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All salaam Sir Nobles, Lady Nobles and Sultanas                                            December 2020 


I want to wish each of you a Blessed Christmas and hopefully a Happy and Healthy 2021.  This has been one of the most stressful years for each and every one of us, however, as the holiday season approaches, we still have much to be thankful for, especially the successful vaccines coming soon to combat the COVID-19 virus that has been with us most of the year. Let’s all hope and pray that we will soon be able to return to our normal lives again……

Mike Caligiuri, Grand Commander.

Many years ago while the St. Francis Hall was still functioning as the Gym for the Academy of the Little Flowers a handful of good Catholic men; most of whom were Knights of Columbus members; banded together and petitioned the Order of Alhambra to form a caravan. The Order accepted the petition and awarded the caravan the name and number of Ben Ziri Caravan #218. Ben Ziri was a small caravan much in the same way as the gym was a small adjunct to the academy. Over the years we grew in numbers and started holding social get together in our member’s homes. The gym had been turned into the McKeon Hall and was being used as the meeting place for parish functions by the Mission San Luis Rey Parish. Ben Ziri continued to grow in size and vitality until we became one of the most vibrant and active caravans on the west coast. By this time the McKeon Center had become the site where masses were being held for the parish. It had essentially become the parish church and was the most important site in the parish much as Ben Ziri had essentially become one of the most important caravans in Region Eight. Once the Serra Center was built the McKeon center reverted to its old function as a meeting place for the parish and was renamed the St. Francis Hall. In much the same way we in Ben Ziri Caravan have aged and diminished. We have lost much of our old vitality although at this time we are still a functioning, dynamic caravan and the lone caravan representing the Order of Alhambra in Region Eight. Now the St. Francis Hall is being renovated and the parish has big plans for its use as a beautiful meeting site for various functions. If we in Ben Ziri are to continue following the example of paralleling the history of this hall, we are going to have to make a concerted effort to get new blood into the caravan. Please try your best to recruit your friends and families so that we also can have a bright and shining future filled with new ideas and big plans. Think about asking everybody you know who you think would be a good member to join us in helping those who cannot help themselves.   Tony A.


Recently Ben Ziri received a donation of $500.00 from Diane Henry in memory of her mother Grace Henry. The money was to be used for the scholarship endowment at SDSU. Supreme also sent us a check for $600.00 to be used for the charity of our choice. This amount of money was determined by the amount of members we have on our rolls. Since the only charity we are supporting at the present time is awarding scholarships to SDSU Special Education students it was decided to donate the $600.00 to this cause.

I received an e-mail arranging a phone call between me; as the Scholarship Committee Chairman; and Dr. Chung, who is the Dean of Education at SDSU. He asked me to convey his thanks and gratitude to all members of Ben Ziri Caravan for these latest donations and for all the donations we have given since the beginning of the program in 1989. Ben Ziri Caravan has given 94 scholarships in honor of our deceased members. There is currently $28,958.00 in the endowment fund. This is a wonderful legacy for our departed members and for all of our current and future members.

On behalf of SDSU Dean Chung wanted me to make sure that all of our members know how much SDSU appreciates our program of giving scholarships to deserving students that are training to teach the mentally handicapped.

I thanked him for acknowledging our efforts and promised to pass the word on to our members as I am doing in this newsletter. We should all be proud. We have made a difference in the lives of so many teachers and in the lives of God’s special children whom they teach.

Tony A.

All Caravan Functions will be Postponed until the Coronavirus Pandemic has passed. Be Safe and God Bless.

 Region Eight Raffle:

 Nov Drawing $100 Debbie Bracamontey (Friend of Chris and Joyce Braun,

                       $50 Jennifer Tye (Granddaughter of Vince and Cathy Braun).

The Raffle drawing will take place at the Ben Ziri Meeting each month. Please join us.

Tickets are still available!!

Contact Info: We are adding additional contact info in our database to help us keep in contact in case of changes we are not aware of. Please forward your alternate contact info to my email: taberbc@gmail.comor the address below:

1826 Via Monserate

 Fallbrook, Ca. 92028


Website……. I encourage everyone who has access to the internet to visit the site periodically. You can view the latest Blog, Photo Gallery, The Fez Sez, Event Calendar, Meeting Minutes, Membership Applications, Scholarship Application, Caravan By Laws and Make a Donation at

The Fez Sez:…..If anyone is not receiving the Fez Sez via email and would like to, please contact me and I will make sure it happens.

The Fez Sez:…..If anyone would like contribute to The Fez Sez please forward it to me for publishing.


Thursday, December 17th    …….  Monthly Ben Ziri Meeting

Cancelled due to Coronavirus !


December Birthdays:

  1…… Kevin Nilles                            6…… Marta Werner           15…… Charles Ayash                     

18…… Fe Aspema Castro          19…… Fran Santos              20…... Manuel Ybarra

26……. Theodore Napolitano     27…… Ed Ehrhart

December Anniversaries:

31……  Dennis and Charlene Duren

Sickness and Distress:

Please keep in your prayers all our members, families and loved ones, and especially;

Violet Mosqueda, John Pacheco, John Brown, Lucy Carroll, Mary Cloud. Joy De Maggio. Tom Baxter’s sister Elizabeth, Tom Baxter. The Andreas family member Shane Romick.  Lupe Marez, Juliana Renfro, Bob Santos, Fran Santos, Dorothy Van Tassel, Ken Owen, Juliana Taber, Don and Janet Getty , Eric Gilliland son of Stan and Marilyn Gilliland, Fr Michael Dallmeier, Carol Kostick, Chuck and Joanie Ayash, Ted Napolitano and Fran Samhammer.

Michael Caligiuri,  Grand Commander                         

Phone #   760 940-9546


Ben Ziri Caravan 218
Copyright © 2012-2020 All Rights Reserved




Happy Thanksgiving

     – From the desk of Denise Blakely, Executive Secretary


Dear Alhambra Members,
I would like to wish you, your caravan and your family, a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.  As this year has been a difficult year to many, we should take time to reflect on all that is going on in our life, the good and the bad, and let us be thankful that we have a God who will never change and who will never leave us or forsake us. We are to use our difficult times in our life to grow closer to God, as he uses these times to get our attention and he will teach us to put our trust and faith in Him.  It is in the tough times in our life, that we will find Jesus!  While being thankful for our family and friends, let us also be thankful that we have good times in our life and that God has used us to serve him by serving others.  As members assisting the intellectually disabled, we have been touched by the lives of the ones we serve, and we are blessed by the God who has given us the gift to serve. 
I am thankful to all the members of the Order for your hard work, dedication and friendship through the years and I am thankful to God that he has given us 116 years of service and will allow us another 116 years and more.

God bless, stay well and Happy Thanksgiving,

Denise Blakely,
Executive Secretary,
Order of the Alhambra