Previous month:
August 2012
Next month:
October 2012

September 2012

Côte Saint-Luc names library sports book section after Red Fisher

Côte Saint-Luc City Council  has formally honoured legendary hockey writer Red Fisher. During a private ceremonyon September 24,  attended by Mayor Anthony Housefather, members of city council and some senior staff,  we officially named the sports section in the non-fiction part of our Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library  after  Red. 


 This includes all the books on sports, from hockey to baseball, golf, soccer, etc. The section is quite large and comprises six shelving sections each having six rows.   Red, a long time CSL resident, was on hand to help us unveil the plaque, which sits  in the middle of the section at the top. “I have lived in Côte Saint-Luc for 56 years and I spend a lot of time at this library,” he acknowledged. “I am flattered by this honour.”


Red just recently retired from his extraordinary  58 year career covering the Montreal Canadiens,  during which time he won  three Canadian National Newspaper Awards and the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for distinguished hockey writing from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.

 Because Red is such a regular at our library, Mayor Housefather ,  Councillor Sam Goldbloom  and(responsible for the library) and Councillor Allan J. Levine (Red is his constituent)  agreed with my suggestion that we recognize him in such a way. Thanks to Director of Library Services Janine West for coordinating everything.


 Copies of Hockey Heroes and Me, a book Red wrote, is indeed part of our  sports collection.  I asked Red if he really is retired, given his recent series in The Montreal Gazette about the 1972 Canada-Russia series. He assured me that this is a one-time thing. Having just turned 86, he wants to take it easy.   That being said, he still has a computer and communicates by email.

 “Hey Red, I would love to see you start a blog,” I suggested.

 “No way Mike,” he responded. “I am retired!”

 Well if anything who deserves a break from the business, it is Red.

Honouring our volunteers brunch style; Sid Margles captures top award

In Côte Saint-Luc we have chosen to honour our many volunteers in different ways over the years. But Sunday, September 23 marked a first as we organized a Brunch Celebration at our pride and joy, the one year old Aquatic and Community Centre (ACC).  Below, Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Ruth Kovac and I share a moment.

The ACC was transformed into a small Olympic Village as the flags of many of the countries which have hosted the games were hoisted over the main stage.  Our Parks and Recreation Department coordinated this modest affair with all of the class our community has been known for. Congratulations to Director David Taveroff and his staff and in particular Councillor Kovac, who steered the ship.

As hundreds of volunteers filed in with their families, they were greeted with small gifts, refreshments and good old fashioned conversation. They were then ushered upstairs to our multi-purpose hall (already very popular for community and social functions) for a light brunch of bagels and lox, salads, vegetables and sweets.  Above, that is longtime volunteer Irving "the Real Estate Tycoon" Schok, formerly "the Leopard of Louvain."

Volunteers represent the engines that drive most of the programs in our city be it in the many facets of Parks and Recreation (individual sports, seniors, the CSL Dramatic Society), the Library, Public Safety (Emergency Medical Services and Volunteer Citizens on Patrol) and even the CSL Cats Committee.


The Edward J. Kirwin Award for the Volunteer of the Year went to District 2 resident Sidney Margles (right and below with all of council), the devoted president of the CSL Senior Men’s Club. A former Town of Mount Royal councillor, broadcaster and radio executive, Sid and his wife Merle chose CSL to settle in for their retirement years. “Retirement” is a funny word because Sid is more active than some people who work fulltime. He has brought the Men’s Club to a level we have never seen before and worked alongside council and staff as the ACC took shape.
Mayor Housefather spoke glowingly about the ACC. He listed the competitive swim team as just one example of what we should be proud of, making a bold prediction that when we reach the 2020’s there will be CSL swimmers in the Olympics.

Bravo to everyone involved with the Volunteer Brunch. That includes Douglas from Public Works and Kim from Recreation for providing the beautiful center pieces at each table (our own homegrown flowers) and Councillor Kovac for taking the dishes home to wash at her home.

Former CSL Fire Chief Sharkey passes away

James Sharkey has passed away.

"He served the City of Côte Saint-Luc for 36 1/2 years," says  Linda L. Verreault, his former secretary. "He started as a policeman in the 60's and eventually had to make a choice between the Police Department or the Fire Department.  He chose the later.  He slowly went up the ranks serving as a firemen, then Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Director and Director of the Fire Department.  He also served as Director of Public Security for a few years before his retirement.    He is remembered as a very jovial, generous boss, well organized, with strong administrative skills and dedication to his craft."

I worked closely with Sharkey during my years as the Côte Saint-Luc beat reporter for The Suburban and later as a PR consultant editing their newsletter.

Below is his obituary.


James S. Sharkey 
Miramichi, N.B. – James Samuel Sharkey, husband of Brenda Sharkey, of Air Force Crescent, Miramichi, passed away at his residence, on Thursday, September 6, 2012, following a lengthy illness, at the age of 73. 
Born in Montreal, on July 3, 1939, he was the son of the late James and Eva (Rivard) Sharkey.  He was former police officer, in Quebec and a retired firefighter, retiring with the position of Director of Public Safety for the community of Cote Saint-Luc, Quebec.  He was an active participant in most activities at the Hermitage Community Center, in Miramichi.  He attended the River of Life Church, Miramichi. 
He is survived by his wife, the former Brenda Dunlop; one step brother, Robert Zamboni (Helen), of Montreal. 
By his request there will be no visitation.  A private graveside memorial service and interment will be held at a later time, in Miramichi. 
As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Miramichi Chapter of the S.P.C.A., or any charity of the donors’ choice would be appreciated by the family.  Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Adams Funeral Home Ltd., 140 King St., Miramichi, telephone (506)773-3492, or messages of condolences may be sent online to

Congrats to the Oak Ridge Tenants Association for their picnic

I have always been fond of the people who reside in the Oak Ridge Apartment Building in District 2, located at 5795 Sir Walter Scott. This might be a rental complex, but it could easily pass for a condominium. Many of the residents have been there for years and they have an active Tenants Association, headed by Andrew Halmos. Professor Joseph Brody handled those duties before him.


Tova Lauferman is another one of the movers and shakers there and she was  the one responsible for organizing a lovely picnic for residents on September 3 at Ashkelon Gardens. That is right in the back of City Hall and of course directly next door to the Oak Ridge.

Tova and her team had pizza, cheese bagels, bourekas and a whole lot more. It was a beautiful day and over the course of the afternoon special guests like myself -- as the city councillor  for the building- as well as Mayor Anthony Housefather and D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman dropped by. See the photo above. That is Tova in the purple shirt and Andrew next to me in the green.

I know that when I have done my door to door campaigning in that building, the reponse from those who greeted me was most polite and enthusiastic.

When I left the picnic, Tova and her team were so wonderful that they put together a delicious doggybag to enjoy as a I moved on to my next destination.




Tova Lauferman
5795 Sir Walter Scott

Penguins star Kris Letang spotted in CSL

One of my constituents, Daniel Alon, has  a real eye for spotting National Hockey League players around town. Such was the case when he saw Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins outside of our very own Samuel Moskovitch Arena.

"Letang was on the ice training with another group of players," Daniel said, noting that the Pens star posed for a photo with him.

The 25 year old French Canadian defenceman made $3.5 million. Perhaps he will be back in CSL often in the next few months, as a lockout of NHL players looms on September 15.


Here is a video of Letang getting crushed last season by Max Pacioretty of the Habs.