Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mordecai Richler's Widow 'Dubious' Montreal Will Ever Honour Her Husband

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mordecai Richler's Widow 'Dubious' Montreal Will Ever Honour Her Husband

Article excerpt

Mordecai Richler's widow 'dubious' about honour

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MONTREAL - The widow of one of Canada's most celebrated authors says she has doubts about whether Montreal will ever honour her late husband.

Florence Richler remains hopeful but is "dubious" the city will begin repairs to a 1920s gazebo that was supposed to be named after Mordecai Richler, who died in 2001.

Calling Richler "one of the greatest novelists in Canada and around the world," the City of Montreal announced in 2011 it planned to revamp the shanty bandstand on the eastern flank of Mount Royal and rename it the "Mordecai Richler Gazebo."

Richler, who was born in Montreal in 1931, was known internationally for his literary talent and penned classics such as ''The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz'' and ''Barney's Version,'' which were both set in Montreal and made into feature films.

Work on the gazebo has been delayed several times since the project was announced and, despite meeting with the mayor's office last week, Florence Richler said the city couldn't even offer a timeline for when repairs would begin.

"Oh you know very well (Montreal is) very good at procrastinating," she told The Canadian Press in a phone interview from Toronto. "I even, tongue-in-cheek, offered to buy the paint."

She said the city gave "the usual excuses" for the delays.

"I think more sophisticated people would call it incompetence," she added.

Catherine Maurice, a spokeswoman for Mayor Denis Coderre, said work should begin on repairs to the gazebo in the spring -- but she couldn't give a date.

She said a company was approved by city council last October to carry out the work and that the most recent delays were due to bureaucratic wrangling.

"The mayor wanted to make clear that he also hoped to honour Richler in other ways than just the gazebo," she said, adding Coderre would like to outline his other ideas for celebrating the author in the next few months. …

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