Spring 2022

Tuesday, March 8, 7:30 PM, online

Keith Henderson

The Humility of True Science / UFOs

The Pentagon is currently engaged in investigations of UFO images taken by US Navy personnel. Such images have become regular occurrences in recent years and have led to increasing interest in the phenomena. Beings of remarkable intelligence and technical capacity may well be studying us. What are the scientific implications of such visits? And why have they been so consistently dismissed and debunked?
This session on The Humility of True Science will attempt to offer answers to some troubling questions: Is it feasible for UFOs to travel faster than the speed of light? How do extraterrestrial beings call into question our understanding of evolution? Why do most alien sightings seem to feature child-sized bi-pedal creatures with slanty eyes? If aliens have arrived, why haven’t they formally announced themselves? Many believe real science is consensus and that science currently tells us there’s no such thing as alien visitations and no room for mystification and discussion. The speaker will question that wisdom and offer a vision of science based on dispute and a willingness to wrestle with perplexity.

KEITH HENDERSON has published six novels with DC Books, political essays from when he was Quebec correspondent for the Financial Post, as well as a prize-winning book of short stories. He led the Equality Party during the separatist referendum of 1995, taught Canadian literature at Vanier College for many years, has sat on numerous boards in Anglo-Quebec including ELAN and the AELAQ, and is currently President of The Special Committee for Canadian Unity. He is completing a critical autobiography with special focus on the works of Edith Wharton.

Tuesday, March 22, 7:30 PM, online

Professor Houman Behzadi

The Evolving Role of Academic Music Libraries in the 21st Century

This session will provide an overview of some of the traditional and emerging trends in academic music libraries. The increasing interdisciplinarity of music studies, coupled with the growing interest in the music of non-European cultures has put new demands on music library collections, reference and instructional services.
While music libraries have greatly benefitted from technological advances, the persisting need for both the physical and digital media provides significant challenges for these highly specialized organizations, many of which struggle with dwindling human and financial resources. The speaker will draw examples from the services provided at the Marvin Duchow Music Library and will highlight some of the obstacles that threaten their optimal growth.

HOUMAN BEHZADI is Head of the Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill University. He holds a Master of Music in Violin Solo Performance and Literature (Western University) and a Master of Library and Information Studies (McGill University). Prior to assuming his current role, he was the Music Collection Development Librarian at the University of Toronto Libraries where he developed and managed Canada’s largest academic music collection for five years. An advocate for the exchange of knowledge between information organizations and communities of practice, he has participated in numerous local, national and international music library associations and has recently completed his term as President of the Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (CAML).


Memorial Lecture


Sharon Browman was the Program Director of the St. James Literary Society for the past 12 years. During that time, she was responsible for seeking and attracting guest speakers of the highest calibre… guaranteeing that those people in attendance were amply rewarded. She will be remembered for her welcoming smile and pleasant disposition always looking for ways to make visitors feel a part of the group.
Mrs. Browman obtained her M.Ed. degree from McGill University and went on to make a successful career of educating young people both in the classroom and at home, teaching piano, eventually becoming an Educational Consultant at the then PSBGM.
As a wife, Mrs. Browman was a devoted, loving and caring companion and an excellent homemaker. As a mother, she was the perfect role model for the children: hard working, independent and a serious proponent of higher education, which she taught by example: teaching all day and attending university at night. As a grandmother, Sharon did her utmost to befriend the two boys and introduce them to the arts. She was a kind and compassionate lady, always finding the positive qualities in the people she met.


Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 PM, McGill

Memorial lecture

Monique Polak

Paying Tribute to the Late Sharon Browman

Montreal-based author Monique Polak credits her grade five teacher, Sharon Browman, for helping her to become a writer. In her talk, Monique will share the lessons she learned from “My Mrs. Browman”. She will also speak about her 2019 novel for young adults, Room for One More, a work of historical fiction dedicated to Sharon Browman, which was inspired by
a chance meeting at the St. James Literary Society.

MONIQUE POLAK is the award-winning author of 29 books for young adults. She has been teaching English literature and humanities at Marianopolis College for more than 30 years. She is also an active freelance journalist whose work often appears in the Montreal Gazette. Her novel What World is Left won the 2009 Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adults Literature. Ms Polak is a columnist for ICIRadio Canada’s Plus on est de fous, plus on lit ! Monique is held in high esteem by our members, this being her third appearance at the St. James Literary Society in the last five years.

Tuesday, April 19, 7:30 PM, online

Me Michael Worsoff

The Law is an Ass*

Me Worsoff will discuss a number of cases that have been brought before the courts by outlining the facts briefly, presenting the arguments raised by the plaintiff and defendant respectively, and, following an interactive discussion, reveal the outcome.

*This expression is attributable to Charles Dickens

Me WORSOFF obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in 1964 (Scarlet Key), a Bachelor of Arts from Sir George Williams in 1966 and a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill in 1967. He was called to the Bar in 1968 and has litigated civil and commercial cases before the courts and tribunals of Quebec for the past 53 years. As a volunteer he served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Red Cross Society in the 1980’s and was their national counsel from 1982 to 1986. Me Worsoff was President of the Montreal branch and Vice-President of the Quebec Division. He was awarded the Order of the Red Cross for his contribution. He has been practising law with the firm of Campbell Cohen for the past number of years.

The McGill University Department of Family Medicine and the St. James Literary Society are pleased to present


Tuesday, May 3, 7:00 PM.
St. Mary’s Hospital Centre – Auditorium
3830 Lacombe Ave*

Dr. Rhian M. Touyz

High blood pressure is a killer:
Why you should know your numbers

*Free admission
Open for the general public
Space is limited
Reservations are required

Did you know that high blood pressure (also called hypertension) is the major cause of heart disease, stroke and dementia and that it is a major killer in Canada and worldwide?
More than 30% of Canadian adults have high blood pressure. Despite many types of drugs to treat hypertension, most patients do not achieve good blood pressure control, putting them at high risk of premature death.
In this lecture, Dr Touyz, an international expert in the field, will discuss the conundrums about hypertension and what you can do to ensure good blood pressure control to protect against cardiovascular disease.

Of interest to the general public as well as to health-care professionals, this Distinguished Lecture Series in Family Medicine was inaugurated in 1990 and was made possible by an endowment by the late Dr. Hirsh Rosenfeld, a Montreal family physician. He was a staunch supporter of a number of educational activities and this lecture series is another example of his generosity.

Dr. Touyz is recognized internationally as an authority in vascular biology and hypertension, a prolific clinician-scientist, generous and inspiring mentor and collegial leader. She has recently been appointed to lead the McGill University Health Centre’s Research Centre.
Dr. Touyz co-chaired the Recommendations Task Force of the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP), responsible for clinical hypertension guidelines, she is the President of the International Society of Hypertension and she is the past President of the Canadian Hypertension Society. She is the immediate past Chair of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of the American Heart Association.