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(l-r): Rady JCC Executive Director Rob Berkowits, Rady JCC President Lindsay Sawyer Fay, Gary Filmon (representing his wife, Lt. Gov. Janice Filmon), and Mel Myers, a former president of the YMHA

By BERNIE BELLAN
Although the Honourable Janice Filmon, Manitoba’s Lieutenant-Governor , was not able to attend a special ceremony held at Government House on Thursday, October 17, Mrs. Filmon’s husband, Gary (who is also a former Premier of this province), did an outstanding job filling in for her.

 

 

 

 


Filmon welcomed some 100 guests who were invited to Government House in honour of this being the 100th year since the YMHA was first granted a charter. Most of the guests had some sort of connection to the Rady JCC, either as members of the board, staff members, or long-time supporters of the Rady JCC.
In his welcoming remarks, Filmon said: “You know how much Janice appreciates organizations; how they survive – and thrive.”
He continued, “Tonight, we’re paying tribute to a century’s worth of support from many generations.”
Quoting from the late Izzy Asper’s remarks the day the Asper Jewish Community Campus was officially opened (September 7, 1997), Filmon said: “The only way we’re able to be here today is because of the ancestors who came here before.”
Mr. Filmon looked back on his own time as Premier (when he played a key role in spurring the immigration of large numbers of Argentinean Jews to this city) and recalled the astonishment that so many of those immigrants had when they saw how well-developed our Jewish community was: “I remember the onset of Jewish immigration from Argentina; they could not believe the opportunities given to them from day one”, including the opportunity to join the Rady JCC.
“Today,” Filmon noted, “it’s a first class facility that brings together the Jewish community and the community at large. Janice would say: ‘Yes – to the opportunity to make life in this city better.’ Our goal is to take the Rady Centre together into the next century.”
In thanking Mr. Filmon, Lindsay Sawer Fay, current president of the Rady JCC, said she wanted to “recognize our special relationship with the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Foundation.”
Sawyer Fay also noted that “over one million people came through our doors last year.”
She concluded by saying that “We know we have had the privilege of making a difference in so many people’s lives over the last 100 years.”

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