Date: December 22, 2016
Credit: City of Montréal, Borough of Verdun
Jean-François Parenteau: Well, the Verdun Auditorium, it’s a building that’s at the heart of the community. Why? Because as I explained it in my childhood memories, I played hockey here, my children played hockey here. The community practice a sport, whatever it was, whether figure skating or hockey, in Verdun. We all saw shows.
Me, I remember, as a child, I was about ten years old, because there were lots of political rallies and my parents were politicized. I remember, myself, once, to have come here to see a rally. René Lévesque was here. And I remember quite well. I remember how I was dressed. I left the house. It was in May. I had beige pants, you know, and I was going there. I knew there was like an important event, but I had no idea what it was. I was ten years old. My parents had taken me here. But the excitement felt inside the Verdun Auditorium, I never saw that afterward. But I realized after, by history lessons, that I was at the event during which René Lévesque came to make a speech for the rally, I think for the referendum. So it was… And honestly, I had felt the excitement. There was really a collective exciting atmosphere in the Verdun Auditorium.
So, for the Verdun community, it’s more than a building. It is more than brick. It’s somewhat the soul, the memory, the heart of the community. And today, as a borough mayor, well we’re going to carry out renovations, a renovation soon of this building. And for me, all the heritage that’s attached to the Verdun Auditorium, through its 1930s Art Deco architecture also, it’s actually a link. It’s a big library, a big open book on sports, culture and politics in Québec.