On 15 February 2012 Fr Paul Baron OFMCap. passed away peacefully at St Vincent de Paul residence in Malta, aged 86, comforted by the rites of Holy Mother Church. The Maltese community in Australia mourns the sad loss of Fr Paul whose wonderful achievements during his pastoral mission among them for several decades will not be forgotten.
Patri Pawl, as he was more popularly known, arrived in Australia on 30 October 1963 on a chartered Qantas flight full of Maltese migrants. He was then 38 years old. In Australia he worked assiduously and selflessly for the benefit of the Maltese community in Sydney for close to 30 years. Fr Baron was the driving force that brought together the Maltese community in the western suburbs of Sydney and the establishment of the organisation that today is known as the La Vallette Social Centre.
In a book on the history of Maltese associations in Australia, prominent Maltese journalist living in Melbourne, Mr Albert Agius, wrote about Fr Baron’s significant contribution to the well-being of the Maltese in Sydney and the setting up of the Maltese Community Western Suburbs Association, as La Vallette Social Centre was originally known. With the author’s kind permission, we are reproducing the relevant chapter which is based on a long letter written in 1997 that Fr Baron sent Mr Agius from Izmir in Turkey, seven years after Fr Baron had left Australia.
Providentially, Fr Baron established himself at the Capuchin’s seminary at Plumpton which is centrally located in the outer western suburbs of Sydney. He found this mostly rural area a good ground for his pastoral work. He used to visit the families and made out a profile of the Maltese in the various districts in his area and noted their needs.
He recalled that the first social function that he organised was a bus picnic on Sunday 29 March 1964. Four full bus-loads of Maltese families thoroughly enjoyed this truly Maltese-style xalata. At the end of the day, they were all asking “what next”? This set him thinking and he decided he would organise something worthwhile for the 8th of September, Malta’s National Day.
After seeing to the success of the religious festivities, he felt the need to organise social activities. Having only just come out to Australia, he feared he might cause a scandal by organising a dinner dance. He plucked up courage and rang up John Scicluna, the Maltese Attachè, to bounce off his idea. Mr. Scicluna promptly told him that he felt that the Maltese community of the Blacktown area needed to improve its profile. He encouraged the priest to go ahead and asked for the date and venue. He said that he and his wife would be pleased to attend to represent the Maltese Government!
In those days, it was not easy to hire on a Saturday evening the popular Bowman Hall at the Blacktown Civic Centre with a capacity of 500 persons. Fr. Baron thought he would try his luck and went personally to try and book. He told the young receptionist that if she disappointed him, she would be disappointing all the Maltese on their national day. She replied that all the Saturdays in September were fully booked out but she would see what she could do to help and no sooner had he returned home when the young lady rang to say that the Bowman Hall was all his!
Fr. Baron booked the best available band and ordered 600 tickets. He invited all the parish priests of the area, members of parliament, the Mayor of Blacktown, the president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and a number of distinguished persons.
The tickets, at one guinea each, sold like the proverbial hot cakes. He could have easily sold 500 more.
During the wonderful occasion, it seemed that all those present knew one another. While they were all enjoying themselves, Fr. Paul noted that Mr. Scicluna and the parish priest of Blacktown, Fr. Hugh Law, were “conspiring” behind his back. They called him and told him:
“You have succeeded in getting your people together. This is the moment to take advantage of the situation. You need them and they need you. We invite you on the stage to join us both, to spell out publicly that this day should not die and be forgotten.”
The three of them addressed the gathering among great cheers. When Fr. Paul’s turn came, he just thanked them for their support and made an appeal to them.
“By myself, I am weak; I need your help. By yourselves, you are weak; you need my help. Together, hand in hand, with goodwill and with a common determination we can achieve a lot in meeting the spiritual and social needs of our community. On Sunday 4th October, with the kind permission of Fr. Law, you are all invited in the parish hall at Blacktown to a meeting at 10 a.m.”
About 100 people turned up for the meeting that lasted some two hours. He addressed the meeting briefly and told them about his work during the few months he had been among them and pointed out what could be achieved to the spiritual and social benefit of the entire community.
After considerable discussion, it was agreed that they would form an association and there were a number of suggestions as to the name. They eventually settled for The Maltese Community Western Suburbs Association. They then picked the first committee and chose Roger Borg as the first honorary president. Fr. Baron said they did not have any problem picking their chaplain. “I was the one and only in the race!” he told me.
Patri Pawl considers the meeting of the 4th of October 1964 as the real beginning of the La Valette Centre. He feels that he is the promoter, the co-founder with those present at that meeting. He says he did not have the necessary financial resources for what was to be purchased and constructed. Were it not for the help and support of the responsible committees and of the Maltese community, nothing would have been achieved.
The committee used to meet monthly or fortnightly, depending on need, at the Blacktown parish hall to plan its programmes. In January 1966 it started publishing its monthly News Bulletins.
The committee opened and operated a bank account with the Commonwealth Bank and organised diverse activities for the members. Among the most memorable, they organised the first Debs’ Ball in June 1966, the European Tour in July 1967, a tour to Canberra in March 1968, a long weekend at the Snowy Mountains in October 1968, and the Youth’s Retreat at Lawson in August 1969.
After a while, some new faces started showing up and joined as paying members. Among them were some suspect characters and trouble reared its ugly head during one of the general meetings of the Maltese Community Western Suburbs Association some three or four years later. Amid great tension that nearly led to people coming to blows, accusations were made about certain individuals who were on the committee. The offended group tendered their resignation in anticipation of having their membership withdrawn from them by the newly-elected committee. Calm was restored to the meeting and a new committee was elected.
Some two weeks later, a report in The Maltese Herald reported on the meeting and announced that a rival association by the name of The Maltese Citizens of Blacktown was being formed. The new association’s life, however, was of a short duration.
The committee of the Maltese
Community Western Suburbs Association had a vision. They decided to purchase some land on which to build a future social/religious Centre.
With the help of some friendly estate agents, they found a 7-acre poultry farm that belonged to an elderly Australian couple on Kildare Road, Doonside, just a stone’s throw from Blacktown. The property consisted of a cottage in a good condition and numerous damaged hen cages. It had a wide frontage and at the back there was a small gum tree forest. The bid was for £10,500.
After assessing the situation, the committee decided not to purchase the property before it had the Blacktown Council’s written approval of its application to build a Maltese centre on the property.
Once the Council’s permission had been obtained, in February 1968, the committee entered into an agreement and signed a contract for the purchase of the poultry farm. Money was raised with the backing of the community and through organising various activities. A loan was obtained from Commonwealth Bank. Such was the enthusiasm and support from the community to the leadership shown by the committee that this was redeemed well before its life! The loan of £10,500 was repaid on 21 October 1970.
One must emphasise that the property was purchased in the name of the Maltese Community Western Suburbs Association. Once it was in the committee’s hands, the cottage was leased to a young couple while the committee retained the front part for its use until it decided what other steps would be taken.
Use as community centre
After a while, the time had come to start using the property as a community centre formally despite its rural setting. The unofficial opening was made on 8 June 1968 and the first fete was organised at that time.
During one of the meetings a suggestion was made that Fr. Baron, as the chaplain, should move from Plumpton and start residing at the new place. Patri Pawl did not object to this, provided his superiors were also agreeable.
A meeting was organised with Fr. Claude Moscatelli, the Capucchin Superior in Australia, who gave his approval with the proviso that the community would provide for the chaplain’s upkeep.
The young couple were given a month’s notice and moved to property they had purchased and Fr. Baron moved officially into his new residence at 257 Kildare Road on 10 November 1969. Word soon got around and people started seeking his services from Doonside rather than Plumpton.
There was still a lot of work to be done. Esso in Penrith had a large number of Maltese clients and it offered its services and equipment, free of charge, for the clearing of the trees and levelling of the ground. Many Maltese volunteered their labour to get rid of the cages that had seen better days.
They cleaned the big shed and this was to render a good financial return to the committee. It served as a dance hall twice a month for the youth of the area and Fr. Baron recalls that many Maltese young men and women found their future wedding partners in this shed. This ‘hall’ also served for holding general meetings and various other functions such as celebration of Mass, fairs, Debutantes’ Balls, children’s parties, New Year’s Eve Balls, Australia Day celebrations, 8th September (National Day) Balls and numerous other events.
The committee organised outings interstate with visits to Queensland and Tasmania. The first trip to Tasmania was in April 1970. The Mid-night Mass on Christmas Eve in 1970 was the first to be celebrated at Doonside. They also started organising chartered flights to Malta mostly for the elderly couples not so much as a business proposition as a service to the community since many of these elderly Maltese were afraid to travel on their own.
At the request of the younger generation, a football team, The Blacktown Rainbows, was formed. The Ladies Auxiliary began organising outings for the elderly. And so it went. The community had found its home!
The State Planning Authority approved the plans for a new centre on 22 April 1972 and, one month later, the Blacktown Council also gave its consent for the construction of the proposed building.
Things were moving smoothly and sweetly and the committee moved on its plan to build a proper centre on the property. The Commonwealth Bank was approached for a loan and an Italian architect in Sydney, Mr. Cavaliere, was asked to submit some plans.
The builder, Mike Camilleri, did not lose time. On Sunday 26 November 1978 the La Valette Social Centre and the chapel were opened officially by the Acting High Commissioner, Joseph A. Caruana, and blessed by Bishop Edward Clancy. Speeches were made by the President of La Valette, Joe Sammut, and by the Mayor of Blacktown, Ald. John Aquilina. The Our Lady Queen of Peace Band, under the direction of Mro. J. Darmanin performed a programme of popular music.
Fr. Paul Baron’s welfare work received a tremendous boost in 1979 with the grant of $50,000 from the Federal Government. This was acquired with the cooperation and support of the Maltese Welfare Group and it was intended that a full-time welfare/social worker (grant-in-aid, as they were called), would be employed full time for three years to deliver welfare services from the centre. This first grant was to be repeated in later years even though welfare funds were diminishing significantly with each passing year.
Serious trouble was to strike like a bolt from the blue, however.
Fr. Baron recalls the occasion when one of his neighbours, an Australian taxi-driver, asked him if he had received any correspondence from the NSW State Planning Authority like the rest of the neighbourhood, including the Polish and the Masons further up the road. They had all received a notice of the area resumption. Fr. Paul told him that the SPA would not have sent such a notice to ‘resume’ the Maltese property because they had all the legitimate documents from the local Council.
Patri Pawl rang up the president of the association, Mr. Joseph Sammut, who reassured the good priest. But, on the first Friday of the month, Fr. Baron found an envelope in the letter box containing the official notice of resumption, which had been hand-delivered.
The consequent protests did not move the SPA. Receiving protests had become a routine matter to them. It was the Authority’s policy in such situations to give one enough rope by which to hang oneself. The SPA referred the matter to the Land Valuation Department which was responsible for the quantification of the compensation to be paid. Fr. Baron knew many Maltese, particularly those from the Mt Druit area, who had been through this sort of experience and some of them had been driven crazy as a result.
Tom Galea from M[arr (Malta), was one of those people who had gone through this exercise but retained his sanity. At a seminar organized in October 1983, Mr. Galea recalled these times when he spoke about his own family’s change of residence:
My family then decided to shift to the west of Blacktown, to Plumpton (now known as Bidwill), where we bought a 25 acre property. Here it was more isolated than at Girraween, and I
cannot recall meeting many Maltese in this part of Plumpton….
In the year 1966, I joined the La Valette Social Centre, Blacktown, then known as Maltese Community Western Suburbs Association. The founder was Fr. Paul Baron OFM Cap, a Maltese migrant chaplain very active in the area whose base at that time was at Plumpton. I have always been involved with this association, which I believe has done much good to many Maltese living in Western Sydney. At present I am also honoured to have been elected to the position of Vice-President of this association….
After about 8 years in Plumpton, the Housing Commission wanted my land for housing, and it took me 4 years and 4 months of hard negotiation for what I believe to be a fair price for settlement and re-compensation. This experience I found valuable to the association I was involved with, who passed through a similar, long hard road! (3)
The protests receded completely but the M.C.W.S.A. was determined to put up a fight to ensure compensation was paid on its terms.
Copious correspondence was exchanged on the matter and many unproductive meetings were held between the two sides over several years.
On one of these occasions the SPA side offered land for a prospective Maltese centre. The land was offered at a nominal yearly fee on a 99-year lease as a generous compromise and compensation!
Joe Sammut politely turned down the ‘generous’ offer stating that the land which the SPA had grabbed was still theirs and without any encumbrances. He pointed out that:
It was bought with the money of the Maltese community after clearance and approval in writing of the Blacktown Council. They did nothing illegal or underhand. The land was purchased so that it would remain ours for ever and not just for 99 years. Additionally, the payment of nominal fees implied that the land did not belong to us.
An official ‘valuer’ inadvertently let the cat out of the bag during one of his visits to the property. He told Fr. Baron that the property was not worth any more than the other properties in the resumed area. This was a good clue as to the valuer’s estimate.
The dispute dragged on and the majority of the Maltese community lost heart and many were of the opinion that they should drop the case. The committee, however, was determined to fight for their just cause.
In a report in Maltese which appeared in “The Maltese Herald” of 20 May 1980, Mark Caruana wrote: (the following is a rough translation.)
It is worth remembering that the ‘Housing Commission’ of N.S.W. had grabbed the 7½-acre land on Kildare Street, Doonside. This property had been bought in February 1968 with money raised by the Maltese with the idea of building a Maltese Social/Religious Centre.
Despite many strong protests and many attempts by the committee for a fair agreement between the ‘Housing Commission’ and the responsible committee in the dispute, more than two years have passed without reaching any result to our satisfaction. In fact, it was a waste of time and money on our part.
After receiving legal advice from Murray Wilcox Q.C., and with the approval of the members at a general meeting, the committee had decided to sue for damages caused by the ‘resumption’. This was in April 1976.
Meanwhile, the committee considered moving from Doonside and looking for another piece of land in Blacktown. This was not an easy thing, it was something that needed some time. The committee finally managed to acquire a piece of land on Walters Road, Blacktown, and without any further delay, after obtaining the permits required by Council, built the first phase of the Centre where we are now.
More than three more years passed from the time when we decided to take legal action against the Housing Commission to when we appeared in court through no fault of ours.
The court hearing opened on Monday 10 March of this year under the presidency of Judge Ash. Our barrister was Murray Wilcox Q.C., while Noel Hemming Q.C. appeared on behalf of the ‘Housing Commission’.
The court hearing lasted six and a half days in all, what with hearing evidence from both sides, examining all documents and legal discussion connected with our case.
On the last day of the hearing, on Friday 21 March, Judge Ash felt that he needed some time to consider before passing sentence due to the delicacy of the case.
In fact nearly two months passed from the last sitting in court until on Tuesday 13th of this month, Judge Ash gave his verdict.
The verdict was in our favour, in favour of ‘La Valette Social Centre’, in favour of the Maltese community of N.S.W. Briefly, these are the words of Judge Ash:
‘The Maltese Centre, ‘La Valette Social Centre’ Blacktown, in the name of the Maltese community, deserves in justice all fair payment for the land taken in Doonside, as well fair payment for the damages as a consequence of the ‘resumption’, to enable them to reach their ethnic aim in the project of building a Maltese Social/Religious Centre”.
In his sentence, Mr. Ash considered that the sum of $154,000, the total sum estimated by the ‘Valuer General’ on behalf of the ‘Housing Commission’ was an unjust payment for the loss of land and for other related damages caused by the ‘resumption’. The judge believed conscientiously and justly that the responsible authority should pay not only for the value of the grabbed land, but should compensate with a just payment also for all other loss connected with the waste of time, approvals given, expenses for plans, work, cost of living, and all that was lost, without any fault of the committee, to achieve the scope of building a Maltese Centre. (4)
According to Mark Caruana’s report, the committee had engaged B.R. Nicholson, Penrith, to examine and quote a detailed estimate of the payment and compensation payable for the total loss caused by the Housing Commission. The estimate presented by the company “Alcorn Lupton Nicholson” reached the sum of $420,444.
In its sentence, the court accepted the committee’s valuer’s estimate and decided to award to La Valette Social Centre the total sum of $430,000. The judge pointed out that the ‘Valuer General’ had the right to appeal.
An appeal was lodged and the Court of Appeal naturally took its time to convene. The court decided that the case was not in its competence of jurisdiction so the case was to go to the Supreme Court in Canberra.
The committee was prepared to go the whole way but it appears that the Valuer General’s barrister had had enough of it and accepted Judge Ash’s verdict.
A new Centre
A new centre was planned for the new property in Walters Road. At that time, the club was generating a turnover of approximately $100,000 which was leaving a profit of around $20,000. This encouraged the hard-working committee to take another bold step forward.
The first stone of the new building on Lot 10A Walters Road Blacktown was laid on 10 September 1977.
This is the date also when the organisation changed its name. It seems there was some opposition to the word ‘Maltese’ which was ethnic-specific. La Valette was chosen as an indirect Maltese name that did not give offence to anyone.
Patri Pawl Baron moved into his new residence in March 1978.
Bishop Edward Clancy insisted that the Ma
ltese chaplaincy services should continue to be provided from the new location. He wanted the chapel to accommodate not more than 100 people and he did not give his permission for Mass to be celebrated on Sundays or feasts of obligation. He did not wish the Maltese community to become segregated from the parish community.
The chapel was an integral part of the new building. The first christening and the first wedding took place at the new chapel in April 1978. The first general meeting of the LVSC to be held in the new centre was held on the 28th of the same month.
The blessing of the chapel was conducted by Bishop Edward Clancy in 1978. Acting High Commissioner Joseph Caruana and John Aquilina were the guests of honour. The presence of the Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish Band added to the joy of the occasion.
Soon after the blessing of the chapel, Bishop Clancy then became cardinal of Sydney, and his successor, Bishop Bede Heather, gave permission for Masses to be said in Maltese on Saturdays and weekdays.
The committee’s vision was for the future and care was taken to attract youth to the centre. It appointed Eugene Pace as the Youth Organiser. Some 30 Maltese youth responded to Eugene’s invitation to a meeting where they discussed what they wished to see organised and how best to go about things. This meeting was held on Friday 4 July 1980.
The youngsters did not waste any time. The group met for its first outing on Sunday 6 July, just two days later! They went to Mitchell Park where they got to know each other better and also played some football. On the following Sunday, some 40 of them took part in a car Rally-hunt around Blacktown.
The younger element organised special activities such as discos and billy-cart racing, and outings for the youth of New South Wales.
It is hard to single out individuals in an organisation that functioned so well socially over such a long period of time. However, it would be extremely unfair to not acknowledge and record the efforts in those early years of people like, among many others, Joseph Sammut, Victor Vella, Tom Galea, Josephine Miruzzi, Vickie Vella, Mark Caruana, Tessie Portelli, Mary Anne Sant, and the members of the choir.
Plans for new building
At the general meeting of the La Valette Social Centre held on 30 March 1984, plans were revealed of a new building that was to be constructed as part of the celebration of the organisation’s twentieth anniversary. The new project was to include, in this order of priority, chaplaincy, a chapel and a community hall or something similar.
The foundation stone for the new building was brought over from Malta by the then President of Malta, Agatha Barbara, during her official visit to Australia in February 1986. Her Excellency laid the foundation stone on Sunday 16 February 1986. She was welcomed officially to the centre by its president, Joe Sammut. She responded and donated some 100 books to the centre’s library. The Maltese stone was suitably inscribed.
La Valette Social Centre also lived up to one of its reasons for existence – that of a religious centre. Functions of a religious order have also been celebrated there over the years. These include the annual Midnight Mass in traditional Maltese style on Christmas Eve, Lenten sermons, first Holy Communion, Confirmation, confessions in Maltese.
Because the Centre caters primarily for the family’s needs, and because of the Maltese characteristic respect for Catholic traditions and faith, the religious and the social often complemented each other; such as when the debutantes of 1984 were introduced to Bishop Bede Heather in one of the family get-togethers for which the LVSC had become renowned.
Even more typical was the pastoral visit of the Archbishop of Malta, Mgr. Joseph Mercieca, in September 1986. His Grace blessed the new building that had been built by Frank Cefai.
The celebration of Mass in the open air had been planned on this occasion but the altar and everything else had to be carried inside into the new hall because of the strong winds that were blowing. The large crowd joined in the Mass which was con-celebrated by Mgr. Mercieca with Mgr. Philip Calleja, Fr. Michael Camilleri OC, and Fr. Joe Magro. Fr. Paul Baron led the religious ceremonies.
The numerous crowd present had the opportunity of meeting the Maltese pastor at the reception held afterwards. The Hon. John Aquilina, then State Minister for Youth and Community Services, and Mark Caruana, president of LVSC, delivered short speeches before His Grace unveiled and blessed a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
Mark Caruana was quite correct when he referred to the year 1986/87 as a very momentous one for the centre during his report at the annual general meeting.
After referring to the laying of the foundation stone by the President of the Republic of Malta; the building of the premises on time and its blessing by the Archbishop of Malta; and the first major social activity on Melbourne Cup day (all of which were captured on video by Piju Vella, a member of the building sub-committee), Mark also spoke about a number of other activities.
He mentioned the first of many future reunions, which was for people from Zejtun, followed by that for the Salesian Old Boys; the first wedding reception for which the catering was done by members of the committee and of the ladies Auxiliary; a smaller reunion for the Vella family which gathered at the centre following a Mass for the repose of the soul of Vickie Vella’s father; the receipt from the Commonwealth Employment Project of a grant of $17,000 to employ a full-time caretaker/gardener; another ’emergency cash assistance’ grant for $1,500 and $3,000 for families in crisis; and a number of other projects such as new uniforms, beer stall and the donation of air fares.
For the record, the new committee elected at this AGM resulted in: President, Joe Sammut; Vice-President, Sam Scerri; Secretary, Joe Micallef; Asst. Secretary, Frank Zammit; Treasurer, Frank Camilleri; Asst. Treasurer Vickie Vella; Spiritual Director, Fr. Paul Baron; Members, Tom Galea, Tessie Portelli, Paul Micallef, Chris Rapa, Martin Cauchi, George Vella, and Vicky Gatt.
At the fete held on Sunday 29 March 1987, the first to be organised at the new premises, they held a Baby Contest and a children’s Fancy Dress Contest.
In the 1990s there was a greater emphasis on the delivery of welfare services to the ageing Maltese community.
The La Valette Social Centre is the first recipient of a Grant-In-Aid grant for the whole of NSW.
It published a research study The Ageing Maltese: a minefield of need & neglect by Lawrence Dimech in July 1992. Having identified the community’s changing needs, the Centre went about trying to meet them in a professional, diligent and systematic manner.
The Centre developed extensive education campaigns and strengthened community networks to make full use of mainstream services. At the Centre they worked closely with other Non Government Organisations and, in particular, collaborated with the Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre, Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Services, Blacktown Multicultural Day Care Centre and many others. They created adequate infrastructures to meet the changing needs of the Maltese community, as many of its members rapidly moved towards an older age bracket. They also sought to counter the ill-effects on the Maltese community of the long-term unemployed (both male and female) resulting from industrial dislocation of the times.
In partnership with the Maltese Welfare (NSW) the Centre published the third edition of the Maltese Resource Directory – wholly sponsored by the Bank of Valletta, and sta
rted the Community Visitation Scheme which was sponsored by the Australian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (better known as the Knights of Malta or SMOM).
The Centre earned a reputation for completing work programmes ahead of schedule and for its innovative approach to implementing planned objectives, which, though ambitious, were attainable and viable.
With the help of Guy Vella, security at the Centre was reinforced. In an effort to attract greater membership, the joining fee was reduced and more amenities were made available for the membership such as bo”i (bowling) lanes and facilities for the g]annejja and kitarristi. The Youth Group introduced a series of monthly discos which were not well supported, however.
There were many activities – religious, educative, cultural and social – both traditional and innovative, organised at the Centre over the years. It is indeed, a focal point for the Maltese community of New South Wales, particularly for those living in Sydney’s western suburbs who, it can be said without fear of contradiction, got good value out of the La Valette Social Centre. Most dignitaries from Malta are taken to visit the centre and to meet members of the Maltese community there during their stay in New South Wales.
Undoubtedly, the La Valette Social Centre contributed substantially to the cultural, spiritual and material development and to the growth, not in numbers, of the Maltese community in New South Wales and Australia.
Mibni fuq is-swar
U għamel ħwejjeġ kbar
U ħadem bla waqfien.
Built on bastions
and it achieved great things
it passed through fire
and worked without stopping)
Fr Paul leaves to mourn his loss the Franciscan Capuchin Friars and his brothers Joseph and John, his sister Doris, wife of Joseph, nieces and friends. His funeral mass was held at the Floriana Capuchin church, followed by interment at Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery.
May he rest in peace.