Around Westmount
July 23, 2015

Stagg trio rocks the park this Sunday

Bobby Stagg

Bobby Stagg – Image: SD3 Design

This Sunday, July 26, Westmount’s Sunday Concerts in the Park series is hosting the Bobby Stagg Trio. Originally from Edmonton but a long-time Quebecer, Stagg has toured and recorded with many well-known Canadian recording artists over the past 20-plus years. He will be performing alongside drummer R.D. Harris and bassist Stuart Patterson from 2 to 4 p.m. at the gazebo in Westmount Park. Bring your chair, a picnic lunch, and rock on!

Mini-bus is available to groups

Good news! All permits are finally in order and the 20-seat mini-bus that the New Hope Senior Citizens Centre has been using and sharing as part of a pilot project, now belongs to New Hope thanks to the generosity of the Father Dowd Foundation. New Hope is now ready to provide ongoing economical transportation to local community groups.

The centre, which provides pickup service for local seniors to its daily luncheons and programs, was recently given the use of a 20-seat mini-bus on the proviso they share it with other local community groups. The community, including Manoir Westmount and Place Kensington, responded and proved there was a need for the service. The result was the Father Dowd Foundation gave the bus/van to New Hope.

20-seat bus

A bus similar to the one acquired by New Hope.

The mini-bus is available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends. For more information about using the van for an outing or other special event, donations as opposed to fees, and availability, contact New Hope director Gerry Lafferty at 514 484-0425 ext. 202 or at glafferty@videotron.ca


Blast from the Past

children playing board gameFor anyone born after the mid-80s, a world without computers and its rapidly expanding technology and social media is inconceivable. When you try to explain it to them they look at you with that look.

To help kids understand somewhat, the Westmount Children’s Library, downstairs in the Westmount Public Library, 4574 Sherbrooke St. W., is hosting a Blast from the Past Day on Friday, July 24 starting at 10 a.m. No technology in the library, all day. No computers. No cell or smart phones. Just books and non-technical old fashioned board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, My Little Pony and the current favourite, Frozen.

This is the second of three “looking back” days designed to encourage interaction between kids of all ages and to just have fun. The next day will be Friday, August 21. No registration necessary… just drop in. For more information, phone 514 989-5229.

Image: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons via StockPholio.com

Messy Play

play doughFor the little ones age 4 and up, the Westmount Public Library will be presenting a Messy Play in the Storytime Room on Thursday, July 30 at 4 p.m. Tots will be encouraged to get messy with play dough. From dinosaurs to flowers and everything in between, the kids will be challenged to use their imaginations to shape their creations without concern about making a mess… in fact making a mess is mandatory.

Imagination and pre-registration are both required, at jeuneskids, 514 989-5229.

Image: Valentina Yachichurova via StockPholio.com

BBQ and Friendship

Share the Warmth

Share the Warmth

After you have made up your plate of a cheeseburger, a hot dog and green salad, a cup of coffee and a glass of water, you make your way to a table on the terrace and sit back to visit with your friends or just take in the peace and quiet of the moment. No, you are not at a BBQ on a terrace behind one of the pubs on Bishop or Crescent streets downtown, but on the tree-enclosed terrace behind the former church facilities of Share the Warmth, 625 Fortune Street, in Point St. Charles.

Share the Warmth is best known for providing healthy lunches and snacks to 2500 students in 25 schools in Montreal every week throughout the school year. Westmount Park School, an inner city school that educates for the most part students bussed in from Little Burgundy and Point St. Charles, is one of the largest benefactors of the charity.

A healthy lunch

A healthy lunch

Three years ago, worries about food security in Point St. Charles led to the creation of a community café that would double as a resource centre, to bring healthy and affordable food to the Point. The café offers lunchtime meals that are both healthy and affordable, from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. daily. Most, if not all, of the meals are vegetarian and cost less than $2 per plate to prepare in terms of food. Costs are established based on income. Food bank users are considered members and pay a minimal fee of $2 while other residents pay a slightly higher price of $4. The café is an affordable alternative way to eat healthy meals that are high in protein.

In additional to the lunches and BBQs, the café also offers a Saturday morning vegan brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $2.

Friends of Share the Warmth are invited to come and enjoy a BBQ lunch, shop in the boutique and just appreciate what the organization is doing in the community and beyond. And if you think that you are not paying enough for your healthy meal, you are always welcome to leave a donation. For more information go to sharethewarmth.ca or phone 514 933-5599

Donations of food and clothing are welcome Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you cannot make it at those times, you may put your donations in the bins outside the building. These bins belong to FQDI, an organization that distributes clothing to people with intellectual disabilities. Sadly they are unable to accept furniture for lack of storage space. Pick up of items is also available by calling Katina at 514 933-5599, extension 222 or emailkatina@sharethewarmth.ca

Berger’s Charlotte saga makes Amazon’s Holocaust list

Click on book to purchase through Amazon.

Westmount author Leon Berger learned this week his Charlotte saga Lunch with Charlotte, has made the top 10 in Amazon’s worldwide Holocaust bestseller list. “Every Friday for the last 25 years of her life, I had lunch with Charlotte and each week she told me more of her extraordinary story,” Berger writes. “To all appearances, she was a strong and dignified survivor, with old-world courtesies, a twinkling sense of humor, and a lilting Austrian syntax. Yet deep within, she’d been scarred by a profound personal trauma.

“Finally, just before she died at the age of 91, she chose to entrust me with this profound secret, and all at once I understood how it had affected her entire adult life. This is a story of friendship and strength, of courage and betrayal. It is an epic tale set against the backdrop of history.”

The Lunch with Charlotte series ranks no. 9 while The Diary of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel’s All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs are at 6 and 7, respectively. Honoured company indeed!

Lunch with Charlotte is also at no.13 for Women in History. Both categories contain thousands of books. Leon is particularly thankful to Gray Gecko Publishing and to the many readers, many of them Westmounters, who have been so moved by Charlotte’s remarkable story.

Click on book to purchase through Amazon.

marilynn vanderstaay

Long-time Westmount resident Marilynn Vanderstaay has been writing since she could hold a pencil. Marilynn’s writing has been published in national and local magazines including Canadian Living, Readers Digest, Barricades Magazine, and municipal and community newspapers including the Montreal Gazette. Contact Marilynn at marilynn@aroundwestmount.com.

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