Hirsh, Allan #134 *

Honoured by Joan Ferneyhough.

In 1976, Allan Hirsh moved from downtown Montreal into a log cabin South East of Powassan.

He had a Master’s Degree in Psychology, but that did not help him avoid ditching his Ford Econoline Van along the soft shoulders of the back country roads. He learned to carry a shovel and a small winch wherever he went. In the fall of 1977, Allan had completed building a two-story, square Ontario farm house. He did most of the work himself, but did have friends help him at various stages in the construction.

Allan Hirsh, M.A. Counselling Services came into existence in the spring of 1978. Allan was the first M.A. level practitioner to set up a full time private practice in North Bay and area. At the time, he was also one of a few to do so in all of Ontario. At first, he made house calls. One day in January, he walked a mile off the road in the bush to see a couple in need of marriage counselling. Upon arrival he knocked on the door and said “Allan Hirsh, Bush Psychotherapist.” Around the same time, Allan worked part time for Canadore College teaching both credit and non-credit courses. Eventually, he set up a professional office downtown where he saw clients for over 3 decades.

Allan helped raise three sons. Jesse is a free-lance technology commentator and president of Metaviews Media Management LTD. Joshua is a senior network infrastructure technical specialist. Jacob has a PhD in research psychology and has multiple publications. Allan’s parents have always been proud of their grandchildren despite having difficulty understanding what it was they did at work.

Allan’s father was a successful business man in Montreal and his mother was an artist. Allan did well in his business and also pursued his artistic side. Allan has been an avid cartoonist. His work has been published in several books, magazines and professional newsletters. During the warmer months, Allan could be seen on his bike going to yard sales. He sought out interesting antique artifacts that could be incorporated into his assembled found art sculptures. There have been several exhibitions over the years.

Allan has been a long term supporter of the YMCA. He has also supported the arts community in North Bay with enthusiasm and encouragement.