Union United Church of Montreal welcomed members of Montreal’s community to help them celebrate the launch of their newly self-published book Proud Past, Bright Future. The 200-page non-fiction book chronicles the history of Montreal’s oldest Black congregation and was a continuation of its 100th anniversary celebrations of 2008. The two book launches were held on September 30, 2008 and on February 5, 2009. Penned by local Montreal writer, Maranda Moses, the book is a comprehensive look at the formation and history of the Church and includes a moving foreword by Mairuth Sarsfield, author of the bestselling Canadian novel, No Crystal Stair.

The first book launch for Proud Past, Bright Future took place on site at Union United Church on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 6:30 PM. The event was hosted by member, Brenda Paris, former president of the Coloured Women’s Club and the Chair of Union Montreal Party. The evening included a Q&A with the author in the sanctuary of the church, followed by a book signing session and serving of cocktails in the basement at 7 PM.

The second book launch was held at Montreal City Hall. While no books were sold on site, they were available for purchase through the Church prior to the event which took place on February 5, 2009. The Church is expected to issue a second printing of the book and will offer more details about the event as the date approaches.

In 1907, a small group of Black men and women formed Union with a treasury of just $1.83. Founders hailed from parts of Canada, the United States and the Caribbean, and laid the foundation for Montreal’s Black community at a time when they were relegated to work in domestic jobs and as railway porters. Over the years, the Church’s members have endured through struggles of faith, hope and harmony. Among the members highlighted in Proud Past, Bright Future are Dr. Charles Este, Oscar Peterson and Rufus Rockhead. Key international figures such as Nelson Mandela are also featured.

For additional information about the book, Proud Past, Bright Future, please contact:
Erene Anthony
Project Coordinator
Phone: 514 233 3589
Email: ereneanthony1 at sympatico.ca