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#76 13th. February 2016

Hallo Friends of Moalboal.

My first responsibility as the new owner of this list is a sad one. The reason for the change in ownership for those that don't know was the shocking death of Lars Starner in a motorcycle accident in December.

I'm not going to write much about that; you've all become familiar with Lars over the last 16 years of this list, his life in Moalboal and around the world. I just want to say that it was a pleasure to have known Lars and he is and will be sorely missed. I made a short visit to Moalboal in January with my partner Jorja and was happy to have briefly seen Chikako. My deepest sympathy to her, to Lars' family and all members of the Moalboal family who knew him - I'm sure I speak for everyone who has not been able to contact her. I hope that Chikako will find it easy to stay on in Moalboal surrounded by happy memories that she and Lars shared.

Chikako asked me to take over the group since without a moderator/owner there would be no more posting, news or updates. As you may or may not be aware the settings of this group allow only moderators to post and Lars was the only moderator. So . . . with the co-operation of the Yahoo admins we had to hold a poll to vote on a new moderator. Thanks to the five people who voted and the half-a-dozen who sent me email votes.

I guess a short introduction is in order since I'm sure there have been many changes in the membership since I originally started this list back in 1998! I started coming to Moalboal regularly in 1989 and lived there for seven years between 1992 and 2000. Initially as a Divemaster then Instructor at Saavedra, later at Visaya Divers. In the latter half of the '90's my ex-wife and I ran Cakes & Connections in what is now Lantaw Restaurant. Happy happy days! Regula and I left the Philippines in 2000, returning to Switzerland with our two Filipino cats (long deceased but not forgotten) where I've been working in IT for various banks in Zürich and Regula is a social worker in Uster. Regula and I unfortunately split up in 2003 however we have a very good relationship still and often reminice about the "good old days". Emphasis on "old" now of course :).

One of the reasons that I wanted to take on the list owner job again was that after 16 years working I feel that it's time to retire and in July will be returning to where my heart. Together with Alain Amrein we are developing a small eco-resort between Moalboal and Badian: Eskapo Verde. Of course the work involved in this will mean that retirement is relative but it will for sure beat the 07.27 train to Zürich every morning! I have a wonderful partner who is interested to share some bits of Moalboal with me . . . some of you have met Jorja last year or in January. Since she is one of the Tagalog-speaking minority from Quezon City she will be needing Cebuano lessons for her visits. As of course will I :). This is a very exciting time on all levels for us and I hope to be able to share some of that excitement in the second half of the year and going forward.

Don't expect much activity until I get back to Moalboal in the second half of the year. Of course until then since I am 11,000km away I will be dependant on people sending me information. If you have any info that you'd like to share with the group then please send it to me. The mail addresses for the group have not changed, just drop a note to me at moalboalmail-owner [at] yahoogroups.com and I will pass it on to the group. Any subject relevant to Moalboal, the people or the businesses is fair game including social news, business promotions, facilites in the area, suggestions for things to do . . . anything that visitors, residents or just people with a special place in their heart for Moalboal might be interested in. You send it, I'll publish it. Conversely, you don't send it, I can't do very much!

Due the rather low level of response to the ownership poll, I've been wondering what the level of interest in the newsletter is now. Please would you register your vote in the poll linked here. This poll will directly influence the amount of effort that goes into the newsletter. Few votes means that the effort that goes into it is not worthwhile. The future is in our hands . . . .

Another piece of business is that I would like to have another moderator for the list.
Responsibilites: little and seldom. Backup moderator to ensure that in my absence there is someone available to manage the list. No need to be able to write since I'll do my best to look after that side!
Requirements: occasional e-mail access, that's it!
Anyone who would like to be considered please send me a mail.

That's about it for the moment. I wanted to close with a link to some video shot by Pete Morgan in 1993 when he was diving with Visaya Divers. This was something he sent me a while ago and my Facebook friends will probably have already seen it. For the rest of you, I hope that you will enjoy a step back in time to a rather different but still recogniseable Moalboal . . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqg2oX2jlRI

From a snowy and cold Switzerland, wherever you are "may you have fair winds and following seas" (c) Lars Starner.

All the best,

Simon Wright.