52 members of World Fellowship of Ys Retired
WOODEN CROSS PRESENTED TO DON ANDERSON BY WFYR PARTICIPANTS TO THE SPECIAL GATHERING AT THE 17TH YMCA WORLD COUNCIL MEETING / HONG KONG – JULY 18-25, 2010
Today we have the privilege to honor our Chairman, Don Anderson, and present our respects and appreciation for his many contributions to the World Fellowship of YMCA Retirees.
We looked high and low for a gift that would not only represent the qualities of a leader of your caliber, strength, unity, leadership, and faith (to name a few), but that would also embody the principles and mission of the Fellowship.
Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful…so…we decided to create one instead.
This cross measures 13” 3/16 by 6” 1/8. It is composed of 34 small pieces of different wood species from 15 countries. All he pieces were carefully attached to a central wood piece made from a good old American oak, which keeps them all together.
Each of the 34 small pieces represents the 34 participants of the World Fellowship of YMCA Retirees present at this 17th YMCA World Council Meeting. You can guess who the “good old American Oak” represents.
Each little piece is unique, like each of our members present here today. There is no one equal to the other. They came together over a period of three months from Japan, China, Philippines, Germany, Uruguay, Canada, United Kingdom, USA, India, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Gambia and Venezuela.
There are 29 different species: Cherry, Manchurian Ash, White Lawaan, Beech, Pine, Coronilla, Ash, Oak, Birdeye, Dark Walnut, Douglas Fir, Hickory, Red Oak, Ebony, Nara, Zebra, Managenial Soft, Teak, Adrihno, Angelina, Eucalyptus, Grapier, Pie, Tuba, Pinups, Minima, Alanta, Dumba and Pardillo.
Some pieces arrived in early April, others just two weeks ago. Some pieces were cut to perfection; others were a bit rougher around the edges. Some came by hand, others by mail. Some changed hands four times, traveling across multiple continents and cities. Some pieces came in a simple envelope, others were meticulously packed in sturdy containers; and in some cases, even had attached, in addition to their regular name, the scientific name, history about the wood and its impact in the history and economy of the country.
Yet every piece was selected at origin with great care and traveled long distances to reach their final destination, for we all knew that they were to become part of something special…something greater than what they could accomplish on their own.
With each piece, we assembled this cross to serve as a permanent reminder of our faith and our commitment to remain united and continue working from behind the scenes to support our Fellowship and the YMCA work around the world as one (John 17:21) .
The cross was ensemble by an old YMCA retiree from Bolivia.
Don, this is our gift to you. Thanks for your outstanding leadership and for keeping the Fellowship united, strong and relevant.