Taste of Tea 2016
On Sunday, March 6, 2016 six women who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to the city and to our community will be honored by Playmas Montreal at the Taste of Tea 2016.
This year the theme is “Big Hats and High Tea,” and organizers will re-create an aristocratic “High Society” ambience, a la “Downton Abbey, but with a Caribbean Flair.
Among the women to be honored are a cross-section of Montrealers who are exemplars in business, academia and community work.
Fiona Crossling, is executive director of Share the Warmth, who was raised on a farm in southwestern Quebec. She studied Commerce at McGill University and HEC at the University of Montreal. Her professional career began in the telecommunications sector in Montreal and Toronto, before moving to India where she worked for six years in business and community development.
In India, she also helped in the development of organizations working with street kids, as well as in slum communities. She was also C.O.O of a software development company. Upon her return to Canada in 2004, she worked as a consultant before transitioning to a fulltime commitment in the community sector, where she invested her organizational and leadership skills. In 2009, Crossling joined Share the Warmth, embracing the vision of the organization whose mission is to awaken hopes and dreams in the community through quality programs for the development and success of children and youth.
Adrienne Jackson is director for the Prayer Breakfast and Communications Officer – Isiah 40. A Technical translator, she was born in Philadelphia, and is a graduate of Georgetown University. She began her career in Lebanon, and later took a UN posting in New York, then Paris where she stayed eight years before coming to Montreal in 1974. Throughout her 45-year career as a translator, Adrienne became involved in church and community activities, including 12 years with the Coloured Women’s Club and 30 years with Miss Black Quebec and Playmas Montreal. She has reduced her activities, but recently joined the Board of Directors of the Douglas Hospital Auxiliary. Today, the recently retired Adrienne devotes much of her time to her church.
Ruth Pelletier is president, Seniors Action Quebec. Her professional and volunteer work has always been people-oriented. She began working in Geriatrics at the Verdun Protestant Hospital, and later as a Consumer Help Officer at various media outlets including CFCF (TV), CJAD (Radio) and CBC (Radio).
Ruth then worked with Alliance Quebec in community development, where she eventually became executive director. She later joined the Canadian Continence Foundation, becoming the executive director of the national health organization. Until recently, Ruth worked part-time with the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex-Foundation and also performed various functions with the Quebec Community Groups Network. She also volunteered with Chez Doris, Laval Citizens Advisory Council, the Greater Montreal Anti-Poverty Coordinating Committee (GMAPCC) and the NDG Community Council – Elder Abuse.
A native of Guyana, Yvonne Sam has an impressive track record combining simultaneous careers as a Clinical Charge Nurse, Nursing Examiner for the Order of Nurses of Quebec and Secondary School teacher with the English Montreal School Board for over two decades.
She holds a Master’s in Education from McGill University together with diplomas and undergraduates degrees from Pace University-New York State Nursing Licensure; Concordia University, Diploma in Adult Education; and Athabasca University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She also holds the title of State Registered Nurse, State Certified Midwife and State Registered Mental Nurse from England, having trained and resided there for over thirteen years.
She is a columnist for the Montreal Community Contact newspaper, as well as winner of the best column from the Quebec Community Newspaper Association. She has effectively utilized the medium to touch the lives of many individuals and families through her incursive columns on family life, community, educational and many social issues. Her literary accomplishments include a recently published book of poetry, Life’s Many Faces; a nursing tell-all entitled Behind The Scenes In Nursing is awaiting publication. Yvonne was the recipient of the 2014 Governor General of Canada Caring Citizen Award, and was among the 2014 Montreal Black History Month Laureates.
Rosemary Segee is director of Tyndale Saint George Community Centre, Adult Development Department.
Whether it is finding housing for a family in need, helping with legal issues or directing newcomers to the necessary resources, Segee has a deep commitment to improving the lives of people in the community.
In response to lingering Black on Black violence in Little Burgundy and across Montreal she set up a grass roots inner-city organization to help young Black adults 16 to 30 address the socio-economic, educational, health and justice issues they face. Today, the Burgundy Urban Mediation and Prevention (BUMP) project, which assists community members with conflict resolution, viable force for good in the area. Segee also helped to establish the Tyndale Treasures Store, which provides retail training for community members and assists low-income families by selling affordable clothing and small appliances.
Caroline Thelemaque has over 25 years of community involvement under her belt. She is a dedicated businesswoman, activist and philanthropist. Born in Haiti, Caroline has a life course and experience spanning three continents.
Today, she is the owner and CEO of Le Club Les GAZELLES a private social club, which helps to promote networking opportunities and the well being of professional women in business or communities work.
Over the years, Caroline has sat on several committees and advisory boards including the Alliance of Overseas Haitian; Black Star, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada and the Federal Liberal Party Executive, Terrebonne-Blainville riding.
Through the Women in Action for Haiti, a movement that she founded in 2010, she travels to her home country regularly where she works with 70 women organizations on sustainable wealth creating projects.
Keynote speaker will be Kenyan-born Sarah Onyango.
She is a fixture on Ottawa’s community television and radio, where she hosts the monthly African cultural program Fontonfrom on Rogers TV, as well as the weekly radio programs, Black on Black and Afrika Revisited on (University of Ottawa community radio). She has also written articles for The Spectrum, Ottawa’s English-language, Black monthly community newspaper.
A tireless promoter of African and Caribbean culture and activities, Sarah is actively involved in public relations work for various diplomatic missions and community initiatives, including Black History Ottawa, Fête Caribe, Dream KEEPERS and the United Way.
Along the way, she was duly recognized for her service to community and country including from the United Way/Centraide Ottawa Community Builder Award (2008 & 2011) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
Organizers are inviting guests to bring out their “inner-duchess” by wearing their loveliest hats or fascinators, and of course every woman of noblesse will be wearing gloves as well. Gentlemen are also asked to wear their best cravats and matching pocket square.
They say guests will be greeted with a specialty welcome TIFIDEN tea and the menu will feature traditional “high tea” items plus Caribbean specialties and European sweets. The decor will surely please that wonderful “old-school” afternoon-tea feel replete with lace and crochet runners, elegant linens, fresh floral arrangements and more. Italian Superstar Aldo Villani, DJ 610 and other surprises will provide entertainment.
A Taste of Tea, Sunday March 6, 2 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at Le Centre 6767 Cote des Neiges Road. Tickets are $25 (advance), $30 at the door, available at many Caribbean outlets, including Caribbean Curry House, Preference Hair Salon, West Island, Princessa… or on line at www: playmasmontreal.com, or call Administrative/Event Coordinator, Melaine Campbell at 514-893-6643. Call (514) 893-6643, or (514) 620-6612.