Season's greetings to all hash members here in Samoa as well as overseas. The holiday season is upon us again and the start of another year is right around the corner. This is a wonderful time of the year and I hope we don't get too carried away with the mechanics and logistics of everything and forget the enjoyment side. Please take time to enjoy the wonderful xmas music, the delightful xmas lights, the many parties where we can meet old friends and acquaintances. Please renew and treasure your friendships. It's one of the most precious gifts we can have in this world. That is one of the main reasons Hash means so much to me personally.
When I came to samoa 10 years ago, after being away for many years, I didn't know very many people. All my friends from when I was 17 years old have died, were in jail, or have been kidnapped by aliens. Then I joined Hash and I immediately had 20 friends to my name.
A year ago, Karaoke and I went to Australia and I ended up in the hospital emergency room. The doctors there said that I shouldn't even be alive, but by some miracle I made it through. When I got home I decided to celebrate my second chance at life, so I made a list of all my friends to invite to my back-from-the-dead party. When I looked at the list, 90% of them were hashers! That's when it hit me just how much hash means to me.
As I reflect upon 2008, I realize that in the hash world, a lot has happened. Here's a few highlights that I can think of from the top of my head.
- Lewinsky and POD get married and Happy Feet joins the hash family
- Jazz festival hosted by Hash which resulted in a monetary donation to FLO organization
- Australian Navy Hash run that resulted in Kuini's hash name
- Melborne Cup run and hat competition with the GM taking top honors for his outrageous helmet
- Halloween run and costume competition with Tony Blair and Selina winning the top prize in their Robin Hood and maid Marion outfit.
- Thanksgiving run and turkey dinner
- Cinco De Mayo run
- Shafter's untimely death and funeral
- Tui tui
- Mustang Sally
- Mighty Mouse
- Miss Piggy
- Blooming Luscious
- Dawn Raid
- Spring box
- Walking Eagle
I know there are a lot more events and incidences worthy of mention but my excuse is that I only took over as GM in July; before that my records are not too good. All the above mentioned highlights have been happy and joyous ones except for one. I'm sure you all know that as the untimely passing of our brother Shafter. As far as I can recall, this is the first time hash has been this heavily involved in a hash member funeral. This funeral was a little different in that from the very start, it was planned not so much as a cause for sadness and mourning but as a celebration of a well lived life. This event really brought the hash family closer together and it brought out the best in all of us.
For 2009, lets all look forward and help support these theme runs for the near future.
Jan. Australia Day and 1450 run
Feb. GM's birthday party run (age not important)
Mar. St. Patrick's day run (corn beef run)
Apr. Easter run
May Cinco De Mayo run (Mexican food run)
Jun. GM's farewell run (hooray!!)
One of my New Year's resolution is to be the best GM I can be. I will try my best to make hash not only a fun but also an exciting outing. I'm always open to new ideas and constructive critizisms (but not too many). I'm sure with your help and support we can all have lots of fun at hash. What do you say we make 2009 even better then 2008. I think I did mention it before but I'd like to repeat it here that the theme for my administration is "PARTY HARD OR GO HOME"
And if I haven't told you before I'm telling you now. THANK YOU to each and everyone of you for all you've done for hash in general and the GM in particular. I really didn't want the GM job because I didn't think a non-drinking and non-running hasher should be a GM. I took the job hoping you would support me but you have not only supported me but you have accepted me and for that I will always be grateful. A special thank you should be given here for my beautiful sidekick Karaoke for the unwavering support she has given me. Truth be told, I couldn't do half the stuff I've done without her help and support. (Karaoke, I'll drink from your shoe anytime!!)
Finally, I want to ask for your forgiveness. In the performance of my GM duties and in my efforts to improve hash, I know I probably offended or stepped on a few toes, maybe even all the toes at one time or another. Please know that none of my actions are ever intended to offend anyone. What do you say we bury the hatchet and start over again with the new year? Lets not look back to past indiscretions cause it will only give us a stiff neck. If you can forgive and forget, I give you a solemn promise as your GM that many many down downs will surely come your way!!
From the GM and the entire mismanagement crew, I want to wish all the hash family (especially our members who are overseas for the holidays or who have moved overseas) a very merry Christmas and a very happy New Year where ever you may be. May the force be with you!!
On On from the GM
PS: Please take care of yourselves this holiday season so that we can hash together again in 2009.
Remember: If you lose your fame and fortune, you've lost nothing
But if you lose your friends and your health, you've lost everything.