OWN Awards January 2006

OWNership and the Group of Seven
Under the skillful direction of Peter Trent OWN, the senior member of the Order of Wednesday Night, the Committee of the Whole (all members in good standing) has carefully scrutinized nominations, consulted and submitted to the Chairman and Leader of the Opposition (Mouse) the names of 7 new Inductees, namely: Richard Bruno, Marie Cormier, Jeremy Jonas, Ron Meisels, David Oliver, Judith Patterson and Peter Perkins. Instructions to the Committee of the Whole indicated that: “Nominees need not be frequent attendees. Nomination to the Order is recognition of the quality of their contributions, both to debate and to the expansion of the Wednesday Night audience… it is incumbent on the Committee of the Whole to select candidates of upstanding nature and moral fibre (or some semblance thereof).”

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A spirited discussion of the economy, with some surprising interventions and remarks; Martin agreeing with Ron – without doubt a milestone (or would that be millstone?). A warm thank-you to the once (Twice? Thrice?) Mayor Peter and welcome to the four new members of the OWN. Note that two of the Group of Seven were with us last week and one (Richard Bruno) will only be with us in a couple of weeks, thus underlining the fluid nature of Wednesday Nights. A high turnout of Wednesday Nighters who have not been present for some time and a thank you to all for making Wednesday Night what it is

The Induction of the Magnificent Seven

As indicated in the invitation, the Committee of the Whole had worked diligently under the direction of Peter Trent to select seven nominees to the Order of Wednesday Night. Four of the Group of Seven: Marie Cormier, Jeremy Jonas, Ron Meisels and Judith Patterson, were present and welcomed formally into the distinguished company by a number of their peers. Peter Trent presided with a certain tongue-in-cheekiness over the solemn occasion, during which he read the individual citations of three of the nominees. The presentation of the fourth nominee was reserved for John Jonas OWN who read the citation for his son Jeremy, the first second-generation OWNer, who by virtue of this distinction has been appointed President of the Youth Wing of the Order.

Wednesday Night Recognizes Its OWN

By Marilynn Vanderstay

The membership of Wednesday Night, the salon held weekly in Westmount in the home of David and Diana Nicholson, recognized seven of its own recently with the presentation of its coveted citation, the Order of Wednesday Night (OWN).

Co-founder Diana explained to the guests before the investitures that although the Order of Wednesday Night is now recognized as an honour by Who’s Who in Canada, it is given “tongue in cheeky” with more emphasis on the fun of the presentation than on its

This season the OWN nominees are an eclectic seven members who, in the estimation of the search committee, in which the Nicholsons themselves have no say, had earned the recognition by virtue of the quality of a member’s contributions, both to debate and to the expansion and diversification of the Wednesday Night participants. In essence the recipients are chosen by their

The inductees were Richard Bruno, Marie Cormier, Jeremy Lee Jonas, Ron Meisels, Canon David Oliver; Judith Patterson, Peter Perkins. Former mayor Peter Trent, the chair of the search committee (the “Committee of the Whole”), read each citation before co-founder David Nicholson pinned each recipient with the special OWN lapel pin.

Dr. Richard Bruno is Montreal’s, if not Canada’s, inventor/entrepreneur extraordinaire who among many other accomplishments invented the compact disc or CD as the world has come to know it. Having launched four dozen products, on which he holds 17 patents, and started seven and sold six companies, Bruno recently left McGill as Director of the Office of Technology Transfer and last week he commenced his position as senior venture partner with MSBI Capital, the largest seed fund for new entrepreneurial companies in Quebec. He was inducted into the OWN in recognition of his consistent efforts to encourage and develop creative technological and scientific endeavors, his commitment to excellence, and the consistently high level of information, experience and intellectual challenge he contributes to Wednesday Night. Honoured that he had been chosen to receive the distinction, Bruno said that he was happy he had made a difference in the community. “If I can continue to contribute to communities I will be a happy camper. I am honoured the committee thought of me”.

Marie Cormier is a corporate lawyer with a provincial financial institution. She was recognized for her many years of quiet wisdom and knowledgeable interventions on a range of legal and financial topics and for her serene way of taking charge when the need arises.

Jeremy Lee Jonas is one of the youngest members of Wednesday Night and is the first second-generation member (apart from the Nicholsons’ daughter, Fiona, and son, Marc), having first been introduced by his parents John and Holly Jonas. His recognition for the OWN came from his active participation and by introducing his peers to the salon. “Over the five years I have brought 20 new, mostly younger, faces to Wednesday Night,” he said. Of those, four or five have become regulars and another four or five visit intermittently. Professionally Jonas is a management consultant-turned-entrepreneur and is currently in the process of buying a small company.

P&C Holdings President Ron Meisels is an industry veteran. A private investor since 1963 and a technical analyst since 1965, he is the President of P&C but more importantly personally, he says, is a contributor to www.n-amarketletter.com “When I first received Diana’s email my reaction was Groucho Marx’ line ‘I wouldn’t be a member of a club that would have me as a member.’ It is a wonderful award and I have nothing to do but accept. It is unbelievable what the Nicholsons have done,” said Meisels, who has attended Wednesday Nights since 1982. “To have such a flow of ideas from one person to another in such a friendly surrounding, knowing you can talk confidentially among your peers is just wonderful.”

Westmount’s own Canon David Oliver not only received the OWN but was also appointed as Wednesday Night’s Chaplain in the (perhaps) vain hope that he could provide a direct link to Higher Wisdom.

Dr. Judith Patterson is an associate professor at Concordia University where she lectures in Environmental Science and Geology. Her areas of research include the end of cheap oil and the impact on the aviation industry. A newer Wednesday Nighter, she said, “When I received the email from Diana I couldn’t believe it. I was really humbled and honoured by the award.”

Peter Perkins is a global investment strategist and one of the managing editors for Daily Insights published by BCA Research that provides analysis of the global economy and equity, fixed-income and currency markets. “It is great to be honoured by such a recognized institution in the Montreal community that hosts such prominent individuals. Debate and discussion are such an important part of communication and Wednesday Night is an important institution.”

Every Wednesday night since 1982 David and Diana Nicholson have hosted the evening of discussion at their home. Wednesday Nights have become an institution in Westmount and beyond. The number of guests has grown from a small handful of Montreal residents to a list of over 10,000. A guest may arrive on a visit from literally anywhere in the world; no place is too far away or too obscure. As the topics have evolved, so have the professions and interests represented around the Nicholsons’ table. Attendance is by invitation.

 

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