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Memories of THE TIMES
(January, 1989)
Here’s an interesting tidbit entitled The Emergency state of Montreal’s hospital emergency rooms by Jane Barraclough: “Montreal emergency rooms are overflowing,” says Dr. Phil Gold, Montreal General Hospital Physician-in-Chief.
There is a chronic shortage of beds in Montreal hospitals, and movement of patients through hospital has slowed down further recently. The back-up has caused beds to be occupied in emergency wards. “The government has not put a penny into restructuring the emergency rooms in the last 25 years,” he says. Sound familiar?

Memories of THE TIMES
(April 19, 1989)
Our cover story by Brad Lombardo was entitled First Westmount Seniors’ Fair: Mayor tells seniors “We need you.” Here’s an excerpt: “Old age is a gift,” said Mayor May Cutler in her opening remarks at the first Westmount Seniors’ Fair at Victoria Hall on April 13. “We should handle it with care, honour it, be proud of it, and use it.”
Nearly 400 people attended the day- long event, conceived by Mayor Cutler, Westmount City Councillor Sally Aitken, and Dorothy Sirota, columnist for the Westmount Examiner.
The mayor urged seniors to stay involved in community work. “There are so many organizations in this city. If you have time, we need you.”
She cited a 94-year-old woman who continues to do social work. “She phones three senior citizens who could not go out of the house that day.”
Richard French, MNA for Westmount, said that his office has given financial support to several seniors’ organizations over the past eight years. French also stressed his role in creating a seniors’ complex on Hillside Avenue. He added that the project was his office’s major priority in the Westmount riding since 1985.
The final speaker, Monique Vézina, Minister of State for Seniors, began by telling her audience that by the year 2021 one of every five Canadians will be 65 or older.

Memories of THE TIMES
Ode to the Editor by Stuart Richardson
(October 1987)

When I’ve read The Senior Times
Though I search through I rarely find rhymes.
Perhaps I had oughter
Write odes that are shorter
And then they might use them sometimes.

(November, 1988)
Our cover story was Election 88: senior representatives confront the candidates. We held a forum at our offices at 5165 Sherbrooke St. W. to meet federal candidates among them Ruth Rose, NDP candidate for St. Henri-Westmount, William Short, independent candidate for DDO/ Pierrefonds, and Warren­ ­Allmand, Liberal candidate for NDG.
Senior representatives present were Dorothy Sirota, columnist for the Westmount Examiner and Sybil Zanger of the Golden Age Association.
The forum was covered by Damien Coneghan.

Memories of The Times
(October 1987)
Our cover story was Aging with Dignity in the Black Community: The front page photo is of Madeleine Synnott, workshop leader and Mabel Clarke, participant in the conference on "Aging with Dignity in the Black community." The conference was the first of its kind and includes topics such as pre-retirement and retirement planning, Intergenerational Relationships, Nutrition, Human Sexuality, Hypertension, and High Blood Pressure. Participants were encouraged to "explore the myths and realilities of aging in the Black community, provide a theoretical and practical learning opportunity for individuals interested in learning about the elderly.
Madeleine Synnott died this summer of breast cancer. She was a dedicated social worker and activist for her community and a good friend to this publisher in the early days of THE SENIOR TIMES.

Memories of the loving TIMES
(February, 1987)
For the cover story of our second issue, we tackled Seniors and Companionship. David Freedman and I strode into the cafeteria of the Golden Age Association (now CJCS) and proceeded to interview seniors on their love lives.
An administrator ran out to ask us to cease and desist. She felt we the media shouldn’t be allowed to simply walk in and interview seniors at the GAA.. Well, we didn’t listen to her. We thought our interviewees were old enough to decide for themselves whether they wanted to be interviewed.
As a publisher, I have never shied away from the intimate, even though it makes some readers uncomfortable. When Ellen Lechter and I decided to do a supplement on “gay seniors” in the early ninties, at least one subscriber threatened to pull out. But I believe we gained more than we lost in readership and an understanding that we were here to expose all the issues, no matter how uncomfortable they were for some. This included a forum we hosted on Older Women and Sexuality in the late eighties. The late Madeleine Synnott was part of this forum. June Grant also participated.
Perhaps this paper’s readers have always been slightly more conservative than their publisher, who has always tried to push beyond the ordinary or as we now call it “think out of the box.” We were never in the business of protecting seniors from their own words and ideas. We were and continue to be in the business of giving them voice, all of them, whether rich, poor, gay, straight, Black, Jewish or Chinese. Here is an excerpt from that risky and then risquée story in the second issue:
Joe: Since I met Bessie, my life has changed a lot.
Bessie: We’re more mature now than when we were younger. We don’t have to play games. We don’t have to sit around and wait for telephone calls. If we feel like calling each other at six in the morning, we call.
Joe: Our idea is to stay together, not to live together. We have a very friendly relationship. We complement each other intellectually. We admire and respect each other. Maybe that has something to do with love.
Joe and Bessie have been involved in a warm and loving relationship for the past three years. Both are widowed and do not consider remarrying.
Bessie: He tried to get me to join his group as he eyed me from afar.
Joe: I sold her culture and I got her soul.We give it all we got. When you give it all you got, it can’t be bad. My advice to younger people is to take life easy. Don’t abuse it. Friendship is important. Sex is less important. But if you have a woman, call me up and I’ll give you a few lessons.
Joe was 85 at the time of this interview in 1987.

***

(February 1989) We’ve published a lot of stories about war and at least a few stories about the positive experiences that came out of it. Here’s an excerpt from our cover story War brides plan reunion, by Jane Barraclough:
After the last war, the troop ships coming home had more than soldiers on board. “we were war brides on one side of the ship and soldiers on the other. No mingling permitted,” says Joan Liot, publicity manager for The Montreal Group of Overseas War Brides. “We were very well taken care of. The government paid for me to go from Glasgow to London, they put you up in London for the night and then the next day we set off for Halifax from Southampton. All together, 50,000 war brides crossed on those ships.
Joan went to the Heather Club in Glasgow where the women were prepared for life in Canada. “Quebec was always the exception to the rest of Canada though,” says Joan. “Laws were different in Quebec at that time. Women didn’t have as many rights here as they do now.”
The Atlantic crossing took about a week in the sunny weather of May, 1946. “None of my friends married Canadians and I didn’t know anyone on the crossing. But you know, you’re young and adaptable.”
In retrospect, I should hand it to my mother for being so agreeable,” Joan says. As it turned out Joan didn’t go home to Scotland for 26 years.
The war brides held their last reunion this summer.

Memories of THE TIMES
(January, 1989)
Our cover story by Harriett Fels was entitled Satisfaction guaranteed for people On the Rapids. Here is the top of the story: By definition, being a senior means having witnessed great change. Montrealers over sixty grew up without television, were veteran streetcar riders and perhaps remember the first radio.
Yet for many Montreal seniors, much has remained constant throughout their lives, such as their language, religion and culture. For the senior citizens of Kahnawake, the Mohawk settlement of 6,000 residents just off the Mercier Bridge, near Chateauguay, these rights were not assumed. As school children, they were thrust into a foreign “white world” where they were often punished for speaking Mohawk. At that time it was not considered “nice” to be Indian.

Memories of THE TIMES
Here’s a bit of our first anniversary issue Editorial (October 1987) to give an idea of what’s changed and what hasn’t:

“As we begin our second year of publication, we look forward to expanding our role as a voice for Montreal seniors in issues such as housing, transportation, and health care.
Our first year saw The Senior Times begin as a fledging 12 page newspaper… We now publish between 32 and 40 pages a month with sections in health, finance, travel, nutrition, fitness, leisure, arts, fiction, fashion, sports and community affairs. We have recognized the accomplishments of seniors as artists, athletes, scholars, business people, and volunteers. We have attracted readers from all walks of life and of all ages — those in their 20s and those in their 90s.
Since our inception, we have seen the media take special note of seniors, with supplements geared to their needs and interests. There are now more columns written especially by and for seniors. This coverage has encouraged business and industry to respond to the interests of this growing population.
Here’s to all of you who encouraged us to reach for the sky!

Memories of THE TIMES
(June, 1988) Our cover story by Laura Stovel was entitled Retirement is out; redirection is in. Here’s the top of the story: If participants at the NDG Senior Citizen’s Council forum , Challenge of Retirement, are to be believed, the English language will have to evolve to reflect the changing realities of seniors’ lives.
“Oh come on, eh. Let’s get with it,” said Doris Burns, a senior student at Concordia University and one of five panelists at the May 10 forum. “I hate, hate, hate the word retirement. You retire to go to bed. Redirection is a much better word” The applause of the 150 seniors packed into the Fraser-Hickson Library auditorium confirmed it.

Features

All our children: perspectives on Dawson tragedy by Kristine Berey

Seeking alternatives to secularism, fundamentalism by Harvey Shepherd

Memories of the Times

Journalist remembers labour of love by Renee Joette Friesen

Families and friends step up to Alzheimer's

Growing up with the Senior Times by Molly Newborn

20 hot senior issues

My top Senior Times travel destinations by Mike Cohen

The Times of Montreal. Celebrate with music and dance at our gala by Emily Wilkinson

Visiting Poland this summer was like a homecoming by Irwin Block