Farewell to Jack Budovitch

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Jack Budovitch (Photo Glenn J. Nashen)


Jack Budovitch was a proud Cote Saint-Lucer, a volunteer and leader and active in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97. Jack would often be seen selling poppies to help support charities throughout the city.

Jack was a founder of the Cote Saint-Luc Senior Men’s Club and served as its president. He was extremely devoted to the success of this organization and was instrumental in encouraging the city to eventually move the group from its old location in the CSL Shopping Centre to its current place in the Aquatic and Community Centre.

Jack passed away on September 1, 2017 at the age of 95.

Jack budovitch, CSL Senior Men’s Club founder and Past President and Councillor Glenn J. Nashen (Oct. 2009)


Anthony Housefather, Member of Parliament for Mount Royal recalled, “Jack was an incredible guy. His contributions to the Men’s Club and the City of CSL will not be forgotten. His warmth and good cheer made everyone around him feel good.”

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said, “On behalf of my wife Elaine and the entire City Council, we mourn and remember Jack as a wonderful friend of our city, who was a great volunteer always expressing positive thoughts and bringing joy to all he would meet. We will miss him dearly.”

Councillor Ruth Kovac added, “A great smile and gentlemanly manner defined my friend Jack.”

“Our deepest sympathy to the family from your comerades at Branch 97 Frederich Kisch RCL. Jack was our number one poppy person. His adoring smile won the hearts of every customer at the CSL IGA. Always a pal to everyone with boundless emery to raise funds for every good cause. His adoring fans will greatly miss this charitable celebrity,” said Councillor Allan J. Levine.

Jack was such a delightful person. He always had a smile and a positive comment. His interest and involvement in the civic life of Cote Saint-Luc was substantial. He was well respected and appreciated by the members of City Council. He will be remembered and missed.

Supporting Israel’s national EMS

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It was a great pleasure for Judy and me to attend the recent Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club Evening of Entertainment benefiting Canadian Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical services and blood bank.

The ambulance and EMS scooter that had been purchased with funds raised were on display at the CSL Aquatic and Community Centre. How exciting that an ambulance marked “Cote Saint-Luc” will be on duty in the Jewish State.

We were so pleased to participate in this extraordinary fundraising effort and play a small part in safeguarding the People of Israel. Having served in CSL EMS as well as at Urgences Santé ambulance service for so many years it was even more meaningful to take part in this important gesture in support of Israel.

Thank you to Syd Kronish, President of the CSL Men’s Club, to Michael Levine, National President of CMDA and to Sidney Benizri, Executive Director  of CMDA.

Not ruling out law on riding change criteria: Couillard

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Not ruling out law on riding change criteria: Couillard

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard spoke Friday to a full audience of the Côte St. Luc Men’s Club at that city’s Aquatic and Community Centre.

The Premier spoke and answered questions about various issues, including health care, court case delays and seniors issues. He was also asked about the planned provincial riding changes for the next election, including the elimination of the Mont Royal riding as part of a merger with the Outremont riding, and the expansion of the D’Arcy McGee riding eastward.

Local politicians and activists have argued these changes violate the Election Commission’s own guidelines that ridings’ “natural communities” should be respected. Local ethnic communities say they will be split between ridings.

A citizens committee, chaired by Suburban editor-in-chief Beryl Wajsman and former NDG-Lachine MP Marlene Jennings, has hired constitutional lawyer Julius Grey to handle the legal case. Wajsman has been spearheading the fundraising effort for the legal case having raised over $6,000 in crowd funding. He took the opportunity to inform the Premier that the legal challenge will be filed in court before the end of the month.

Couillard told the gathering that the riding issue is not restricted to Montreal, but also affects the Mauricie where two ridings are also set to merge.

“People are not very happy there — it’s not related to language, it’s related to representation [in that area] on a very large territory,” the Premier said.

Couillard explained that it was decided years ago to enable the independent, non-partisan Quebec Electoral Commission to decide on riding changes “to remove petty politics and partisanship from the issue.

“The only way for us to act on [riding changes considered to be unjust] is to change the criteria on which the commission bases itself to make decisions, and for this we need to change electoral law.

“I’m not ruling this out. We’re going to have significant discussions. I know legal recourse has been tabled by the community here on this, and people should exercise their rights. That’s something that should be done.”

Couillard said he is concerned about representation by number.

“On the island of Montreal, the issue is numbers, because you say ‘why is our vote less important, apparently at least than in other parts of Quebec with a smaller population?’”

The Premier said he is also worried about the quality of representation, in relation to the rural ridings, because of their massive size distance-wise.

“We have MNAs who have to literally drive for full days and they don’t even see the whole of their community.”

Numerous dignitaries attended Friday’s speech. Couillard was introduced by D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum and thanked by Côte St. Luc mayor Mitchell Brownstein, and other attendees included Israeli Consul-General Ziv Nevo Kulman, Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather and his chief of staff Bonnie Feigenbaum, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg, and other MNAs — including Mont Royal’s Pierre Arcand — and Côte St. Luc council members, amongst many others.

Premier Couillard charms his audience at packed Côte Saint-Luc address

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Premier Couillard charms his audience at packed Côte Saint-Luc address

by: Councillor Mike Cohen

It is pretty rare that we see the Premier of Quebec come to speak in the City of Côte Saint-Luc. But this finally did occur on May 12 as Philippe Couillard addressed a standing room only crowd at our Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue.
Credit is due to our incredible Men`s Club and of course the Member of the National Assembly, David Birnbaum, who made this happen. As event emcee and District 2 resident Sidney Margles pointed out that in his then capacity as new Quebec Liberal Party leader Couillard was slated to address this same group at the urging of Birnbaum`s predecessor, Lawrence Bergman. Something came up at the last minute and his appearance had to be cancelled. The Men’s Club has 560 members and counting.

Couillard CSL

The Premier shakes hands as he enters the room. (Photo: mikecohen.ca)

This time everything worked out just fine. The Men`s Club began distributing reserved tickets a few weeks ago. When I arrived, there was a strong police presence around the building. Couillard did get to the ACC a little late and like a born campaigner he enter the room by shaking as many hands as possible.
One thing must say about our Premier, who by profession was a former professor and neurosurgeon. He speaks both languages so beautifully. While many of us are upset with the significant budget cuts we incurred early in the Liberal mandate and their gutting of the health system, Couillard has this audience eating out of his hands from the get go. He began with some humour, alluding to the massive flooding in different parts of Quebec and the fact he decided to visit an aquatic center. He drew applause immediately when he announced “I will do this speech in English so we can all follow.” He also introduced Greg Kelley, son of Native Affairs Minister Geoff Kelley, as his new point person for Quebec’s English-speaking community. “Anglophone liaison officer,” is the exact title. I met Kelley after the talk. He’s 31 and presently bunking with his parents in Beaconsfield. He formerly worked in the office of government House Leader Jean-Marc Fournier.
Couillard drew cheers again when he previewed his upcoming trade mission to Israel. “This will be my third trip there…it is the first time a Quebec Premier has gone.” More than 100 Quebec business persons and leaders will accompany him. “Why are we doing this?” Couillard asked rhetorically. “Israel is a start-up nation and an example to follow.”

Couillard mentioned the fact that both Air Canada and Air Transat have direct flights from Montreal to Tel Aviv. He also laughed that when he is in Israel, so will controversial US President Donald Trump.
“Since elected our government is doing exactly like we said we’d do; putting our financial house in order.”

The Premier gave a ringing endorsement for federalism. “Some people are telling me that I cannot be a Quebecer and Canadian. We will stand tall for a strong Quebec within Canada.”
Couillard expressed pride about his government’s job creation program. He also pointed to the investments made at the Jewish General Hospital. “This is a hospital that serves all communities,” he said. “My (late) father was treated there in oncology. So was Mr. Parizeau”
Couillard asked, “How do we build our economy in such an unstable world?” He referred to the three pillars: advance manufacturing, exports and entrepreneurship. “You need a strong educational system to build a proper economy,” he said.

Couillard spoke very excitingly about the planned 67-kilometre, $6 billion electric-train system which will connect downtown Montreal with the South Shore, Deux-Montagnes, the West Island and Trudeau airport. “This will be the equivalent of Expo ’67 in 2017,” he said.

Rather than a straight question and answer period, Margles said that members were asked to submit queries. From the 40 or so obtained, he chose to share a few with the Premier related to assisted living for seniors, the availability of family doctors, special needs children, the sale of marijuana and the Quebec Electoral Commission’s decision to merge the Outremont and Mont Royal ridings and change the boundaries of D’Arcy McGee.

Couillard said that he turns 60 in June so he is sensitive to issues related to seniors. “We are devoting significant dollars to seniors,” he acknowledged. “We have many more doctors than we did before – hundreds of new physicians and they are staying in Quebec.”

As for access to family physicians, Couillard said that right now there are 600,000 people more who have this option compared to 2014.

Turning to the sale of marijuana, which will become legal in Canada in July 2018. “An easy thing for me to say that at first glance I think there is merit to the idea,” said Couillard. “It is now controlled by the black market. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. My biggest concern is public health. Smoking pot is probably not good for your lungs. Young people now are smoking a product that much worse than the hippy days.”

Couillard also wished to clear up a myth that the province is not going to make a lot of money on this. “If to price it too high you will send people back to the black market,” he remarked. “If you price it too low, you will increase consumption.”

Mayor Brownstein concluded proceedings by thanking the Premier for coming to Côte Saint-Luc and particularly the ACC, which the provincial government contributed one-third of the cost.

Also on hand for Couillard’s speech were provincial cabinet ministers Kathlee Weil, Pierre Arcand and Francine Charbonneau, Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg, CSL councillors Sam Goldbloom, Ruth Kovac, Allan J. Levine, Dida Berku and myself and English Montreal School Board Commissioner Bernard Praw.

CSL Men’s Club donates to Italian earthquake relief

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Kudos to the ever active members of Cote Saint-Luc’s Men’s Club. These energetic and youthful men, now numbering over 500, are busy every week with a myriad of activities, lectures, trips and more. Recently, they passed around the hat and ponied up over one thousand dollars to ease the suffering just a tiny bit for those affected by the devastating earthquake in Italy.


CSL Men’s Club Gala – A Lively Celebration

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The men range in age from their 60s to well into their 90s but you’d think they were all in their 20s the way they partied at last night’s annual gala dinner-dance at the Gelber Centre. President Sydney Kronish served as emcee along with funny-man Manny Young and chairman Joe Presser. The ballroom was packed to capacity with hundreds of members along with their spouses and significant others. The dance floor was filled to capacity and guests filled every corner of the hall in dance and merriment.

Mens Club President Sydney Kronish flanked by Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather, Member of the National Assembly David Birnbaum, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Members of Council and spouses

Men’s Club President Sydney Kronish flanked by Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather, Member of the National Assembly David Birnbaum, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Members of Council and spouses


The joy of the evening was punctuated by the very sad and sudden passing of club VP Bill Surkis. Bill was slated to be presented with the Man of the Year award for his great efforts in the organization. Having passed away suddenly just one week ago, his brother and members of the family attended to receive his award and support and encouragement from the 500 member club. Bill will be missed by his many friends in the club and by the city.

With Bernie and Cookie Band

With Bernie and Cookie Band

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein addressed the crowd and said, “We cannot change the past and cannot predict the future. So enjoy every moment in the present, in celebration and in good health.”

MP Anthony Housefather is a very familiar face to the members and needed no introduction whatsoever. In his usual good cheer he congratulated the leadership and its members for building a remarkable organization and incredible community. “I was honoured to recognize the hard work and dedication of the Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club in the House of Commons when 110 members and their partners came to Parliament Hill.”

MNA David Birnbaum’s declaration in the National Assembly on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the Men’s Club was read aloud and he announced that he is working on getting his “chef”, the premier, to come and address the group.

Men's Club members, many of whom are also from volunteer Citizens on Patrol

Men’s Club members, many of whom are also from volunteer Citizens on Patrol


Artist Phil Kurtz, a member of the organization who previously donated an oil painting depicting 150 faces from the Men’s Club and their spouses offered up another one of his works that he painted specifically for the occasion. He described the abstract oil painting as one depicting the active participation, creativity and building of community by his fellow members.

Painting presented to the Men's Club at the 2016 gala by artist and meber Phil Kurtz

Painting presented to the Men’s Club at the 2016 gala by artist and member Phil Kurtz


Certificates were handed out to all the 90 year olds, door prizes of golf foursomes were given out and special awards were presented to those members who have given much time and energy.

Former MNA Lawrence Bergman was in attendance with Vivian Konigsberg.

Kudos to President Sydney Kronish and his executive on a sensational evening and a unique and exemplary organization that is active all year long, even down south over the winter. Their Thursday breakfast speakers see upwards of 200-300 in attendance. Day trips around Montreal are generally sold out. Theatre evenings are very popular. I was amazed at seeing over 200 members when I was the guest speaker for their winter luncheon in South Florida a couple years back.

To 120, gentlemen!

At the 2016 Men's Club Gala with President Sydney Kronish and my dad, George Nashen

At the 2016 Men’s Club Gala with President Sydney Kronish and my dad, George Nashen (looking good at 93!)

Intensivist doctor Paul Warshawsky tells it like it is at JGH Mini-Med School in CSL

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Glenn J. Nashen and Dr. Paul Warshawsky at JGH Mini-Med School 2016

Glenn J. Nashen and Dr. Paul Warshawsky at JGH Mini-Med School 2016

“I’m not afraid to use the word ‘death'”, Dr. Paul Warshawsky told the audience. There’s no point of sugar coating the inevitable. We need to speak in sensitive yet clear terms, the chief of the Jewish General Hospital Intensive Care Unit told the audience at the 14th annual JGH Mini-Med School.

This year Mini-Med is presented at the Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club. This is the first time Mini-Med is delivered in the community as opposed to in the hospital.

Dr. Warshawsky was true to the slogan of the JGH Mini-Med School, in delivering Medutainment to the masses. As the founder of JGH Mini-Med School I picked up the term, a play on the words medical, educational and entertainment, as coined by my good friend and well-known pediatrician from Tiny Tots, Dr. Ben Burko.

The hour-long presentation at the Cote Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre earlier this week touched on the major aspects of the ICU: its people (doctors, nurses, orderlies, social workers, nutritionists and many technicians), the vast array of high-tech equipment and the types of patients routinely admitted to the unit.

By coincidence, the brand new, state of the art facility had just been inaugurated with a ribbon cutting ceremony a few hours before the Mini-Med lecture. With a generous bequest from the Azrielli Foundation, the unit was renamed in honour of the philanthropic family.

Dr. Warshawsky stressed the importance of having a Living Will, keeping it up to date and ensuring family is informed. We care for the most critically ill with sensitivity and compassion, Dr. Warshawsky said, with an incredible multidisciplinary team of highly skilled professionals. Family members are a very important part of the equation, he added, given that often the patient can no longer speak for themselves.

The good doctor was informative and funny which was most helpful in easing the tension with such a serious topic. The audience appreciated the talk and will be looking forward to the fifth and final lecture with endocrinologist, Dr. Tina Kader, on September 27. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door starting at 6:30PM with the lecture beginning at 8PM.

Congratulations to the Men’s Club organizers: President Sydney Kronish, 2nd VP and resident funny-man Manny Young and 1st VP and tech wizard Bill Surkis who put on an excellent event.

Put on a white coat – You’re going to Med School

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Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club presents JGH Mini-Med School. Open to all.

If you haven’t yet participated in the JGH Mini-Med School, now’s your chance to join the hundreds of “mock-tors” who have unlocked mysteries about their health, without the long hours and tiring exams of regular medical school!

The innovative, educational and entertaining JGH Mini-Med School returns to the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre this spring and summer, and the JGH and Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club are inviting Montrealers to don their lab coats once again to hear straight talk in non-technical language from some of the JGH’s most dynamic physicians and researchers.

“By making reliable health information available to Montrealers, the JGH Mini-Med School seeks to encourage people of all ages to better manage their health”, says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal. “The JGH and Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club share a commitment to reaching out to the community through public education programs.”

The 2016 series promises to be as enlightening and entertaining as ever, as participants will hear little-known facts on a variety of medical issues from the JGH’s medical professionals. Speakers include Francine Dupuis (Associate Executive Director – West Central Montreal Health), Alan Maislin (Chair of the Board of Directors- West Montreal Health), Dr. Yves Longtin (Chief, JGH Infection Prevention and Control Unit), Dr. Nathalie Johnson (JGH Divison of Hematology), Dr. Paul Warshawsky (Chief, JGH Department of Adult Critical Care) and Dr. Tina Kader (Endocrinology).

Where: Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre, 5794 Parkhaven Avenue, Côte Saint-Luc

When: Tuesdays May 31, June 28, July 26, September 13 and September 27 at 7 p.m.

Registration is now underway at jgh.ca/en/JGHMiniMedSchool or by calling 514-340-8222, local 3337.

Due to the overwhelming response of the previously sold-out Mini-Med sessions, we encourage everyone who is interested in enrolling in the program to register and provide payment as soon as possible. Space is limited.

The fee is $50 for adults and $35 for seniors (55+) or students (with valid I.D.) for all five English sessions.

Housefather lauds CSL Senior Men’s Club in Commons

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Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather lauded the work of the Côte St. Luc Senior Men’s Club in the House of Commons last week.

A large contingent of club members was on hand in Ottawa last Wednesday.

“The Côte St. Luc Senior Men’s Club is the largest senior men’s organization in Quebec,” Housefather said. “With over 520 members, it plays a huge role in the life of our community. Whether through its breakfast meetings, current events group, golf days, or bowling leagues, it keeps its members young and vibrant. They take care of each other and are a social network beyond compare.”

The MP added that the club began when the community’s World War II veterans were retiring and wanted to give back in other ways.

“Today’s members continue that tradition by participating in organizations like Volunteer Citizens on Patrol and assisting our Legion with its poppy campaign,” Housefather explained. “I was honoured to work closely with the club for many years as mayor and will continue to do so as an MP. May they go from strength to strength.”

Mural portrays 185 smiling seniors on one canvas

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Phil Kurtz, second from right, with wife Eleanor, is presented with a token of appreciation by then mayor Anthony Housefather, as Côte St. Luc Senior Men’s Club president Syd Kronish, left, looks on CHARLES EKLOVE PHOTO

Phil Kurtz, second from right, with wife Eleanor, is presented with a token of appreciation by then mayor Anthony Housefather, as Côte St. Luc Senior Men’s Club president Syd Kronish, left, looks on CHARLES EKLOVE PHOTO

Canadian Jewish  News, Nov. 19, 2015

MONTREAL – Painting one portrait can be a lengthy, painstaking process, but what about 185 – and all on the same canvas?

That’s the task Phil Kurtz undertook, and he is not a young artist looking for commissions.

He’s 84, and his intention from the start was to donate the finished work.

Kurtz, a retired chemist, did just that at the Côte St. Luc Senior Men’s Club gala, held in October at the Gelber Conference Centre.

His 7-1/2-foot-wide painting depicts 185 real people, their faces all minutely and realistically portrayed.

They, like Kurtz, are members of the club.

He never thought the project would become so ambitious, nor that he would be under the gun, so to speak, to get the painting delivered by the deadline set by club president Syd Kronish.

The club wanted a painting to be installed at the Côte St. Luc Aquatic and Community Centre, where it holds its meetings. The idea was to convey the happy times the membership – which has grown to over 500 – enjoys there.

Kurtz explained that at first he wanted to capture the membership – a significant number of whom are 90 and better – enjoying themselves with their female significant others at one of the club’s social functions.

“The original concept was to paint a dynamic arrangement of people talking and gesticulating while enjoying coffee and danish,” he explained. His proposal was to rough in a layout while wintering in Florida and, upon returning in the spring, collect photos from the members and their wives and girlfriends, and fill in the picture.

“I thought it would be a 9- to 12-month project. Our president thought it was only a one- to two-month job,” he said. “We compromised, I promising to complete the painting for the gala.”

Besides the time pressure, many more members than he expected wanted to be included. Even with a large canvas, Kurtz realized he would have to abandon the convivial scene he had had in mind and make this into a mass portraiture if he was to get everyone in.

“This included some very late submissions that I could only include as small portraits in the background,” he said.

“I worked many, many hours – an estimated 400 – to fulfil the deadline.”

Although the faces are faithful to life, Kurtz took the liberty of playing costume designer and dressing his subjects in clothing, the colour and style of which he felt would be most esthetically pleasing.

There were no complaints when the painting was unveiled at the gala and formally presented to then-Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather.

On the contrary, members were delighted as they gathered around the unveiled painting, delighted with the results. If they had trouble finding themselves, Kurtz could quickly point them out without needing to refer to any plan of the layout.

“When you spend so much time with these people, you sort of become embedded with them,” he said.

Kurtz has enjoyed art since he went to Baron Byng High School, but earning two degrees and then making a living left little time to take up a brush until his later years. He is essentially self-taught, not only in practice, but also in his study of art history and criticism.

“Lessons would be too slow,” Kurtz said.

Portraiture is not his specialty; Judaic themes often influence his work, but most of it, he said, “comes out of my head.”

He has been attending some of the classes artist Phil Goldberg gives to the club, which is entirely membership-run. Goldberg commented that he is awed by Kurtz’s talent.

The painting will hang at the top of the staircase at the aquatic centre.

In accepting the donation, Housefather said the work will be an inspiration to all who use the centre’s facilities and was especially meaningful as it was created by a local artist.

My parents, Phyllis and George Nashen, among 185 smiling seniors on canvas

My parents, Phyllis and George Nashen, among 185 smiling seniors on canvas

A message to the CSL Senior Men’s Club

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Senior Mens Club Bulletin Oct 2015

CSL Men’s Club, vibrant and energetic at any age

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Once again the Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club have pulled off an incredible event in last night’s sold-out annual gala. Celebrating the dynamism of the 500 plus members of this amazing organization is a yearly tradition.

President Syd Kronish follows in the line of dynamic and creative gentlemen that have kept this club at the forefront of seniors leisure, recreation, learning and activism for more than a generation.

This year’s honouree is Peter Sternberg. A longtime member of the club, Peter has been active in many facets of communal life for a very long time. He’s not only a good friend of my father’s, but my  own interactions with Peter stem from his participation as a volunteer Citizens on Patrol member.

Keep on going men (and ladies too) of the CSL Men’s Club. In good health and with big smiles.


Read more on Mike Cohen’s blog


Free Press | Oct. 27, 2015 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Oct. 27, 2015 | Click to enlarge

Cheering for the away team

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From left: David Kronish, Mayor Denis Codderre, Sydney Kronish

From left: David Kronish, Mayor Denis Coderre, Sydney Kronish

Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club President Sydney Kronish and his grandson David had a chance encounter with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre last night. They were seated near each other at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida to cheer on the Montreal Canadiens who faced off against the Florida Panthers.

Kronish, at the game with his grandson David, who attends Herzilya High School, spotted the mayor and posed for a photo and a chat about politics back home. Coderre is a huge Habs fan and given the enormous Quebec Snow Bird population  in South Florida there was plenty of cheering for the away team en français.

The senior Kronish proudly boasted of his Cote Saint-Luc links to which Mayor Coderre responded with an amicable nod about his fellow mayor and colleague, Anthony Housefather.

Coderre was a longtime Liberal MP who rose to the main seat of civic government as Mayor of Montreal.

Housefather, who has served for twenty years in municipal politics, is the Liberal candidate in Mount Royal riding and hopes to rise to MP in this year’s federal election.

Kronish said it was clear from the many Quebecers he spoke to at the game that they were “in love” with Denis Coderre.

South Florida is also the winter home to thousands of Cote Saint-Lucers. The recent CSL men’s Club annual luncheon in Boca Raton was packed with 250 attendees. The pools around Century Village in Deerfield Beach are packed with CSL residents and one can always bump into a neighbour from back home in the local restaurants, theatres, golf courses and beaches.

Incidentally, with a cheering assist by Sydney and David Kronish along with Mayor Coderre, the Habs beat the Panthers 3-2.

Housefather packs the house down south

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Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather addresses the CSL Men’s Club in South Florida (Photo: Sid Birns)


Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather will go to great length to connect with his constituents. That was the case this past week as the mayor traveled to South Florida to spend a few days poolside and to meet with the CSL Men’s Club during their annual winter luncheon.

Thousands of CSLers spend their winters down south and the greatest concentration can be found in the Deerfield Beach area with several hundred being residents at Century Village. CSLers can easily be spotted at shopping malls, golf courses, restaurants and shows in Hollywood, Hallandale, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, Delray and neighbouring communities right up to West Palm Beach.

Over 250 of them gathered last Wednesday, along with their wives, for the annual winter luncheon, at the posh restaurant in the Seminole Casino, to dine and meet guest speaker Mayor Housefather. The mayor spoke to the capacity crowd about the progress of the City of Cote Saint-Luc over the last nine years since demerger and plans for the future. He discussed antisemitism and the global threat of terrorism and how governments needed to balance quick action with respect for civil liberties. He also discussed human rights and the importance of protecting those rights at home and around the world.

The pivotal question during the exchange portion was asked by former club president Peter Sternberg. “What can voters do if they want to support you [Housefather] as the Liberal nominee in the next federal election while at the same time wanting to support Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his steadfast backing of Israel?” Sternberg asked. Housefather gave a reasoned and convincing response in saying that electing him to represent our constituency will lead to the utmost support for Israel, without any doubt.

Remember that Housefather was educated at Herzliah High School, has traveled to Israel several times, recently competed in the Maccabiah games there winning a staggering seven medals and speaks Hebrew very well.

The mayor was flanked by CSL leaders including club president Sydney Kronish, past president Sidney Margles, program chief Mark Kotler and CSL Men’s Club paparazzi Sid Birns and Jack Frank. My parents, Phyllis and George Nashen, were in attendance along with many of their friends including Roz Axelrod and Jack and Lil Margolis.

My father marveled at how Housefather spoke so fluidly for some 40 straight minutes, without any notes whatsoever, his usual style. “Anthony didn’t hesitate to jump among a variety of interesting topics,” George said. “He was very well received by the hometown crowd.”

I was last year’s guest speaker in Boca and was so impressed at seeing 200 CSLers show up for this luncheon. It was great fun meeting and speaking with our elder leaders and neighbours and I look forward to being invited again in the future, perhaps joining my friend Anthony Housefather at the podium.

Bravo to the Men’s Club and its leaders, to our active residents and our eager and talented Mayor Anthony Housefsather.

Cote Saint-Luc seniors living it up in South Florida

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Enjoying lots of CSL camaraderie at Men's Club luncheon in Boca Raton with George Nashen (left) and Syd Kronish (right)

Enjoying lots of CSL camaraderie at Men’s Club luncheon in Boca Raton with George Nashen (left) and Syd Kronish (right)

The Cote Saint-Luc Senior Men’s Club is active well beyond the borders of Cote Saint-Luc, or even Canada for that matter. Earlier this week I had the good fortune of meeting up with them as a guest speaker at their annual mid-winter luncheon in Boca Raton, Florida. Over 200 members and spouses packed the Bonefish Grill Restaurant in Boca Raton for a little catch up on news and events from back home, entertainment, delicious food and mingling with friends and neighbours.

Beth Zion past president Joe Presser (right) and guests enjoying the warm times down south

Beth Zion past president Joe Presser (right) and guests enjoying the warm times down south

I was asked to bring greetings on behalf of the City Council and to speak about current affairs in our city as well as at the Jewish General Hospital where I serve as Director of Public Affairs and Communications. I happily obliged updating the group on the opening just two days earlier of the new JGH Emergency Department, about the brief submitted by the JGH to the National Assembly against Bill 60 (the Charter of Quebec Values) and about the upcoming season of JGH Mini-Med School.

From Shalom Ave in CSL to Century Village in Deerfield Beach. My childhood neighbours from Cork Ave Ruth and Moe Gerstein.

From Shalom Ave in CSL to Century Village in Deerfield Beach. My childhood neighbours from Cork Ave: Ruth and Moe Gerstein.

CSLers were also pleased to learn that property tax increases had been kept in line with the rate of inflation at 0.9% and a new Emergency Notification System will be implemented this Spring. I encouraged members of the Men’s Club to consider joining CSL volunteer Citizens on Patrol, modeled after the group of the same name in the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Deerfield Beach.

Entertainer extraordinaire from Montreal to South Florida, Ian Cooney, was the "Life of the party."

Entertainer extraordinaire from Montreal to South Florida, Ian Cooney, was the “Life of the party.”

Ian Cooney is an amazing entertainer who is familiar to many Montrealers. Cooney has written hundreds of jingles you’ve heard over the years from the Schreters commercial (“Shop Schreters, you’ll save a lot of money…”) to the longtime Meldrum the Mover ad on CJAD to the Nana Musical for the JGH. He was also a member of the Shaare Zion Congregation Choir for many years. Now located in South Florida, Cooney is the one to call for all sorts of parties, large or small, for corporate and institutional jingles or for any entertainment need. He can be reached via his website or at 561-221-3508.

Men's Club funny man Manny Young

Men’s Club funny man Manny Young

I was most pleased to publicly endorse CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather’s bid to become the Liberal Party of Canada’s candidate in Mount Royal riding. While Housefather spoke last week to several hundred members of the Canadian Club at Century Village in Deerfield I was among a couple hundred more “locals” most of whom hail from Mount Royal riding which includes Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead, TMR and the Snowdon District.

The best supporters a candidate can have. Myrna and David Housefather.

The best supporters a candidate can have. Myrna and David Housefather.

The crowd was most receptive and eager to support Housefather’s candidacy and agreed with my assertion that he would be a tremendously vocal Member of Parliament. With the grim prospect of a PQ majority on the horizon we surely need a loud voice in the Canadian Parliament to support National Unity against separatism, to defend the English-speaking community in Quebec against oppressive language laws and the ridiculous language cops as well as to safeguard religious expression against Bill 60.

What residents of the riding need to do now is sign up as a member of the party so that they can attend the upcoming nomination meeting in the riding to elect Housefather as the official candidate.

Lots of interest in signing up to support Anthony Housefather

Lots of interest in signing up to support Anthony Housefather

I spoke with some of those in attendance who told me they want to support Prime Minister Harper in the next election. I respect that opinion and frankly I too am awestruck and so appreciative with his solid support of the State of Israel. To those of you who have drifted toward the conservatives I said the following:

  • At this point we are talking about supporting Anthony as the Liberal nominee. We are not voting in a general election. Given that Mount Royal has always voted Liberal since the riding was created back in the 1940s it would be strategically wise to select the best candidate for this party in this riding. Obviously you can vote for whomever you wish come the elections (although we hope that choice will be for Anthony Housefather).
  • In the long run, our system doesn’t allow us to vote for Prime Minister, just for our Member of Parliament. To that end, regardless of party (or level of government for that matter) my preference is to choose the very best candidate who will work for us locally. Once in office, our MP should fight for our local rights, serve and protect our interests, speak up on matters of local concern. Who better than Anthony to continue to fight for our rights as he has done in matters of language, national unity and so much more. In this arena I expect he will be one of the most outspoken representatives on the national scene for years to come.

I have worked side by side with Anthony for 15 years both in the municipal sphere as well as advocating for Quebec’s English-speaking community. I know he is the right representative for our community. I closed off my portion in asking everyone to join me in nominating him as our local Liberal candidate.

George Nashen (centre) and Herbert Paperman (right) kibbitz as the Men's Club luncheon wraps up

(L to R) Henry Geneile, George Nashen and Herbert Paperman kibbitz as the Men’s Club luncheon wraps up

The CSL Men’s Club is a magnificent group, ably headed by President Sidney Margles, that delivers quality programs and social interaction to keep seniors better informed, entertained and intellectually stimulated. Couple this with winters away in the warmth of the Florida sunshine and you have a winning formula for quality, healthy times for so many special Cote Saint-Lucers.

Enjoy your winter and I look forward to seeing you all safe and sound back up north real soon.

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