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A warrior for the church

Bishop Donald Lee answered the call 60 years ago: The greatest decision I’ve made in my life Egbert Gaye Looking back at that fateful day in Jamaica in 1957, when he answered the call to devote his life to Christ and to the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP), Bishop Donald Lee is unequivocal about what it meat to him. “It’s the greatest decision I’ve made in my life,” he says. “I had such a passion in my heart for Christ and for the church that there was nothing else I wanted more than to serve,” he says. Almost six …

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Community NewsLife & Style

This Pioneer Woman Stands Tall

Egbert Gaye It’s easy to tell that Ms. Thelma Johnson is a giant, just look at the amount of people who’ve been standing on her shoulders. From the hundreds of students in Canada and Jamaica whose educational journey has been made easier by the bursaries and scholarships that she helped to facilitate to the community of women who has been empowered by her activism and advocacy, Ms. Thelma stands tall among us. More than that, so many of those who are infirm, marginalized and shut-in can still depend on her for a visit and a caring hand. But don’t expect …

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Church NewsLife & Style

Union United Church recognizes a stalwart

Ms. Emily Robertson is a long-standing advocate of her church and community Contact Staff On Sunday June 3, there was a packed house at Union United Church as the congregation was joined by other Montrealers to pay homage to Emily Robertson, a dedicated educator and community worker who made it her life duty to take a stand on behalf of the vulnerable. In Montreal since the late 1950s, Ms. Robertson taught for several years with the Protestant and Catholic school boards before consolidating her career as a librarian with the PSBGM. Her passion for community work led her to lend …

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Community NewsLife & Style

Aliah launches her EP on June 1

Featuring five originals written and arranged by the 21 year-old West Islander Contact Staff At 21 years-old Alïah Guerra is positioning herself to make her mark on the music scene, here and afar, as a singer, songwriter and producer. The young West Island musician has decided to take her musical fate in her hands by embarking on a fully independent route at this time with the release of her debut EP this past May 11. The album, titled “Sounds of a Seed”, features six original tracks – Emerald, Wonder Woman, Trouble, ft. Jason Shay, Moonlight, One Of A Kind and …

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Community NewsLife & Style

Call her BellA

Propelled by her love of music this Montrealer is slowly carving out her place on the music scene Egbert Gaye Meet BellA Forté: She is a young 30-something-year-old with a Communications degree out of Concordia University, who’s not quite ready for the corporate boardroom. That’s because BellA, as she prefers to be called, is too busy thrilling audiences here, and in far-off venues around the world, with a musical package that drips with soul, funk, jazz and “the spicy Creole rhythms of Kompa” from her beloved Haiti. Those who have seen her on stage at Metropolis, House of Jazz and …

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Community NewsLife & Style

Order of Montreal for DouDou

Rosie AWORI The man who many believe is the founding father of the Montreal Jazz Festival, Doudou Boicel, will receive the city’s highest standing order, the Chevalier L’Odre du Montreal. Mr. Boicel will be awarded with. An award that he says he has been waiting for a long time. “I want history to remember the work I put in for the community and I believe through this award, the young people will realize the effort that was exerted, in order for them to enjoy the celebration of music now,” Boicel said to the Contact. The Ordre de Montréal is an …

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Community NewsLife & Style

The Path to True Forgiveness

Egbert Gaye It took a lot of life’s lessons for Rev. Jennifer McSween to come to terms with the concept of true forgiveness, and when it happened it unleashed a sense of empowerment that she has never known. “True forgiveness puts you in a position of power as opposed to you being a victim,” is the way she tells it. “It’s a shifting of perspective that moves you from feeling weak, resentful and angry to a place where you’re in complete control of yourself and your emotions.” She says taken to its full extent, true forgiveness is “about freedom and …

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Community NewsLife & Style

Meet Mr. Pöng: The man and his steelpan

On March 30, he  releases “Echoes Between a Rock and Hard Place” on soundcloud Two years ago, I came across a unique artist whom I’ve since seen showcasing his talents all over the city. Born in Chibougamau and raised in Montreal, his name is Ukpöng Etang also known as Mr. Pong. I’m sure many of you have crossed paths with the young steel pan player at a show, wedding or even in the metro. Despite the big Trini flag on his pan case, he’s actually of Jamaican and Nigerian decent. And what makes Mr. Pöng stand out is his ability …

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Community NewsLife & Style

Following the superstar around: PK live is awesome

Community Contact discovers Subban Super Fan By Nancy McKenzie I attended a few hockey games at the Montreal Forum in the 70s and 80s when standing room was $5. I last picked up a hockey stick and wore a helmet in Inukjuak, Northern Quebec in 1989. I was present at the last Habs game in the Montreal Forum in 1996. However, now I am a real super fan. In 2009, the centennial year of the NHL, I won a pair of tickets to the Bell Centre—Habs against Sidney Crosby.  What a thrill to have amazing seats and see two of …

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Community NewsLife & Style

Fitness for a Cause

      Bursary Boot Camp to assist Montreal area student Contact Staff Chastitie Greaves is settling nicely in her nursing career. For that, she says thanks for the help offered to her by the community in the form of bursaries and scholarships, and financial aid provided by various community organizations over the years. “I think I might have received two every year during college and university,” says Greaves, who earned her BA in Nursing from McGill University in 2017, following her studies at John Abbot College. “I think I’m extremely lucky to say that I graduated debt free.” Chastitie …

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