The years 1969/70 to 1973/74may be considered the golden years for the Abuette Air Cadet Squadron. The enthusiastic leadership ofjean- Marie Lachance and the club's financial encouragement made it one of the most efficient in the country. Every year, cadets were recognized for their outstanding performance and a number were sent to take part in special events. On several occasions the most deserving were given the enjoyment of flights on military aircraft. Once 30 cadets were flown to Frobisher Bay. It was an experience they thoroughly enjoyed. The squadron's band in competition with some 87 other bands from various parts ofCanada and the U.S.A. won the Illsley Trophy for three consecutive years. The band' S instruments were for the most part provided by the hinds which Rotary made available.

During the year 1969/70, the Health Services Committee continued its interest with the Film Library, Forward House, the Constance Leffibridge Centre, the Montreal Rehabilitation Institute and other similar agencies but, by the end of the year, with the advent of medicare and other government programmes, its field of action was disappearing. Accordingly, those matters pertaining to youth were transferred to Youth Services and all others transferred to Social Services. Such are the affects of a dynamic society undergoing change.

From 1969/70 to 1973/74, the Social Services Committee did not take on any major projects. It continued to receive and meet requests from individuals and organizations for various forms of assistance. The sewing machine project continued and additional machines were distributed. The Rehabilitation Institute, the Lethbridge Centre, and the Douglas Hospital's Half-Way House were all recipients of minor services. Senior citizens' problems received much attention. An annual clothing drive was organized for the Senior Citizens' Forum and, on one or more occasions, financial assistance was extended.

The Rousing for the Aged project occupied some of the committee's attention. A charter was obtained, an initial Board of Directors elected and meetings organized with the Provincial Housing Corporation. Unfortunately, however, due to changes in Quebec's political structure, no concrete results were achieved and the project did not move any further ahead.

During the year 1971/72, the committee surveyed the transportation needs of the welfare agencies in the city. Through replies to a questionnaire, it was evident that transportation was an acute problem for practically every agency. There was no way for the committee to solve the problem with limited financial resources. However, working with the Volunteer Bureau, it made funds available to the Bureau so that taxis could be used when necessary. This programme continued for several years but was eventually abandoned.

During the autumn months of 1970 the Montreal newspapers were covering a project started in the east end of the city by a young man named Keith Bush. He had given up his employment and taken on the task of organizing a recreational facility for this depressed area. The project became known as Project SO. Keith Bush addressed the club and as a result it became interested in lending assistance. Rotarians were asked to provide equipment and the response was most gratifying. In the spring, the club provided some $5,000 for the purchase and alteration of a building to be used as a centre. For several years the project flourished and eventually became self-sustaining.

The Youth Services Committee had an extremely active five years from 1969/70 to 1973/74. Boys' and girls' clubs were appearing everywhere. Requests for the purchase of equipment, the provisions of camperships, etc. were pouring in. The Dawson Boys' Club, the Boys' Club of Canada, Camp Carowanis, Negro Cornmunity Centre, Tyndale House, and University Settlement, just to mention a few, were all assisted. Rotary purchased a new van for Camp Carowanis, an operating table and woodworking tools for the Montreal Children's Hospital, and furniture for the University Settlement drop-in centre. A special project, however, was the establishing of a library for the Negro Community Centre in memory of its former Director and long- standing club member, Stanley Clyke. This library was unique in that the books dealt chiefly whh the black community.

During these years a new agency known as Inner City World was being organized for young people in underprivileged areas. The Youth Services Committee lent encouragement and provided funds to assist with its establishment.

During the late sixties and the first half of the seventies young people were demonstrating their disillusionment with our society by turning to drugs or, as they put it themselves, dropping out. The Youth Services Committee wished to become involved with the problem of drug abuse. To learn more about it they invited speakers to address the committee on the subject. One of the speakers was B. Montine of the Protestant School Board who told them what was going on at the high school level. The committee supplied funds to publish a booklet on drug abuse

The club became involved with a major project on the Caughnawaga Indian Reserve. Although particulars of the project will be provided later, the Youth Services did provide $2,000 for the purchase of equipment for the recreational centre.

There are so many problems present in our society, ones with such magnitude and others with political overtones, that the Public Affairs Committee has great difficulty deciding what type of project should be undertaken for any given year. During the years under review it studied the question ofpublic safety. City and provincial officials were invited to supply information on what was being done towards improving public safety and how the committee might assist in bringing some of the proposed legislation into being. While discussions occurred and talks were given, the records do not show any concrete achievement.

Early in December 1972 Rotarian Roy Etches drew the committee's attention to an article which had appeared in the press. It stated that the City was contemplating withdrawing the Police Ambulance Service which Rotary had been instrumental in establishing. The committee immediately made enquiries and invited Judge Coderre to a meeting to supply further information on the City's intentions. The Judge assured the members that the City was not intending to drop the service. In fact, he told them the service was going to be expanded and new vehicles purchased.

During the same period a follow-up on the air pollution problem was instituted. The committee arranged for a speaker to update the club on the activities in this particular field.

As previously mentioned the Public Affairs and Education Committee is responsible for the Community Service Award. In 1972 the award was given to Keith Bush ofProject80. In 1973 it was presented to Mr. Hollis Marden for his work with the Mackay Centre and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Edgar A. Collard of the Montreal Gazette was chosen as the 1974 recipient.

Another form of award was inaugurated during this period. Acting on a suggestion made Larry Creighton of the Programme Committee, it was agreed that a monthly community service award would be given to a deserving Montrealer. At first it was known as the Rotary Merit Award and its first recipient was John Keith, Chairman of the Federated Appeal of Montreal. Later it became known as Rotary's Monthly Recognition Award and took the form of a certificate and cash award of$100.

Any matter which has an international flavour falls to the lot of International Services. This committee continued to concern itself with foreign students studying in Montreal, group study exchanges from Italy and Australia and other Rotary groups visiting Montreal for one reason or another. Arrangements were made for these groups to visit various establishments depending on the particular composition of the group concerned. From time to time the committee was also requested to arrange living accommodations for foreign students and visitors.

For four years the committee, in conjunction with Rotary International, sponsored a training programinc for doctors at the Rehabilitation Institute. Two of these doctors came from Vietnam and the third from Nigeria. In the fourth year a Sister from the Cameroons came to receive training in the area of care for the handicapped. These were very successful programmes and received the commendation of Rotary International. Another project which the committee helped to finance was one sponsored by District 704 which involved the building of a maternity hospital in Sagon Dahomey, Africa. Medical supplies and drugs were collected and sent to Fort Lamey, Africa and technical books were purchased for a library in Nassau.

Mackay Smith's address to the Public Affairs and Education Committee on the problems existing on the Caughnawaga Indian Reserve had led to the establishment of the Indian Affairs Committee. After several meetings of this new body, it was decided that a recreational centre for boys and girls should be erected on the Cauglinawaga Reserve. To achieve this goal, the Quebec Foundation for Indians and Eskimos was established. This Foundation, with the full cooperation of the club's Board of Directors, undertook a financial campaign to raise $250,000 to build the proposed centre. Additional binds were sought from the Department of Indian Affairs.

The campaign was eminently successful and construction commenced during the fall of 1971. In addition to the money, many Rotarians pledged material and expertise. A Rotarian was engaged to draft the architectural plans. Mackay Smith and Edwin Twizell took a keen interest in following the progression of the project. The building was completed in October 1972 at a cost of $225,000, plus labour costs which were covered by a Federal Winter Works Programme.

From the very beginning the Centre was a thriving success. Many programs such as woodworking, beadwork, courses in the Mohawk language, plus recreational programs, were organized. Within a short time membership was in excess of seven hundred boys and girls. For two years, Rotary underwrote the director's salary and Rotarians continued to be active on the Board of Directors.

This Caughnawaga project was a very successful one. Rotary's contributions of materials and supervision increased the actual value of the building by some $68,000.

After the completion of the Caughnawaga Centre, the Indian Affairs Committee continued its interest in the problems ofour native people. It concerned itself with the welfare of Indian and Eskimo children hospitalized in Montreal. On numerous occasions it paid transportation for the parents of hospitalized Indian and Eskimo children to come to Montreal to visit their children. Rotary's interest in the problems ofnative people can be attributed almost entirely to the initiative of Mackay Smith. The Indian people created him an honourary chief in recognition of his contributions

Montreal high schools appear to have shown reluctance towards outside bodies becoming involved with student activities. We mentioned earlier that attempts to establish Junior Achievement programs in Montreal high schools had failed. However, the Vocational Services Committee continued to contact Montreal based industry to provide counselling and finances for the Junior Achievement Programme on the West Island. On several occasions Junior Achievement speakers were featured at the Montreal club and items produced by junior companies were exhibited at the weekly meetings. Some of the participating students were also invited to sit at head table.

The Vocational Services Committee became involved in a project in association with the Friends of St. Anne. A small fund had been established to help the depressed area in Pointe St. Charles, known as St. Anne's District. There was a lot of unemployment in this area and the Foundation, the Vocational Services Committee, and students from McGill University undertook to establish small businesses in the area. The students served as organizers and advisors. They also surveyed low- cost housing in order to make recommendations for improvement to the City. The project continued for several years and, while it did achieve some success, it is difficult to pinpoint specific achievements.

We have featured those committees which fall into the service areas. The success of a club depends largely on the work accomplished by those committees which are classified as club. These are the bodies who raise the funds, examine the projects and carry out many other functions which are vital to the operation of the entire organization. Many Rotarians were involved in these areas and to them can be given much credit. In addition to these club committees are the ones who concern themselves with the social aspect of Rotary. Chief among these is the Feflowship Committee. It is the body responsible for the building of friendship between individual Rotarians.

Social and sporting events come under this group. Annually it organized golf tournaments, curling competitions, wine and cheese parties, nights at the races, and other similar fbnctions. Within a club there are individuals who share particular interests. Photography is an example of this and the Photographic Committee met regularly to exchange ideas and exhibit their skills. This committee also served as photographers for many Rotary projects.

The Project Committee, which had been established to look into possible future projects, was charged with laying the groundwork for the International Convention for which the Montreal Club had applied to Rotary International.
The ten-year period between 1960 and 1970 marked the real flourishing period of the club. At one point membership stood at 425. Duringthe late 1960s and early 1970s membership began to decline and by the end of the 1973/74 year it had dropped to 277. This was happening all across the country with service clubs in general. Despite various efforts, the younger businessmen appeared not to be interested in the service club movement.

In the years 1969/70 to 1973/74 the following filled the position of President:1969/70, Roger Bourassa; 1970/71, Roswell James; 1971/72, Ward Robertson; 1972/73, Lloyd McClintock; and1973/  74, Don Barnes.


It is extremely interesting to see how the committees have evolved through the years, how they have changed their method of working and their involvement in the community. In the beginning there was a great deal of personal involvement on the part of Rotarians. They initiated the hind-raising efforts to establish Shawbridge and Weredale, and annually the members visited the various organizations in relatively large numbers.

But by the beginning of the 1960s and during the following years, there was a great deal less involvement by individual Rotarians. Interest existed but in the form of the committee receiving requests, examining them as thoroughly as possible and then, if deemed worthy, allocating the necessary funds to solve the particular problem. This different approach may be due to economic conditions and the fact that present day Rotarians are, for the most part, salaried employees and are not free to come and go as their fellow members of yesteryear.

Whatever the reason, we can safely state that the Rotary committees of today work differently than those of former years. During the years 1974/75 to 1978/79, the Youth Services Committee assisted a large number of agencies in the city. Its annual budget, ranging from $15,000 to $20,000, was spent in various ways. Summer camps were supplied with the usual recreational equipment; every spring and summer numerous camperships were made available to the underprivileged and handicapped; equipment and materials were supplied to health and welfare agencies such as the Montreal Children's Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital's Speech Clinic and Psychiatric Unit for youth known as Huggessen House, the Negro Community Centre, the Lansdowne Tutoring Centre and many, many others.

No useful purpose would be served by listing all the agencies, nor would it mean a great deal if we were to list the financial contributions made. The one real fact which stands out is that there are many problems
existing in our society involving youth. Organizations, whether funderi by private charity or government grants, are always in need of extra money to meet those problems which have not been provided for in their budgets. It is in these particular areas where Rotary can fulfill a real need. For example, the Quebec Society for Disabled Children required a new ambulance bus. Some funds were made available through the Golf Tournament, but, because the Society could not meet the difference, the balance was supplied by Youth Services.

The committee 's wide range of interests included purchasing ice time for the Little Burgundy Centre so that boys from this poor area could participate in the sport of hockey. Unfortunately, not enough people know how much Rotary has accomplished for the young people of our city.

Jean- Marie Lachance continued to be the guiding force of the AIuette Air Cadet Squadron. He expressed anxiety about the future for he felt that because of his age he might not be able to continue being as involved. The squadron, however, did not show signs of becoming less active. It continued to flourish and to maintain its excellent position in the air cadet movement.

The International Services Committee is in contact with many foreign students and is always prepared to assist them in many ways. One frequent problem is finding short and long term accommodations for International exchange students. Hosts are not always available and students referred to the Y.M.C.A. The members of the committee feel that this particular aspect of their programme could be improved if more Rotarians were willing to cooperate.

In addition to its regular programmes, the committee became involved with three major projects. Responding to a request from a Hong Kong Rotary Club it obtained books from the National Library in Ottawa and forwarded them to Hong Kong. A rehabilitation teacher for the handicapped was sent to the Phillipines for a year with a request from the Makati Rotary Club. In cooperation with the Westmount and Westward Clubs and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), medical personnel from the Beit Shebab Hospital in Lebanon were brought over to undergo training at the Montreal Rehabilitation Institute. This project was very successful. They then returned home.

The International Services Committee had been prepared to be called upon by Rotarians coming to Montreal to attend the Olympic games. This expectation however did not materialize.
During the 1974/75 Rotary year the committee became interested in the World Food project which Dr. Steppler of MacDonald College was promoting. This interest led to the creation of the Agricultural Foundation which will be more fully explained in subsequent paragraphs.
The police ambulance and air and water pollution were important projects undertaken by Public Affairs in former years. On several occasions there were rumours that the city intended to discontinue the ambulance service. Each time the committee became concerned and took appropriate action.
Many Rotarians were on the Boards of Directors of welfare agencies. When Bill 65 was introduced into the Quebec Provincial Legislature, they expressed concern about the further encroachment of governrnent on the welfare scene. Questionnaires were prepared by the committee and circulated to the membership. Rotarian Lloyd McClintock addressed the club on the implications of Bill 65. Representation was made to the provincial government expressing Rotary's concern. The government responded by assuring that the rights of citizens and welfare agencies would be protected. During the 1975 /76 year the introduction of government legislation dealing with property tax structure for municipalities caused some anxiety. It was expressed that the bill might cause a great deal of imbalance in the tax structure. This'question was thoroughly discussed by the committee and a resolution adopted and forwarded to the government over the signature of President Walter Attridge. Dr. Victor Goldbloom, in an address before the club, assured everyone that appropriate measures would be adopted to prevent any imbalance.

During this particular period the committee undertook another major project. The Block Parent Plan existed in other cities and it was designed to protect young children from harassment by adults. Signs stating that this particular home was available to young children who felt that they were being menaced were displayed in windows of various houses. The block parents undertook to protect a child when called upon.

The organizing of the Block Parent Plan for Montreal absorbed a great deal of time and effort. Police help was solicited and information gathered from cities where the plan was operating. Members contacted groups throughout the city explaining the plan and encouraging its acceptance. A main exponent was Glen Pearson, who devoted a great deal of time and energy. Eventually, through his and the committee's efforts, the Block Parent Plan was established in many areas. Eventually the committee withdrew from its operation feeling that it would carry on without further Rotary assistance. Rotary can indeed be proud of this project which expressed concern for the welfare of our community's children.

We have mentioned the recognition award which the committee promoted. During this period four people were given award, for various laudable reasons including Mrs. Nancy Dowsey for her tireless work in promoting the Block Parent Plan in her area of the chy. Recipients of the Community Service Award included such people as Fred Hudon and Mrs. Earle Moore, the former for his community service and the latter for her involvement with the Chateau Ramezay Museum.

In the year 1978/79 the committee became involved with promoting CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation), a successful system of first aid which can be administered to cardiac victims. The committee recommended that the club adopt a major project through which, in Cooperation with an organization known as Resuscicar and the Heart Foundation, some 250,000 Montrealers would be trained in CPR.

A large number of Rotarians and their wives undertook to be trained in this method and funds were provided to purchase mannequins and cover course expenses. The undertaking was most successful and the Rotarians who can be credited with much of the success were Ross Smyth and Dr. Ev. MacCallum.

With the 1976 election of the Parti Que be cois, a great deal of concern was expressed regarding the PQ's programme for separation. The Public Affairs and Education Committee created a sub-committee known as "Operation Canada." This group was charged with the responsibility of finding speakers to address the club on Canadianism, encouraging everyone to work in the interest of maintaining Canada's unity, and carrying out any other nonpolitical activity which might focus attention on Canada. This committee was assisted by former club president Paul Cot& who travelled throughout Canada addressing many clubs on the subject.

While the Public Affairs and Education Committee was not directly involved with Wodd Food, it had expressed a great deal of interest in the idea and recommended organizing the World Food Committee. In December 1975, under letters-patent, the Agricultural Foundation was established. The objective of the committee and the Foundation was to train students from underdeveloped countries in some form of agriculture. The students could then apply their knowledge in their native land. The scholarship would be provided by the Foundation. Funds would be derived from private contributions, Rotary International, and the Canadian International Development Agency ( CIDA). They were to be known as the Andrew R. Webster Memorial Scholarships. The actual programme would be in three parts. The student would spend the first year studying in Canada, the second year applying his knowledge in his own country and the third year completing his thesis.

The Foundation held its first meeting in May 1976 and the first candidate chosen was German Alvarez Ayali from Columbia. He pursued his studies under Dr. Steppler of MacDonald College. The second student selected was Pap Se mou Niang from Senegal. His particular field of interest was in" human strains of brucellosis." He attended the veterinary college in Ste. Hyacinthe.

This particular programme was heralded by Rotary as one of the most interesting of recent years. It was highly commended for its long range implications.

The Caughnawaga Recreation Centre continued to absorb a great deal of time and interest of the Indian Affairs Committee. While the centre was operating successfully it was evident that finding the operational funds would always be a problem due to the limited resources available on the native reserve. Through a member being on the Board ofDirectors it was possible to keep in tottch with the situation. The committee continued to follow and expand its policy of bringing parents and other relatives from the northern reaches of our country to Montreal to visit their hospitalized children. During this period the club also approached to possibly become involved with a convalescent hospital on the reserve. Native people could then be treated in their own language. This programme was abandoned due to non- support of government, particularly Quebec's, which expressed the opinion that treatment could be done just as effectively in French. The committee refused to undertake a fund- raising campaign for the hospital based on the fact that fund- raising for a non-Rotary project was outside Rotary's policies. Another project involving the refurnishing of an ancient chapel for the reserve was also abandoned, due to problems of land rights. Due to the success of the Caughnawaga Recreational Centre, in the year 1977/78 the committee began to investigate the possibility of establishing a similar facility on Oka, the Mohawk Indian Reserve. In the beginning, it appeared that this project would not be undertaken; however, after considerable time the committee did become involved.

The Social Services Committee had absorbed the work of the former Cripples Aid and Health Committees, broadening its field of activities. The annual budget ranged from $14,000 to $20,000 depending on the success of the annual financial drive.

In the 1974/75 year, as a memorial to Rotarian St. Clair Holland, the committee published and distributed a booklet on the legal rights of children. It was made available to those agencies concerned with youth. In the medical field, grants were made to the Royal Victoria Hospital's Department of Immunology and the Department of Hemetology.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital was given funds in order to purchase much needed equipment for its orthopedic department. Camp Carowanis received a grant for urgent repairs to its infirmary. Spera, the organization concerned with drug abuse, was given grants to help its programmes, particularly at its summer camp where tools were provided for its occupational woodworking shop. Additional money was given to the Negro Community Centre for the Clyke Memorial Library. The north end branch of the Y.M.C.A. received funds to build ramps to accommodate wheelchair users and Project 80 remained a primary concern.

Several new organizations were helped. Assistance was given to Skiff, an organization concerned with mentally retarded young people for repairs on its centre in the Verdun- LaSalle section. Most Montreal based agencies have at one time or another received Rotary assistance. From 1974 to July 1979 the Social Services Committee alone was responsible for the expenditure of some $80,000.

We have mentioned Rotary's concern for the welfare of senior citizens. Although the Housing for the Aged Project was felt to be beyond Rotary's financial capabilities, the senior citizen was not forgotten. In 1975 a Senior Chizens Committee was established under the chairmanship of Past President Earle T. Moore. This committee was charged with looking into the possibility of a home for senior citizens.

After several meetings, a study group composed of Ros James, Chairman, and Ed Twizell, Mike Eliwood, and Alex Konigsberg was established. Their mandate was to work with officials of the Salvation Army to examine the possibility of converting the former nurses' residence at the Catherine Booth into a home for middle income senior citizens. After renovations it would be operated by the Salvation Army. This committee recommended that the club undertake the project. Original estimates indicated that some $400,000 would be required.

The Board accepted the recommendations; however, after further investigation and discussions, the scope of the project was enhanced. It was decided that, as well as renovating the premises, an extra storey should be added. Accordingly, the objective of the financi~ campaign was increased to $800,000.

By February of 1977, the campaign was in full progress. Foundations, corporaflons, and individuals were solicited. The McConnell Foundation made a grant of $300,000 and several other foundations, such as Molson and Crabtree, responded most generously. Substantial donations were received from the corporate community and a large number of private individuals. Over $800,000 was realized.

The realization of the project took 18 months. The building was ready for occupancy by December1977. In order to present a pleasant outside atmosphere, fir trees were planted in the snow; in January 1978, the residents began to move in.

This residence, known as the Montclair, had accomodation for 60 senior citizens. Every effort was made to create a homey atmosphere. Paintings for the corridors and other decorative touches were supplied. It was built and furnished at a figure far below the then current rate per unit. It was estimated that each furnished room had cost some $12,000 which was approximately half the going rate. The campaign expenses amounted to less than one percent of the overall objective of$800,000. This undertaking represents another example of Rotary's expertise leading to the completion of a project at a cost far below its actual value. Our club can indeed be proud of this project.

The Public Speaking Committee continued organizing contests in various high schools across the province. The contests were now opened to girls as well as boys, and annually the girls began to outshine their male competitors. Vocational Services continued its interest in Junior Achievement and in endeavouring to find ways to help young people choose a career. From year to year the committees maintained a high level of activity.

One of the greatest honours which can befall a club is to host the Rotary International Convention. This honour fell to the Montreal club during the month of June 1975 and full hearted cooperation was received from all the other clubs on the Island.

Walter Attridge was appointed chairman of the Organizing Committee for this rather large undertaking. He immediately received enthusiastic support. Since the International Convention involved visiting Rotarians and their wives, the Inner Wheel played an essential role.

A large number of committees were needed to cover all the aspects involved in a convention of this magnitude. Approximately 25 of them were established to look after such matters as reception, hospitality, entertainment, youth, registration, decorations, social events, etc. Each had a full agenda of responsibilities and the entire organization was directed by the Executive Committee composed of Walter Attridge, Ralph Leavitt and Reg Tormey.

In addition to the business sessions there were many other events. These included a concert at the Montreal Forum given by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Home Hospitality Night which involved many local Rotarians entertaining foreign Rotarians in their homes. There was also the International President's Ball which was held on the night preceding the closing day.

Many weeks of work and countless numbers of meetings went into organizing the event and municipal interest and cooperation had to be solicited so that visiting Rotarians could leave with a good impression of Montreal and Canada. Just prior to the convention there was a postal strike which complicated matters tremendously.

Despite everything the convention was an absolute success. Thirteen thousand people attended. Walter Attridge and his committees deserve a note of commendation for their efforts. We feel that no other convention was better organized or managed.

The five years under review were full and satisfying years. The five men responsible for this period were: 1974/75, Drew Webster; 1975/ 76, Walter Attridge; 1976/77, E. Dugald Ramsay; 1977/78, Lou Michel; and 1978/79, Reginald D. Tormey. During these years membership averaged 260.