Summerlea United Church
225 50th Ave, Lachine, Québec, H8T2T7, Canada. 514-634-2651

(Last updated 20-5-2017)

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Concert for Refugees

April 25, 2017

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Last December the Octet Plus Choir directed by Connie Osborne (and including five of the Summerlea Church Choir members) decided to dedicate one of their next Spring concerts to help out the
Summerlea Refugee Support Coalition with their continuing fundraising efforts aimed toward the sponsorship of a family of six Syrians who had fled the civil strife in that country.

The concert was held on a Saturday evening in the sanctuary of Summerlea United.

After the opening number director Connie Osborne welcomed all and turned the microphone over to Sheila Laursen, chair of the SRSC and pictured to the right, to give some background and to update all with the latest news.

Most important was the breaking news that the all important interview of the family by Canadian officials in Saudi Arabia was now imminent!

You can listen to Sheila's opening remarks HERE.

Here are two numbers from the concert: in the left panel you can hear a different arrangement of the old standard "Amazing Grace" featuring some funky piano accompaniment by director Connie Osborne and to the right is a flavour of Africa featuring the drumming of chorister John Torunian.

A propos of the evening's theme, choir member Sheila Hebert recites For an Exile by poet John O’Donohue.

For an Exile

Here is one more offering from the choir: this time a haunting celebration of music by the young Estonian composer Pärt Uusberg.


At the midpoint of the concert musician friend David Burrage (clarinet) joined concert master Connie Osborne (piano) and husband John (flute) for some trio work: the evocative Pavane by Gabriel Fauré and a jaunty tune, For the Two of Us, (which required Three of Us!) by Barbara Tate.

Following the concert there was a reception with home baked goodies
provided by the members of the SRSC committee.

We were especially pleased to be able to welcome our cosponsor Salman Karnazi (older brother of Bilal),
Salman's younger brother Saad (who had just arrived in Canada a few weeks earlier thanks to the efforts of another sponsor)
and Mehmet Deger, president of the Dorval Mosque. Mehmet a continuing source of moral and practical support.

Salman (centre) and Saad (right of Salman)
at the reception.

Salman shows our minister Scott Patton a picture
of his brother Bilal while Saad looks on.
The picture showed Bilal holding a hand written poster
expressing thanks to the sponsoring churches for their efforts.

The concert succeeded in raising over $1400(!!) which will go to help
the family in Saudi Arabia as they wait for final approval.
Recall that they are officially 'Visitors' and hence
unable to work or the children to attend school and must renew their
costly visitor visas every three months; a considerable extra burden.

Many thanks to the organizers and participants and, of course,
the audience for their enthusiastic support!

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