Salam Social Club was established in the fall of 1993 for Christian Canadians of Iraqi origin. The committee was established which consisted of seven members as follows:
Putrus Pio (President), Jamal Ramani (Vice-President), Husam Elowe (Treasurer), Jan Khayat (Secretary), Claude Pio, Behnam Sayegh, Claude Demarchi and Sajid Lewis
The founding committee met regularly with the purpose of establishing the foundation of the Club. It was unanimously agreed that the Club would be a non-profit organization and that all work performed by the committee members will be strictly on a volunteer basis. Many ideas were discussed, many references were researched and consulted in order to create the by-laws from which the Club would operate. Endless meetings were conducted, meeting minutes and agendas were prepared, discussed, revised and discussed again!
Early Spring of 1994, the founding committee sent invitations for a meeting, including a copy of by-laws, to all lraqis that were known in the society, The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the committee to those that attended, gain the approval for the Club and request all present to choose a name for the Club. These objectives were accomplished and all agreed to the name SALAM SOCIAL CLUB.
The Committee was now ready to form a corporation to legally establish a non-profit organization by the name that was chosen.
The next few months was a roller coaster ride for the founding committee. However, the club was able to gain approximately 70 paying members (families) at a membership fee of $ 100.00 annually. The Club organized several picnics, gatherings and events in a variety of places including churches and other clubs. This also included card playing and educational lectures.
The next major milestone for the Club was to establish a physical presence where all members could gather. This goal was achieved with the help of Mr. Ahsan Zaiyouna who offered his premises for lease at terms that were affordable for the committee. The location chosen was
2-167 Applewood Crescent in Concord, Ontario. After major renovations, an inauguration party took place on the premises in early December 1995. The club was joyously overfilled with approximately 200 Iraqi families. Champagne and snacks were offered and all proudly celebrated!
After a few years, the idea of the Club began to grow among the families and suddenly, membership double to approximately 140 families. Membership has steadily increased with the arrival of new immigrants. Also, most members adopted a more mature outlook on the purpose of the club and resigned their differences in ideas and personalities.
The next major expansion of the Club was early 2001 when the club moved to its current location, 120 Norfinch Drive. With another expansion in 2006 when the club added extra space, and another recent expansion in 2018.
The main goal of the committee is to gather Iraqi families together continues today. Successful events throughout the year continue at many occasions — Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Summer picnics, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve & Day and New Year’s Eve. We also host different educational lectures and an annual bizarre. This past year, 2018, the Club celebrated a milestone 25t ^ Anniversary. The celebration was our pride and joy and attended by 200 people.
The Club continue to succeed with the sustained effort of lraqis in the community throughout the last 25 years. If we look back, we all can be proud of our achievement! We hope and pray that the Club will continue to receive unconditional support from all Iraqis in the area so that future generations will enjoy the same social network started by the founding committee.