CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF PYTHIANISM

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PYTHIAN CEMETERY



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 of Montreal.

Pythian Memorial Day
September 28, 2014








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 minds.

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 loved ones.

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 Donald Lieberman, President Sir James Indig, Vice President Michael Berman, Board Members  Marvin Goodman Gerald Gould and Calvin Finkelstein 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 resting place.

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 5775 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 Donald Lieberman, 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.