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Failaka...a General Manager's Story - Chapter 10
So what of the future and where in this rotating world will we end up next? I wish I could relate this to you.
It is now 12th May and we are arranging celebrations for the 5th Anniversary of the village.
Denise and I will have spent five years on Failaka Island, and I shall be 65 in July , body and health permitting we will carry on for another year until Ramadan in 2010...but then that will be probably be it; it all depends if we can tear ourselves away from what has been a labor of love.
We hope that we will remembered as the pioneers of the post invasion Failaka Island and the Heritage Village, probably not as long as Alexander the Great, but hopefully our names will be firmly stamped into the history of Failaka.
Of the island, I really do not know! For five years we have heard that between 4 and 5 billion dollars are to be spent in making Failaka Island a touristic destination. In the beginning in early May 2004, both myself and Denise thought that we would be part of this, but unfortunately time has flown by and we will be retired by then....but who knows perhaps we will be invited back to look at the finally developed island?
When we finally leave we will miss Failaka Island, but then again it will always be in our thoughts....Failaka Heritage Village would be hard to erase from our memories.
The follow up to this story will be written at the end of 2009 and will be called 'Failaka Revisited', and the final follow up will be in August 2010 which will be called 'Failaka Finally Revisted'.
To all our friends, management and staff of Failaka Heritage Village, Safir Hotels & Resorts and Masharee Al Khair, our thanks for supporting is during the last five years....we sincerely hope that this support will continue until our final goodbye!
Many years ago I read a quotation, "The real leader has no need to lead - he is content to point the way", I hope that I have successfully pointed my staff in the correct direction, and had some bearing on their future careers.
PS: Denise has just reminded me that we have forgotten to mention Peter. We adopted Peter in July 2006, he had been abandoned as a puppy in the desert and severely mistreated to such a point that even over two and half years later he is still frightened of strangers but fully attached to myself and Denise and visitors to our house on Failaka. Peter will be coming back with us to Wales when we finally leave the shores of Failaka Island. Peter is a pedigree Great Dane and a wonderful companion.
Peter 'The Great Dane'
"Feel the Warmth & Live the History @ Failaka Heritage Village".
About the Author
Chris was born in Yorkshire, UK in July 1944; leaving school in September 1962 he joined the Merchant Navy as an Assistant Purser, seeing service as an Assiatnt Purser, and Chief Purser with Booth Line, Shaw Savill Lines, Cunard SS Company and many other well known companies. He married his wife Denise, who had just left the University College of South Wales with a BSc in Industrial Microbiology in April 1974.
It was a working honeymoon as Chris was a Purser with the Kuwait Shipping Company at the time and Denise joined him on the voyage to Kuwait onboard the MV Al Shamiya, they then roamed the ocean blue for a further two years.
1976 saw them in Egypt where Chris was the Port Catering Superintendent for oil rigs and shore establishments working for Offshore International.
The late seventies saw him working in Saudia Arabia, and the early eighties in the Sudan as General Manager for Institutional and Industrial catering companies; GrandMet Site Services, Taylorplan and ORS
In the mid to late eighties Chris joined Channel Island Ferries as Chief Purser onboard the MV Corbiere, and then came ashore as General Manager of the St. Mellion Golf Hotel & Country Club in Cornwall, UK.
1991, Kuwait called and he joined Safir International Hotel Management as a Project Director for the upcoming GCC summit at Bayan Palace, followed by stints as the GM of Safir Nile Cruise and Safir Hotel Hurghada in Egypt.
In 1996 the call of the Caribbean saw Chris and Denise working in St. Lucia and Jamaica at two of the top resorts in the World, Anse Chastanet Resort and CocoLaPalm Resort.
In May 2001 the UK called and both Chris and Denise worked in top class, Relais & Chateaux, country house hotels in the UK for three years.
May 2004 saw them both back again in Kuwait at Failaka Heritage Village on Failaka Island owned and operated by Masharee Al Khair a Kuwait Charitable company.
Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Fellow of the Cookery & Food Association and a Master of the Restaurant Services Guild. Denise is a Member of the Institute of Hospitaly, she has a BSc in Industrial Microbiology and is an accomplished equestrienne.
Failaka...a General Manager's Story www.failakaheritagevillage.com.
To Explore the history of Failaka Island provided by "Rafahiya" Magazine, the in-flight magazine for Wataniya Airways 'Click Here' - PDF (1.5MB).
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