Echoes of Sun Youth

We are extremely proud to announce that Mr. Sid Stevens has received the Ordre National du Québec, the highest distinction awarded by the Government of Québec. The ceremony took place at the agora of the Reception Pavilion of the Parliament Building. On June 22, Premier François Legault honoured this year’s recipients in person, after a 2-year pause. As Mr. Stevens was unable to attend due to health reasons, Mrs. Johanne Saltarelli, the organization’s Executive Director, received the honorary medal on his behalf. “Mr. Sidney Stevens, on behalf of the people of Quebec, I hereby name you Officer of the Ordre du Québec.” With these words, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for Mr. Stevens’ exceptional commitment over the past decades.

“I am extremely honoured to be in the company of people I have long admired such as Jean Coutu, Larry Smith, Ben Weider, David Azrieli, Manuel Batshaw, Oliver Jones and Guy Lafleur”, says Sid Stevens. “It is an honour for me as a Montrealer of Jewish origin and a second-generation immigrant to receive the Order. I will wear this medal on behalf of the whole Sun Youth family and in memory of my friend, Earl De La Perralle, without whom I would not have been able to fulfil my dream of making a difference in the lives of Montrealers.”

The Ordre national du Québec is the highest distinction awarded by the Government of Québec, established in 1984 to highlight exceptional individuals’ contribution to Québec’s growth and renown.

Sid Stevens founded Sun Youth in 1954 along with the late Earl De La Perralle. He was only 13 years old. The organization was started through the creation of the Clark Street Sun, a hand-written newspaper of which profits were used to finance sports and recreation activities for the underprivileged youth. At 2 cents a copy, the Sun Youth kids were able to raise $500 in the organization’s first year of existence.

Sid Stevens has had a long and successful career besides being involved with Sun Youth. His resume includes being director of human resources for National Typewriter Inc. and councillor for the City of Montreal in the late 1970’s. Throughout his career, he received countless honours. In 2002, he was awarded an Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by McGill University. In 2011, he was selected by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal as the Great Montrealer of the year in the social sector. In 2018, he was made Commander of the Ordre de Montréal for his dedication towards Montreal’s youth.

On behalf of everyone at Sun Youth, congratulations Mr. Stevens, for this well-deserved honour!

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