MONTREAL (Dec. 18)
Some 1200 people attended memorial services here yesterday for the late Israeli Premier Golda Meir at the Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue. The services were sponsored by the Canadian Zionist Federation (CZF), Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), B’nai B’rith and local Jewish youth organizations. Prayers were recited and Psalms were chanted. A tope recording of Mrs. Meir’s voice was played, in which she preached peace between Jews and Arabs.
Dr. Leo Kronitz, CZF executive vice-president, quoted verses from Chaim Nahman Bialik. He described Golda Meir as “a halutza and a leader, tough and strong” and said that in future generations “mothers will lull their children to sleep with stories of her greatness.”
Therese Casgrain, a member of the Canadian Senate in Ottawa, spoke on behalf of the Canadian government. She reminisced about her meetings with Mrs. Meir at many international gatherings and praised her “extraordinary contributions to the progress of mankind.” Flora Naglie, representing the Labor Zionist Movement and the Pioneer Women, paid tribute to Mrs. Meir as a source of inspiration.
Bernard Landry, a member of the Quebec Parliament, spoke in French on behalf of the provincial government. “I wish to invoke the memory of Golda Meir as an illustration of the role women all over the world play today,” he said. He added that he paid “profound homage to a great lady who fought for the realization of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Alan Rose, executive vice-president of the CJC, said “her personality transcended that of her own people. She was a world leader in her noble vision of world justice” who embodied a “pristine egalitarianism.” Mordechai Shalev, Israel’s Ambas sador to Canada, recalled that Mrs. Meir “rose from a humble pioneer to the highest position Israel had to offer.” He said “she was wrongly accused of having had a Masada complex. She did her utmost to prepare militarily when Israel needed arms.”
The Israeli Consul General, Zvi Caspi, opened an official condolence book that was signed by all foreign diplomatic representatives in Montreal and by Mayor Jean Drapeau. The EI Mole Rachamim prayer was chanted by Cantor Joseph Gross accompanied by the Shaar Hashamayim Choir.
QUEBEC ASSEMBLY EXPRESSES SORROW
Meanwhile, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously endorsed the text of a telegram sent by Premier Rene Levesque to Premier Menachem Begin of Israel on behalf of the “people of Quebec” on the death of Golda Meir. The telegram, endorsed last Thursday, stated: “The Quebec government and the members in the Quebec National Assembly express their deepest sorrow at the passing away of this extraordinary woman who has played such a tremendous role in the history of Israel. She represented her country with incomparable courage and distinction and she earned the respect of the whole world.”