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Home Explore Memory Book

Memory Book

Published by Tiko Shengelia, 2021-05-21 19:06:25

Description: MB


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Jackie’s Words


,, I will sincerely miss Mamuka. We shared many good times together. When I think about specific memories of the great times, I spent with him, my mind immediately jumps to us Andy Poole being sat in the car outside the Ministry of Education at a crucial time in the development of our mutual business in Georgia. Having just collected a lot of money from textbook sales, Mamuka faced the sudden realisation that we needed to either enter the Ministry with a very suspicious stash of bank notes, at a time when corruption was high on the Ministry’s agenda, or we would miss a crucial meeting. After an initial mutual panic, we laughed together and entered the Ministry hoping for the best. When I reflect on the time that I spent with Mamuka more generally, my overwhelming emotion is warmth. I recall the many kind gestures, a sea of toasts, some super-strong home- made Chacha, an obvious love for his family, and pride in the achievements of the family business, but with an ever-present sense of modesty. Most of all I think of a warm, kind man with a strong underlying sense of right and wrong that will be sorely missed by everyone. With love, Andy Poole


,, Mamuka was such a warm, welcoming person - full of love for Nick, Maura his country, family and friends. Nick’s words really sum up all and Max Goode our fond memories of him: It is with enormous fondness that we remember our dear friend Mamuka. His kindness, unending generosity of spirit and down-to-earth sense of humour will stay with us always. On our many visits to Georgia, Mamuka, from the first moment – became like family to us. We remember him as a true gentleman. His love for family, devotion to religion and passion for sharing his country, culture, traditions and food was remarkable. We especially remember Mamuka’s wonderful dinner toasts. Brilliantly entertaining, he brought old friends and new to his table with pleasure and made all welcome. He welcomed our son as his own family, and we would like to share this memory here. We were truly blessed to call him our friend. All our love and very best wishes, Nick, Maura and Max Goode


,, it will be with Mamuka closest in my thoughts Mamuka was such a kind, courteous, thoughtful and prayers. and considerate person and was generous in Jonathan every sense of the word. He was so dependable Mamuka to me was, above all, a family man and Wolstenholme in the things he did as part of the family team devoted to Maia. I will treasure the times that I and I was always so grateful to him for the have been a guest at the family home for what support he provided whenever I visited Georgia. would always turn out to be a banquet and I I remember him as a devout Orthodox Christian always felt so honoured to be there. I was treated for whom religious observance was important. I very much as one of the family when there were will not forget the joy and selfless pride he felt large family gatherings at the house for dinner taking myself and others around some of the and Mamuka would be in his element as the most significant and beautiful Georgian religious toastmaster, a role he relished and one in which sites and churches and I have enduring memories he would always extol the value of family above of the splendour of the magnificent Tsminda all. Traditional toasts they were, but ones with Sameba cathedral, the wonderful and dignified deep meaning for Mamuka. It was also always a Svetitskhoveli in Mtskheta and the church of pleasure to be invited by him into the cellar under Jvari closeby. Mamuka would pass me a candle to the house and to be presented with a glass of light for my own devotion be it for the living or home produced chacha before the meal. The last the dead; when I next place a lit candle in church time I was there he was demonstrating how he made it with his own metal still. I shall miss him greatly, but he will remain very much alive in my memories of him, and these will not fade. Quite simply, he was a lovely person, a true gentleman and genuine friend. With my best wishes, Jonathan Wolstenholme


,, Barbara Jonny has already expressed our great sadness, Wolstenholme but I should like to add an abiding memory of Mamuka. When I first arrived in Tbilisi four or five years ago, I had a preconceived idea that I would see the grey Soviet architecture of my childhood visiting Poland. I was therefore delighted to see the Old Town and remarked to Mamuka how Turkish it appeared. He, being the gentleman that he was, corrected me politely, gently but with great pride…” Not Turkish, Georgian!” To this day that memory makes me smile. He took us to see the wonderful sights, including Mother of Georgia on the hillside overlooking the city and explained the significance of the sword and the cup; Mamuka was the personification of Georgian hospitality – to the stranger as well as the friend. With my love to you, Levan and Misha, Barbara Wolstenholme


Fiona Pocock ,, Memories of Mamuka My heart fills with joy when I think of happy times shared with Mamuka. He offered such warm hospitality, always, and it is with huge pleasure that I recall his generous toasts as Tamada on the number of occasions I have been fortunate enough to enjoy special meals where he has fulfilled this, his natural role. He always started by toasting family. Mamuka was without doubt a family man – proud, supportive and always behind the success of every family occasion. He exuded all the qualities of a caring, indulgent patient father and husband which were a delight to witness. We spent time together in Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Telavi, Tsinandali, Borjomi and further afield in Georgia too where he loved to share the glorious history and culture of his beloved country. I shall be forever grateful to him for opening up this country’s treasures to me – providing information but never lecturing me. In the UK, we shared visits to London, Northampton, Oxford and Blenheim Palace. Some visits were in brilliant sunshine and others took place in snow. It mattered little to Mamuka. He was always appreciative on the smallest thing. Having had Mamuka in our lives has enriched us. It is impossible to think of him without the memories bringing a smile. He brought good things to all who knew him and whilst we shall miss him hugely I look back with enormous fondness on such a wonderful life.


,, Mamuka has been my best friend in Georgia. We had a lot in common. We each have a wonderful partner and two respectful sons. We were both involved in higher education. I liked the way he smiles when he showed his kindness to me. I share many impressive moments. We met by chance in Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We had sushi together when he was in Tokyo and wine together when we met in Tbilisi. I regret that I will not see his smile in this world, but I believe we can meet again sometimes hereafter according to Japanese philosophical way of understanding destiny. Hiromasa Tanaka, Ed. D. Professor School of Humanities Meisei University

United Kingdom

,, Dear Misha and Levan Dearest Maia Paul Watkinson Your father was a wonderful man; kind, generous Thank you for your email. - in spirit and actions, warm and welcoming. I greatly enjoyed his company and will miss him Our hearts are with you and the boys. We miss enormously. looking forward to seeing Mamuka again and we understand your pain. When we visited Norwich cathedral, we stood looking at a memorial stone to the founding Maia, if I may, please ask yourself what Mamuka bishop who oversaw the building which was would want you to do. Be sad, yes, miss him, for finished in 1064. I reminded your father of the sure, but I believe that he would want you to church which he showed us on a visit to Tbilisi redouble your efforts and endeavours to build up which was built in 700, I said to him the I guess your school and university to give an opportunity that he might think the cathedral “rather modern to some of your country’s young to grow into the architecture”. We both had a good, if not slightly people they can. Do this in his memory, do this to irreverent, laugh! honour him, do this in his name, of course do this when the time is right for you, but you will find It is I who is proud to consider your father the strength. It was obvious to me that he was so amongst my friends. A rare person in today’s proud of what you all have achieved thus far, we world - a true Gentleman, I have only known must build on this. about six and they are very precious people. He of all people would want you, Misha and your mother to forge on with your school and university, what is more important than a seat of learning.


,, Mamuka The kindest of men; the warmest of men and the most gentle of men – but with a steely centre based on a profound moral compass. As his English, albeit a little halting at times, was infinitely more accomplished than my Georgian, our conversations were, nonetheless, wide ranging, detailed and rewarding. I flatter myself in thinking that we saw the world through the same eyes; the value of family, of education and of ones beliefs. His justified pride in his sons’ achievements and the sort of people that they have grown to be; we have a saying in England, “chips off the old block”; fashioned by years of love and guidance from the Master. We will greatly miss quiet evenings enjoying a glass, or two, of his wine and chewing the cud about our common interests. Paul and Carrot Watkinsons

Early Years

,,Martin ,,Woody Milne Rutter I am deeply saddened to learn of your loss. My wife This terrible news about Mamuka made me feel and I remember fondly our dinner together in Berlin devastated. I am so, so sorry. and the very kind gift of homemade wine that we received from Mamuka. Just from our short time I have indelible memories of my brief trip to Tbilisi, together I could tell that he was a bright and shining and most of them invoke your husband- the wonderful light, and it was evident that he was very proud of the dinner with him offering toasts before each course, work that you do for young people in Georgia. Please with the delicious wine that he was proud of. I will know that all of us at ASSIST our keeping you in our always treasure the day we spent together, touring thoughts and prayers and are sending our love to you Tbilisi and the old capital. He was very proud of his at this very difficult time. country. I have been looking forward to returning one day, but it won’t be the same. In sympathy, As a member of the global ASSIST family, one loss Martin diminishes us all. I know that I speak for the Directors, staff and scholars when I say that we send our deepest condolences and respect. Love to you and your family, Maia. As always, Woody Rutter

Early Years

,, Anne C. Stanley Dear Maia, Director, School & Family I was so sad to hear about the passing of your beloved husband, Mamuka. Having lost Bob Relations just one year ago, I know that the sadness that you are feeling is strong and painful and also very exhausting. You have lost your other half, the person that you shared your life with for 33 years. It is all so very disorienting. In February, I was watching President Biden make a speech to the country about the world’s losses because of the pandemic and the collective grief that we are all experiencing. As someone who has experienced so much personal grief in his own life, the President’s words gave me both strength and hope. In particular, the following words really helped me: “For those who have lost loved ones, this is what I know: They’re never truly gone. They’ll always be part of your heart. I know this, as well — and it seems unbelievable, but I promise you: The day will come when the memory of the loved one you lost will bring a smile to your lips before a tear to your eye. It will come. I promise you. My prayer for you though is that day will come sooner rather than later. And that’s when you know you’re going to be okay — you’re going to be okay.” Dear Maia, you’re going to be okay. It will take time and it will be hard, but you are strong, so much stronger than you even know. I am living proof of this. I hope that in the days ahead, you will feel Mamuka’s energy and his love all around you and this will bring you some peace. With warm regards, Anne


,, Mamuka made an indelible impression on me but his English was not as strong as that of his when I first met him in 2012. wife and sons--and of course, we Eibensteiners couldn’t speak a word of Georgian. It was so What first struck me was his consistent good difficult for him, but he never complained. He humor. Mamuka was always cheerful and so struggled mightily before giving up after an welcoming. He was proud of his country and exhausting three days and simply enjoyed the eager to show us its many beautiful sites. In no company. A lesser man would have called it quits time, Ron and I felt quite at home in Georgia. much sooner. I’ve seldom met such a solicitous and considerate host. Mamuka was very devout, and we were impressed with his dedication to his faith. But above all, my Our friendship endured past that first summer in most enduring recollection was his dedication Tbilisi. Later, as I got to know him better, other to his family. He was deeply proud of his qualities that weren’t apparent at first, emerged. accomplished wife and two sons. No sacrifice was First was his formidable energy. If a project too great to ensure their success and happiness. needed to be done, Mamuka did it. His work ethic was simply astounding. He was always humble Mamuka was truly a jewel of a man. I treasure about his accomplishments though. Never one the many happy times we spent together and am to call attention to himself, Mamuka was quite consoled by so many wonderful memories of this content to stay in the background, doing the exceptional friend. “heavy lifting” but maintaining a low profile. Laurie and Ron Eibensteiners His signature trait was his patience. Mamuka was unfailingly patient. In 2014, we managed to have a reunion in NYC with both our families. It was a veritable whirl of dinners, sightseeing activities and nights on the town. Mamuka struggled mightily to keep up with our lively conversations,

Beautiful Moments

,, Oh Maia, Maia! My family will all be thinking of you. I’ll write Dave to Misha soon. Spencer I’m heart broken. When I went to Georgia for the very first time, Mamuka was a lovely man - kind, gentle, always back in 2012, I didn’t really know much about attentive and I could always see how much he the country or its people. Within 24 hours I loved you and Misha and Levan, and how much knew everything I needed to know after meeting you all loved and respected him. I lost my father Mamuka. Mamuka was a true gentleman in every when I was five, and I’ve always felt bad because sense of the word – kind, generous, patient, a I never really knew my father as a person, as a complete family man, always smiling, helpful human being. The only consolation for Misha and and encouraging, sensitive to others, concerned Levan is that they really got to know what a great for them, a rock for everyone to rely on. He person he was, and he’ll always be a perfect role showed me nothing but kindness and support model for them. There’s a saying - ‘To live on in in every subsequent trip to Georgia. (He once the hearts of those we love is not to die’, and I congratulated me for a toast I made on my first really believe that. trip – I remember because I wrote it down in my diary since it meant so much to me). He will be Mamuka will never really be far away because missed terribly but I count myself incredibly so many people loved him. And his faith was lucky to have known him and will always incredibly strong and powerful, he really was an remember him with the greatest fondness. example for us all. All our love and best wishes You must stay strong for Misha and Levan - it will be hard, but I know you can do it. Forget Dave Spencer about work for the moment and just concentrate on yourself, on coming to terms with what’s happened. Slowly, slowly you’ll feel a little bit better, never quite like before, but you will pick yourself up, I have no doubt.

English Book Education

,, Georgians are rightly proud of their world one such meal and conversation Mamuka invited Philip famous hospitality and none more so than me to a rugby match on my day off, I could see Warwick Mamuka, as major book distributors they often that Maia didn’t think that it was perhaps the best hosted international visitors and Mamuka would idea as Mamuka wasn’t the strongest English make sure that they were treated like royalty, taken speaker in the family and the two of us would be to the best restaurants and exposed to Georgian food, music and culture and guests would leave ,,alone for most of the day, but we had connected the country with a better understanding and respect for Georgia than when they first arrived very quickly and were both looking forward to – in this sense he was the perfect patriot and the match. incapsulated all the best traits of what it means to be Georgian. Saturday came and for a variety of reasons, we were late setting off, the match was Georgia Where he stood out, what made him different versus Russia and all the tickets had been sold, and what I really loved about him, was behind there was no parking anywhere near the stadium all this, there was this sense of joy, this very and so we had to leave the car quite a distance simple childish enthusiasm for life, friends and away and the match was just about to start – we country. Underneath all this hard work and looked at each other and decided that we would proud Georgian exterior was a man who was run the distance in order to see the start of the infectiously excited about things, he enjoyed a match. Imagine the scene two middle-aged men project and an adventure but was also very happy running the last couple of kilometres, trying to with basic things, a simple meal with family or a catch the kick-off in time, with that, all pretence quick drink with friends. of host and formality was dropped, we arrived sweaty and out of breath but excited to see the So, let me share a memory, there I was a visiting first move of the game. I think in that moment speaker coming to Tbilisi for the first time and a friendship was forged and I was lucky enough as usual, treated to the legendary hospitality that to get to know a man who I will always consider English Book would shower on guests and after extraordinary and who left a mark on all those who were fortunate enough to call him a friend.

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