LASALLE EVENING ON OCTOBER 22,2015 at BETH-EL a HUGE SUCCESS!!
The more than 75 member audience sat in rapt attention as Jacques LaSalle, Quebecois author and lawyer, described some of the memory making moments in his most remarkable life story. M. LaSalle was the only French Canadian to volunteer in Israel before the Six Day War (1967), and again in 1973 to be in Israel at the height of the Yom Kippur War. He described his life on a Kibbutz and his being made the first and only Gentile to have become a full-fledged member, living and learning about Israel and its history. LaSalle spoke lovingly of his then adoptive country and regaled the audience with tales of his progressive skills in “working the land” graduating from the chicken coop to the cow shed and then to the orchards. Over time met with luminaries such as Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and he described his meeting with Meir as fascinating and her perceptive insights into why Quebec would never separate.
LaSalle joked with the audience telling them that to know why they would have to buy his book, “A Life in Four Acts” which were available that evening.
He then described his subsequent return to Canada and working at the Cowansville Penitentiary in Cowansville, Quebec where he was made responsible for hardened criminals and became a negotiator in a dramatic hostage-taking incident at the prison. Among the prisoners M. LaSalle counselled was Paul Rose, convicted of the kidnapping and murder by strangulation of Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte in 1970. LaSalle subsequently went on to become a judge of the Immigration Refugee Board and again had the audience hanging on every word as he described some fascinating attempts by some persons trying to hoodwink the Board to gain entry to Canada. The third act of La Salle’s life was a venture into politics when he became chief of staff to former Quebec Minister of Justice Herbert Marx. They became deep and lasting friends.
The audience was privileged to hear Honorable Herbert Marx introduce his friend and colleague Jacques LaSalle. Refreshments followed and M. LaSalle chatted with members of the audience.