Wednesday Night #700 by Sam Totah

Written by  //  August 2, 1995  //  People Meta, Reports, Sam Totah, Special Wednesdays  //  No comments

Soirée of Wednesday –August 2, 1995
the 700th of these consecutive soirées

The special guest for the occasion was His Honor the Mayor of Montreal, Monsieur Pierre Bourque. (Photo)
Before I give a short account of the evening, I would like to write a few words on Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson, Diana and David as known to their friends and guests.

Monsieur Le Maire: Pierre Bourque
What can one talk about when the Mayor of the most important city in the Province of Québec, is present? Of course, one talks and talks and talks about Montreal and the joy of living here and of course the problems associated with any big city…and the special problems associated with ‘Montreal’ . While all Montrealers cannot be Westmounters, all Westmounters are of necessity Montrealers!
The guests talked about Montreal and the greater Montreal –i.e. the surrounding neighborhood. The Mayor was not on the stand –in fact he shared many of the concerns expressed by the citizens –be they Montrealers, or Westmounters, or from other neighboring parts of the Greater Metropolitan Montreal. Of course no-one could claim more knowledge of the city than the Mayor himself, having been a city employee for some 30 years before he retired. A politician termed the stand taken by the mayor vis-à-vis the city administration and work/labor force “courageous”.
Many people shared their joys of living or residing in Montreal –whatever the case might be. For many guests Montreal is their pied à terre and they continuously travel around the globe to come back and renew their energy.
The love of the Mountain comes first. Then comes the safety of the streets, despite the fact that Montreal is divided like a cartel among combating gangs! Problems we have. Equally, we share the joy of many events specially during summer: the Jazz festival, the beer festival, the ethnic festival, the movie festival…and on and on. Montrealers do attend if the event is called “festival” — otherwise they go to and sit in the multitude of cafés along St. Denis, St. Lawrence, Crescent and, most recently, Sherbrooke Street West. In fact Montreal could boost itself as the only city in the globe where the number of cafés would soon equal the number of lawyers per capita !
Back to the Mayor and the soirée
The host, David Nicholson, expressed in very eloquent terms his appreciation to Mr. Pierre Bourque and the fact that the Mayor of Montreal had chosen such an important anniversary as the occasion of his first Wednesday Night. Mayor of Westmount, Peter Trent gave a warm and charming introduction of Mayor Bourque.
Guests around the table included an international investment advisor, a prominent professor and labor lawyer, the English community spokesperson in City Hall, the Mayor of Westmount and other distinguished and prominent guests. In summary, the guests included individuals who live in various areas of Greater Montreal. Among this diversity the Mayor made a very valid point. Montreal is known for its parts rather than for its whole. In other words, Montreal lives amongst the diversity of its mini suburbs: Cote St. Luc, Westmount, Outremont, the North End, the East End, the Black community, the ethnic communities, the rich, the less rich, the homeless, and the real estate owners …. Mayor Bourque’s vision is to bring the diversities together so that they can work “ensemble” harmoniously for the good of the metropolis they share. Bonne Chance!
Guests came away from this evening with great empathy for the Mayor’s vision and understanding of the problems he faces:
More problems vs. pleasure: Union vs. non-union enterprises. The schools and the education standards. The homeless and the literacy rate. The municipal government vs. the provincial government and their respective clouts to bring “real” change. The taxes vs. the services rendered.
Then, the miracle video arrived on the scene. Mr. John Ciaccia playing piano and singing too! That scene brought back to the whole group the pleasure of life… music, singing, friends, joy in the air, arts, color, wine, women, men too.
The moral of the story: politicians are humans too and they share and participate like all of us in the joys and problems of life. No more and no less. Politicians become known for their legacy in instituting life-long values to the population they serve. Mayor Bourque is in that class of humanitarian.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Wednesday Nighters of Aug 3 1995
by Sam Totah

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