The Young Men’s Syrian Association

Members and descendents of the members of the Syrian Association of Atlanta later formed a new Club and called it the Young Men’s Syrian Association. As the years passed it was less necessary to have an alliance for their general welfare. The YMSA, formed in 1929, was more of a social and athletic club. A Ladies Auxiliary was formed at the same time. Many of the YMSA members were the offspring of the founding members. The young men of that group who were too young to be regular members of the YMSA formed a Club within the Club. It was called the Lockinvars.

For the first time (and probably the last) we see the word “Lebanonians”. It was found in one of the writings of the organization in 1938. Up until now we had always been referred to as Syrians. Long time member Jimmy Haddad always says he went off to World War II a Syrian and came back a Lebanese.

There was a whole new cast of Characters, many with the same last name as the Charter members but also many new names. The surname George had given way to the original name Azar. The first President, Dave Azar, was the nephew of three of the founding members. For the first time we see the names Haddad, Naddra, Abraham, Domain, and Saade to name a few.

This industrious group dedicated their first Club House in 1938 at 948 Maloy Street in S.E. Atlanta and published an outstanding Souvenir Program. In the program book several references are made to a vision of one day building a gym, pool and ball room.

The Clubs activities were suspended during the World War II when 75 percent of its members were overseas fighting for our Country.

When they returned from the war many began referring to themselves for the first time as being of Lebanese decent. The other thing that happened after the War was the Cedar Club of Atlanta was founded.

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