|An extraordinary Maisons Fleuries Awards ceremony includes touching honour for the Van Egmonds
By Councillor Mike Cohen
When my city council colleague Sidney Benizri and I were asked to co-chair the 2016 Maisons Fleuries Contest, we agreed to do something different. I suggested Sidney, Parks and Recreation Associate Director Cornelia Ziga, event coordinator Laura Trihas, devoted committee member Louise Ferland and the dean of city employees Harold Cammy that we introduce a Lifetime Achievement Award. We brought the idea to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and city council and it was approved.
Maisons Fleuries recognizes the superb floral arrangements at homes, condominiums, apartments and business complexes. Judging is done during the summer and every November we hold a ceremony at our Aquatic and Community Centre.
So who would win our first Maisons Fleuries Lifetime Achievement Award? Dirk Van Egmond was the logical choice. Dirk, who just turned 92, has devoted his life to flowers and plants. He accepted the honour and it was heartwarming to see him at our event, surrounded by his children, their spouses and hi grandchildren. His wife Teuna (Toos) passed away in 2010.
The Van Egmond family own Edgewood Florist, which they operated on Hudson Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc for 56 years. Although the business relocated to Montreal West in 2012 when the land was sold for development, Dirk continues to be a resident of Côte Saint-Luc. Edgewood and the Van Egmond family have been part of the Côte Saint-Luc landscape for more years than most residents of this city. They have played an important role in the lives of thousands over the decades, making milestone events all the more special with their beautiful floral arrangements.
First,a word of thanks to our judges: Sam and Louise Pinsky; Joan and Bernie King; Cookie and Bernie Band; Mark and Tina Bessner; Joe Segal’ Paula and Avie Shuster; Marty Labow; Ellie Pomerants; Mona Aronovitch; Roz Kasner ; and Sandra Segal.
Single family and semi-detached residences were judged by political districts. Duplex, Townhouse, Institutions, Senior Residences, Commercial Buildings and Highrises were judged overall within the city. We also thank CMS Entrepreneurs Inc. for their sponsorship , George Deligeorge for the wonderful painting he created for this event and Susan Levy and her Painting Acrylics Art Class for their wonderful display.
A tip of the hat to our always reliable and talented photographer Rami Negev and to Public Affairs chief Darryl Levine, who put together an excellent video montage of our winners. I was pleased to see a number of winners from District 2. Park Place, still a relatively new street, had some winners. This included Ralph and Carole Rimokh. We presented are top finishers with certificates and plaques. Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather and Liberal Member of the National Assembly for D’Arcy McGee David Birnbaum joined us. Anthony presented Dirk with a special certificate and a Canadian flag; David read and presented a letter written by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. Mayor Brownstein and Councillor Allan J. Levine delivered remarks. Allan has been Dirk’s city councillor for 30 years.
Dirk was visibly moved as he came to the front of the room to accept our gifts and plaudits. Speaking on his behalf was daughter Corinne.
The surprises were not over yet as Harold Cammy and Maurizio Giobbi wheeled in a beautiful cake, decorated like a giant flower.The ceremony happened to be held on the eve of Dirk’s 92nd birthday so everyone in the room sang together.
Bravo to everyone!
CSL celebrates with extraordinary florists
November 18, 2016