Annually, on October 1st the Senior Citizens’ Forum of Montreal (Forum des citoyens aînés de Montréal, FCAM) has been celebrating the UN International Day of the Older Person in downtown Montreal. On Saturday October 1, 2016, with theme “mille et une beautés du gris” (a thousand and one beauties of gray), FCAM organized a parade at Montreal’s Victoria Square. Although the UN flag was not present for this event, there were all sorts of banners that identified the various groups of seniors. On this beautiful crisp day, quite a few hundred seniors representing various associations and ethnic groups joined in the festivities. The Zuruba afro-brazilian percussion group set the tempo, the City of Montreal provided infrastructure and financial support, and FCAM volunteers served lunch.
Regarding the raising of the flag at Montreal City Hall, this was not possible this year because the façade of City Hall where the flagpole stands was undergoing major renovations. The building was getting spruced-up for the yearlong events that will mark the 375th anniversary of Montreal in 2017. However, the City did procure a UN flag and unveiled it at a breakfast meeting in the foyer at city hall to mark the UN International Day, but this occurred on Tuesday October 4, 2016. Numerous senior guests from various social, sports, ethnic and retiree associations were invited to attend this function hosted by Madame Monique Vallée, member of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal. Hopefully a more public and visible flag presentation will occur in October 2017 as Montreal continues to celebrate its 375th.