HAMDON MOHAMMED HAMDON
Hamdon left Lala, Lebanon in 1952 at the age of twenty-one and a half, for a new life in Canada. On his journey, he would be accompanied by his friends, George Abboud and Wadia Coutney. Upon their arrival in Canada,they docked at Halifax and were met by Rashid Farhat,a government employee. Farhat greeted them and got them safely on the train which would take them to Edmonton. English was a difficulty for Hamdon, but he did have some knowledge of French.This languagehelped him a small amount at that time. When he arrived in Edmonton,he was taken to Lac La Biche where he went to school. He noticed that this area had lots of of Lebanese,many of whom were involved in mink ranching. Hamdon stayed in Lac La Biche for eight months and then returned to Edmonton where he went to night school. In time, he would start working for CNR. Joe Mouallem,who, also, worked at CNR was instrumental in making it possible for numerous Lebanese to work with this company. He stayed with CNR for two years and then was employed by Shaben and Hamdon. After four years of working there,Hamdon got married. The married couple then moved to Wildwood, Alberta and opened a general store. They operated the store for four years. Then they moved to Drayton Valley, Alberta in 1965. The move to Drayton Valley was suggested to them by a salesman who sold them goods in Wildwood. It should, also, be noted that the move was necessary because the business had slowed down in Wildwood. They opened another general store in Drayton Valley. Eventually, they were able to expand the business and even bought the building where the business was located. The business continued to pick up and soon they hadenough money to construct a new building. They ran their business from this new location. More expansion would be made possible in the following few years. They were able to then buy a trailer court and then built a mall that would house twenty-one businesses. It was the first mall to be built in Drayton Valley. The town manager said that Hamdon and his wife made it possible for Drayton Valley to grow because of their business ingenuity. Drayton Valley would now be home for the Hamdon family. Other family members would open new businesses in Drayton Valley over the years. Their family is made up of six sons. One of their sons,Moe, served as a councillor in Drayton Valley for twelve years and in addition, served as Mayor there for twelve more years. Several sons are still in Drayton Valley and they are looking after the businesses there. Hamdon, however, still likes to visit Drayton Valley and claims that his advice in running things is still required. When asked if he is happy that he came to Canada, Hamdon does not hesitate in saying,yes, I have no regrets.His family has expanded in numbers and now has sixteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His last trip to Lebanon was in 2011 and he still loves Lala, his place of birth.