Special Events

Annual CSL Golf Open attracts former Habs coach Jean Perron

Councillor Sam Goldbloom and I were honoured to once again serve as the co-chairs of the 33rd annual Côte Saint-Luc Seniors Golf Open at Meadowbrook Golf Course on  July 10. The weather was absolutely perfect and I got to play in a foursome with Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, Lieutenant Jean-Pierre Théoret and Jean Perron, the former Stanley Cup winning head coach of the  Montreal Canadiens. See photo below.


Full disclosure: I only golf once a year and it is at this event. It is simply an awful lot of fun! Director of Parks and Recreation David Taveroff and his staff, notably Alvin Fishman and Harold Cammy, do an outstanding job putting all of the right pieces in place. Meadowbrook is a beautiful course and represents greenspace our community truly cherishes. I have been associated with this golf outing for more than 25 years, dating back to when  I was just the emcee for the awards luncheon. Not once has it been cancelled due to inclement weather. I guess we are just lucky. Sam Goldbloom and I have already discussed expanding the event next year, making it open to all Côte Saint-Lucers who wish to take part.

Jean Perron, by the way, is one terrific golfer and an all-round nice guy. In the past year I worked with Jean via the Quebec Arthritis Society and had him visit some public schools. He, of course, coached the 1986 Stanley Cup winning Habs and still remains  a much sought after pundit. During the NHL season he appears on more than half a dozen radio stations a day, providing hockey analysis. It was therefore a real privilege to spend three hours on the course with him and getting his take on the latest moves regarding the Canadiens. As for Bissonnette and Théoret, these are two other fine gentlemen whom we are lucky to have taking care of our city.

All golfers received a complimentary bag courtesy of Century 21 and Irving Schok. Inside the bag was a bottle of water, three golf balls, a bag of tees  and a mini-size shaving cream.

After the golf was over we headed to the Aquatic and Community Centre (ACC) on Parkhaven Avenue for the awards luncheon, featuring party sandwiches from the Snowdon Deli. This marked the first time we have done so at the ACC as the banquet was previously held at the old seniors headquarters at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre.

Perron Raffi

Côte Saint-Luc's very own Raffi Zeira (pictured with Perron)  provided entertainment in the form of "Raffi's Accordion." The Israeli-born technology wizard is a fabulous accordion player. He has performed at our Canada Day celebrations two years in a row. Hats off to Harold Cammy for inviting him to the luncheon, where the music added a certain ambiance. This was particularly the case as winners came to the front of the room to accept their trophies.

Thanking PerronMaislikn

Another one of our community's pride and joy, Alan Maislin joined Jean Perron as a guest speaker at the luncheon.  Alan is the president of the board of the CSSS Cavendish and a well established business leader and sportsman. He and Perron are close friends and it is because of Alan that the former Habs coach agreed to guide the Israeli National Hockey team. Alan shared some background about the CSSS and the Israeli team with the audience and then introduced Perron, who talked hockey and answered a number of questions. Having a celebrity guest like this was indeed a real plus.  Mayor Anthony Housefather joined Sam and I (above)  in presenting special plaques  to Perron and Maislin.

Fishman, stepped into the event coordinator's role following the retirement of Loretta Anisef, and also oversaw the process of obtaining a slew of amazing doorprizes. This included everything from golf clubs, brief cases, carpets, restaurant meals, drycleaning and certificates for jewelry.

Councillors Allan J. Levine and Mitchell Brownstein joined Goldbloom and I on the course.  Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac were on hand for the luncheon. On the subject of Nashen, a speedy recovery to his dad George who fell ill before the event and was unable to join us,. The ageless George promises to be back on the links next year.  You can see a video of the speeches and award presentations below:


Trophies were presented in the following categories:

Closest to the Pin, 16th  Hole, Female Winner: Judy Weber

Closest to the  Pin, 16th Hole,  Male Winner: Beryl Peletz

Female Runner Up Winner: Helen Zafran

Male Runner Up Winner: Harry Retter

Longest Drive, 17th Hole, Female Winner: Judy Weber

Longest Drive, 17th Hole, Male Winner: Gerry Schectman

Female Runner Up Winner: Helen  Zafran

Male Runner Up Winner: Johnny Elias

Honourable mention for the day goes to Lee Gold, who sunk an eagle on one of the holes.

A final thank you to Michael Johnson and his Meadowbrook staff and our wonderful volunteers.












Canada Day 2012/Gary Carter Dedication just outstanding in Côte Saint-Luc

Thousands of people turned out at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park on July 1 for Canada Day festivities in Côte Saint-Luc.  This is indeed one of our marquee events . A huge congratulations to Director of Parks and Recreation David Taveroff and his staff, notably our new Manager of Leisure and Community Services Danka Janosz. She worked hand in hand with event co-chairs, Councillors Dida Berku and Steven Erdelyi, in producing a first class event.

Mike ElvisSylvainJordy
Director of Public Safety Jordy Reichson, Johnny "Elvis" Champagne, myself and Police Station 9 Chief Sylvain Bissonnette.

The evening featured fireworks, inflatable games, live music, and much more, including the dedication of Gary Carter Field. I was particularly proud of the latter iniative. As the city councillor responsible for naming opportunities, I approached Mayor Anthony Housefather immediately after Carter's death last winter from cancer and suggested we name one of our baseball fields after him.


Warren Cromartie, one of Carter's former teammates and best friends when he was with the Montreal Expos, came to the park as part of the Montreal Baseball Project. He gave a baseball clinic and then signed hundreds of autographs. Cromartie was accompanied by Johnny Elias, founder of the Grand Slam Baseball School. See my video interview with the Cro.


 It was at this school where Carter, Cromartie and many others came to our community and taught kids how to hit, catch and field. We will be talking to Cromartie about possibly launching a baseball school in CSL next summer.  Below, I am with Elias and Cromartie.


 The ceremony itself was very emotional. Our Director of Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine did an outstanding job interviewing former Expos about Carter and embedding Annakin Slayd's Carter tribute video into one big presentation we showed on the big screen. Slayd was with us as well.

A Canadian citizenship ceremony (see photo below) took place at 5 pm. and Canada Day cupcakes, sponsored by Scotiabank, were served at 7 pm. 


There was live music from Airport 77, Vintage Wine, Raffi’s Accordion, and a live theatre performance from the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society. They performed scenes from Moulin Rouge and Grease. 


Children’s activities include the children’s train, a roaming magician, airbrush tattoos, arts and crafts, Baratanga,  free pedal boat rides on Centennial Lake, a model airplane show and  remote control boats, face painting and  tattoos


“Our Canada Day event brings out our entire community and even those from neighbouring communities, who are more than welcome to come,” said Councillor Berku.

The Carter event was streamed live on the internet. "This was the first time we  streamed an event,” Councillor Erdelyi said. “We know there are Gary Carter fans across North America and we wanted to give people beyond our borders—whether on the West Island, Long Island, or the west coast—a front row seat.”  

DanLaxer1Of course, the most anticipated moment of the night came with our fireworks presentation. That was preceded by the national anthem, sung by CSL's Alexandra Cohen, the 2012 Triple Threat Award Winner at the Showchoir Canada National Glee Competition in Toronto.The master of ceremonies was Dan Laxer (pictured here) from News Talk Radio CJAD.

Event sponsors included Heritage Canada, Bureau En Gros, Qualitifruits, Domino’s Pizza, The Suburban, Maac.ca, Quartier Cavendish, RBC, Scotiabank, and Now.


Here is the Gary Carter ceremony:




Ranee Lee gives blood donor clinic a boost

Canadian jazz vocalist Ranee Lee  met donors at the annual Côte Saint-Luc blood donor clinic, which took place on  April 27 at the municipal Gymnasium. 

Only three percent of Quebecers who are eligible to donate blood actually give this gift of life. That number is too low, especially as the need in hospitals is so great. There were 89 donors this year, not a bad figure considering the fact the gym is in the middle of a construction zone (for our new $18 million Aquatic and Community Centre) and on this day the Canadiens were facing the Boston Bruins in game seven of their opening playoff round.

BloodDonorReneeLee2 I want to thank Ranee Lee (at the right with myself and a blood donor)  for accepting my invitation, event coordinators Regine Banon and Darryl Levine, the staff of the Parks and Recreation Department and all of the volunteers.  Everyone on hand was thrilled to meet the charming local jazz legend.  Lee won a Juno Award in 2010 for her album Ranee Lee Lives Upstairs. We hope to possibly have her perform at a Côte Saint-Luc event in the future.

For more information about giving blood go to the  Hema Quebec website.  

A "small world" story: The Zygielbaum connection from California

Stanley Diamond, the charismatic founder of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, contacted me with this very interesting story. I will share with you what he wrote.

My daughter Jessika Diamond is moving from Alameda, California to Toronto next week.
After 12 years in the Bay Area, Jessika is divesting of anything she does not want to ship, store, mail or bring in her car (she is driving cross-country in January).  Her goal is to throw nothing out – everything is going to charity, recycling, to friends, or out on Freecycle, a mailing list where people post what they are giving away, or what they need.
This week, she posted an offer of dozens of file & hanging folders.

A number of people expressed interest, including a young woman at a nearby non-profit.  Since Jessika is partial to non-profit groups (as an event manager, her specialty is large-scale galas & fundraising events for charities), she chose this young lady to receive them.
As she was replying, Jessika noticed the young woman's name is Zygielbaum, the same name on the sign in the park across the street from our house on Edgemore (Arthur Zygielbaum)  in Cote Saint-Luc where she grew up.  Her comment to Beth Zygielbaum was “and for a random moment… you have the same last name as the WWII resistance fighter for whom the park across the street from my parents’ place in Montreal is named!”DiamondZygielbaum_IMG_2577 
Beth’s reply was “not random at all to me, he was my great grandfather!! His son, my grandpa was also heavily involved in the resistance in Poland as a leader of a militia living in the forest near Warsaw.  I visited the park with my family as a small child but haven’t been back since then.”

When her family – including the next generation, the 15-month-old great, great-grandson - came to pick up the folders, Jessika took a picture with them.

Go figure, Jessika, daughter of a Dutch Holocaust survivor, growing up spitting distance from this park named for Zygielbaum, meeting the great-granddaughter of that man, in a small city in California, where they both reside.

Pictured: Jessika Diamond (left) and Beth Zygielbaum.

Canada Day is special in CSL

Nobody does Canada Day better than Côte Saint-Luc. From the time I was young child, growing up in the community I have always called home, the July 1 celebrations were a major highlight for me. There was a time when all of the action in the city was centered around Kirwan Park, sandwiched between Wentworth and Blossom avenues.  I lived right next door. With the construction of the much larger Centennial Park, eventually renamed after Pierre Elliott Trudeau, all activities switched over there.

Canada Day2010 When Mother Nature cooperates, as she did this year, there is no better place to be. It gave me great pride as a city councillor to be at Trudeau Park for our action-packed evening. Proceedings began witha Canadian Citizenship Ceremony, presided over by Judge Marcel Tremblay. The former Montreal city councillor was just appointed to the position last week. He swore in 32 new Canadians from 11 different countries. Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, an immigration lawyer, brought this type of ceremony to our Canada Day festivities a few years ago. It is a perfect fit.

Next was the annual Human Rights Walkway ceremony. The Human Rights Walkway was inaugurated in 2000 and is dedicated to men and women who, through their actions, have promoted and defended human rights. This year we honoured those who spoke out and fought for Jews oppressed in the former Soviet Union, Syria, and Ethiopia. Fellow councillor Glenn J. Nashen (seen unveiling the plaque with me below) co-chaired this initiative with me. We were both very involved in these movements in the late 1980s via Canadian Jewish Congress. I worked at as national director of communications while Glenn was a volunteer and co-chaired the Jews in Arab Lands Committee.   It was nostalgic to have lawyer Stan Cytrynbaum with us at the ceremony. Stan chaired the Ethiopian Jewry Committee and put his heart and soul into the movement.

HR Walkway2010

Go to the Côte Saint-Luc website to see a terrific documentary prepared by our Director of Public  Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine. In addition, Darryl posted highlights from the actual ceremony, which you can see here.

This was the 10th plaque unveiled on the walkway.  Many of the past honourees have been people who put their lives on the line in many parts of the world. By selecting a movement of people—many of them local—we wanted to highlight the fact anyone, anywhere can help those in need, even from the safety and comfort of our suburban homes in Canada. Professor  Irwin Cotler, Stan Cytrynbaum, and Judy Feld Carr—an unassuming former music teacher and grandmother of 10 who was responsible for the rescue of 3,228 Jews from Syria over 28 years—are three examples of a movement that helped rescue hundreds of thousands of people.”

Here is a video of the ceremony, via CSL TV:

As for the overall Canada Day ceremony, there were thousands of people at the park to enjoy  fun and games, music and performances. There were a variety of food kiosks setup and of course, everything culminated with a spectacular fireworks display –perhaps one of the best we have seen in years.  I must say there is nothing quite like standing on the stage with the mayor and city council and looking out into the audience and a sea of people. Mayor Anthony Housefather was correct when he told those with us that night who do not live in Côte Saint-Luc to consider moving here. We are a vibrant community, one that will soon have a $17 million aquatic complex and a new housing development at the Cavendish Mall.

Thanks to Dan Laxer of CJAD Radio who was back as our master of ceremonies.  Congratulations to co-chairs Mitchell Brownstein and Ruth Kovac and our staff at the Parks and Recreation Department.