Judith Austin steps down after five years as president
Five years ago, as she assumed the position of president, Judith Austin undertook a personal mission “to resuscitate” the South Shore Black Community Association (SSBCA), an organization that she has been a part of for well over 30 years.
She says at the time she made the decision, it was teetering on the verge of collapse with dwindling membership, incomplete books and an almost empty bank account, so she knew that she had her job cut out for her.
It turned out to be a little tougher than she thought.
But she says with the assistance of about eight other members, she was able to sort through about 48 boxes and a dozen or so black garbage bags of documents and get the association’s records and bookkeeping fully functional again.
And as such, it was placed on a solid foundation again and able to rebuild broken relationships with Ville Brossard and other regional partners.
“Since then we were able to organize many successful events, including our Black History Month activities that we have been doing in conjunction with the City and at times with Black Theatre Workshop and Champlain College.”
However, at the November 26 Annual General Meeting, Ms. Austin revealed to the membership that she felt she had done her part and was ready to move on.
She says she knows that her departure will leave a void in the association, as several other hard-working executive members are also exiting, but it’s now time for a new generation of English speaking Black community members to step up and take the SSBCA into the future.
“I think the Association can still play a role here on the South Shore where we have a vibrant, multicultural community that is becoming increasingly diverse….The Association is already part of what’s being built here and should continue to be involved.”
In its heyday the SSBCA had over 300 members on its books; today it has about 143 registered with about 60 functional. Members are drawn from within the agglomerated City of Longueuil and its environs, including Brossard, Greenfield Park and St. Hubert.
Ms. Austin encourages anyone interested in becoming part of the SSBCA to call (450)465-1506.