CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF PYTHIANISM
Knights of Pythias
Domain of Quebec
Located in the city of Laval, just a short drive from Montreal, is our
Pythian Cemetery. The Association invites Jewish members of the Knights
Of Pythias of Quebec that are in good standing to join our cemetery
association, and to reserve a single or double plot. The fees are
extremely reasonable. The Cemetery is run according to strict Orthodox
Jewish laws and is recognized as such by the Orthodox Jewish Rabbinate
Pythian Memorial Day
Every year, on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur,
we have the honour of welcoming members to our Memorial
Service. Family and friends have the time to visit the graves of
their loved one. Our Cemetery Secretary had the opportunity to
speak to those assembled. Below is a copy of his welcoming speech.
Dear Friends: We are gathered here this afternoon for a special
memorial service to remember our loved ones--our departed family and
friends. We know that anyone who is lovingly remembered has never
really left us as they will always remain dear to us in our hearts and
This cemetery is a big part of the work done by Knights of Pythias, as
it is the final resting place of so many great and dedicated
Pythians. These people helped build our Pythian Order and make it
what it is today. As well, many of these dear departed worked so
hard to develop this cemetery association into the first class
organization that it is today.
This is a bitter sweet time of year. As we wish our family and
friends a happy and sweet year, we feel the emptiness, thinking about
the loss of beloved ones. Of course, it is only natural to shed a
few tears for them, but today I would like to think that the tears are
not tears of sorrow, but tears of remembrance. I hope this short
poem will help remember only good things about our dearly departed
Don't cry for me now I have died, for I'm still here I'm by your side,
My body's gone but my soul's is here, please don't shed another tear,
I am still here I'm all around, only my body lies in the ground.
I am the snowflake that kisses your nose,
I am the frost, that nips your toes.
I am the sun, bringing you light,
I am the star, shining so bright.
I am the rain, refreshing the earth,
I am the laughter, I am the mirth.
I am the bird, up in the sky,
I am the cloud, that's drifting by.
I am the thoughts, inside your head,
While I'm still there, I can't be dead.
The Pythians that we remember today at this ceremony are an example for
all of us to follow, as we continue to work for our Pythian Order and
the Jewish Community of Montreal. At this time I want to remember
our late past presidents. I remember working with Pythians
like Mitch Byer, Ivor Schwartz, and Sir Cecil Labow, who was one of the
founding member of the Cemetery Association; I would like to personally
thank our Grand Chancellor Calvin Finkelstein, our newly elected
President Sir James Indig, Board Members Sir Issie Nadler, Michael
Berman, Marvin Goodman and Gerald Gould, dedicated Pythians who have
worked hard and have given great dedication and devotion to this
cemetery, transforming the land into a highly respectable Jewish final
The Pythian Order was born during the bloodiest period of American
history. The country was being torn apart by a great civil war,
when brother was fighting brother. There was a desperate need for
some one to call an end to the hatred. There was a need for
friendship to replace this hatred. Such friendship was a call for
the need of mankind to rise up and be happy or as translated into
Hebrew, Hava Nagila, ve Nesmecah. Such friendships are contagious
... our brothers saw this friendship, with a happy heart.
When brothers have good feeling they join together with each other and
work to help those who are in need of attention, care and
understanding. If fraternal love held all men bound, how
beautiful this world would be.
Charity is so much a part of our Jewish faith. In the period of
our Holiest Day, we are reminded of three important duties for Jews to
perform, Tefilia, (prayer) Tsuvah (Repentance) and Tzavah
(Charity). Again, by following the motto of the Pythian Order, we
obey and follow the cornerstone of our Jewish religion.
A great deal of the money we raise for our Pythian Appeal goes to
Jewish or Israeli Charities, the evenings many of us spend with the
sick, the elderly, our war heroes, the injured, and the poor, all in
the name of Pythian charities, fulfill greatly the commandments of
Tzavah. The volunteering of our time, energy and skills all go to
make our community a better place to live in.
To memorialize the lives of such dedicated and devoted Pythians
members, is a great honour and mitzvah, especially as we usher it the
New Year of 5774 of the Hebrew calendar. In honour of these
precious holy souls who have left our world, to reap the heavenly
reward, we beseech the All Mighty to indeed bless each and every one of
us, their earthly families, with a happy, healthy and prosperous New
Year, to carry on the beneficially work they do-- and may we all merit
the coming of the Messiah when the Good L-rd will bring true peace and
brother hood and understanding. Amen.
At this time I would like to ask every one here to include with your
thoughts a special prayer for the State of Israel in this current
crisis. We ask our dear L-rd to watch over Israel and His people
and that there be peace in the Middle East.
On behalf of Calvin Finkelstein, Grand Chancellor of the Domain of
Quebec, and his Cabinet, and the Sir James Indig, his executive and
members of our Knights of Pythias Cemetery Association, I would like to
extend best wishes for a Shana Tova.