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Cumberland Village: Haddad's retire

(Cumberland Village - Saturday, October 16, 2010)
There is a lot of history in Cumberland Village. It goes back a long way. But more history was made this past weekend when the cream of the Village and surrounding area came together at the Lion's Maple Hall to honour the Haddad family on their retirement after 30 years operating the S & S Foodliner, affectionately known simply as "Haddads".

John, Afifa, Lara, Dena and Tanya and their store have been the heart of the community since John and Afifa took over the business.

In a speech, John said: MC Lion Frank Schultz, thank you for your kindness and lovely introduction.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming out this afternoon on such a day when you could be doing other things. Ladies, the husbands will be doing a double shift of yard work next week.

On September 1st, 1979, Afifa and I took possession of the property which houses the store and became the proud owners of Haddad S&S Foodliner which had been a landmark for many decades before us. We continued the tradition of serving Cumberland and the surrounding villages up until July 30th, 2010.

You supported our business over the years, a tradition we hope you will carry on doing for the years to come. The new owners are very kind, gentle and need your support.

Afifa and John Haddad

It was not easy to operate the business. We needed help. We are proud to say that over the years we employed around fifty part timers - students and adults who helped us with many tasks. One lady stands tall in her dedication, integrity, honesty and kindness: our friend Roberta Walker (Bobbie).

My right hand and business partner - my lovely wife Afifa - had it tougher than me. She had to raise our three daughters, help me in the store, do paperwork, take care of the many employees and still find time to be the top professor in her department at the University of Ottawa.

Friends, our business relationship evolved to become personal friendships which Afifa, my daughters and I will cherish and respect all our lives.

Our special thanks to the Cumberland Community Association and my club, the Cumberland Lions Club, for making this social gathering possible.

Thank you all for coming and please enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Afifa then spoke remembering how hard it was to leave their home and native Lebanon, but that coming to Cumberland made it easier.

"People made us feel at home away from home," she said.

Click here to view photos of the event.
(Captions and names will follow.)

Comments, anyone?
From Lauren Levesque:
I worked at the store from 1996 to 2000 - and they were a wonderful family to work for - always with a smile, and laughs were always present too!

I truly feel as though Cumberland will not be the same - they added such a special connection to our community and they will be missed.
CLICK here for latest column!I came in just to spend a few minutes and to wish the family well, and ended up staying for two hours.

It was amazing to see the community get together for people whom they really love.

It was also very special to see the "kids" who worked at the store and how so many of them have gone on to do great things.
- Patrick

ANABEL Associates
Translation - English to French