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Photo by Isabel Wolinsky


Left to Right: Lyle Smordin, Frank Diamant, Adam Filmon, Janice Filmon, Earl Barish. Janice Filmon is being presented with the B’nai Brith Canada Award of Merit 2010.
Photo by Gustavo Levy.


Adam Filmon delivering his speech
Photo by Gustavo Levy.


Photo by Gustavo Levy.

 
JANICE FILMON RECEIVES B'NAI BRITH CANADA AWARD OF MERIT

A STAR IS BORN: ADAM FILMON, HER GRANDSON DELIVERS A GREAT TRIBUTE. COULD HE BE A PREMIER IN THE MAKING?

Speech by Adam Filmon, Grade 7, November 29, 2010

EDITORS NOTE:  B'nai Brith Canada presented its Award of Merit 2010 to Janice Filmon, one of Winnipeg’s and Manitoba’s most outstanding citizens at a very successful first-rate dinner event that took place on November 16, 2010 at the  Fairmont Hotel. The Award of Merit recognizes the significant contributions of exceptional Canadians to their local communities. The event helps sustain the pivotal and long established human rights program of B'nai Brith Canada in Manitoba and its other local activities and projects. [ A complete report of the event, l follow in a further article in an upcoming issue of the Winnipeg Jewish Review. ]

One of the most precious moments of the evening was when Adam Filmon, Janice and  Gary Filmon's grandson (who is in grade 7, and delivered his first public speech) rose to the podium to deliver his tribute.  He is th eson of Lainne and Greg Filmon. Aside form being too cute for words, he had incredible presence and no small amount of charisma.  As editor of the Winnipeg Jewish Review, I will go on record as predicting that this kid has a political future if he wants it. It is with great pleasure that I present readers with Adam Filmon's full speech--which paints a vivid, humourous and loving portrait of both his grandparents. In the speech Adam refers to his grandmother Janice as Gram, and his grandfather Gary as Gido.

TRIBUTE TO JANICE FILMON  BY ADAM FILMON

My name is Adam Filmon and I am a great Canadian!  There must be others here with us tonight, hey Gram ?  From up here I see lots of great Canadians.

Whenever I am with Grandma, introductions always start with “have you met this great Canadian? Well you need to! Meet my grandson, Adam!"

Gram, you are a proud Manitoban and a great leader!  I think you should be the next Prime Minister of Canada...then you would have to be an Ottawa Senators fan, just like me!

For as long as I can remember, Gram has been involved in many projects and has had lots and lots of friends. 

Everybody knows my Grandma.  No offense, Gido, but I think Gram may be more famous than you!

For those of you who don’t know this; my Grandmother is the CEO of fundraising.  I have seen her in action and Gram, you are GOOD.  

Last spring our grade 6 class was studying the Famous Five while we joined my Grandma at the Legislature for the unveiling of the Nelly McClung monument.

It seemed like forever that Gram had been working on this project and it is a great example of how you can make things happen through hard work and a positive attitude; two of my grandma’s greatest qualities.  Like most projects, this one faced many setbacks, but my Grandma sees every obstacle as an opportunity.

“Did you meet anyone new today? Did anyone tell you how wonderful you are? Have I told you how much I love you?"  That’s Grandma talking! You are definitely a YES person and great at motivating others. 

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time at Gram and Gido’s. On one occasion, Gram had some phone calls to make.  My grandparents have the best bins of Leggo  which I still love to play with, so Grandma got me set up  and started making her calls.  

Later that night, back at my house my dad said, “How was your day with Gram & Gido?”  I said, “It was really fun dad, but I think you should talk to Gido!  Gram was calling her friends again and asking for money ... and lots of it!!” 

Gram and Gido’s house is so much fun and my cousins and I love going there!   Some of the special things that remind me of my grandma are:
Eating Ten Cup Cookies
Playing board games, like Can’t Stop and Monopoly
Playing Leggo on the 3rd Floor
Hide & Seek games
Flashlight Tag
And my personal favourite: Hockey games on the driveway!

Once a year, Gram & Gido try to have all the cousins sleep over at the log house!  This isn’t easy to organize.  There are nine of us now, but it is always so much fun. 

The four boys always end up outside, playing hockey.  One time, Gido tried to sneak away to watch some sports highlights while we went outside, but Grandma always knows where everyone is and what they are up to.  I can picture Gram saying to Gido...”Come on Gar...get out there and play hockey with the boys.  You are missing an opportunity to make memories with them!”

Out Gido came with his weathered hockey stick, wearing his maroon dress shoes and ready to play! We do like it when Gido plays so we were very excited to have him join us.

My Grandma would agree that Gido is very competitive.  So it was no surprise to any of us that a few minutes into the game Gido saw his own opportunity: there was a loose puck and an empty net!  Gido made a break for it, but unfortunately slipped on a patch of ice.  Before he knew what happened, his feet went up in the air and he landed flat on his back.  The four cousins gathered around Gido trying to assess the situation.  Through his moans and groans he muttered, “Go get Gram!”

In the end Grandma was right;   Gido’s pride was the only serious injury and he gave us all a memory we will never forget! 

Gram loves to celebrate and no occasion is too small.  Like spring for example. Gram has turned the sighting of the first red robin into an annual event and a cause for celebration. And by celebration, I mean a party with robins eggs, gummy worms, dirt pie and nest building competitions! 

The party doesn’t happen as often now that we are older, but I always call Grandma when we see the first spring robin land in St. Vital!

Our summers together are so much fun.  My cousins and I all have cottages close together and we play almost everyday.  Gram and Gido just built a brand new cottage in Loni Beach, close to ours, but I am going to miss the family cottage on 2nd Ave.  I have many great memories from our time together over there. Mostly the soccer and baseball games, but also the card games and going to the beach together.

Gram, I googled you on the weekend and you have won a lot of awards!  I think you have won them because you are always helping others.  In the last five years, I have watched you care for Grammy Helen and Aunty Diane as well as many other friends when they needed help.  And right now, you are taking care of your little sister, Aunty Judy who is no longer capable of looking after herself.

I am the oldest in our family and I have two younger brothers who I watch out for. I hope they will become good people and great athletes, because they can.  But I also have a little sister who will always need me to watch out for her.  And I will, because I have learned this from you Gram, watching you take care of others.
 So for all your accomplishments Gram, and there are many, your compassion for others is the best reason for you to receive the award of merit here tonight.
Congratulations Gram.

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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