Thursday’s extraordinary evening with the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin was, to me, an expression of the best of Holy Blossom. We welcomed an international figure and learned with him, not only about our Aboriginal community, but about a remarkable leader. We all knew of Mr. Martin as a politician, our Prime Minister. We knew of him as the Finance Minister who restored Canada’s financial standing during a very difficult time, and who still is sought around the world for his wisdom and insight on financial and economic issues.
And then we learned something else, a quite different dimension. We learned how his deep commitment to Aboriginal Canadians was forged, first hand, on the banks of the Mackenzie River when Mr. Martin was a young man. We learned how that sensitivity and sensibility influenced his thinking throughout his political career, and how it now motivates his next career.
We sat for two hours in the Philip Smith hall, in the company of Aboriginal, Hindu, Muslim and Christian Canadians in common purpose; to learn together about a compelling moral and social issue. It is an issue that goes to our roots as Jews and members of Holy Blossom.
Jim Westcott and Robert Carnevale have created this vignette of our evening. (I only imagine what they will be able to do with better technology in our renewed building.) It will give you a flavour of the special, Holy Blossom, spirit of the evening. To Mr. Martin’s most incisive point, it is about working with people, in full respect of their diversity and heritage.