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October 2014

Mayor Housefather honoured by Mount Sinai at Segal Centre presentation of Les Belles Soeurs

The Auxiliary of the Mount Sinai Hospital hosted a presentation of the spectacular English production of “Les Belles Soeurs” at the Segal Centre on October 22. There was a cocktail dinatoire,  followed by the show. Our Mayor, Anthony Housefather, was the evening’s honouree and a large turnout helped raise funds for the Art  and Music Therapy Programs at the Côte Saint-Luc based hospital which specializes in short term Respiratory Care, Palliative Care and Long Term Care.

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Insurance expert and triathlon star Kayla Segal and I with the mayor.

All of us on hand had a wonderful time during the social part of the evening and of course the show. Co-presidents Aline Bank and Lorraine Caplan and event chairs Grace Alter, Anne Applebaum and Rhona Backler did a great job. Mayor Housefather, who is seeking the Liberal nomination in the federal riding of Mount Royal, spoke to the gathering, expressing how fortunate we are to have an institution like Mount Sinai in our community.

Belles-Soeurs: The Musical is  based on the play penned 50 years ago by Michel Tremblay about a woman who wins one million trading stamps from her local grocery store and the subsequent stamp-licking party with friends and family. Astrid Van  Wieren is great as lead character Germaine Lauzon and the gorgeous  Élise Cormier shines as her daughter Linda.

The songs and acting are great and with the uber-talented Chris Barillaro as musical director how can they go wrong? Info: www.segalcentre.org.

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Lorraine Caplan and Aline Bank,
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Dr. Norman Wolkove and wife Lucy.
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Mayor Housefather addresses the gathering.
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Sheldon and Goldie Hershon.
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School commissioner Ellie Israel and Sid Margles.
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Air Canada's David Shapiro draws a free trip for a lucky raffle winner.
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Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and his wife Doris.
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CSL Public Works Assistant Director Beatrice Newman and husband Howard.
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Councillor Ruth Kovac and her Dustin Hoffman lookalike husband Peter.
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Geoffrey Ungar, CEO of Abe Cohen Plumbing.
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Real estate guru Michael Witt.
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Councillor Sam Goldbloom and wife Bev.
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CSL Legal genius Jonathan Shecter, Councillor Mitchell Brownstein and his wife Elaine.

 

 


CSL launches "88 Keys to Music" campaign to buy a Baby Grand

As the  Cote Saint-Luc city councillor responsible for Library and Culture, I am excited to be initiating a fundraising campaign to purchase a baby grand piano to be used for programs held in the Harold Greenspon Auditorium in the Bernard Lang Civic Centre.

There are 88 keys on a standard piano. As a result the “88 Keys to Music” campaign will enable people to sponsor a key for $88. In recognition, the names of donors will be placed on a plaque in the shape of a piano keyboard which will be permanently mounted outside the entrance to the Harold Greenspon Auditorium. In addition, the City of Cote Saint-Luc is seeking corporate sponsorships of $500 each. Corporate donors will be recognized on the plaque as well.

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I think this is a wonderful opportunity for those who appreciate all of the wonderful musical programs presented by the Eleanor London Cote Saint Luc Public Library, the Cote Saint Luc Dramatic Society and other groups in our auditorium to contribute to buy a piano to enhance these programs.

Some of the funds for this campaign have already been raised via the annual library book sale. This includes our most recent event, October 18 and 19,  in which $3,500 was raised.

Library Director Janine West is encouraging those who frequent the library and individual businesses to consider contributing. Cheques can be made out to the City of Côte Saint-Luc, c/o of the 88 keys to music campaign, 5801 Cavendish Boulevard, H4W 3CX3. They can also be dropped off at the circulation desk of the main library and the Library Express at the Aquatic and Community Centre. You can also email jwest@cotesaintluc.org. Tax receipts will be provided.

Carol's Shoe Museum
Carol's Shoe Museum.

Artist Carol Rabinovitch, who is also a Library Ambassador, has pledged 25 percent of sales from her current "Aromas on Canvas" show at Chez Fred Boulangerie and Patisserie (5338 Sherbrooke West, corner Prud'homme, near Decarie) which has been extended to November 7. Check out her blog at  carolswhimsyart.blogspot.com, where many more colourful and whimsical artworks can be found.  You can email her at carol.rabinovitch@gmail.com

 

 


Remembering former city councillor Henry Marcovitz

Côte Saint-Luc has lost another one of our builders following the passing of former city councillor Henry Marcovitz on September 6. I last saw Henry just over two weeks ago dining with family members at a popular Montreal restaurant. He was wheelchair bound, but seemed to be in good spirits and very involved in conversation around the table.

I was proud in recent years to serve as Henry’s city councillor. He and his wife of 60 years Shirley had left their long time home on Randall Avenue and bought a condominium on Rembrandt Avenue. I immediately came into regular contact with them: Shirley via email and Henry by telephone, on the street and at the grocery store. They attended my District information meetings and provided feedback on discussions I held regarding possible changes to Rembrandt Park.

Two and a half years ago, on March 12, 2012, Shirley lost a battle with cancer. I found this remarkable given the fact I ran into her often during what had clearly been a horrible period in her life and she never brought it up or sought sympathy. Henry was naturally devastated and told me how lost he felt. His family, though, stepped in and provided extraordinary support. I remember standing at the front door of our Aquatic and Community Centre when it opened for the first time three years ago. My late father Larry, who went way back with Henry, was standing with me. In walked Henry with his daughter. He wanted to be there and see for himself our state of the art facility.

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Henry Marcovitz (back row second to the left), shown in this 1983 photo with the mayor and members of council.

I covered Côte Saint-Luc City Hall in the 1980s for The Suburban and as such conducted many interviews with Henry. He was a stickler for financial issues and spoke out loudly against any expenditures he thought were out of line. This was the time of the construction of our present-day City Hall and Library Complex and he had many opinions on the project. Henry served on council for 20 years and among the committees he chaired was Town Planning.

At his funeral we learned that Henry had been accepted to McGill Medical School at a time when not too many Jews were admitted. However, it was at the same time as World War II and he felt compelled to fight for his country and enlisted in the Canadian Army. After suffering twice from pneumonia  he received an honourary discharge, returned to school and graduated with his Bachelor of Commerce Degree. He went on to become a successful businessman. One day Shirley, a bookkeeper, appeared in Henry’s office and he was immediately smitten. He asked her to join him at a concert and 10 days later they were engaged.

Henry’s granddaughter Gillian and son Alan spoke at the funeral. We heard about what a healthy life he kept, staying in shape by water skiing and doing downhill, as well as golf. He even continued to exercise when he was in a wheelchair.

“Dad was proud of the exemplary way the city was run,” said Alan.

Added Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz: “Henry was Mensch, a gentleman and a role model. He never took a pill. Occasionally he would indulge himself with half a Tylenol. Even a few weeks ago he went to the library for a lecture by Dr. Joe Schwarcz. He could fix his own car, his own house and do his own taxes. Above all, he was a man of integrity, kindness and generosity.”

Our sympathies are extended to  his family.

I will be recommending an appropriate way for the city to honour Henry’s memory.


Newly arrived Israeli Consul General given welcome to Côte Saint-Luc

It has only been two weeks since Ziv Nevo Kulman arrived in Montreal as Israel’s Consul General for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces and he has already discovered what a special place Côte Saint-Luc is. He spent Yom Kippur at the home of a noted resident of our community, attending services at a few local shuls. On Monday, October 6 I invited him to City Hall to meet with Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of council.

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The Consul General, attired in his new CSL cap, with the mayor and members of council.

The Consul General's predecessor, Joel Lion, actually rented a home in Côte Saint-Luc for three years. He and his wife have eight children, so that about explains it. Nevo Kulman does not have a family here with him and will reside near the Consulate in Westmount. "I feel among family here," he told us. "Although I will not be living in Côte Saint-Luc, you can be sure I will be coming here a lot."

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The Consul General makes a point.

About 70 percent of Côte Saint-Luc's population of 33,000 is Jewish. We have a tremendous Israeli spirit (not to mention many native Israelis). On Yom Ha'atzmaut we fly Israeli flags along Cavendish Boulevard. Our sister city in Israel is Ashkelon, the site of shellings from Hamas in the recent war. We initiated a fundraising campaign to assist them. Last summer our mayor won seven medals at the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv.

The Consul General has chosen a truly unique way of introducing himself to the community via this slick YouTube video.

 

 

Watch the video. It is a fabulous introduction of the man.

I provided the Consul General with a brief tour of our public library and he was thoroughly impressed.

 

 


The Quartier--new housing development and green space takes shape

There is no official name for the housing development on the land which previously housed about 40 percent of the Cavendish Mall. Perhaps we can simply refer to it for now as "The Quartier," since the shopping centre is now officially known as Quartier Cavendish. The developers called it Centrepoint, a name that might stick as well.

 

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Work continues on Jubilee Avenue home.

The new  homes on  Kildare Road, Cavendish, Park Place and Jubilee are all part of District 2 while those on the extended version of Kellert fall under Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's District 6. It has been gratifying to watch this development take shape and I take my hats off to our Urban Development team headed by Charles Senekal for seeing all the work through. It is not yet complete. The  land on The Avenue - the main road leading into the project - facing Yeh! Yogurt is zoned for a  future condo building with mixed use on the ground floor,  and I expect that we will see something occur there in the not too distant future. It is in the hands of developer Joe Levine.

There are presently two future park spaces in the development: at Cavendish and Kildare and Park Place and Kildare. Ruth Kovac Park, situated behind Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation stands to be revamped.

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The future site of a new park on Cavendish and Kildare.

 

Last summer we levelled the land,  brought in new topsoil and then had the spaces seeded. A small park at Cavendish and Kildare could materialize as early as next summer. The other will be done within the next five years.

We are hoping that while the highrise remains simply a future project, that the land will be grassed by the developer.

 

 

 

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The newly grassed area on The Avenue.