The City of Côte Saint-Luc will inaugurate Henry Marcovitz Playground at McDowell Park on Sunday, June 28 at 11 am, in honour of the former city councillor who passed away last October.
McDowell Park is located on Randall Ave., south of Fleet Rd. A new sign will be unveiled at the Randall Ave. entrance to the park.
“I first got to know Henry Marcovitz on the demerger campaign in 2004 when he joined with me and other former Côte Saint-Luc elected officials to promote the reconstitution of our city,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “He was already quite advanced in years but he had enormous energy and impressed me with his intellect and dedication to the cause.”
Marcovitz moved to Randall Ave. starting in 1955. He became involved in local politics when he worked on the mayoral campaign of Samuel Moscovitch in 1964. He was first elected to city council in 1970, serving for 20 consecutive years. He represented District 3 when the district system was set up in 1982.
Marcovitz was chair of the town planning committee and a member of the finance and audit committee during the mid-1980s. This included the period when Côte Saint-Luc built its new library and city hall. He fought against condo conversions, forcing landlords to carry out improvements required under city bylaws.
“He was my city councillor while growing up in Côte Saint-Luc and was always available and welcoming treating my concerns with respect and importance,” Councillor Mitchell Brownstein said. “I was always proud to say I knew him as a friend to all he served.”
Marcovitz’s contributions were lauded by his peers. When he left office in 1990 after six terms, then-Mayor Bernard Lang called him a “level-headed” and “effective” councillor and that “he added a great deal of serenity to negotiations.” Then-Councillor Isadore Goldberg called him “one of the deans” of council.”Councillor Glenn J. Nashen said Markovitz had been very committed and served as an inspiration for new leaders.
“It was great having him as part of the council for two decades and his name and way of thinking continues to be mentioned a half century later,” Councillor Nashen said.
Marcovitz had been accepted to McGill medical school, but rather than complete his medical training, he felt compelled to enlist with the Canadian Army to fight in the Second World War. He later returned to school and graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree. He went on to become a successful businessman. He met his future wife, Shirley, who was the love of his life for 59 happy years. When she passed away a few years ago, he asked that the tombstone be engraved with the unusual but heartfelt words, “a beautiful marriage.”
He lived a healthy lifestyle and stayed in shape by water skiing, downhill skiing, and playing squash and golf. He even continued to exercise when he was in a wheelchair and attended lectures at the library into his last year.
“Henry was a Mensch, a gentleman and a role model,” said Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz at Marcovitz’s funeral last year. “He could fix his own car, repair his own house and do his own taxes. Above all, he was a man of integrity, kindness and generosity.”
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Read Mike Cohen’s report on the event.