“Since I moved to Westmount in 1970 I have been researching where I live,” says Westmount Historian and Past President of the Westmount Historical Association. “Today, after living in my neighbourhood of Westmount for almost 50 years, I know most of its four square kilometers situated on the south-western slopes of Mount Royal in the middle of Montreal.”
In 1970, Doreen came to Montreal at the invitation of Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer to teach and study with him at at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Since then she has been documenting her city of Westmount through photographs and text, interviews and attending and leading workshops, walking tours and more. So much so from 1995 she joined the Board of the Westmount Historical Association and sitting as its president from 2003 to 2015.
Members, family and friends and special guests came together last month on December 15 for what is usually an end of season holiday social to celebrate and honour Doreen for her accomplishments and commitment to her city. Speakers included City Councilor Cynthia Lulham, Rod MacLeod, editor of QAHN magazine, Jacques Archambault, QAHN, and President Caroline Breslaw, who all shared a common theme; Doreen’s commitment to the not only the history of the city, its architecture, its people and its organizations, but making working relationships with the overseers of that history.
And finally, when it was Doreen’s turn to speak the big question was… what now? Doreen is hardly retiring from the Westmount historical scene. She has photographed every building, including every business on Sherbrooke Street and Victoria Avenue in Westmount. She continues to interview and photograph new stores and businesses to add to her collection of existing and former retailers. She continues to be the editor and designer of WHA bi-annual newsletter which she has done since 2005. She continues to be a contributor to WHA newsletter which she has done since 1998.
“One of my favorite things to do is walk one block up from my house, in the middle of our densely populated city, to the 278 year old stone farmhouse ( the Hurtebise house) and run over in my head all the historical facts I know about it.”