This year Raphael celebrated its Diamond Jubilee.
Founders’ Day 2019 was held over two days in beautiful spring weather. Raphael celebrated 60 years since its foundation in 1959. Christine and Graeme Hannan and Trish Twaits from Australia joined Carolyn Tapley and her mother Mina Munro from New Zealand and Jamie McCartney from the UK as international guests at the celebrations.
Thursday 4 April 10amA large group of guests assembled at the main gate for a walk around the campus. After meeting with the residents of the Shiv Sadan they visited Barbara Cottage and then stopped at the Resource Centre for a ceremony to unveil a plaque for the new Therapy and Multi Purpose Centre. Afterwards there was a visit to the refurbished Little White House, where the male residents are now housed and Ava Vihar where the female residents live. A visit to many of the day school classrooms was also included, as was the garden project which is teaching many of the students about growing vegetables and fruit. The last stop was the TB hospital. The morning concluded with a delicious Community buffet lunch which was held outdoors under the trees for every member of the Raphael community.
Friday 5April 4.30pmThe main event of the day was the Founders’ Day Program, which was held outdoors. The welcome address was presented by the Raphael Governing Council Chairman, Lt General Rustom Nanavatty (Retd). Congratulations was given by Christine Hannan and Carolyn Tapley on behalf of Ryder-Cheshire Australia and New Zealand. The program included a series of cultural items, presented by the various Raphael resident groups with assistance from others. These provided a wealth of colour, movement, dance and song and delighted all present. There was also a distribution of prizes for achievements reached by community members and a stirring band performance from the IMA Military Band. The Chairman announced that the new CEO of Raphael was to be Mrs Priyo Lall, which was warmly received by the community. The Chief Guest, Lt General S M Mehta (Retd) Chief Executive Officer The Hans Foundation delivered the closing address which received a spontaneous hug from one of the residents. The program concluded with afternoon tea.
The guests agreed that that it had been a privilege to be present for these two days, which had been a whirlwind of people and events, of welcome and hospitality and of warmth and friendship.
Reported by Chris Hannan and Trish Twaits.
Photographs from Graeme Hannan, Trish Twaits and Carolyn Tapley.