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May 24, 2001 Some landed here by accident—and never looked back



Long Service boxes

Some Concordians at the Long-Service Reception:

Ann Kerby

Ann Kerby

Albano Couto

Albano Couto

Benjamin Daniel

Benjamin Daniel

Susan Magor

Susan Magor

Tannis Arbuckle-Maag

Tannis Arbuckle-Maag

Terrill fancoot

Terrill Fancott

Natalie Kaloust

Natalie Kaloust

Photos by Christian Fleury

by Barbara Black

Graeme Decarie is fond of telling people just how awful he was at high school—until something clicked, and he became first a student, and then a professor of history.

The popular social historian and broadcaster gave a brief speech about how he “snuck into university by accident” at the annual Long-Service Reception, held once again at the University Club of Montreal on Mansfield Street.

Studying at university after failing Grade 10 “was a wonderful opportunity,” Dr. Decarie said. He paid equal tribute to Sir George Williams University’s tradition of service and Loyola College’s reverence for teaching.

That got some of the guests at the reception talking about how they ended up at Concordia.

“A good place to stay”

Cameron Tilson has had an unusually varied career at Concordia. Now Senior Planning and Policy Analyst in the Rector’s Cabinet, he remembers 1981, when he started here, as a pivotal year.

He was graduating with a geology degree and had an offer of field work with the Ontario Geological Survey, but he had to take a summer course and was due to get married in August. “There was no way my wife was going to let me go off for the summer doing field work in northern Ontario.”

However, Concordia’s Geology Department was experiencing an enrolment boom, and Tilson was offered a job as a technician/lab instructor.

“Initially, I thought I might stay for a couple of years,” Tilson recalls. “Unfortunately, the recession of the early 1980s hit the mining sector very hard and many geologists were unemployed, so Concordia seemed like a good place to stay—and still is!”

While he worked, he took a Graduate Diploma in Management. After five years in Geology, he worked as Student Affairs Coordinator in Engineering and Computer Science, “which I enjoyed tremendously.” After several years there, he spent four years in the Treasury Office (now Financial Services), and then moved to Institutional Planning and Research. In 1997, this unit was closed down, and his position was transferred to the Rector’s Cabinet.

Passion for teaching

By 1960, Balbir Sahni had a freshly minted MBA from New York University, and was ambitious, seeking a management-training job, but as a Sikh, he was at a disadvantage. At that time in the U.S., “to hold a position in the corporate world you had to be clean-shaven!”

Instead, he accepted an award that enabled him to enter the PhD program at the New School, and worked at the Consulate General of India in New York until 1965.

He had high hopes for a job in India with Esso, but somebody else got in ahead of him. In the meantime, he accepted a request for an economics lecturer in Montreal at Sir George Williams University.

“The first week of class made me realize that I loved teaching,” Professor Sahni recalled.

To his teaching vocation, he has added administrative tasks within his department, a substantial role at the university as Director of Concordia’s Centre for International Academic Co-operation, and active involvement in such organizations as the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, the Canadian National Committee on Pacific Economic Co-operation, and the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

Dr. Sahni will soon be given the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. The presentation will be made at a banquet in Ontario to be attended by Premier Mike Harris. Previous winners of the award include Ujjal Dosanjh, premier of British Columbia, and federal cabinet minister Herb Daliwal.

Recognition for long service
Many of these employees enjoyed a reception at the University Club of Montreal on May 9. Congratulations to them all.

20 years
Asim Jawad Al-Khalili
Huguette Albert
Kamal Argheyd
David Batten
John Blyth
Jacques Bourque
Sean W. Bradshaw
Craig Thomas Brown
Sam Burstein
Bonnie-Jean Campbell
Christine Chan
Lucia Chamanadjian
Stanley P. Charbonneau
Maurice Charland
Lori Anne Clark Gardner
François-Xavier Cloutier
Roger Côté
Lina D’Iorio
Catherine M. Daigle
Susan Durkee
Helen Eng
Tamara Gulezko
Karin Hilker
Josef Hrib
Barbara Hultqvist
Arthur Kroker
Rocco Lombardo
David McCluskey
Gloria Miller
Jürgen Mueller
Francesco Nudo
Carolle Poirier
Judith A. Robinson
Christopher A. Ross
Franziska E. Shlosser
Darcy Sowden
Reginald Keith Storms
Glen Thomas
Heather J. Thomson
Cameron R. Tilson
Phung T. Tu
Patricia Verret
Sara Weinberg
Stephen Wong

25 Years
Vishwanath V. Baba
Lois Baron
Joy S. Bennett
Zenon Borelowski
Eva Brandl
Tien Hoang Bui
Norma Wagner
Donald Chambers
Elizabeth Chau
Marjorie Ann Clendenning
Loni Cornax
Albano Couto
Allan Crossman
Benjamin Daniel
Karin Doerr
Janice Flood Turner
George Georgis
Zeki Gidengil
Beverley Glunt
Edward Hemming
Marvin Hershorn
Ellen Jacobs
Muhammad Jamal
Christopher Kowalewski
Wolfgang P. Krol
Guy Le Cavalier
Donna Lefebvre
Dominique Legros
Jack Lightstone
Jose Antonio Lopes
Guy Lortie
Ronald Mackay
Susan Magor
Michael Marak
Sheila Mason
Hélène Mongenot
Kathleen O’Connell
Dorothy Ogonovsky
David K. Probst
André Prud’homme
Stephanie Roberts
Franc Rogan
Ronald Edwin Rudin
Warren Sanderson
Claude Senneville
William A. Sims
Juanita Smith
Bertram A. Somers
John Robert Sorfleet
Alwin C. Spence
Ronald Stern
William Kenneth Stevens
Jaroslav Svoboda
Walter Van Nus
Thomas Waugh
Richard Young

30 years

Frederick Bird
Gaston Boulanger
Jacques Castelletti
Graeme Decarie
Dale D. Doreen
Terrill Fancott
Sup Mei Graub
Liana J. Howes
Nurul Islam
Natalie Kaloust
Marie-Françoise Murat
Nadeau Morel
Winston Nicholls
Roderick Parsons
Oscar A. Pekau
Sylvia Ruby
Philip Spensley
N. Suresh
Carol R. Vouzan
Zenon A. Zielinski

35 years

Clarence S. Bayne
Audrey Burkowsky
John T.H. Hislop
Ann Kerby
Claude Lemay
Pierre Marchand
Marvin Orbach
Luigi Sgrosso
Joseph Shin
Martha M. Smith
Maïr E. Verthuy

35 years or more

Shafiq A. Alvi
Tannis Y. Arbuckle-Maag
Michael Brian
June S. Chaikelson
Frank R. Chalk
Michel Despland
Malcolm B. Foster
Barry Frank
James C. Hayes
Kalman Krakow
Nancy Marrelli
Graham Martin
Pierre Parc
C. Lynne Prendergast
Balbir S. Sahni
Stephen J. Scheinberg
Irene Sendek
Ramesh C. Sharma
Brian Slack
Tariq Srivastava
Jane Stewart
Manfred E. F. Szabo