VEQ holds its 36th Annual General Meeting

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Photo: Emma Ahern

The members of Voice of English-speaking Quebec’s board of directors for 2017-2018 are: (back row) Kristy Findlay (member-at-large), Hoffman Wolff, Laine LePage (corporate secretary), Brian A. Garneau (vice-president), Ann Martell, Michael Lewis; (front row) Phil Almaguer (treasurer), Warren Thomson (president), Ed Sweeney, Marie White and Michelle Osbourne; John Karkosak was not present when the photo was taken.

Some 65 members of VEQ and guests gathered in the Coin Soleil room of Jeffery Hale Hospital for Voice of English-speaking Quebec (VEQ)’s annual meeting last Thursday evening.

Jean-Sebastien Jolin-Gignac, former executive director of VEQ, now executive director of the Jeffery Hale–Saint Brigid’s Hospital Friends Foundation, chaired the meeting. He mentioned how he discovered an amazing community that he learned to love during the 12 years he worked for VEQ.

After the presentation of their individual reports by president Warren Thomson, executive director Brigitte Wellens, and treasurer Phil Alaguer, Charles Taker spoke on behalf of the Commissioner of Official Languages, praising the organization for its support to newcomers and seniors and the linguistic duality of future projects.

Thomson praised Wellens and the staff members, and spoke of the “many cultural, political and community events that pull together numerous people from our diverse community. VEQ continues to advocate on behalf of our community and partners, offer services for integration and employment while holding community events and implementing projects.”

Wellens also thanked her “extremely competent and dedicated staff,” before speaking of some the many projects they were in charge of in the last year, such as I Volunteer/Je m’implique, the Collaborative Community Mural, and the organization’s role on the Table régional de concertation en immigration de la Capitale-Nationale. Some 435 English-speaking newcomers were welcomed by VEQ in the past year. Wellens also spoke of future plans for a Tell Me a Story bilingual book project, a Connect With Your City guide book, and a Close Knit knitting project for seniors.

Outgoing board members Jeanne Gregoire, Véronique Hunter and Fabrice Vanegas were thanked for their time and contributions to VEQ in past years.
A 36-page printed annual report, including a complete list of community events, community outreach, newcomer services, 50-plus activities, employment and entrepreneur services, and a detailed financial report, was distributed to all in attendance. Anyone wishing to receive a copy may drop by the VEQ office to pick one up, or call the office to request one.

Chief electoral officer, Ted Gunn, presented the names of two members of the board who wished to return for a second term and two new candidates. As there were six vacancies on the board to be filled, the four were acclaimed to the board without the need for an election.

While the current and newly-elected members of the board chose the members of the executive committee, a delicious buffet supper was served.

During a question period before the meeting adjourned, Wellens explained that the English Summer Camp ended last year due to lack of funding and a risk of liability. The I volunteer / je m’implique project was for a one-year period only. She encouraged everyone to attend the upcoming multi-media presentation of The Philanthropist, based on the life of Jeffery Hale, created as a result of the 150th anniversary of the hospital last year, to be held at St. Lawrence College at the end of August 2017.