Peter SassonObituary

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Information about Peter SassonObituary

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: hanyfotouh


Peter Maurice Michael Sasson :  Peter Maurice Michael Sasson August 31, 1948-March 5, 2014 PowerPoint Presentation: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas PowerPoint Presentation: Peter Sasson, a dynamic and sophisticated international man who was born the last male heir in the Solomon Sasson family of Alexandria, Egypt, has died in Sydney, Australia after an unwavering and gallant battle with cancer. He was 65. Mr. Sasson’s fate was set in 1870, during the reign of Queen Victoria, when it was said that “the sun never sets on the British Empire”. Mr. Sasson’s great-grandfather Solomon was seeking adventure when he left his home in the harbor town of Liverpool to spontaneously board the New Star, a British ship bound for India. The young man Solomon was an expert in tobacco imports, yet was weary of ordinary life in provincial Liverpool and craved excitement. PowerPoint Presentation: Along the route to India, the ship stopped at Alexandria’s harbor. Solomon had several free hours to wander in the city streets and after a brief meeting with Greek businessman Alec Pilavachi, the two men struck up a friendship. Solomon impulsively left the New Star to remain in Alexandria to seek his fortune. His mission was successful as Solomon became one of the most wealthy and powerful members of the European community of Alexandria, Egypt. Later he married Sarah Fiss, the favorite daughter of Mussa Fiss, a prominent member of the local Jewish community. PowerPoint Presentation: Although Sarah was exceptionally beautiful, she was best known for her joy of living, instilling cheerfulness in all those around her. Solomon and Sarah experienced a happy marriage that produced four sons and two daughters. Maurice Sasson was one of those sons. In 1905, Maurice married one of the most exquisite women in Egypt, the beauty Marie Tilche, of the famous Tilche banking family. Maurice and Marie were the parents of three sons. Due to Marie’s immaturity and Maurice’s jealousy, the marriage floundered, and after a divorce, Marie departed her home in Alexandria to live in Europe. PowerPoint Presentation: Her three sons accompanied her, as they were to be educated in Europe. John Sasson, the second son, completed his education at some of the most prestigious schools in Europe before returning to Alexandria to join his father’s flourishing cotton export firm. When WWII erupted, John Sasson volunteered in the British army where he served with distinction in the Eighth Army led by Generals Alexander and Montgomery. PowerPoint Presentation: Due to his flawless command of Italian and other European languages, he was assigned to the advanced section of psychological warfare as an intelligence officer and was sent to dangerous missions in North Africa, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, and Italy. It was at the Grand Hotel of Venice where John Sasson met the stunning Militsa Radmanovich Nicolich, the Yugoslavian woman who would become his wife, and the mother of his only child and son, Peter. PowerPoint Presentation: At war’s end, John and Militsa moved to Alexandria, Egypt where John once more took his place in the prosperous family business. Peter Sasson was born in a hospital in Alexandria, Egypt on August 31, 1948. As the only male grandchild and male heir of Maurice Sasson, Peter was the favored grandchild, receiving all the benefits shown to the children of wealthy European families in Alexandria. He was surrounded by the love of family and in the care of properly trained nannies. PowerPoint Presentation: It was quickly noted that Sasson’s personality resembled that of his great-grandmother Sarah, wife of Solomon. Like Sarah, Sasson possessed the happiest temperament. He was an exceptionally jolly child who was always smiling and joyful. He was also blessed with an uncommon ability to capture the essence of language. At an early age he was speaking five languages. When he began to stutter, his European Pediatrician recommended that his languages be cut from five to three. PowerPoint Presentation: The family lived happily for a number of years, spending their winters in Egypt and their summers in Europe. But the Suez Crisis of 1956 once again thrust John Sasson and his small family into the unknown. An angry Gamal Abdel Nasser, the president of Egypt, nationalized the Suez Canal before directing his fury at the Jews of Egypt. Thousands of Jews were ordered to leave the country after being forced to sign declarations donating their property to the Egyptian government. And thus the immense Sasson fortune built by Sasson’s great-grandfather Solomon Sasson was forever lost. PowerPoint Presentation: Young Peter Sasson was enrolled as a student at Eastbourne, a British boy’s school. Later he attended Hurstpierpoint College and West London University, where he studied modern languages. He was appointed a prefect, meaning given limited authority of other students at Hurstpierpoint College. Furthermore, Sasson represented Hurstpierpoint in athletics and was the champion discus thrower. PowerPoint Presentation: The unique child grew into a unique man. After school, Sasson lived for a time in France before moving to Italy, where his parents had settled in Milan. There Sasson was employed by Johnson and Higgins in that city, assuming responsibility for the Marine Department of the company for Italy. In his work, Sasson was quickly noticed as a man who possessed a natural and great talent for salesmanship. PowerPoint Presentation: Even in adulthood, Sasson retained his happy temperament. Others quickly noticed his immense zest for living, a man who enjoyed every moment of life to the utmost. Sasson was also known to be the most generous of men. He was athletically gifted, surprising all with his ability to snow ski like a champion, to scuba dive with the best, and in fact, to easily succeed in any sport. Much to the surprise of his friends, he was a gastronomic master, creating superb French and Italian foods seemingly without effort. Most who dined at his table pleaded for his recipes, which he could not produce only because he invented the dishes while cooking. PowerPoint Presentation: In 1976 Sasson followed the adventurous path of his great-grandfather Solomon by returning to the region of his birth, to live and work in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There he opened one of Saudi Arabia’s first insurance companies, a very successful Saudi-Italian venture named The Peninsula Insurance Company, sponsored by the highly respected and well-regarded Saudi Arabian, Ahmed El-Hoshan. . PowerPoint Presentation: No task was too difficult for the self-motivated Sasson. He supervised various Yemen workers to construct his Riyadh villa, learning the construction business by doing it. During this time, Sasson lived with his tea boy, a man named Hassan from Yemen, in the most archaic neighborhood in downtown Riyadh, the Batha Souk. Like most who knew him, Hassan remained loyal and devoted to Sasson until the day he left the kingdom fifteen years later PowerPoint Presentation: The confident man from England was quickly a favorite with the Arabs living in the area, for he was known to successfully tackle every problem with amazing ingenuity. Although Sasson was bold and outspoken, he easily won the trust and affection of the Saudis and other Arabs he met. Sasson met American Jean Parks in 1978 while living in Riyadh and the two later married. The couple had an amiable divorce after six years of marriage and remained friends until his death. PowerPoint Presentation: Sasson married the love of his life, Julie Lawson, on November 17, 1988 in a memorable wedding in the neighboring Arab Gulf State of Bahrain. Sasson lived with his wife Julie in Riyadh until the first Gulf War, when the couple left the kingdom in 1991. They temporarily resided in Milan, Italy prior to settling permanently in his wife’s home country of Australia, and in the city of Sydney. PowerPoint Presentation: In Australia Sasson was the doyen of Corporate Health Insurance and amongst other things led the industry position on providing Broking and Advisory services in this important area of Employee Benefits. He was the President of the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association PHIIA and often took the initiative in dealing with various Regulators, Ministers, Bureaucrats, and of course, many clients and prospects. His knowledge of Health Insurance had its origins in his time in the Middle East, enhanced by his time as General Manager of FAI Health and finally, polished by his time leading JLT’s development of a Corporate Health portfolio. PowerPoint Presentation: Sasson first came to JLT in the early 1990’s and from an absolute zero base set about the process of building JLT Health Benefits into the position of prominence held today. Whether it has been building a Multinational relationship with a major technology company or standing in the foyer of a building promoting the value of a voluntary employee scheme, Sasson had a solution for everything and a way to communicate his message with style and confidence that was unique. PowerPoint Presentation: Sasson’s relationship with his insurer partners was one of the main reasons for his success. He was able to negotiate outstanding deals, to suit the particular needs of each client group and balance the outcomes for both clients and insurances. Sasson’s legacy in training younger staff, to whom he generously passed his knowledge and skills, will last long into the future. PowerPoint Presentation: After being diagnosed with cancer in October 2012, Sasson thought positively, displaying indefatigable determination to defeat the hated disease. Most astonishingly, Sasson never complained during the tough and difficult battle he waged. He did not “go gentle in the night,” because he did not want to go. Sasson fought hard for his life, although he met death with enormous bravery. PowerPoint Presentation: Those who saw him at the end will never forget his bright smile and his ability to make them feel better about the ultimate outcome. Embracing life to the fullest, he simply could not fathom leaving his friends, his job, his co-workers, his family, but mainly, Sasson did not want to leave his beloved wife, Julie. PowerPoint Presentation: Mr. Sasson is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Julie Lawson Sasson. Survivors also include his brother, Bonan Nicolich, sister-in-law, Sonya Nicolich, and nephew, Simone Nicolich, all of Clusone, Italy. His Aunt Seka, the sister of his mother, still lives in Rijeka, Croatia. PowerPoint Presentation: Sasson impacted many lives over the years. Brian and Ida Hannon of Springfield, Virginia, remember Sasson as a “larger than life” person who had “many different interests and was always up for any new adventure”. Ida says that during the years she worked for Sasson in Riyadh, “he was always kind, considerate, and magnanimous.” PowerPoint Presentation: Jean Sasson of Atlanta, Georgia, Sasson’s ex-wife and personal friend, says that Sasson’s most outstanding quality was his positive, cheerful attitude. She recalls that during the ten years she spent with Sasson, she never saw him in a bad mood. “He woke up smiling and he went to bed smiling. He was a uniquely happy man.” PowerPoint Presentation: Bill and Maria Larkworthy say they “have fond memories of Peter from their time together in Saudi Arabia over 30 years ago, and his subsequent visits to Dubai. He was a good-natured, lively and intelligent man. In particular Bill remembers playing squash with Peter in the court Sasson had constructed at his Riyadh villa. Peter was always a generous host and a skilled chef; Bill and Maria still savor memories of his pasta dishes and crostini. In our own lives we soon learn that life is unfair – and Peter’s passing, at what for these days is a young age, provide yet another sad example PowerPoint Presentation: Danny Hayman of Ipswich, Suffolk in the UK says that, “I remember Peter as a ball of energy you could not hold down. He was always a load of fun and always bright and shining. I know that all who knew Peter have a lot of stories, but I still enjoy recounting them. Peter was kind and caring and was always there if I needed him, day or night. Peter will always be in my thoughts. When I stare at the stars, and I see a particularly Bright One, I will say hi Peter and smile as I remember all the joy he brought to this world.” PowerPoint Presentation: Peter Sasson’s funeral will be held at the Northern Chapel at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium on Friday 14th March 2014 at 10:15 AM. The Crematorium is at Delhi Rd., North Ryde. A wake to celebrate Peter Sasson’s life will follow the funeral. Family and friends are invited to come to 97a Elanora Road, Elanora Heights 2101. PowerPoint Presentation: Slideshow prepared by: Hany Abou-El-Fotouh Tribute to Peter Sasson who was my first manager at Peninsula Insurance Company, Riyadh (1978-1982)

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