar and Heslin families.
Born March 30, 1910, in Kent to William and Ada Guyton, she was raised in the area graduating from Kent High School.
She married William Adelbert Rees on Jan. 4, 1929, on the Guyton ranch near Kent. She and her family moved to Fairview in 1942. Her husband, postmaster at Fairview for more than 20 years, died in 1992.
“Fairview is a good place to live and raise a family,” she Rees wrote in “On Duck Lane.” “It is attested to by the fact that there is seldom a house in town that is for rent; people stay.”
She was a member of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Daughter of the King, Fairview Rockwood Wilkes Historical Society, East County Church Women United, Heifers for Relief and past president of the Gresham Union High Parent Teacher Association.
She volunteered for SERVAS selling fair trade imported articles, as well as Meals on Wheels, and as a 4-H Leader. She sent relief packages to foreign countries during World War II and made quilts for the homeless in addition to reading, gardening, needlework and food preservation.
She is survived by daughter Anna Rosene of Boring; son Charles Rees of Columbia, Md.; nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Two sons, William and Richard Rees, preceded her in death.
A tribute to Yvonne Brown
15.10.2008 YVONNE BROWN, Educator and local dramatist, who farmed on the Durham Road, Inglewood, died in Paraparaumu on July 6, 2008 aged 86 a woman of many talents who gave much to our district and to New Zealand.
She was born in 1922, the eldest of four children, of Lt Colonel Bertrand (of Maori Battalion) and her Pakeha mother.
The family lived in New Plymouth and when not soldiering her father taught at New Plymouth Boys High School.
Yvonne attended Central School during the Depression and in 1935, New Plymouth Girls High School. Her years at this school were not always happy. Because of her academic achievements she was one of the Golden Girls - much was expected of her, but in the eyes of her principal, Miss Allan, not the best of the bunch because she was Maori and on a High School Scholarship so was not paying her way.
Yvonne saw and hated the social structure in the school and the fact that many girls had to leave school at 14 because their families could not afford the cost of fees and uniforms. She left school with a burning desire to change the education system and she did.
Having attended Auckland Teacher's College she taught her PA year at Ngaere School and then taught at Norfolk School. These were early war years. It was here at Norfolk School that she met Bill Brown, an innovative farmer on the Durham Road. They married in 1942. She and Bill raised a fine family of five children in a little old home on the farm. Yvonne and Bill had agreed at an early stage that each should have an opportunity to take up independent interests, so despite family and farming responsibilities, Yvonne became the first woman to sit on the Norfolk Primary School Committee a major feat for a woman in the 1940s.
She was on a number of committees dealing with education and women's affairs for The Maori Women's Welfare League and the needs of Maori and Pakeha women were dear to her heart. She was proud of her Te Atiawa heritage and of the advantage of having a foot in each camp. Being passionate about education she became involved in anything she thought would change the system. She worked on Project Able a Government educational report about New Zealand schools.
In 1960, Yvonne gained a part time position teaching English at Inglewood High School and was influenced by the principal, Garfield Johnson's (author of Johnson Report On NZ Education) new educational initiatives.
Her training as an Infant Mistress enabled her to teach the basics with lower streamed students and second Year fifth formers.
As well know farmer's wife, mother of teenagers and great storyteller, she was a popular and successful teacher.
Yvonne took an extra mural diploma in Reading Classes from Massey University and began classes for 14 and 15 year old boys using the Drivers Licence Manual for her textbook.
In the mid-60s, because of the oil industry, families came to live in the district and the number of Maori students at the school increased. She was recruited to teach Te Reo.
Along with other disciplines she acquired a good knowledge of the curriculum and the workings of a high school. In 1970, she became National Vice President of the Secondary School's Board.
After 18 years teaching at Inglewood High School Yvonne retired, but remained involved in the changes in secondary and tertiary areas in Tomorrow's Schools, Education for the third Age, The Teacher's Registration Board and The Workers Trust and on the Inglewood High School Board.
In 1994, Yvonne attended a conference in New York for indigenous people, something she felt strongly about. There she found Maori, though disadvantaged in many ways, were succeeding while other races were still struggling.
Yvonne and Bill belonged to Servas, an organization for peace on the principle of education through travel. Through this they hosted many overseas travelers on their farm and traveled extensively. With courage and energy she ran the farm for 10 years after Bill's death, in their new home, which was always full of people.
In 1956, Yvonne became a founding member of Cue Theatre, bringing her experience from the CWI Drama and producing 15 plays the first Her Lamp Above in 1958 and the last, Table Manners in 1984. She was a non-fuss producer who could always bring the best out of people. From 1972-1974 she was president of the society.
Both Yvonne and Bill were a tower of strength when the towns old Billiard Saloon was converted into a theatre, opening in 1975. She was thrilled when this building was replaced with the new Cue in 2002. Her enthusiasm, energy and dedication helped form the very strong foundation of the Cue Theatre. She remained interested in the workings of the theatre after moving to Kapiti Village to be near her family.
Yvonne's contribution to the lives of many, both Maori and Pakeha, in education has been enormous. She was the matriarch of her family and an inspiration to all who knew her. We cannot measure the impact on society but she has been recognized for some of her achievements. In 1990, she was awarded the New Zealand Suffragettes Centennial Medal and in 1993 The Queen's Commemorative Medal.
We are the richer for knowing her.
In Memoriam : Renée Luneau
The death of Renée Luneau at the beginning of November 2007 moved all of us here in Montpellier.
She was a SERVAS member for many years and took part in regional and international events for the Association. You may have met her at the Friendship Paths meetings (mountain walks: Switzerland-Italy-France) at Tautavel with our Spanish friends in Sept last year or at the International meeting in Barcelona. She gave a lot of her time and energy to running the Association and helped me, particularly in Montpellier. I could always count on her.
She was a great traveller and had been to Servas meetings in Senegal, Guatemala, Mexico and France. All of us here appreciated her discretion, her loyalty, he great generosity and availability to welcome people when she was not traveling. We will all remember her with affected.
Marie Andée Rieu Coordinator: Languedoc Rousillon: France
Sharon Belden, member of Servas Netherlands, passed away October 30, 2007. Sharon was very active in Servas especially in editing the national Servas newsletter (1991 to 1998) and Servas International News (1999-2004). Sharon was interviewer and -last but not least – host and traveller.
In 1988 Saharon made her first “Servas-trip” to Poland and former Czechoslovakia. Instead of getting in touch with Servas members in these countries as “Servas-member” she introduced herself as “a friend of Antonie Fried”. This was the best way not to make the “communist bureaucrats” suspicious. Sharon joined in many Servas activities, like (inter)national meetings, the gathering in the Amsterdam “Servas-cafe”, In de Wildeman. Sharon joined the first international camp weekend in Netherlands in 2006.
Sharon will always be alive in our memories.
Arnoud Philippo, National Secretary, Netherlands
It is with some sadness then that we report that Hazel Richards passed away peacefully on 7th July 2007. Hazel and her family have been active members of Servas for 25 years. She was Regional Coordinator and her husband Henry our Treasurer for 20 years until 2006. Many of you will remember Hazel – as your host, as a visiting traveller and as a delegate at General Assemblies in Montreal – 1989, France -1992, Melbourne – 1995, Guatemala – 1998, Bangkok – 2001. A Servas host and good friend Noel Watts offered a eulogy at Hazel's funeral service – as a friend and on behalf of Servas New Zealand. Thank you for the many tributes from members of the international Servas community – we have passed these on to Henry and the family. We can truly say that Hazel exemplified in every possible way the spirit of the Servas movement, the spirit of friendship that builds peace and understanding.
Marijke Batenburg, Chris Patterson, New Zealand
In Requiem - Joseph Girard
Joseph GIRARD, founder of Servas-France, died October 31st 2005. He was 87.
Joseph was a modest man. He has been working in a tailor's during 42 years in a small town. He was deported because he had refused the compulsory work in Germany during the war. He liked trees and photographs, but most of all he loved people and that's why we have come to salute and thank him.
Joseph, thank you for creating in France, just after the war the movement Servas whose aim is to build peace through people to people meetings within an international network of hosts and travellers.
At first you wrote the list by hand under the suspicious eyes of the authorities of the time. A list of people ? What for ? You thought, as we still think today, that meeting and sharing daily life with other people could create solid links and become steps towards peace.
Thanks to your initiative the movement has developed and it is on behalf of 1300 members that we are with you today.
We'll always keep you in our hearts.
Jacqueline Spaak French national secretary
Rev. Denys Whitehead
Dear Servas friends,
This is to let you know that Denys died in the evening of Friday 18th February from a sudden stroke. We had the funeral service with over 100 people in St Andrew's Church, followed by cremation at the Hindu crematorium, on Saturday afternoon - a feat of organisation by all the good friends who rallied round. It was a shock but he was 82 years old and ready to go any time and wanted to go quickly when he did. We were very glad we were able to get to Barcelona last year, followed by a tour of friends and relatives in Britain and Ireland.
Margaret Whitehead - 21 Feb 2005
Chaundry Abul Hadi
DEAR SERVAS FRIENDS,
REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT OUR PUNJAB COORDINATOR OF SERVAS PAKISTAN, CHAUDHRY ABDUL HADI OF CHICHAWATNI, WHO EXPIRED IN THE MONTH OF JULY, 2002.
MAY THE DEPARTED SOUL REST IN PEACE "AMEEN"
Luisa Corbetta, the Servas International Peace Secretary and Servas Italy member, died of cancer on October 27, 2011.
Anyone who met Luisa saw her passion, her conviction, her resolve and her power in debate. Her ideas, her persistence and her powers of persuasion motivated many people.
Luisa was a woman of deep, well-considered principles. And more than that, she acted on her convictions. She matched courage with gentleness. And she was also a working, active woman with a fun side, who loved to dance, cook good food and host deep conversation. She was a rare, genuine person.
Luisa was highly committed to Servas - she treasured us as family. Even during her illness, she used Skype to attend international Servas meetings around the world and give us her voice and wisdom about Peace.
In her last months, Luisa often ended her notes and conversations with the simple words "have a good life". Through those words she gave us a kind of blessing and a reminder of our duty to do good to each other. We can build Peace together.
Thank you, Luisa! You will be greatly missed.
SI General Secretary for Servas International Executive Committee (EXCO)
Querida gente clave de Servas,
Luisa Corbetta, Secretaria de Paz de SI y miembro de Servas Italia murió de cáncer el 27 de octubre de 2011.
Todos los que conocieron a Luisa supieron de su pasión, su convicción, su resolución y poder en el debate.
Sus ideas, su persistencia y su poder de persuasión motivó a mucha gente.
Luisa era una mujer de principios profundos y de altísima consideración. Además, ella actuaba de acuerdo a sus convicciones. Ella combinaba coraje con amabilidad. También era una mujer trabajadora, muy activa, con una faceta divertida, le gustaba mucho bailar, la buena comida, y mantenía profundas conversaciones. Era una persona genuina y nada común.
Luisa estaba seriamente comprometida con Servas – nos trataba como a su familia. Aún durante su enfermedad, usaba Skype para estar presente en los encuentros internacionales de Servas alrededor del mundo y darnos su voz y sabiduría sobre la Paz.
En los últimos meses, Luisa solía terminar sus notas y conversaciones con unas simples palabras: “tengan una buena vida”. Con esas palabras ella nos daba una especie de bendición y nos recordaba nuestro deber de hacer el bien unos a otros. Podemos construir la Paz juntos.
Gracias, Luisa! Te extrañaremos mucho!
Dear Servas Friends We were sorry to hear that Bat Sheva Barshi passed away - the funeral is on 25 February 2013 at Kibbutz Tzoraa, and shiva will be at Gabi and Bat Sheva's home in Karkur. Bat Sheva, among the establishers of Servas Israel, was always at Gabi's side, and together they contributed greatly to Servas Israel success. Bat Sheva will stay in our memory forever. Claudia Sagi Servas Israel
Dear Bat Sheva, There are no words to describe the depth of our sorrow and our great loss in your passing. Your character traits of Tolerance (Sovlanut), Sensitivity (Regishut), Conciliation (Vitur) and Forgiveness (Salhanut) are those of a woman of the world. More significantly the first letter of each of these traits in Hebrew spells the name of our organization SERVAS and are among the basic values of Servas to which you have contributed wholeheartedly over the years. Our eyes look towards the horizon searching to fill the great gap you have left in our hearts. You will be greatly missed by us all. Haim Murik Servas Israel
בת שבע , אין מילים בפי לתאר את גודל הצער את גודל האבדה את המרחב שנחתך לא סתם יש שיבוץ של תכונות אישיות בראש הכתר כמו מסכת של כוונות עם מערכת ערכים שלמה סובלנות רגישות ויתור סלחנות אלה הם תכונות אופי של אשת העולם הגדול והאיתור של האותיות הראשונות שמופיעות לא בכדי הן מחברות ומחוברות לשם האירגון שלנו סרווס עינינו נשואות אל האופק להשלים את החלל הריק של כולנו חיים מוריק
לגבי, משתתפים בצערך על מותה של בת שבע. בדרכה הצנועה הייתה שם תמיד, חלק מסרווס . היא תחסר גם לנו. תמר וגיורא