The Habkouk Family – great courage and strength

Sydney Welfare Officers Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey had never met the late Joe Habkouk who was known as “a family man who was always smiling” but they recently had the pleasure to meet his wife Selina, his son Lewis aged 14 years old (his other son Daniel aged 17 years old was at work), Grandmother Sita Hissen and Sister Rita at their home. It was clear to them that he was a fine man with a marvellous family.

Joe tragically lost his life in a motor cycle accident on 5 May 2015. In his rugby league playing days he played for the Asquith Rugby League Club in 1993. Joe and Selina were keen supporters and also worked for the Pennant Hills “Stags” Junior Rugby League Football Club, where their son Lewis had played for 6 seasons prior to transferring this year to the Carlingford Cougars Junior Rugby League Football Club, where he is playing halfback.

Joe was also a coaching coordinator, managed and played for the local touch football competitions for all ages. The touch football group are going to play annually for The Joe Habkouk Trophy in honour of him and will be supported by the St. George Maronite Catholic Church.
Selina told us that she, Lewis, Daniel and the family were receiving tremendous support from their relatives, friends and the community at this very sad time. She informed us that her, Daniel and especially Lewis are all ardent NRL supporters and their favourite team is St. George Illawarra. Selina’s favourite player is Josh Duggan and Lewis’ is Benji Marshall. We spoke at length about how much they enjoyed going to NRL matches especially when St. George Illawarra are playing and of their hopes that their team make the final eight this season.

We expressed our deepest condolences to Selina and her family and thanked them for their hospitality. We presented her, Lewis and Daniel with Men of League polo shirts plus caps and also gave Lewis an added surprise of a St. George Illawarra polo shirt and cap as recognition of the family’s long involvement and support of rugby league. Selina expressed her sincere thanks to us and the Men of League for our thoughts and kind actions.

We intend to stay in touch with this wonderful family in the future.

Ken Vessey

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