A letter written by Enrique Romo, OCISO’s Executive Director from 1981-86, to current Executive Director, Leslie Emory, on the occasion of OCISO’s 40th anniversary celebration.
Thank you for your kind invitation to the celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of OCISO. It seems incredible that that frail, small organization I joined in 1978, is now 40 years old.
Many things have happened and will continue to happen to force or motivate people to leave their place of birth:
I am proud to say that OCISO has had an important role to play in making Ottawa a more welcoming and effective integration point for those immigrants that OCISO has served from every corner of the world.
Unfortunately, I am back in Chile for the winter (summer here) and I am unable to attend.
I do, however, wish to extend my congratulations and hope for continued success to you and your team, and to Board and other volunteers that have been carrying the torch of service to immigrants in the last few years.
I would like you to know that every year for the past 4 years, a group of former colleagues from OCISO, including Board and volunteers, meet at least once if not twice a year, to share the memories and friendship that developed while fulfilling the mandate given to us by the community and funders.
In truth, we were never simple colleagues, we were friends in the best sense of the word. Life took us in different directions but the spirit of friendship always remained and inspires our lives in those happy occasions when we are fortunate to meet and remember what we were able to accomplish. I hope that spirit still remains with OCISO.
So, again, my most heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for those who carry the banner of the new OCISO. May it be with us for many years to come.