President Richard, Guests and Fellow Kiwanians.
If you look at the front of your Kiwanis Roster, you will see that Sol Max is the 20th inductee into the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Hall of Fame. Each and every one of the 20 has made an enormous contribution to this great Club - my Father included . . . And each and every one has received tremendous distinction, pride and enjoyment in return for their exceptional participation. But I cannot think of anyone who was ever more proud of being a member of this Kiwanis Club than Sol Max.
Friday was always the highlight of his week -- because it was Kiwanis day. Kiwanis held a very special place in his heart. The cliche acute; that is always emphasized to new members is that you will get back more than you ever put in. No one ever got more back from his membership in this Club than Sol Max. He loved Kiwanis and Kiwanis loved him back.
This Club enabled my father to showcase his great love of entertaining with the winning combination of music and humour. No matter how corny, how sappy, with his violin or without -- the members always loved whatever he did. I have files at home of hundreds - literally - of Music Committee scripts -- culminating, of course, in the Kiwanis International Convention presentation in Madison Square Garden. He was not only the author, producer, director, conductor and chief nutcake in all these presentations -- he was also the grand, marvellous impresario favouring his audience with the exceptional talents of Harry Brown at the piano and the incomparable Earl Crowe as the stunning finale of every show. If you didn't know better, you would think he "discovered" Harry and Earl. And of course, he did. He discovered very quickly that if he had Harry and Earl, every script was guaranteed to be a smashing success!
This Club also recognized that Sol Max was more than an entertainer. The members saw that he was a leader and elected him as their President in 1955. And he was oh so honoured and oh so proud of that recognition.
This Club provided my father with an opportunity to meet all sorts of people in all walks of life. Sol Max met a man like Charles Hulse in this Club and he was proud -- sometimes awestruck -- to be a member of the same Club as a man like Charlie Hulse. And when Charlie Hulse asked him to step into a vacancy as a Trustee on the Public School Board -- Sol Max became the first Jewish Public School Trustee in this city -- and he was simply overwhelmed.
If my father were here today and was making this speech to thank you for this great honour -- I know EXACTLY what he would say. He would call to your attention the great TRADITION of this Club. The long history, the great contribution that the Club and its members have made and continue to make to this city. He would point out that the Nicholds family - Gerry, Hap and Barry - have about 120 years of membership in this Club -- The Castledines, Vic and Allan, have close to, if not more than, 100 years -- the Charbonneau progeny - Don, Eddie Mulkins and Peter, have probably close to 90 -- the Lithwicks' membership, Sid and Howie numbers over 70 years -- and now, even the Maxes, have close to 90. And, of course, there are more – the Saipes, the Smiths, the Hulses/McGarrys and many I've missed, I'm sure.
And he would tell you that these long lines of service by these families is a tribute to the tradition of the special brand of service that this Club renders --to the tradition of fun and fellowship that is always such a delight -- and to the tradition of exceptional community involvement and support -- that has marked this Club since its inception. I
n a time in this world when so many people are looking for opportunities to "feel good" - opportunities that seem to grow more infrequent each passing day -- this meeting room, every Friday at lunch, for eight-five years, is a very "feel good" place. This is a "feel good" Club. When our meetings are adjourned at 2 o'clock - every single week -- every meeting -- every Friday -- everyone applauds. That's a definite indication of "feeling good" -- and I hope it never changes.
And I want to thank you for making all of the Max family that is here today -- feel good. Feel very good and very proud. Dominic and the Music Committee made us feel good --- the absolutely delightful combination of Janet Roy; my Father's deskmate for so many years in the Symphony; and the matchless Evelyn Greenberg - made us feel good --- and, of course, Sid's eloquent presentation touched us and made us feel very proud.
I thank you on behalf of my sister Ann and my brother Leonard and our partners -- I thank you on behalf of Sol 's brother Arthur -- on behalf of all his grandchildren here. Our only regret -- and its a real one-- is that my Mother was not able to join us here today for this very special and wonderful honour. It is an honour we will always cherish and a day we will always remember.
Thank you so very much.