Gerry Weinstein, a man who devoted his life to helping those in need, was posthumously honoured by the national assembly with a Citizenship Medal bestowed by the D’Arcy McGee riding.
Weinstein, who died two years ago, was “a true and selfless community activist who would leave no stone unturned, in order to do good for those more vulnerable,” said MNA David Birnbaum, while presenting the award in a ceremony held on June 19.
A stalwart of B’nai Brith Canada, Weinstein was instrumental in realizing its affordable seniors’ housing projects in Montreal, both of which are located in the Côte-St-Luc, Que., riding. B’nai Brith House opened 12 years ago and Chateau B’nai Brith will be inaugurated soon.
Despite having chronic health issues for much of his adult life, Weinstein persevered until the second project was finally given the go-ahead, with Quebec government support. Sadly, he passed away before the groundbreaking ceremony.
He had also served as a leader of the Knights of Pythias, president of the Foundation for Children’s Diseases and chair of Telethon of Stars.
This was the fourth consecutive year that the Citizenship Medal has been awarded to residents of D’Arcy McGee who have made outstanding contributions to the community, or non-residents who have contributed to the riding.
The other 2018 recipients are Lina Fortin, principal of Ecole des Amis-du-Monde, and former Côte-St-Luc councillor Glenn Nashen.
Fortin was described as an inspiration and mentor to the diverse students, parents and teachers at the public French elementary school in Côte-St-Luc, where she has been the principal since 2012.
“During her tenure, Lina has made it her mission to create a positive and inclusive school for her students, a school open to the world and ready to accompany every student on a positive journey, as they strive to master French and every other subject,” said Birnbaum.
Nashen was cited for both his exemplary professional career and record of volunteer service. He initiated Côte-St-Luc’s Volunteer Citizens on Patrol program 11 years ago, has been involved with its emergency medical services for over 30 years and introduced Canada’s first municipal legislation requiring bicycle helmets in 1992.
Nominations for the medals were accepted from any resident of the riding. The winners were selected by a jury composed of past D’Arcy McGee MNAs Herbert Marx, Robert Libman and Lawrence Bergman.
Also honoured at the ceremony was Ecole Maïmonide Grade 10 student Sarah Buzaglo, who won the Victor C. Goldbloom Vivre student essay contest. Named in honour of the late D’Arcy McGee MNA, the contest encourages young people to build bridges between different groups of people, as he did throughout his life.