Rosemère Volunteer Services marks Gift Shop’s 50th year
Rosemère Volunteer Services board members, friends and supporters are seen here on Oct. 23 at Memorial Community Centre about to cut the birthday cake marking the 50th anniversary of the RVS Gift Shop. / Photo: Martin C. Barry
Martin C. Barry

More than 50 members and supporters of Rosemère Volunteer Services along with their guests gathered at Memorial Community Centre on Grande Côte Road in Rosemère around noon on Oct. 25 to celebrate a noteworthy milestone.

Marking a half-century

It was the 50th anniversary of the opening of the RVS Gift Shop, which helps raise funds for worthy causes in Rosemère. The shop, which is located at Memorial Community Centre, was founded on Oct. 28, 1969.

The shop was originally the initiative of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Victorian Order of Nurses (V.O.N.) Mille-Îles branch, which had been established during the 1950s.

When the V.O.N. disbanded in Quebec in 1973, the women involved at the time decided to continue their efforts and form a new group which they named Rosemère Volunteer Services.

Many volunteers over time

In 1975, Rosemère Volunteer Services was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization. They have had numerous volunteers over the years and many different types of services have been offered during that time.

However, today many of those services are no longer needed as they are fulfilled by government agencies. But the RVS Gift Shop remains and its mission is also the same: funds raised are donated to local charities and two scholarships are provided to high school students to help them further their education.

RVS archives donated

Befitting an occasion marking a half-century of service to the public, the RVS board decided that as a commemorative gesture they would donate the RVS archives to the Société d’histoire et de généalogie des Mille-Îles.

The archives illustrate all the hard work done by the many RVS volunteers over the last five decades. “The donation is sure to ensure their preservation for future generations,” said Rosemère Volunteer Services president Gloria Kuhr. Gilles Charron and Kathy Nolan, president and vice-president respectively of the Société d’histoire et de généalogie des Mille-Îles, accepted a file box representing the contents of the RVS archives.

Rosemère Volunteer Services marks Gift Shop’s 50th year
From the left, Rosemère town councillor Philip Panet-Raymond, Mayor Eric Westram, Fondation Rosemère vice-president Jessy Turcot and foundation president Andrée Guilbeault were among the more than 50 guests who attended the RVS Gift Shop 50th anniversary celebration.

History booklet planned

“As we prepared our archives for this donation, it came to our attention that we were fortunate to have on hand most of the documents dating back to 1969,” said Kuhr. “This being the case, it was suggested that a complete history of the Rosemère Volunteer Services could be documented in the form of a short booklet.”

Although the RVS’s main archives documents are available, Kuhr said they felt certain that there might be more out there in members’ personal archives, such as photos, newspaper clippings, notes, etc. For example, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings was given to RVS recently by Alice Wallace, for which Kuhr expressed thanks.

RVS history docs needed

She said that if anyone else has any documents or photos pertaining to RVS history that they would like to donate, to please let the RVS board know. “This will greatly help should we decide to go ahead with the short history booklet project,” Kuhr added.

Among the guests at the 50th anniversary luncheon was Rosemère mayor Eric Westram, town councillor Philip Panet-Raymond, Fondation Rosemère president Andrée Guilbeault and Jessy Turcot of Turcot Olivier Optometrists who is vice-president of the foundation.

Mayor Westram speaks

“In Rosemère volunteers are the heart of the community’s life,” Mayor Westram said in an address. “The Rosemère Volunteer Services Gift Shop is truly a valuable asset for our community.

“Every year the RVS Shop donates part of the proceeds from the sale of its gift items to Entraide de Rosemère and the Fondation Rosemère organizations which are here with us today,” the mayor continued. “Entraide de Rosemère helps the needy and the Fondation de Rosemère comes to the aid of the elderly.”