On Sunday 7th May William Elazzi of Glenorie, NSW passed away at home. William was one of the first growers of Lebanese cucumbers in Australia and can be called the father of the Lebanese cucumber industry.
William was a man of many “firsts”; the first to switch to hydroponics; the first to grow beefsteak tomatoes and, when he reduced his growing activities in Glenorie, the first to set up hydroponic lettuce production in Lebanon allowing him to enjoy two summers per year.
William was not just an innovator, but someone who will be remembered mostly for being a community leader who was always willing to share his knowledge and contacts with others so that they too could prosper. With the influx of migrants from strife torn Lebanon in the eighties, the developing Sydney greenhouse industry played an important role in providing income opportunities for the thousands of migrants. It also provided a lasting legacy on Australian dinner plates.
William’s and his wife Amal’s hospitality was legendary and their house was open to people from all nationalities and walks of life.
William’s friends in the growing industry farewelled him at Our Lady of Lebanon church, Parramatta remembering his contribution to the industry and the friendship that endured the decades.