Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Negro Community Centre
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Other form(s) of name
- Charles H. Este Cultural Centre
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Dates of existence
The Negro Community Centre was established in 1927 under the leadership of Charles H. Este, pastor of the Union United Church in Montreal. Reverend Charles H. Este, along with members of the Union United Church, set out to create an organization to help alleviate distress among Montreal's Black community.
The Centre, which first came into being in the living room of Reverend Charles H. Este, was located in a series of rented room in the St. Antoine Street district, also known as Little Burgundy, during its early years of operation. In 1930, the Centre moved into the basement of the Union United Church, located at 3007 Delisle Street. Due to a lack of space at the Union United Church, some of the Centre's early activities took place at Royal Arthur School. Originally supported by the Canadian National Railway, the Negro Community Centre obtained financial support from the Financial Federation of Montreal beginning in 1929. The Centre was accredited by the Council of Social Agencies in 1928. It was incorporated in 1949.
The Negro Community Centre remained at the Union United Church until 1955, at which time it moved into the Iverley Community Centre, located at 2035 Coursol Street. This move was a consequence of the merger of the Negro Community Centre and the Iverly Community Centre, which occurred as a result of the social welfare planning of the United Red Feather Service (now Centraide). By mutual agreement of the Boards of Directors, the Negro Community Centre moved into the building owned by the Iverley Community Centre on Coursol. The building, which was expanded over the years, included offices, a gymnasium, a sewing room, a kitchen, a library, and a credit union office (Walker Credit Union). The deed to the building was transferred from the Iverley Centre to the Negro Community Centre during the Annual General Meeting held in 1965.
The first programs offered at the Negro Community Centre were oriented towards the educational and recreational needs of children and teenagers. In 1949 under the guidance of Stanley A. Clyke, the Negro Community Centre began to develop age-specific activities for all members, and integrated health and welfare services into its programming. A variety of activities and services were offered over the years, including a daycare, summer camps, dance and music lessons, after-school programs, a seniors program, and language courses, among many others.
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