286 Harbord Street,
Issue No. 55 Fall 2006
and teachers of Harbord Collegiate Institute
Issue No. 55
EDITOR - Paul Mclntyre ('5O)
Layout Editor: Sheldon Hua
Harbord Club email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our website: www.harbordclub.com
1) To establish and maintain a sense of common identity among former students and teachers of the school
2) To share news from Harbordites everywhere
3) To provide funds for prizes, awards and scholarships in all grades of the school
COME to DINNER – Come to a mini Harbord reunion
The Harbord Club is pleased to invite you
to a dinner honouring
Doctors Gerry and May Cohen
All former students of Harbord and former patients
of Gerry and May are welcome to attend
Where: Meron Banquet Hall
1600 Steeles Ave. W
One Block West of Dufferin
Turn North at Futurity Gate
When: October 19, 2006 at 5:30 pm
Cost: $50.00 per person
Included: Five course dinner with wine
Silent Auction, Items valued up to $1,000.00 with
cash or cheque in payment.
Selection of Appetizers
Assorted Breads and Rolls
Salmon or Chicken or Vegetarian Entrée
Seasonal Vegetables and Potatoes
Sorbet and Finger Pastries
Wine, Tea, Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso
Soft Drinks and Juices
PLEASE NOTE: Glatt Kosher fish or chicken dinners from LeChaim Caterers gladly will be provided if ordered at the time of booking your reservation.
Please detach this portion and enclose it with your cheque payable to: “Harbord Club”
Kindly mail cheque to: Harbord Club, 286 Harbord St., Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1G5
No tickets will be sent in acknowledgement; your cancelled cheque is your receipt.
Please enclose list of all your guests on reverse side of this sheet. Note: Only an entire table of 12 can be reserved.
Name: __________________________ Total Number of Reservations: ________
Please indicate your choice of entrees and number of each:
About Gerry & May Cohen
After leaving Harbord Collegiate, Gerry and May (Lipman) Cohen entered medical school at the University of Toronto. May and Gerry graduated from Medicine as gold and silver medalists respectively. They conducted a very busy and highly regarded practice in family medicine in Downsview for about twenty years.
In 1976, both were recruited to the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton where they participated in clinical practice, research and in the training of future family physicians. Gerry became an educational leader in the undergraduate medical program as well as the director of a teaching community health centre.
As a result of her interest in women’s health and in the careers of women physicians, May earned national and international recognition for her work in these fields. She received a number of awards, including the Governor-General’s Award in 1995. May was also appointed Associate Dean of Health services in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster.
Both May and Gerry retired from McMaster as Professors Emeriti. Both still continue their involvement in the health care system on a part-time basis. Gerry also has continued a life-long participation in musical performance, an interest that was particularly stimulated by his involvement in the rich Harbord music program
.Honour Roll of the Fallen.World War II.
Bochner, Harry J.
Boyd, Victor L.
Brown, Leonard G.
Brown, William E.
Cain, William E.
Campbell, William R.
Carter, Philip G.
Fraser, Andrew W.
Gray, William Alex
Hayes, Norman Dennis
Lanson, Cyril Webster
McBride, Bruce D.
McConvey, Carl J.
McQuarrie, Hector L.
Owens, J. Sumner
Petersen, Reginald B.
Proctor, Auston W.
Reider, Irving B.
Sigel, Henry B.
Somers, Lou W.
Walker, Donald E.
Walsh, William M.
Walter, William A.
Welch, Norman F.
Wiegrand, Norman W.
.World War II. Memorial Donors. (as of Sept 10, 06)
Albright Dr S
Anker Dr G
Blackstein Dr B
Blatt Foundation Leonard and Felice
Brickman, Dr. S.
Cassano Dr R
Clasky, Mrs. S.
Dan Family Foundation
Flatt Family Endowment
Guild Electric Foundation
Harbord. C.I. Students
Harris, Hon. Monte
Klingman Cait, H.
Langer, Dr. B.
Livesey, R. & A.
Macintyre, M. N.
Moldofsky, Dr. J.
Odette Foundation ,PL
Rosen, Dr. L.
Ruth Sheila Investments
Steiman, Dr. I.
Strom, Dr. H.
Van Der Hout, S.
Weinberg, Dr. S.
Weinstein, Dr. A.
Wernick, Dr. H.
Wilson, G.R. “Bob”
Wolfe, M., Q.C.
.Table of Contents.
Hello again you wonderful Harbordites. I know you are wonderful because some fifty years ago I knew many of you. You were wonderful then and I have a faith that you are wonderful now. Let me start by reminding you that it is not too late to order your tickets for this year's annual dinner. I do so because I know that May and Gerry Cohen are so very deserving of an evening in their honour, not just for their academic achievements but particularly for their dedication to human betterment in the course of their medical practice and teaching. Besides, we always have a good time at these affairs. And everybody is welcome – all years of all ages
Now, in regard to the monuments, I have wanted for some time to say that the establishment of the WWII monument would seem to be of paramount importance because the names on that monument will be a permanent demonstration of the sacrifice of the obviously young Harbord students from our many ethnic groups, numbers of whom did not wait to be conscripted, in the defence against totalitarian aggression during WW II. So it would seem to be particularly important, for those of us who have not yet made a donation and those who feel they can give a little more, to do so.
We still need to raise about $15,000.00 more. Please give what you can. At this stage in the fund raising we do not have any doubt that the funds necessary to complete the monument will be donated. Accordingly, the date for the dedication has been set. It is May 8, 2007 (Anniversary of V.E. Day).
It has been about five years now since Murray invited me to edit The Harbordite. Although not as simple as he said it would be, it has been a privilege and an enjoyable experience in many ways. Meeting and working with people I hadn't seen for fifty years has been a remarkable experience.
I'm sure that to many of us these are, once again, serious times. I sometimes am reminded of a conversation I had with Norman Emerson one of my anthropology-lecturers at UofT. He challenged my youthful immaturity by seriously questioning whether social progress was a reality. In the course of time I've come to appreciate his outlook much more that I did at that time.
In any event, I hope that most of you seek out as much genuine humour as you can find. Laughter must be natures anti-depressant and I like to think it contributes to our physical good health too.
The Harbord Charitable Foundation and the Harbord Club will be giving 64 awards this fall totaling $9815.00 to Harbord Student at the commencement exercises and at the awards presentations. The commencement is October 5, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. The awards will be presented November 3, 2006 at 1 p.m
Awards assembly invitation to 1956 graduates of Harbord on November 3, 2006
Did you leave Harbord in 1956? You are invited for the awards ceremony. Please inform the school if you plan on attending
Willie Zimmerman Award – new student award
A new award in Willie Zimmerman honor has been recently set up by Shannon Slattery (H.C.I ’95)
Criteria - dedication + hard work in studies
- Positive school spirit
We thank Ms. Slattery for her generosity and support for the student of H.C.I.
Our former classmates knew us then and know us now. We can tell them our troubles and they understand them within the contexts of our past.
By: TRISH TERVIT
Ah, the dreaded high-school reunion. Many have reviled it, some have satirized it, but the question is: How many have enjoyed it or even learned from it?
Each spring, as prom dresses fly off the rack, a flurry of activity takes place in the “mature shopper” aisles as aging graduates decide what to wear to meet their long-lost schoolmates. No longer is the goal attracting the high-school football star; instead, we women opt for something slimming that also portrays the impression of success.
Why do people willingly subject them-selves to the scrutiny of the hardest audience they have ever faced – their teenage classmates? Why do people feel the need to visit a social group that bore witness to our braces, first set of glasses, our bad haircuts and body changes that couldn’t keep up with our Jordache Jeans?
Well, because it’s a rite of passage. In a way, ten years ago, I attended my first high-school reunion. It had been exactly a decade since my friends and I had graduated and left the halls of our west Toronto high-school haven, Kipling Collegiate. Even though I had reached a certain point of success in my career, I still felt somewhat like the awkward and immature student I was in Grade 9.
I wrote an article at that time about my pre-reunion panic over losing weight and looking good for the big event. But 10 years does little to change people, and most of my former friends looked exactly the same, and they, blessedly, said the same about me. As it turned out, my anxiety was uncalled for. Running into old friends was the biggest blast I had that spring.
So there we were again, facing another reunion, this time a whopping 20 years since we donned our graduation caps.
This time, I didn’t have that much concern about how I looked, feeling rather confident that I was aging well, and being of the approaching-middle-age state of mind that holds that contentment comes from within. Well, that’s a lie; I did buy a hot new pair of jeans and made sure the grey in my hair disappeared.
A lot has happened in the 10 years since our last get-together. Many of us, me included are now proud parents. Most of us have reached the summits of our careers, as directors, university professors, lawyers, consultants. And we all got there from our own hard work; this wasn’t a high-brow private school we attended, but a good ol’ public school. We didn’t have any ivy in our halls, but we did have a diverse, hard-working mix of dedicated teachers and students willing to learn and make the best of themselves.
But, while life has been kind in many ways, many of us have certainly seen our share of tribulations – divorce, death and illness among them. Yet, so far, nothing has hit us that we couldn’t rise above.
I had made plans to go to the reunion with my five closest high-school friends, three women and two men who have followed me through life’s highs and lows and whom I still connect with regularly. At dinner together before heading out to the reunion, our group held a number of touching toasts. At the heart of each one was how much we respected each other and how proud we were of our long-standing camaraderie. As the years tick by, we realized how precious these friendships are, and appreciate them all the more.
It’s a special gift in life – and rather rare, I’d venture to say – to have good friendships that last these days. People get busy, they move, life takes over and the next thing you know, it has been years since you’ve spoken with your best friend from Grade 11. But those who kept up the relationship are fortunate – our high-school friends are the ones who knew us then and know us now. We can tell them our troubles of today, and they understand them within the contexts of our past.
And so it was that the six of us entered the hall and met up with other old chums. Everyone we ran into was amazed at the closeness of our group and how we still get together, how we’ve nurtured these friendships through more than two decades.
In the days that followed the reunion, I began to ponder the successes of my friends, and the people we have grown to be and realized my high school still holds lessons for me: When my children reached school age, their father and I gave serious consideration to altering our family budget and sending them to private school. I was worried that public education wouldn’t offer what they needed to achieve something in life. But bearing witness to the accomplishments of my high-school friends has allayed any concerns. My children will go through the public system, working hard on their homework, having fun, and learning along the way.
They’ll take what they need from their public-education experience and, with some diligence, perseverance and a dash of tenacity, I have no doubt they will reach their own goals
And 20 years after they graduate, I can only dream that they will be blessed with the same quality of friends and peers as I had in school.
By: Laurie Naiman M.D.
This past June, over sixty
physicians from U of T’s graduating class of 1956 returned to their alma mater
to celebrate their 50th class reunion. Of the entering class of 150,
nineteen (approximately 13%) were graduates of Harbord’s class of 1950.
At the invitation of classmate Murray Rubin of the Harbord Club, who sensed a golden opportunity to bring together successful alumni with students interested in a career in medicine, five of the physicians returned to Harbord on June 6 for an informal luncheon gathering in the Harbord Museum. They were Bernie Langer and Stan Revich (both of Toronto), Bernie Bronstein (Las Vegas), and Lloyd Silverman and Laurie Naiman (California). Staff included Principal Mary Jane McNamara along with Board of Education personnel Shirley Sue Murray, Georgina Siabanis and Helen Klingman (a Harbord classmate of the physicians).
Each of the physicians (all now retired) talked about their reasons for entering medicine, and their experiences in the profession, which covered various fields from family practice to pediatrics, surgery, pathology, and included patient care, teaching and research. The three women students discussed why they were interested in medicine and what fields in medicine appealed to them. A male student was also present, but mainly out of curiosity since he planned to go into business. In the ensuing discussion it was mentioned that over the years since we all graduated, the field of medicine has become very broad, such that there was now room for people with all sorts of interests, even business.
After the meeting Principal McNamara gave the physician grads a tour of the school. All of us were very impressed with how well the physical plant had been maintained and improved over the years – especially the new athletic facilities. Fond memories were particularly evoked by a tour through the old auditorium where many of us recalled school-wide functions such as assemblies, performances of the Harbord Orchestra, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and our own graduation ceremony in 1950.
Walking through the hallways we couldn’t help but be impressed with the ethnic diversity of students, reflecting the changing demographics of the predominately immigrant neighborhood around the school. One thing they all appeared to have in common was a commitment to succeed and a staff that had high expectations, something that has not changed since we, also the children of immigrants imbued with a respect for learning, graduated from Harbord in 1950. In fact later that week at the U of T Medical Convocation we observed similar demographic changes in the current graduating medical class, including a preponderance of females (in 1950 the “female quota” was ten percent). Regardless of their backgrounds, these medical graduates will go out into the world as we did, and with their professional knowledge, skills and commitment, make it a better place for all. And we can expect current graduates of Harbord to follow in their footsteps.
Our visit to Harbord reminds me of a statement by Nelson Mandela: "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
Harbord ’50 Drs. Lloyd Silverman, Stan Revich, Bernie Langer, Laurie Naiman & Bernie Bronstein
Dr Bernie Langer speaking with students Martina Bocian. Lisa Yuan and Uyen Tran
Laurie Naiman, MD – Harbord 1950
Palo Alto, California
By Suzanne Kelman April 1992
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH THE MYSTIQUE OF HARBORD COLLE-giate Institute came in the late 1960s during a stroll with my father along Spadina Avenue. As we approached Victor Goodman Furs, I heard a Gilbert and Sullivan melody being sung, a cappella in perfect harmony. It wasn't the kind of music I associated with the garment district. When I asked who was singing, my father shrugged. "The boys." • The boys were Lou and Dave Goodman and their brother-in-law Dave Greenberg, the trio who ran the shop. I could see Greenberg in the role; he had a certain elegance. But the Goodman brothers are built like stevedores and talk like Damon Runyon characters. I asked my father where they had picked up their training in operetta. • He was appalled that he'd spawned such an ignoramus. "At Harbord, of course." A Harbord man himself, he saw no need to elaborate. Gilbert and Sullivan—like Latin, basketball and scholarships—were simply part of his school's tradition. • Harbord Collegiate turned 100 in January. Celebrations have already dotted the year, but they reach their climax next month in a centennial weekend complete with decade and theme rooms at the school and a gala dinner at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It's safe to predict that it won't be one of those stilted, awkward reunions. Harbord graduates now in their 70s often still hang out with the friends they made in high school.
Harbord is not the oldest public hiiigh school in Toronto. Parkdale opened in 1889, while Jarvis can trace its original incarnation—as the Home District Grammar School—back to 1807. However, Harbordites would argue that their school's distinction doesn't rest on age. For a century, it has enjoyed a consistent reputation for academic excellence, which goes far toward explaining why its list of famous former students is so dauntingly long—from Dr. Charles Best (Banting's partner in insulin research) to Wayne and Shuster to Stephen Lewis, actor Toby Robins and director David Cronenberg. But even that's not what makes it unique.
What separates Harbord from my own demanding but bland suburban school is a flavour, a tang. The recurring motif is "The Immigrant Kids Meet WASP Culture." Today multiculttturalism has blurred the sharpness of the old divisions, but Harbord's emblematic moments embody the clash and reconciliation of opposing worlds.
Take Dave Goodman's career in operetta just after the outbreak of the Second World War. Between 1933 and 1953, Harbord mounted a Gilbert and Sullivan production in all but two years, and it was a very big deal. Goodman, however, was not flattered when he was drafted into the chorus because he understood why. He was a football playerrr, a big guy who would cover enough of the stage to save the school some money on scenery. He did not enjoy the experience, but the fact that he was forced into it only adds to his reverence for the school and its teachers. "If they could get a guy like me into an opera, they could do anything," he says.
Some of the teachers were equally enchanted by the students. Dr. Winifred Alston taught at the school from 1945 to 1968. It was an honour to be invited to join the classics club that she founded, the Sodalitas Harbordensis. She was happy to walk home from Sodalitas meetings on Friday nights, to avoid excluding Orthodox students who weren't allowwwed to ride the streetcar on the Sabbath.
Still, the students' differences from her earlier charges —at Branksomc Hall, among other private schools—were not always a source of pleasure. She was horrified, at a dress rehearsal of Aristophanes' The Frogs, to discover that some of the cast had made up a stage cooorpse to resemble the just-deceased Joseph Stalin. She would have been even more anxious had she realized how many of her students and their parents were quietly pro-Soviet even during the McCarthy era.
Today many of the teachers come from the same immigrant backgrounds as the kids. It's healthier, but it lacks the drama of the era summed up affectionately by York University professor Howard Adelman: "It was a school of colonial administrators occupying a corner of the British Empire." This is not the school's most popular or enduring image. In 1907, the Harbord Review noted smugly: "When the results of the junior Matriculation Examinations of the University of Toronto were published, it was found thattt a pupil of Harbord headed nearly every class list." That never changed. In 1991, out of a graduating class of 177, seventeen students won open university admission scholarships and seventy-nine were Ontario scholars, which meant their averages were above eighty per cent. "Academic excellence is still the cornerstone of Harbord Collegiate," says the current principal, Don Creighton.
The usual explanation for the school's success relies on ethnic stereotyping—first came the Jews, then the equally clever Chinese. But this folk wisdom is demonstrably untrue. Between 1892 and 1907, when the Review published its boast about scholarships, only seven Jewish students had passed through Harbord. The kids who were cleaning up in U of T's entrance exams had names like Campbell, McCurdy, Clark and Cooke.
The early WASP graduates were also highly successful in the outside world. Aside from Charles Best, pre-Jewish Harbord produced Sir Edward Beatty, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company; biscuit tycoon Garfield Weston; Charles Trick Currelly, the first director of the Royal Ontario Museum; Kathleen Coburn, until her death last year the world's foremost authority on Samuel Coleridge; and the late Robert McClure, mission<<ary, surgeon and moderator of the United Church.
Moreover, the school continued to scoop up scholarships during the period from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, when most of the Jewsss had left and few Chinese had arrived. In those years, a lot of the top students had names like Bicci, Cancellara, Athanasopoulos, Freire and La Delfa. Ivan Fecan, the head of entertainment programming for CBC Television, was the school's valedictorian at his graduation in 1971. He had no sense that its academic standards had slipped. "If Harbord didn't do better than all the other schools in scholarships, there was a feeling there was a problem,,," he says. "We felt we should do as well as UTS."
His vision of Harbord's tradition went beyond academic competition. "I suppose people went there and did well financially, but that's not what the school valued or taught," he says now. "It inculcated societal values. It was public service and service to humanity." He also believes that Harbord was like a private school—a common feeling among alumni.
Metro Councillor Howard Moscoe spent two years at Harbord in the mid-'50s. It was not a success. "I majored in languages," he recalls, "and I failed five of them." Yet he arrived at his new school, Runnymede, glowing with confidence. "I came in with a superiority complex. After all, I had gone to the best school in Ontario. So then I did all right."
This overweening self-satisfaction is not the only feature of Harbordites’ belief that they are the products of an exclusive institution. Their camaraderie is intense. Conductor Victor Feldbrill boasts: "If two people from Harbord meet anywhere in the world, the conversation is kaput from then on. No one else can get a word in edgewise."
The commitment of former students <<involves more than chatting. The Harbord Club, founded in the late 1970s, has more than 2,200 members. Many are generous: they just raised $56660,000 for a school museum. The allied Harbord Charitable Foundation hands out cash prizes to outstanding students in all grades each year. A lot of thiiis activity springs from the energy of a single man, the cofounder of the Harbord Club and the school's greatest fan, Willie Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who’s 76, adores everything about Harbord, but his greatest affection is reserved for his own era, the 1930s. It's no accident that the school's leading booster comes from that period, or that the firssst wave of Harbord Club members consisted largely of middle-aged Jews. Academmmic excellence may have preceded the Jewish immigrants, but I suspect they were the original source of the school'''s highly developed sense of itself.
It is difficult today to recapture just how overwhelmingly Jewish the school was from the start of the 1930s until the end of the 1950s. During those thirty years, eighty-five to ninety per cent of the student body was Jewish. By the 1950s, the token Ukrainians, Hungarians, Italians and blacks routinely took off the Jewish high holidays until a new principal shocked them by demanding that they come to school.
The non-Jewish students don't seem to have had too rough a time, perhaps because they were treasured as novelties. There was no resentment when a British import named Henry Keith-Beattie was awarded the lead role in The Mikado. Since his mother had been with the D'Oyly Carte company, he was seen as genetically entitled to the part. Besides, as Frank Shuster recalls, "We never knew anyone with a hyphen before." Non-Jewish students like Zanana Akande (then Lorraine Shepherd, known as Shepsle) had to learn some Yiddish to survive.
The teachers, on the other hand, remained almost exclusively WASP well into the 1970s—and WASPs of a very particular breed. Howard Adelman's vision of them as colonial administrators may seem exaggerated, but it holds a grain of truth. Nor is it entirely a negative judgment. Students greatly admired the patrician self-control of teachers like Miss Euphrasia Hislop, who from 1929 to 1965 could silence the rowdiest class by raising a single eyebrow—and who once continued a speech in the school auditorium without a pause after a floodlight exploded above her, showering her with broken glass.
And the staff embraced their task with missionary zeal. When the bell rang at 3:30, they stayed on to coach sports teams, lead the choir, provide extra tutoring. Several taught at Harbord for more than thirty years. But goodwill wasn't universal. Many graduates remember anti-Semitic remarks. Composer John Weinzweig, for example, recalls a teacher telling him: "You people don't know your place." Still, not all the staff felt this way; several went on to teach at private Hebrew schools after compulsory retirement from the public school system at 65. Dr. Alston is even investigating her family tree in the hope of finding some Jewish blood. "You'd know," she asked me, "Could Goulden be a Jewish name?"
But even the most well-intentioneddd staff seemed pretty strange to the kids. (Some would have seemed odd to just about anyone. Henry—known as Two-Gun—Campbell was ambidextrous, and could use both hands to solve two different problems on the blackboard simultaneously.)
When lawyer David Greenspan attended Harbord in the early 1950s, he encountered a number of teachers who'd been at the school for more than two decades. "A lot of these teachers had served overseas," he notes. "They were not counterculture liberals.&&" The history they taught so ably was of the type parodied in 1066 and All That: The British Empire was a Good Thing.
This was not the political vision ttthe kids had absorbed at home. Murray Frum, who graduated in 1949, remembers: "We argued about politics a lot, but the range was from Labour Zionist to Trotsky." Understandably, then, the school's military tradition caused some tension. Cadet training was compulsory for the boys until well after the Second World War. John Weinzweig's father, a socialist, had been jailed for union activities in Poland. His son arrived at the school in 1927. "I found myself right away in cadet corps with a wooden rifle and a red uniform. I'll tell you, my parents were shocked."
That attitude would have been incomprehensible to some Harbord teachers. As the staff carried out its mission of civilizing the natives, it retained the traditional British imperial division of civil and military branches. And in the 1930s, it was a warrior who set the tone. If a single teacher had to be chosen as an emblem for the school in that period, it would be Major Brian S. McCool.
McCool joined Harbord in 1926 and <<obtained leave in 1939, two days after the war broke out. His eagerness to re-enlist was no surprise. "He was a soldier looking for a war," says Harold Strom, now a chartered accountant. (McCool's second passion was music. His succccess with the school's orchestra can be measured by the stunning number of Har-bordites who eventually played in ttthe Toronto Symphony Orchestra.)
McCool's legend was sealed in 1942,,, when he served as beachmaster in the Allies' disastrous raid at Dieppe. The Toronto papers reported on August 26 that he had been killed, an error not corrected until September 18. Another misconception lasted much longer: for years, former students believed that McCool was last seen on the beach hurling his pistol at the enemy—having run out of ammunition, the story went, he hoped to at least give someone a concussion.
He wrote to Harbord from his POW <<camp for the script of The Pirates of Penzance, then reportedly used the cover of the operetta's set and rehearsals to start digging a tunnel with his fellow prisoners. The guards didn't find it until it was almost finished.
Documented material on him reveals a truly heroic sangfroid. Philip Ziegler's biography of Lord Mountbat-ten records that the Germans interrogated McCool for two days after he was captured. "At the end he was asked: 'Look, McCool, it was too big for a raid and too small for an invasion. Whaaat was it?' 'If you can tell me the answer,' he replied, 'I would be very grateful.'"
McCool's soldierly code of stoicismmm, courage and obedience no longer governs the school, and in some ways that's no bad thing. Remembering the 1950s, Howard Adelman regrets the harshness of both teachers and students: "It wasn't supportive of people who weren't good. It wasn't a nice school for weaklings or wimps. That's the thing I look back at with horror." The teachers knew what drove the kids and how to use it. Albert Slack taught math at Harbord from 1937 to 1971. His cruellest taunt was, "You'll end up driving a cab." Years later, Murray Frum suffered an agony of embarrassment when he discovered that his taxi-driver was in fact a former schoolmate.
The school's ethos was rough even on bright but tormented students like the writer Helen Tenenbaum Weinzweig, John's wife. She did brilliantly at her studies, but her home life was miserable. The other kids seemed to be having a wonderful time, "There were girls whose fathers adored the idea of their studying Latin." In contrast, her own mother constantly nagged her to quit school and get a job. University was out of the question: she was so poor that her entire school wardrobe consisted of a skirt and two middy blouses. In her final year, she simply stopped working. The only gesture of concern she remembers came from an English teacher who failed her on an assignment—unfairly—"to make me pay attention." She says now: "It was a kind of caring. She wanted to shock me into not giving up."
Even that was unusual. By today's <<standards, the amazing thing about Harbord until the 1970s was the number of taboo subjects. Most students held down part-time jobs, not for spare cash but to help put food on the table. That was not an acceptable excuse at school. And teachers almost never acknowledged the quota system that kept all but the most stellar Jewish students out of the professional schools. Composer Louis Applebaum says, "It sometimes seemed as if they let one Jew into engineering every other year."
The kids became more rebellious after the war. Thanks to the Holocaust and the founding of the state of Israel, they no longer shared their parents' resignation to anti-Semitism. The belief that high marks were their only ticket out of a life of poverty eased as other Jews moved into more affluent neighbourhoods. Harbord's own grads were another source of self-esteem. Howard Adelman remembers: "Everybody knew Louis Rasminsky's signature on the dollar. We took such pride in that."
In the spring of 1950, goaded by ttthe local papers, the kids went out on a brief strike to protest against a principal's interference in a student council campaign. Winifred Alston dismisses the fuss: "It was at the time the students were getting very swell-headed. They used to get up at commencement and tell off the teachers instead of saying nice things about what a good school it was—which it was."
Precisely because Harbord had beennn such a harmonious place, its adjustments to a changing world were exceptionally slow. The old guard's influence extended well into the 1960s, but new values did finally intrude. Alice Freitas was a Harbord student from 1975 to 1980 and is now one of its teachers. She praises the school for giving her a sense of pride in her Portuguese heritage. When a group of Portuguese students cut classes to celebrate the anniversary of the overthrow of their country's dictatorship, there were no repercussions.
She also credits the school with another role it didn't play in its earlier incarnations. "With my parents," she says, "even though I was an honour student, had I chosen to be a bank teller, they would have been very proud of me." It was her teachers who motivated her to go on to university and helped her to apply. That didn't happen in the 1930s, when neither economic conditions nor Jewish tradition encouraged higher education for girls.
Today, there is yet another change. The popular current image of Harbord is of an all-Chinese school under siege from gang violence. In fact, only about forty per cent of its students are of Chinese origin; the ethnic mix includes a little of just about everything. And the gravity of the violence is wildly exaggerated. Two girls had a miscommunication last week—they were laughing while they pushed one another—and ninety cop cars showed up," a student council member recently told me.
Today's gangs, with their guns anddd drugs, are a serious problem at many Toronto schools, but at Harbord they come from the outside. Moreover, they are not a new threat. Jews fought fascist gangs during the 1930s, most famously during the Christie Pits riots, while 1940s Harbordites were terrorized by the Jersey Gang and the Beanery Boys.
There are other features that woullld make a 1930s grad feel at home. Most of the kids see themselves as immigrants, even if they were born here. From Grade 11 on, forty to fifty ppper cent of them work more than twenty hours a week to earn money, just as students did during the Depression. The clubbiness is still strong: Alice Freitas married a Harbord boy, as did her sister. And this year's play is I Remember Mama, now at least as much of a chestnut as any Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.
Throughout Harbord's ethnically checkered history, one thing above all has remained constant. Allowing for the different values of our own age, it is the message of a quotation from Brian McCool that Maclean's used in a retrospective piece on the Dieppe raid: "It doesn't matter whether Dieppe had any point or whether it was badly planned or whether some of us were cowards or maniacs or brutes. What is important is that a lot of good men believed in something enough to die for it. You can't belittle that and you shouldn't try to."
That is the essence of Harbord: the sense of discipline and self-sacrifice that the staff forged in the 1930s and that still exists. The message has always been that it is a privilege to attend the school, and that privilege carries responsibilities. If the lesson was sometimes taught harshly, it served its purpose: for more than sixty years, Harbord has propelled immigrant kids out of their downtown ghettos.
Which brings us back to Dave Goodman, who broke both wrists, tore the ligaments in both knees and separattted his collarbone in the course of his football career at Harbord. "My father kept screaming at me, 'What are they >>teaching you at this school?'" he recalls.
His coach was Murray Graham. "He'd say to me, 'Goodman, you're playing centre linebacker. For sure, someone's gonna knock you on your arse. But know one thing: when you see that ball moving, you get up and go after it."1
It may seem
brutal, but it was the ethos
of Harbord, and Goodman is grateful
for it today. He served in the navy during the war, but when he neeeeds to draw on his resources of courage and endurance, he thinks of Harbord. "I don't know if you heard, but I
leg last year," he told me. "The doctors said it would be a long time before I could walk on my own again. But when they gave me that walker, I thought of Mr. Graham and I just took off down the hall. And that's the reason I'm walking today."
A 50-Year Retrospect
Dr. Joshua Fedder, University of Toronto,
Dentistry Class of 1956
As I approach my upcoming 50-year class reunion, I find myself reflecting on the past and the changes that have taken place in our profession.
When we graduated in 1956 from the University of Toronto, we were truly novices in the modern practice of dentistry. We had some fine teachers who had lived through the "hungry Thirties" and the Second World War, often as dental officers overseas, and who felt privileged to be called "Doctor" — because, at that time, there was a great deal of prestige and honour in being a dentist. Some of our best teachers, highly ethical men, such as Bill Ross, (Head of Clinics, U of T's Faculty of Dentistry) P.G. Anderson (Director of Restorative Dentistry at U of T) and Bill Mclntosh, (Chief of the Periodontal Department, U of T) became role models and made us feel dentistry was truly a worthy calling.
Our business education was extremely modest. It was gleaned from retired army dentists with little experience in actual practice, English expat dentists who had fled the British National Health scheme, or dentists only a little older than ourselves who were themselves novices in practice. I presume the thinking was that we were adults and, armed with clinical knowledge and dental technical skills, could run a practice. This premise proved to be erroneous. American practice administration gurus, such as L.D. Pankey and Goldie Arcana Morrison were not allowed to lecture in Ontario. We were forced to go to the United States to attend meetings of groups such as the New York State Academy of Practice Management which met regularly and alternated between Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester. Once a year many of us would also attend the Chicago Dental Society annual meeting because everything new and current in dentistry was first presented there. Over time, as we became the new 'young guns', things changed for the better. Now we were able to hear the best lecturers from all over the world at local groups such as the Toronto Crown and Bridge Study Club.
All was well in the 1960s, but storm clouds were gathering. To paraphrase Dickens, "It was the best of times but potentially the worst of times." Corporate dentistry took off in a manner similar to corporate pharmacy. Companies were expanding rapidly by hiring many young dentists to work for them. This trend was on the way to being fully realized when organized dentistry managed to somehow stop, or at least marginalize this threat to practice, as we know it. I believe this was done by the enforcement of existing bylaws that restricted the employment of dentists and blatant advertising. If this had not occurred, many of us would likely be corporate employees today.
On a best of times note, the Golden Age of Crown and Bridge became a reality. The air rotor was developed, high-speed dentistry became the norm, and tooth restoration became predictable. Concurrently development of science-based periodontal treatment and new knowledge in preventive dentistry and endodontics progressed rapidly. Now we could tell patients that tooth loss was not inevitable and dentures were not necessarily in their future.
Today, dental science has evolved in areas such as bone repair, bone regeneration, implantology, and superior restoration materials. Predictable micro-endodontics, lasers, and ever-improving crown and bridge restorative techniques are now part of our armamentarium. We can assure our patients that, barring major health issues, they can likely keep their teeth for a lifetime. This premise is based of course on proper dental maintenance, home care and diet.
However, dentists cannot become complacent. The threat of fragmentation of the profession remains. We are now seeing some hygienists pursuing independent practice, a development that I cannot see benefiting either hygienists or patients.
Reading current dental journals and looking at commercial dental advertising, I sense an even greater threat. I feel dentistry may be moving away from its position as a respected health profession to a different model: dentistry as a business with patients as customers and dental health a commodity. Cosmetics, esthetics, smile makeovers and life-style enhancement are the new buzzwords. We must ask ourselves: "Is it possible that in running a business we are losing some of the values that defined dentistry in the past?"
I feel my generation of dentists can take great pride in the health care we provided to our patients. We treated them with compassion, understanding and true professionalism. It is my belief that it is still important to regard dentistry as a calling and I hope today's young dentists will find themselves heeding the advice of dentists who have many years of experience.
I hope that this column will stimulate discussion on the philosophical future of dentistry, secure in the knowledge that the scientific future of the profession is assured.
Article by: Ontario Dentist
By: Murray Rubin – community editorial board Toronto Star
As a pharmacist, now retired, who practiced his profession for 45 years, most of the time as president of a small chain of prescription pharmacies called Vanguard Drug Mart, I can unequivocally state that the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care under the leadership of George Smitherman, has completely caved in to the research-based pharmaceutical companies known as Big Pharma and the Ontario Pharmacists Association. His original Bill 102, which in my opinion was inadequate, has now been completely gutted. The Ontario Medical Association was not targeted for any changes. The Minister probably felt that taking on the pharmaceutical manufacturers, the pharmacists and the doctors at the same was not a good strategy.
Let me make one thing clear at the onset. The health care system operates more or less reasonably well at this time. The problem is that costs of maintaining the system at this level are skyrocketing and the Liberals do not have the guts to make changes to keep the system effective but at prices the Ontario taxpayer can afford.
There are no health-care angels in Ontario, only interests. The public would like to get the most innovative solutions to health problems using all the hi-tech developments available and pay nothing, or nearly nothing. The pharmacists, the doctors and Big Pharma want to maintain the status quo or to make more money, if possible. Nobody has an interest in cutting costs unless costs are cut in areas that do not affect them. No profession or industry will act on its own in the public interest.
What is to be done? As a person with many years of practice interacting with the players involved, and with no financial interest, I propose that we need nothing short of revolutionary changes in the parameters of operation of medicine, pharmacy and Big Pharma.
Let me begin with the doctor. The cost of pharmaceuticals is increasing at an alarming rate. The general practitioner and the specialists prescribe many new medicines at inflated prices that are at times only marginally better than the old, because they are bombarded by drug salesmen extolling the benefits that are non-existent or, at best, similar to the benefits of the drugs now in use.
Chronically ill patients, taking the same medicine over many years, are often asked to make an office visit to repeat the prescription, at a cost to the taxpayers. There are many patients going to see general practitioners for simple ailments that could easily be diagnosed by other trained professionals (pharmacists and nurse practitioners) who would charge much less for the service. Some of the simple work done by specialists can be given to other professionals as well. I refer, as an example, to optometrists who can do refractory work and test for common eye ailments, leaving the more complicated areas for ophthalmologists. In remote communities these changes have occurred on their own, due to the lack of doctors, and seem to be working very well.
Pharmacists and nurse practitioners would be given specialized training to do the diagnosing which would be expected of them. The pharmacists, whose fee for dispensing has not appreciably increased in years, would not need the kick-backs (renamed professional allowances), to continue in practice, as they would be paid by the government for this service. Pharmacists would take their proper place as drug specialists to advise doctors on the right drug at the best price. They would also be allowed to repeat the doctor’s prescriptions for long-term care patients, under certain controls.
Pharmacists have the legal right to substitute less expensive generic drugs for drugs listed in the Drug Benefit book. This allows the government to pay less for these drugs as would private payers. There are many drugs not listed in the book that have generic equivalents, but the pharmacist cannot legally substitute for them. Why not allow pharmacists to substitute all drugs that have generic equivalents, thereby saving the government and private payers money? The answer, of course, is that Big Pharma pressured the government to not allow this extra substitution.
Big Pharma exerts big pressure. With election money for politicians and the threat of taking their manufacturing facilities out of the province, they intimidate politicians into accepting their formula for doing business. The cost of drugs is rising world-wide and very soon it will be impossible for them to sustain this modus operandi. Another method will have to be found to fund research to find new medicines.
The above changes cannot be realized with the present political system. Health care is too important to be left in the hands of intimidated politicians worried about being reelected. An act should be passed to set up committees to reevaluate all the jobs done by health professionals. These committees should include educators, retired pharmaceutical manufacturers, retired physicians, retired pharmacists, retired nurses, hospital administrators and people who do not have a financial interest in the status quo. The terms of reference should include the following: “provide excellent health care at sustainable cost and do not interfere unnecessarily in the proper care for the Ontario public”. This would free the politicians from any blame for the disruption which has to occur to make the necessary changes.
The changes required are monumental but necessary to accommodate the baby-boomers reaching the age where their needs will bankrupt the system.
Will the Real Toulouse Please Stand!
by Ken (Borofsky) Borden
Book 1X Chapter IV and the bottom paragraph of page 236
Harbord was the wrong school for me! I didn’t belong there. Bad choice. I’m an artist. I should have chosen Central Tech. I just followed my buddies that day to Harbord Collegiate. It was simple.
Harbord is not for dreamers, and artists are definitely dreamers. I found that out the hard way. McNaughton (a wonderful man) would continually “crush” my shoulder between his thumb and pointy finger until I winced with pain! I really liked him but he was always losing his cool with my lack of performance and progress. It was my fault and I deserved all he gave me. How’s that for being objective?
It had to be 1945. We had an all-boys form, 1E. Great guys. Wild guys. Lots of laughs, and…lots of brains! Clever, clever, clever guys, real good students. I did not belong in their class. They sailed through the stuff like it was butter.
Me? I drew pictures. Cartoons, illustrations, posters, retouching underwear and jock straps on the statues in the Latin book, etc.
They laughed and I loved it. That’s what I’ve always done. From the age of 4, I was drawing all the comics, forever doodling and creating. That was my schtick. I knew by the time I was 4 that I was going to be what was called then, a “commercial artist”. As I said before, I should have gone to Tech but I wanted to stay with my buddies. You can’t blame a kid for that!
“My guys” went on to become the big “machers” of the city. The big doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers, etc. They were all great and were trained at Harbord. They absorbed, I didn’t. I did not have the interest or the dedication. That is both a blessing and a curse.
People would marvel at my drawings and praise me to the sky. Super! They would say things like “I can’t even draw a straight line!” and “How do you do it?” Fine. That’s the “blessing” part. The “curse” part is possessing a lack of commitment and interest to serious study. I didn’t have it. I respected it, but couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. I remember “my guys” didn’t even have to write final exams in June. They had already passed! I wrote them.
I remember a Latin exam. All I did was go into the classroom, put my name and form number on the page, and go home. Now, that’s what I call a mental block! I just could not handle Latin. When the guys said it was easy, I didn’t know what they were talking about, for me it was a mountain I couldn’t climb.
We all have our “thing” and mine was art. After my second year at Harbord, I went to Norvoc for the art course. Great move. I belonged there with the other artists... my people, dreamers. Sweet, sensitive, no prejudices. I felt, for the first time in a high school, a sensation of extreme comfort. I was home.
We had a class of over 40 male and female wannabe commercial artists. Only 2 ended up in the business. I was one. There was another artist at Northern, Richard (Dick)Williams, not in the art course, that ended up in the business. He was sensational. You’ve seen his work. He did the Pink Panther movie titles. One of the best artists I’ve ever known! He used to follow me around with a pencil and paper writing down the crazy things and ideas that came out of my mouth. A great guy with a great talent.
I was one of the lucky ones in the class. I landed a job as an art apprentice working with one of Toronto’s top illustrators in a silk screen shop. I worked on some big accounts there. Coca-Cola, Revlon Cosmetics, Philips Electronics, etc. Loved it! I was in heaven.
Inside of 6 months, the plant foreman and me had our own silk screen printing shop set up in my mother’s basement. We did some fantastic work, like 5 colour Christmas cards, the first 3 color business card to utilize the new Photo-screen process! I was flying! (Dreamers love to fly!) It was a new world and life for me, and I never looked back.
The art, advertising, and creative industries have given me all I could want. I was taught that once I felt bored at a job and stopped learning… MOVE! I did. A direct-mail company hired me to handle all their creative. They kept me so busy, they wouldn’t allow me to go home. They fed me on-site, and insisted I sleep on-site, on a cot! My parents went nuts! “I’ve never heard of such a thing!”, screamed my mother.
Time for another move. A very busy, small art studio specializing in photo retouching, took me on as their apprentice. A great learning experience and a new direction in my artwork commenced. Leaning to be a photo retoucher, something never taught in schools. They treated me like a son, even had me to their homes on weekends. Loved those guys, real characters!
Then Jack Kent Cooke hired me as assistant art director at his New Liberty magazine where I did page layouts, page assemblies, and screened and purchased, from their original art, the cartoons from all the greatest cartoonists of the day! Wow, can anything top THIS? I handled their artwork like it was gold, carefully and with the cleanest of hands which I washed thoroughly every few minutes. There was no excuse for dirty hands smudging artwork. I’m still the same way. My hands are cleaner than any surgeon’s hands!
New Liberty magazine was a turning point in my career. The art community got to know me. I had a few monthly items in the mag, “My Favourite Laugh”, “Famous Sports Events”, and a few full page and double page illustrations.
As well, I developed friendships with the city’s top artists and illustrators as they came daily to sell their work and ideas. I made lifetime associations with most of them which I cherish to this day. I was lucky and I kept thinking about my former classmates from art school who didn’t make it. I guess they were not as committed to the profession. I knew I was not going to do anything else. I was an artist and that’s all I wanted to be and my parents supported me all the way, although none of my relatives ever understood what I did for a living, still, to this day!
I was told to try and get a job at THE art studio of the day, TDF. They hired me as a general artist. They liked the way I “talked”. Great, as long as I could start working with the finest collection of artists in North America, like famous illustrators Wil Davies, Eric Dzenis, portrait expert, Cliff Douglas, world-class car artist, Marvin Stessel, a former partner of mine and the world’s fastest lettering man, as far as I’m concerned, and many more.
We are now in 1953, I’m at TDF Artists Ltd., and life couldn’t be better. All my buddies from Harbord were busy at school, University of Toronto, etc. and here I am working for a living. I missed the guys during this period of my life but we’d see one another on weekends. That was ok as we were both doing our “thing”. They were all working toward great futures while I was developing mine, now.
You’re going to enjoy this part of my story. I fell madly in love with my friend’s kid sister! My buddy was Sammy Powell, and we were in the same class at Harbord. He followed me around like a puppy because I could make him laugh like a loon. I loved his laughter and he was a pleasure to be with, very positive, very pleasant. He took me home to meet the rest of the Powells and there she was, his younger sister Norma, a dead ringer for Leslie Caron the movie star, cute as a button, and a laugh as good as Sam’s. I’ll let you in on a little secret…funny guys absolutely love people that laugh, laugh, and laugh some more! It was love at first laugh! Sammy asked me if I would like him for a brother-in-law. I said yes. He said, “Then you have to marry my sister!” I did. That’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Best move I ever made, about 52 years ago. How do you like that? I do.
We have 3 great kids with tons of talent and smarts between them. Two are superb writers/artists, that’s Jaye and Darryl. Our youngest daughter Haley is a very successful and popular personal trainer who has among her clients, the Rolling Stones, The Toronto Blue Jays, and the Toronto Argonauts.
Darryl is the closest thing to the Lone Ranger as you’ll ever meet. He has looked after Toronto’s homeless, giving them food, clothing, and comfort for the past 7 years. The street people know “Darryl” and love “Darryl”. Ask one.
We are proud parents. That’s what it’s all about.
In September 1954, I organized my first art studio, Available Artists, 97 Yonge Street, 3rd floor, (what a schlep). I had 5 partners, each representing an art specialty, lettering, retouching, illustration, and me on mechanical art assemblies and cartoon illustrations. The rest we would “farm” out to freelancers. I had to do the sales part of the studio. The “artists” were too shy to go cold-calling on potential clients, so, I did it. I “called” during the day, and did the artwork during the night. That became a routine and my way of life. At least I wasn’t putting down loam! We were a success and serviced all the ad agencies in Toronto. We became another supplier to them, their art department. Great.
I then set up another larger art studio, with 2 other partners called Robert Fawcett & Associates. Fawcett was known worldwide as the “illustrators’ illustrator” and was famous for his Sherlock Holmes illustrations in the Saturday Evening Post, the leading U.S. magazine of the day. Imagine, I’m a partner with the best of the best, Robert Fawcett! Unbelievable! Again we were successful and flourished serving the ad agencies of Toronto, handling such accounts as Westinghouse, GE, GM, Ford, etc. You can’t name a national account I haven’t worked on one time or another, (little ‘ole me, and I didn’t miss Latin!).
We evolved into Borden Johnson Stessel Ltd., still a large art studio, still doing super stuff for super clients, still working for the ad agencies. I keep mentioning “ad agencies” because it led to me to forming Ken Borden Advertising & Associates Ltd., an ad agency, my own ad agency, and it happened by client demand. They started asking me , since I’m doing the creative, why not “place” the ad, be it in some publication or electronic media, radio or TV. It took off! You could see my work all around the city and provinces. I created the first Speedy Muffler King logo, the Mac’s Milk cat logo, the Jewish Family and Child Service logo, the Camp Tamarack logo and the then famous Royal Bank campaign, “Hi, I’m Mary, I work at the Royal Bank”, the Silvano’s logo, all the private brand packaging for Towers stores, selective national packages for Panasonic lighting products, and tons more too numerous to mention. We were responsible for the complete electronic media-buy for Chorus Line, Les Miz, Buddy, etc., etc., actually handled the Royal Alex’s radio/TV advertising for close to 20 years, as well as the creative execution for all the commercials. This is definitely not boring work. Every assignment was different and a challenge. I can say I never missed a deadline in my career, never.
I wore a lot of different hats, I had to, and I learned a lot along the way. I wouldn’t change a minute of my exciting “ride”.
I taught cartooning and graphics for over 22 years for the Jewish Community Centre (YMHA) and various arms of the Toronto Board of Education. My classes were composed of seniors, the handicapped, and children of various ages. As long as they liked to draw they were welcome. I even had grand parents with their grand children attending! It worked out sensationally.
I even became an author and co-authored a Canadian best-seller in 1967 titled “…now show me your belly-button!” My co-author was a former brilliant student of Harbord, Reuben Schafer, and we followed up our
“belly-button” hit with another best-seller “How to make love to a feminist!” I illustrated a few other books and helped other authors publish their creations. I designed and helped create for my good friend the title for Sol Cantor’s book, “From Then To Now, Growing Up Jewish in Toronto’s Little Italy”. I was asked to photograph, create, design and aid in the production of a very important book about Toronto called “Sculpture Toronto” by June Ardiel. It was the number one best seller at the Art Gallery of Ontario, a very informative and pretty book.
I illustrated three children’s books and recently completed the illustrations for a current selling book called “Sing and Learn Yiddish” by Muni and Carole Basman of Toronto.
I’m still doing what I’ve always done, but on a smaller scale. It isn’t any easier and the challenges are the same. I usually have the necessary answers by the time I start to “do”! That’s my old friend “experience” coming through, as I mentioned previously.
I worked with the best in the world. They were my friends, my partners, and most importantly, my mentors. They taught me what “good” is, what “quality” is. In my humble opinion, the most important ingredients in our universe, next to health.
I miss my mentors now. They’re gone. I miss their constructive criticism, direction, and sometimes praise. Praise only matters when it comes from someone who knows…really knows. My mentors knew, they knew, priceless stuff, now, no longer available to me. They were the greatest of the greats of the art world as I knew it, great illustrators, great lettering men, and great layout men. I had the best. Lucky me.
I’m still learning and I’m a better student now, at 74, than I was at Harbord Collegiate and Norvoc. I’m forever taking computer graphic courses and still get ”high” when a good assignment comes together. As long as I can still think and draw I’ll continue working. Currently I’m working on a comic strip called “Senior Moments”. Let’s see what develops.
Gee, I used to hate those detentions!
HELP! It all began as a frantic phone call from my son, Steven. He was in trouble. The daycare for my grandchildren, Sabine (three years old) and Zac (nearly five) was unexpectedly closing at the end of May. The problem was that my daughter-in-law Jacqueline had to teach until the end of June. To compound the dilemma, my son and his family live in Vancouver while I live in Toronto. Since my wife was working, the spotlight fell on me. I was retired and available. I volunteered to take over and immediately set off for Vancouver, seduced by the romantic image of bonding with my West Coast grandchildren. My son met me at the airport and I was never greeted with such love and solicitude.
The following day my apprenticeship began. Jacqueline, a very organized young woman, prepared lists of instructions; lists of foods, lists of clothing, lists of activities, and most importantly, lists of things not to
do. I found out quickly that my grandchildren do not eat…they graze. The fridge was full of small plastic containers stuffed with either cut up apples, cut up cheese, cut up oranges, cut up celery, cut up zucchini, cut up broccoli and cut up tomatoes. I was instructed to give an offering to the children at the slightest sign of hunger throughout the day. A complete list of daily activities was provided with clear directions to different
destinations such as the playground, Granville Island, the Vancouver Aquarium and the beach, A time schedule was also provided, divided into one hour segments. Important notations such as, "Ask Sabine if she has to pee."
were underlined in black. Topping the list of ‘no-nos’ was no French fries, no TV and most importantly, no videos - no matter how much the kids begged.
My readers should be made aware that I am a ‘50s guy who left the rearing of my children completely to my wife. Being a caregiver to little children was a completely new experience. I kept a diary and I believe outlining my day
from Hell will provide you with the full flavour of my experience.
8:00 AM Get the kids dressed. Sabine is very choosy this morning and she has to try on three different outfits before she selects one she likes. Breakfast seems to take forever as the children have a spirited debate as to which cereal to chose from the many that line the cupboard.
10:AM We are finally ready to leave the house (one hour later than the schedule specified). I load the stroller with my granddaughter, several changes of clothes, a variety of toys and off we go to Granville Island.
The bus stop is nearby and everyone is in a high state of excitement. When the bus arrives, the two kids scramble on while I struggle on with the bulky stroller. As soon as we are seated, Zac starts whining in a progressively louder voice, " Zaidy, I’m hungry, Zaidy, I’m hungry." I manage to quiet him down by assuring him I will provide some food at the bus transfer point, which is coming up in a minute. We get off the bus to wait for our connecting bus and I reach down into the stroller for the food bag. Not there! In the commotion of leaving the house I must have forgotten to pack it. Immediately the whining begins again, this time from both children. I
decide the best course of action in this difficult situation is to go back home and get the lunch and snacks. So, back we go. Again the kids quickly scramble onto the bus while I struggle with the stroller.
11:00 AM Home again at last, pick up the food, and we start off once more. A small fight ensues as Zac and Sabine are now both in the stroller jockeying for a comfortable position. I settle them down and go back to the
bus stop, ready for our adventure. The bus arrives, the kids quickly scramble on and once again I struggle with the stroller. We get off at the transfer point and wait for the Granville Island bus. Suddenly I look down and notice Zac is not wearing shoes. "Zac, where are your shoes?" I ask. He replies coolly," I left them at home Zaidy." Again, there is no alternative and we turn around and board the bus for home.
NOON We arrive home and recover the shoes. Since it is already noon, I decide to give the children lunch at home.
1:00 PM We finally set off for Granville Island for the third time. All goes well and we arrive incident free. We have the whole afternoon to enjoy ourselves. We visit the model train museum, feed the ducks and play in the wonderful playground. We top off the afternoon with ‘forbidden fruit’, a plateful of greasy, crunchy French fries.
3:30 PM We head to the water taxi stand that will take us to Jericho beach and the nearby park. After a short boat ride with minimal arguing and pushing for the best seat on the small ferry, we arrive at the park. A bus runs directly home from that point with no transfer necessary. I begin wheeling the stroller through the park when Sabine tells me that she has to pee. I am pleased because the previous three times she did not tell me and we had already used up all her extra underwear. With my help, she goes behind a bush and pees. Everything seems fine until suddenly she starts howling like a Banshee. She refuses to speak but continues to shriek. The park is full of people and quite a crowd quickly gathers to see what the fuss is all about. Advice comes from all
the observers. ‘She’s tired, let her rest." someone shouts. "She’s hungry. Get her something to eat.", says another. "She must have been bitten by a bee." yells a third. "She misses her mommy." Chimes in someone else.
Finally, I pull my ace and tell her she won’t be able to see the new video I had just bought. She quiets down immediately and informs me in a soft voice that she had been crying because a drop of pee had fallen on her shorts. I quickly promised to change her as soon as we got home. Problem solved.
6:00 PM We finally arrive at the bus stop. I am very, very tired and can’t wait to get home. The bus arrives, the kids scramble on, and as usual I follow behind, struggling with the stroller. Suddenly, with a very loud, officious tone of voice, the driver informs me that unless I fold the stroller flat (an impossibility, given my load) I can not get on her bus. The passengers begin to boo the driver, but she is adamant and won’t change her mind. I retrieve the kids, get off and wait for the next bus which arrives in just a few minutes. The gracious young driver welcomes me aboard and, with the unfolded stroller and kids in tow, we finally head home.
6:30. Home at last. I am bone tired but the kids still are energetic and insist on seeing a video after dinner and promise to be good. This is an offer I can’t refuse. The dinner goes very well and I get ready to play the video when suddenly the phone rings. It is my son. His very first words to me are, "Didn’t you have a wonderful day with the kids Dad?" I mumble something about getting the kids ready for bed and quickly hang up the phone while in the background Zac and Sabine loudly chant "Video, Video, Video". I finally get the video going and the kids go quiet. What a day!
Was the experience worth it? Absolutely. To my grandchildren I have joined the ranks of legendary super-heroes like Superman and Batman and I will be known now and forever as 'Zaidy Daycare'.
Josh Fedder class of 1950
COMING TO CANADA
By: Sean Yerzy
My two brothers, Jordan (age 10) and Andrew (age 7) and I are second generation Canadians. My parents, David Yerzy and Patricia Wong (a Harbord graduate, class of 1981) were both born in Canada and are children of immigrants. My paternal grandparents, Eric and Sonia Yerzy are Jews from Poland. My maternal grandparents, Chuck and Susan Wong are from China.
My father, David was born in Montreal, Quebec in June 1962. He was raised in Montreal, Quebec but left Quebec in 1985 to study law at Osgoode Law School. He practices law with my mother, Patricia also a lawyer at their own law office on Prince Arthur Avenue.
My mother, Patricia, a graduate of Harbord recalls fondly her times at Harbord. Her good friends are friends she went to high school with. She is still active in the Harbord Foundation which raises scholarship money for Harbord students. Everytime she drives us past Harbord, she always says, “That’s my high school.” Although that may the 100th time she’s told me, I still indulge her and say, “That’s great mom.” How I became a Chinese Jew is an interesting story.
My paternal grandfather (“Zaidy), Eric Yerzy was born in a small farming village near Dombrawa, Poland in 1919. He had three sisters and four brothers. Although his family was poor, his early childhood was very happy. When World War II broke out, his life changed forever. Later in the war, Hitler’s Nazis started rounded up Jews in Europe and deporting them to concentration camps. In 1941, my grandfather’s entire family was rounded up. Each family member was deported to different concentration camps. That was the last time he saw his parents again.
My grandfather Eric survived the concentration camps and so did two of his younger sisters, Bluma and Sally. Sadly, he lost his parents and five of his brothers and sisters. I am named after my grandfather’s brother Zev. Zev is my Hebrew name. Zev was killed by the Nazis trying to escape. In 1945, Eric escaped during a train transport to Czechoslovakia. He hid himself in a train compartment. He was later found by a train conductor who took pity on him. The employee took my grandfather to a house where he was safely hidden for several weeks. This man risked his life to save my grandfather. Six weeks after his escape, the war ended and Europe was liberated. After the War ended, his Czech “friend” took him to a hospital where he was treated.
My grandfather was hospitalized for over six months in Czechoslovakia recovering from psychological trauma and disease. He was sixty pounds at the end of the War. During this time, he was also trying to find out if any of his family had survived the war. With the help of the Red Cross, Eric tracked down his two sisters, Bluma and Sally. Bluma and Sally had been sent to a refugee camp in Sweden. Bluma and Sally joined Eric in Czechoslovakia and the three of them were sent to a Displaced Persons Camp for Refugees in Landsberg, Germany. They stayed in the camp for several years. During this time, Eric learned how to repair radios and small electronics.
My grandfather decided that he wanted to leave Europe because he had so many bad memories of his life there. He contacted some Canadian relatives in Windsor who agreed to sponsor him to work on their farm. He took a boat ride from Germany to Canada in the spring of 1948 to start his new life. He was penniless and did not speak any English. The boat ride took over eight days and he was seasick because of the rough weather. The boat docked at Quebec City and Eric took a train to Windsor. Eric worked at his relative’s farm for about two years. He worked hard to improve his English. He did not want to be a farmhand forever. He had bigger dreams. He wanted to open up a store fixing and selling radios.
In 1951, my grandfather moved to Montreal to join his sisters, Bluma and Sally. In 1955, Eric realized his dreams and opened up his store, ERIC TELEVISION on Park Avenue. He worked very long hours to make his business a success. He was also a bachelor at this time so he spent a lot of time at work.
My paternal grandmother Sonia was born in Poland in 1942. During the War, she was forced to leave Poland and deported to Siberia with her family. Siberia is one of the coldest places in the world. There was no heat. There was no food. It was difficult to survive under such circumstances. Her father and only sister died in Siberia from disease and hunger. Somehow she and my great grandmother, Bubbi Perl survived. After World War II ended, she and her mother went back to Poland. Her mother married again and her brother, Steve was born in 1952. In 1960, her family decided to immigrate to Israel.
In 1961, my grandfather went to Israel for a vacation. It was in Israel that he met my grandmother, Sonia. They married in Israel in 1961. My grandmother was 19 years of age when she married by grandfather who was already in his early forties. My grandfather brought her back to Montreal and my father was born in 1962. My aunt, Helen was born in 1964 in Montreal. In Montreal, my grandmother learned English and helped my grandfather in his electronics store.
In August 1990, my grandfather lost his business to a fire which burned almost 4 buildings to the ground. They learned later that some teenagers smoking in the laneway behind the house were responsible. My grandfather was very sad after the fire because the business was his life. He had too much time on his hands but he adjusted. He had been through worse things in his life. Now, he is happily retired in Montreal with my grandmother. One of his favourite things is coming to visit our family in Toronto.
Now, I better talk about my mother’s family. Her family’s story is also an immigrant’s story of hardship and success. My mother, Patricia was born in Belleville, Ontario in September 1962. She is youngest of three children. My uncle, Raymond was born in Canton China in May 1955 and my other uncle, Michael was born in Trenton, Ontario in November 1960. My mother’s family moved to Toronto in 1965 in search of better opportunities. Education was very important to my mother’s family. My grandparents, Chuck and Susan did not have a formal education and they always wanted the children to have easier lives in Canada. They believed that success in Canadian society was related to education so they always urged my mother to study hard.
My maternal grandparent’s road to Canada started in Taishan Village, Canton (now Guandong) China. My maternal grandfather, Chuck Wong was born in 1930 in Canton China. My grandmother, Susan was born in 1932 in Canton, China. My maternal grandparents were married in 1953 in China. Life in China was very hard. They were poor. They were uneducated. Food was scarce. The Communist government was very harsh to the people. My grandfather knew that there was better life outside of China as his own father; Oak Wong had left the village in 1940’s for the “Golden Mountain”. He often sent money home to support my great grandmother and my grandfather. In 1958, my grandfather finally had the opportunity to leave China to join his father in Canada. However, he could not take my grandmother and uncle because there was not enough money. They would join him in a few years after he had settled in Canada. My grandfather had to take a boat from his village to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, he took an airplane to New York and then Toronto. From Toronto, he took a bus to Trenton where his father had lived and where he had some relatives who could help him to find a job. My grandfather was very sad when he arrived in Canada because his father had died several months earlier of a massive heart attack. He was happy to be in Canada but at the same time very sad because reuniting with his father was one the main reasons he came to Canada. The first thing he did when he came to Canada was to visit his father’s gravesite in Trenton, Ontario. He continues to visit the gravesite once a year to pay his respects.
My grandfather got a job as a dishwasher and then waiter. Eventually, he saved enough so that he could bring his family over. In 1959, my grandmother came to Canada with her young son (my uncle) Raymond. In 1960, my mother’s second brother, Michael was born.
In 1965, my grandparents moved to Toronto looking for better job opportunities. My grandfather got a job as a waiter and then manager at a restaurant called “Paradise Gardens” on Danforth Avenue. My grandmother worked at the National Rubber Factory as a factory worker. They worked many hours in these jobs for very little pay. However, they saved up enough money to buy a house in downtown Toronto (where they still live today) and to send all the children to university. In 1980, my grandfather saved up enough money to buy his own restaurant. He named the restaurant “Oriental Kitchen”. My grandfather retired in 1993 due to health problems and my grandmother retired in 1995. After his retirement, my grandfather helped my mother take care of me while she worked.
All of my grandparents had very difficult lives. They overcame many difficulties and tragedies. They had to sacrifice a lot so that life would be easier for me and my parents. It makes me appreciate what I have in my own life and how special my family. They have passed important values to me, values that I hope will make me a success in life. It also makes me respect my grandparents for all that they have accomplished.
As someone who is both Chinese and Jewish, I also have the best of two worlds. I celebrate the Gregorian New Year, Rosh Hashanah and Chinese New Year. What could be more cool than that! Since I was four years of age, I studied Hebrew and Jewish studies at the Miles Nadal JCC at Spadina and Bloor. I graduated this spring and am now studying for my Bar Mitzvah next year in April 2007. Although it seems that the Chinese and Jewish cultures are different, I have learned that there are some very common values. I have learned from my grandparents and parents that you have to work hard, to persevere and to have respect and tolerance for everyone. My mother has said that one of the most wonderful things about Harbord was how multicultural it was and the fact that everyone respected everyone else for their similarities and their differences. I hope that when I go to high school, I will have a good a time as my mother had at Harbord.
Sean Yerzy is 12 years old and the son of Patricia Wong (a Harbord Graduate, class of 1981 and David Yerzy)
Pauline Rosen (“alias” Polly Priester)
The many dignified professions described in the Harbordite 54 are a hard act to follow. I am not a doctor, a lawyer, a judge, a world famous architect or an actor. However, my life has certainly been an adventure.
I studied at Harbord Collegiate from1958 through 1962. Apparently I hit Harbord Collegiate approximately forty years ahead of the times deciding at the end of the 1962 school year (Grade 12) that Grade 13 was unnecessary. Recently, as everyone knows, Grade 13 was finally abolished.
Harbord’s Principal Malloy called my mother several times imploring her to try to convince me to register for Teachers’ College. However, my mind was already set. I stood my ground. As a long time member of the Zionist Youth Organization Hashomer Hatzair, I was already planning to move to the land of Israel to become a Kibbutz pioneer.
I spent one year at a training farm in Hightstown New Jersey, U.S.A. I learned some basic Hebrew and for most of my stay there milked cows. I arrived in Israel on September 1st, 1965 and ending up on a kibbutz which did not have any cows.
After six years on the kibbutz, my husband at that time and our two children moved to the quaint pastoral town Kiryat Tivon. One of the reasons for our decision to leave the kibbutz, believe it or not, was that I decided that teaching was my calling after all. Determined to become a Teacher of English as a Second Language, I finally completed my B.A. in English Language and Literature and my Teaching Degree as a Teacher of English as a Second Language at Haifa University, Israel while raising my three children.
To make a long story short: I am divorced, the mother of five children, the grandmother of seven (to date). I was employed by the Israeli Board of Education for twenty years teaching High School English as a Second Language. I am also a certified Graphoanalyst having studied through the IGAS (International Graphoanalysis Association).
After my divorce I moved to Nazareth Illit in the Galilee with my twin daughters, the youngest of my children. From my home office I provided such services as typing, editing, proofreading, translations from Hebrew to English. I learned to type at Harbord when the subject was offered as a voluntary course to be taken during school breaks at lunch time. This was one of the wisest decisions I ever made. This skill has been invaluable to me. I believe the teacher was Mr. Smith (correct me if I’m wrong) and I can still see him before my eyes directing us step by step, letter by letter into the art of typing.
I have written a number of shorts stories and poems in English. I hope to have them published one day. I have also written for a website on the internet.
The languages I have acquired have been an invaluable asset, especially in Israel, a country with such a diversified population: Latin (despite the fact that as Harbord students we drew the word “Dying” Latin over the word “Living” Latin) has always served me well in the study of English and other languages; English, of course (Mr. Roubel and Dr. Kingston instilled in me a love of literature and the English language); French (Miss Redmond), Yiddish (my mother); German; Hebrew; Arabic.
Once all my children were grown and on their own, I relocated to Jaffa, Israel where I now reside. I love to take long walks along the Mediterranean Sea Tel Aviv Jaffa boardwalk (5 minutes away from my home), swim in the Mediterranean, browse at the local flee market (always looking for antique specials), listen to and love music (Mr. Dee); and dance folk dancing and ballroom dancing. I am still the same bookworm I was as a child who used to walk from 41 Palmerston Square to the St. George Library and back every Saturday. As a child I would look up at the book laden shelves in that awesome library room and envision myself reading every book from one side of the room through to the other.
Living in a Middle Eastern Country with its diversity of cultures has not been easy. I have always been and always will be a Canadian at heart. I have tried to maintain standards and norms that I was raised upon both at home by my mother and at Harbord Collegiate Institute. I have tried to instill the same integrity into my children, my students, and the people in the communities in Israel in which I have lived. This has been far from easy. Things Harbordites and Canadians take for granted have, in some communities, made me the exception rather than the norm. I have often had to stand up for what I believe despite intense (sometimes even aggressive) peer pressure. Israel has been a country under pressure: financial difficulties, culture clashes, wars.
Throughout it all I have always believed that it was those years at Harbord Collegiate that formed my backbone and provided me with the strength of character to survive with dignity. During the most difficult moments in my life, I have always tried to concentrate on who I am and where I came from. This has always given me an enormous amount of strength. I thank Harbord Collegiate Institute for the part it took in forming my character and providing me with a strong basic foundation.
Today I can fully appreciate the fact that Principal Malloy had the foresight to see what I was suited for and cared enough to try to get me to complete my education despite my own decision at the time. This is only one example that shows how much the teaching staff cared about its students.
Apparently my life has run its course so far as it was destined to. Today I can fully appreciate how lucky I was to be born a Canadian and to have had the privilege of studying at Harbord.
Enclosed is my Cheque toward the new WWII monument.
Articles in the latest issue of The Harbordite brought back memories of World War II and men who died in service, including Morley Orenstein who lived near us on Grace Street. My older brother Arnold, who passed away in 2000, spent a short time at Harbord before enlisting in the RCAF where he had a much more distinguished career. Afterward he loved telling stories of his missions and escapades overseas, including one in which he met with Mr. Hill a former math teacher from Harbord who arrived in England in April 1945 just as my brother was about to leave the RCAF. (I suspect that some reading this letter may know more about Mr. Hill.) Mr. Hill’s job was Education Officer, and my brother, who was very anxious about what he would do in civilian life, became his first overseas student. Hill provided very welcome advice about all the rehab services and educational opportunities available back home. My brother later went on to become a very successful business man in Toronto, thanks in part to his chance meeting of Harbord man thousands of miles from home.
Arnie spent much of his last ten years writing down these stories for family and friends, helping us all to better remember him and appreciate the life of servicemen during WW II. I look forward to seeing the completed WW II monument some day, and revisiting these memories.
Laurie Naiman (Class of 1950)
Palo Alto, California
TO: Murray Rubin Harbord Club
Thanks for your nice note. My father taught hundreds of students, many of whom I got to meet. He retired in 1972 and emigrated to Israel, where he passed away in 1982 at the age of 82. When were you at Cheder? Did I get to meet you?
I am enclosing my check for your project, and an obituary of a former math colleague of mine at Chicago, Irving Kaplansky.
The obit does not mention one important fact: that Irv Kaplansky went to Harbord, when he was very involved in mathematics and music. He sang in Gilbert and Sullivan productions, which was a life-long involvement here as well. We do an annual G&S production here which has been going on for more than 50 years, and Irv played the rehearsal piano for many of them. As an aside, a Cheder classmate (when I was in 7th and 8th grade) in 1947-8 was already in Harbord and he got me tickets to the Gondoliers, my first G&S show ever. I believe Wayne & Shuster were in that production, if memory serves
The obit also fails to mention a popular book he wrote with a colleague Yitz Hertstein on number theory: "Matters Mathematical", which is a riff on a song in Pirates of Penzance
Irv won the Math Medal in grade 13, (as did I in 1953!). We compared notes on that fact.
Herewith is my donation for the memorial. I am most impressed with the concept being presented – no more guns – But a simple “H” as a reminder of Harbord and Humanity. Do you suppose Morton Katz had this in mind? I am not against fighting for a cause, but not wasting precious lives on useless “war games”. A quote from a speech Eisenhower gave in 1946. “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only one who has seen its brutality, its futility, and its stupidity”. End of the sermon from me ––wishing you success in your fund raising
Sincerely Jean Bock
This letter will have lots of reminiscing from a long, long time ago, in fact from 1941. Enclosed are two snaps from a weiner roast that we had at our "cottage" on July 6, 1941. It was on what is called Airport Rd. now, just below the Caledon Crossroad. It no longer exists because it burned down around 1950. The last Harbordite I have is No. 50, Spring 2004. It's possible that others were sent after that, but were sent back to you. My husband had a very severe stroke in February 2000. He is still in Extended care in Ladysmith hospital where I am able to visit him twice a week , but we will be going back to Ontario very soon as we still have relatives and friends there. We have family in the Kitchener-Waterloo areas where we still have a residence in a nursing home/residential home setting. We have been in B.C. for 33 years so it's time we came back home. This, of course, is a long way from 1941 when I graduated from Harbord. I was the fourth in our family who went to Harbord. I had an older sister who graduated in 1931, an older brother who graduated probably in 1933. I had another sister, 7 years older, who went for a few years but had to drop out because of ill health and then I went to the only place I wanted to go.....Harbord Collegiate Institute. Only my brother and I are left and I'm looking forward to seeing him when we go back.
My daughter in Edmonton had her daughter graduate this week with all the attendants and fuss that there is now, new clothes, especially made, a big banquet, and parties afterwards. She said they have to make a big deal of this because most will be going to various universities and never see each other again. "Away back when" only the fortunate ones went on to university....but it is so long ago we should expect things to change in 65 years.
I hope you may be able to do something with these pictures and find this
interesting even though it happened 65 years ago. We will receive mail here
for now and it should be forwarded for 6 months until I can contact you from
the Kitchener/Waterloo area where we will be going. I do hope the
Harbordite is still going strong and would like to have any copies available after the Sping 2004. With the best of luck.
Irene (Prince) Wright
Left to Right - Marion
Back Row: Marion Prince, Marion Prost, Irene Prince,
Front Row: Peggy O’Neill, Jean Mowat, Rhoda Brown,
Vivian Scott, Marqaret Clouston (Who went to Bloor
Collegiate because of where she lived)
Enclosed please find a donation towards the Harbord Foundation For Hugh Machdonald Award. Mr. Macdonald was the guidance counselor during my years at Harbord (1969
1984) and became a good friend to my husband and me over the years, as he has been to countless other HCI graduates
His wisdom, encouragement, friendship and support have always been greatly treasured.
Elaine Chin (nee Mark)
I read the article in the CJN about the WWII memorial with great interest. My uncle, Alexander Garalick, graduated from Harbord in the late 30's. After several years at U of T, he joined the Army, then the Air Force, and was, sadly, killed in action in 1943 over Germany. My mother, Alex's sister, and I would like to make a contribution to your memorial efforts. My mother could provide pictures of Alex and his friends from Harbord, and could talk more about the environment there that fostered such a committment to our Nation. Alex traded a position at University and a dream of med school for the role of soldier. I have read letters that he sent home to his distraught family in which he clearly articulates the need for Canadians and Jews to fight against what he and apparently everyone around him knew was happening in Europe. I always found that interesting given the supposed lack of information about the unfolding holocaust. Regardless, he knew where his duty lay. I hate to say that we should be proud of someone who had to die in a war. In fact, it was a great waste. But someone had to do it and he took on the responsibility. Harbord and her surrounding community must have provided him with a strong moral compass.
Please call me at (416) 489-2862 in the evening or (416) 813-6564 during the day and I will provide my credit card number for the donation. Good luck in your efforts.
(Dr) Russell Schacha
I’m a WW II veteran in the U.S. Army and I went to school at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. But what the hell!
Herb Brooks (Donation to the WWII monument)
Dear Murray Rubin,
Please accept a donation of $200.00 towards the Harbord C.I. Second World War Memorial.
class of 1978
p.s. My husband and I attended the Remembrance Day ceremony last November and we were very impressed. You are right, it was a ‘most moving occasion’.
Standing there brought back so many fond memories: five years with the Harbord choir under Mrs. Ila Beattie Vaculik, conversations with guidance personnel Ms. Sue Davey and Mr. Hugh MacDonald, French classes with Mrs. Lena Winesanner (with whom I continue to share lunches).
.Class of 1981 Harbord C.I. Reunion.
Woollings, Norman Donald. Passed away peacefully on Monday 29, 2006 in Burlington, ON. Son of the late Stanley & Isobel Woollings. Born in Toronto April 16, 1926 he attended Normal Model School, Harbord Collegiate (graduated 1943) and received his B.A.Sc. in 1948 and his M.A.Sc. in 1950 from the University of Toronto. He retired in 1984 after 31 years with Alchem/Nalco Inc. He leaves to mourn him his wife, Joyce, of 57 years, 3 sons and 1 daughter.
JOHN WEINZWEIG, COMPOSER AND TEACHER 1913-2006
From the Toronto Star, Aug 26, 2006, by Sandra Martin. (abridged)
John Weinzweig "was an outstanding composer who put Canadian music on the map," said a grieving conductor Victor Feldbrill yesterday. "He was also an incredible teacher and mentor and a real fighter for the cause of Canadian music. I'm sure that at times he must have felt like Don Quixote trying to conquer a windmill," Mr. Feldbrill said, "but he always had a great sense of humour.”
Recognized as the dean of Canadian classical composers and dubbed the radical romantic for his interest in new ways of expressing profoundly democratic motivations, Mr. Weinzweig was also a dedicated teacher who influenced generations of such musicians as Murray Adaskin, Harry Freedman, Harry Somers, Milton Barnes, John Beckwith, Srul Irving Glick, and R. Murray Schafer.
John Jacob Weinzweig was born in Toronto before the First World War, the eldest of three children of Joseph and Rose Weinzweig. His parents, who had emigrated from Russian-occupied Poland, settled in the Bathurst and College area in Toronto where his father operated a fur business. John went to Harbord Collegiate Institute, an academically rigorous school, with a school orchestra program, which enabled him to progress beyond the mandolin lessons he had received at his Jewish religious school. His parents paid for private piano lessons, which enabled him to attain a university entrance level in piano and musical theory at what is now the Royal Conservatory of Music. His younger brother Morris was also musical and they often played together to make extra money, especially after their father's fur business faltered in the Depression.
As Mr. Weinzweig recalled many years later in a conversation with composer John Beckwith: "Between the ages of 14 and 19, I studied the piano, mandolin, sousa-phone, double bass and tenor saxophone — and harmony. I played and conducted school orchestras, dance bands, weddings, lodge meetings, and on electioneering trucks for a range of fees between
In the 1930s, Mr. Weinzweig enrolled as an undergraduate at the faculty of music at the University of Toronto. While at the U of T he placed an ad in The Varsity, the student newspaper, for students to play in a symphonic ensemble and became the conductor of the first University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He graduated with a bachelor of music degree in 1937.
Howard Hanson, the director of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, when he was guest conducting in Toronto, encouraged him to apply to do graduate workin composition at the U of R, and he complied. In 1938, he earned a master's degree in music, thus consciously embracing an American approach versus the more typically British one that prevailed in Canada in those days. It was in Rochester that he first heard and studied the scores for Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Alban Berg's lyric Suite for string quartet, two works that influenced him greatly.
Back in Toronto, he made a living of sorts as a private music teacher and freelance composer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which had been founded as a Crown corporation in 1936, and for the National Film Board, which had been created in 1939. One day he dropped into his old high school, Harbord Collegiate Institute, where he met a young violin student named Victor Feldbrill. "John had a new composition and he asked me to sit down at the piano with him and he showed me how the score was constructed," Mr. Feldbrill remembered yesterday.
"It was a real revelation for a youngteenagerbecause I had never been in the presence of a composer in my life." Mr. Feldbrill soon began studying with Mr. Weinzweig, beginning a professional and personal relationship that lasted more than 60 years.
On July 19, 1940, he married Helen Tenenbaum, a young woman who had emigrated from Poland whenshewas9 andwho lived in the same neighbourhood. About a dozen years younger than her husband, she also attended Harbord Collegiate. In 1990, she told H.J, Kirchhoff of The Globe and Mail how their romance began. "I had been away for two years at a sanatorium because of tuberculosis. Just after I got back, I was waiting for a streetcar outside Jack's house, and he came out and saw me there and said, 'Helen! I thought you were dead.'
Together, the Weinzweigs had two sons: Paul, a sociologist turned high-tech engineer, who was born in 1943; and Daniel, a film and television producer, who arrived in 1947. In between the births of his sons, Mr. Weinzweig enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served as a band instructor.
After, the war, education grants for veterans brought Mr. Weinzweig a stream of students, among them Harry Somers, Harry Freedman and Murray Adaskin. He appeared on the program of the Toronto Symphony's first all-Canadian concert in 1947, and the newly formed Canadian Music Council entered his Divertimento No, 1 for flute and stings to the arts division of the 1948 Olympics where it won first place in the chamber music category.
In 1952, he was hired as a professor of composition in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, a position he held for the next quarter of a century, retiring as a professor emeritus in 1978.
This was an expansive cultural era in Canada dial saw the founding of support systems such as the Canada Council and the emerging sense artists did not necessarily have to toil in isolation or flee to Europe or the United States.
A group of musicians including Louis Applebaum, Harry Freedman, Harry Somers and John Beck-with banded together to form the Canadian League of Composers in 1951, with Mr. Weinzweig as the founding president
Although he had been in precarious health for the past few years, he had a resurgence of energy a year ago in which he reworked his 1941 piece Rhapsody for Orchestra. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed it at a concert this spring, and Mr. Weinzweig was there to hear the resounding applause of the audience.
Probably one of the disappointments of his life was that Canadian composers haven't attained the international recognition that, say, our fiction writers have achieved. Still, he himself was honoured during his lifetime by the Order of Canada, honorary degrees, and the Molson Prize among other accolades. And as Mr. Feldbrill says: "It is because of people like John Weinzweig that Canadian music has been accepted as well as it has been. There would have been practically no recognition without him."
John Weinzweig was born in Toronto on March 11, 1913. He died in Toronto on Thursday of complications from multiple myeloma. He was 93. He is survived by his wife Helen, and sons Paul and Daniel and their families.
From the National Post August 25/ 06
Edwin A. Goodman, P.C., O.C., Q,C, died over the weekend. He was 88.
If Eddie had lived in the United States, he might have been a household name. But America probably could not have created him, nor would it have known what to do with Goodman if it had. Only contemporary Canada could have produced an Eddie Goodman, and it is a richer place for having so done so.
Eddie may be one of the least known yet most influential Canadians of the second half of the 20th century. His glorious, amazingly diverse and productive life mirrors much of what is good today about the country.
Nearly everyone who worked at the law firm he founded with his father in 1949 — from senior partners to student lawyers to fax operators — called him by his first name. If someone meeting him for the first time addressed him as Mr. Goodman, he shot back "Call me Eddie" in a warm, gravelly voice tinged with a slight lisp.
Laced throughout his career of more than 60 years as a lawyer, deal maker and political insider was Eddie's involvement in the building of nearly every aspect of post-war Canada. His impact is widespread yet almost unknown outside of a handful of fairly narrow circles.
National and local organizations as diverse as the Royal Ontario Museum, The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the National Ballet, small arts councils, the Boy Scouts and Princess Margaret Hospital, all owe much of their present shape and prominence — some, their very existence — to Eddie's direct help. He raised countless millions of dollars for every one of them. In the 1970s, he chaired the board of the floundering ROM and put it on a solid financial footing.
If numerous cultural organizations are beholden to Goodman, the list of major businesses owing much to Eddie might be even longer.
Toronto's feisty tabloid newspaper, The Toronto Sun, never would have printed a single Sunshine Girl without him. Eddie was the first outside investor to ante up when The Sun was being raised from the ashes of the defunct Telegram, and then rounded up the rest of the money needed. He continued to play a major role in the paper's success over the years.
Four Seasons Hotels, the world's premier chain of luxury hotels, owes a huge debt to him.
Without the significant efforts of Eddie and Herb Solway, a partner in his law firm, the Toronto Blue Jays would not have existed. Even before the Jays were a glint in anyone's eye, Goodman was doing legal work for Sam Bronfman's Montreal Expos and Major League Baseball itself. It was contacts made during those years that helped Goodman and Solway deliver on Labatt's desire to own a baseball franchise in Toronto. In fact, when the franchise was granted, the Blue Jays' first office was at Goodman & Goodman.
Eddie served on the board of John Labatt Ltd. for many years, and the law firm did nearly all of the firm's corporate legal work from right after the war until the company was sold to Interbrew in 1995. The relationship was an accident of war: Goodman and a Labatt lawyer served together in France and the relationship blossomed when they returned to post-war civilian life.
When Eddie first became involved with the company, he wanted to learn about the beer business. So, besides touring breweries and talking with brew masters, he spent a few days riding around Toronto on Labatt delivery trucks. Partly in recognition of Goodman's contribution to the company, every month for five decades a case of Labatt's various labels was delivered to Eddie's home.
He was also instrumental in creating Toronto's skyline. Landmarks such as Eaton Centre, SkyDome, the CN Tower and the Toronto-Dominion Centre all were built in part by his legal expertise. Cadillac-Fairview, for many years one of Canada's largest developers of commercial real estate, did not make a move without help from Eddie or one of his law partners.
A master politician, he lost the only election he ever ran in. Shortly after returning from the war, the Tories asked him to run against a Communist in a Toronto working class riding. It was a hopeless task and he lost badly, but he liked the game and moved inside. Besides raising bags of money for scores of politicians, he served as president of the national Progressive Conservative party for many years. During all of the 14 years that Bill Davis was premier of Ontario, the two met for breakfast every Tuesday morning at the Park Plaza Hotel to decide what the government would do that week. Yet while highly partisan, he was also highly pragmatic. He brought in as partners at his firm Kathy Robinson, a former president of the Ontario Liberal Party; Bob Rae, the former NDP premier; and Mike Harris, the two-term PC premier. Eddie, a breeder of thoroughbred horses and long-time racing fan, knew the value of hedging a bet.
He was much more fascinated with politics as an art form than with public policy. When Brian Mulroney was stepping down as Prime Minister, Hugh Segal was considering making a run for the Conservative Party leadership. On a conference call one afternoon, Goodman listened impatiently as the would-be candidate and several of his supporters discussed issues and ideas. Finally, Eddie could not stand it any more. He interrupted and cut to the crux of politics as he knew it: "Fuck the issues! Can we raise the money?"
During Joe Clark's short stint as Prime Minister, Goodman was nearly named Canada's ambassador to Washington until Clark was booted out of office, scuttling the offer. After that, Goodman turned down all suggested political appointments until, many years later, Brian Mulroney asked him to keep an eye on the spies. He named Eddie to the shadowy Canadian Intelligence Review Committee, the Privy Council committee overseeing the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service. When the appointment was announced, his longtime secretary, Shirley Hodgins, and a small group of people at the firm presented Eddie with a deerstalker cap and an enormous magnifying glass. He relished the job, and delighted in showing off the huge, high- security safe that a couple of burly Mounties wrestled into his office one morning and bolted into the concrete under his parquet floor.
If scores of the nation's politicians were helped by Eddie, as many artists were given a boost by him, as well. Early in his career, he combined a love of art with his belief that business should actively encourage the country's fledgling creative community. The firm began acquiring and commissioning paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Canadian artists. As the collection grew, pieces came to fill every office and boardroom, and line the hallways of the many floors the firm now occupies in an Eaton Centre tower. By the 1980s, so much art had been acquired that a curator was needed to keep track of what is arguably the best privately owned collection of contemporary Canadian art in the country.
Occasionally, he quietly helped shape Canada's foreign economic policy.
A voracious reader, in 1992 he was studying the black revolution fermenting in white-controlled South Africa. Concluding that it was imperative for Canada to rebuild economic ties with the country it helped isolate during apartheid, he wanted to help ensure that the coming change was peaceful. So, he looked for a way to open business doors to the African National Congress. Prior to the election that did away with Apartheid and propelled Nelson Mandella to South Africa's presidency, Eddie staged a meeting in Toronto, hosting the ANC's chief economic policy maker and introducing him to Canadian executives. Within a year of "The Goodman Forum," Canada led the Commonwealth in lifting its boycott of South Africa. A deputy minister in Ottawa later confided that without Goodman, the boycott may well have remained in place considerably longer.
In early 1993, he decided that Canada should take a more active role in the economic revolution that was changing the face of China. But Ottawa's policy towards Beijing at the time was still mired in a cold, post-Tiananmen Square formality, and was moving towards a more realistic policy far too slowly for Eddie's liking. So he called Prime Minister Mulroney and Michael Wilson, then Minister of International Affairs and Foreign Trade. He told them that he was inviting Zhu Rongji, later China's premier but then the vice premier responsible for designing and shepherding economic reforms, to Toronto to be keynote speaker at a business conference he planned to hold. He said he'd like the government's help, but would go ahead in any event.
Next, the tireless 72-year-old Goodman and a colleague hopped a plane for the 20-hour flight to Beijing to meet Zhu at the Great Hall Of the People. He needed to convince the most powerful man in China to fly to Toronto to speak at his event. During the meeting, a nasty bit of business flared between Goodman and Zhu over the timing and specifics of the trip. Zhu also was concerned about the size of the audience Eddie could produce. Goodman, never known for his patience, became increasingly blunt with Zhu — a hideous cultural faux pas when doing business with anyone in China, let alone the number two man in the country. Everyone in the enormous room — Zhu's aides, Chinese officials, Canadian diplomats, Goodman's colleague who was traveling with him, the hostess serving tea — began squirming in the overstuffed chairs arranged in a neat semi-circle. Trying to lower the temperature, the Canadian ambassador leaned over and said quietly to Eddie, "Let it go. The embassy will work it out with Zhu's people." Goodman swung around shot back at the ambassador in a stage whisper, "Shut up. I'll do it." Zhu, who used an interpreter in the meeting but speaks near-perfect English, looked away and politely covered his mouth as he chuckled at Goodman's salty brashness.
That evening, during a 13-course banquet in Goodman's honour at the Chinese government's posh State Guest Compound in a Beijing suburb, Eddie did what he'd done throughout his career. He made a deal and worked it out
One month later, Zhu arrived in Toronto and Eddie was at the airport to greet him. As the Chinese leader stood on the tarmac shaking Goodman's hand, he patted Eddie affectionately on his ample stomach and said with a smile, "See, you got me here after all!" The next morning, when Zhu and Eddie walked into a hotel ballroom together, the Vice Premier saw that Goodman was true to his word — something Eddie was known for his entire life. In Beijing, Goodman promised a large turnout and major media coverage. Now, he served up an audience of more than 750 senior executives from around Canada and a few from the United States, all seated behind a phalanx of more than a dozen TV news cameras. Not long after, the Canadian government's policy evolved beyond Tiananmen and a new Prime Minister was leading the first in a series of Team Canada trade missions to China.
Long before any of this, Eddie became a genuine war hero when commanding a tank during the invasion of France. Shortly after D-Day, his tank was blown up by German artillery. Wounded himself, he hauled a severely injured soldier several miles to safety behind the lines while under constant fire. His bravery earned him a mention in dispatches to Allied headquarters in London, a fact of which he was immensely proud for the rest of his life.
Besides being a man of great influence, he was always a man of great humanity. In many ways, Eddie symbolised what much of the world thinks when it thinks of Canada. Part of his humanity no doubt came from his upbringing; but much of it was likely shaped by searing flashes of tragedy that marked his life.
His eldest daughter was killed in a car accident when driving back to university after a weekend visit home. His first wife, Suzanne, died at a fairly young age following a tortuous, seven-year battle with cancer. He worried constantly about his surviving daughter, Diane, and mother of his only grandchild. She gave up a promising law career in Toronto to do dangerous work around the world for the United Nations. Eddie said that if be opened The Toronto Sun at breakfast do dangerous work around the world for the United Nations
His empathy towards people was as finely honed as his business and political skills, and it showed in small, quiet ways,
Eddie Goodman was part of a unique generation of Canadians who were born in the early, innocent days of the 20th century, tempered by a brutal depression, winners of a desperate war and beneficiaries of the prosperity that was created through their efforts. Goodman, along with a handful of contemporaries, managed to cajole, muscle, induce and nudge Canada into a small but meaningful player on the world's stage.
He believed that, along with raising a family and building a career, people have a responsibility to help raise and build civil society. It showed in the way the generation of lawyers behind him worked, dealt with people, and helped the community. It shows still in many of the other organizations he helped create and grow.
Eddie's health had been failing for several years, but relatives and people who knew him well said they could still see flashes of the insight, wit and vigour that were his hallmarks for close to a century. He will be mourned by those who knew and loved him, and his memory will remain rich in their mind. And though his was never a household name in Canada, Eddie Goodman's contribution, spirit and energy will be missed not just by Toronto but an entire country.
We are here today to celebrate the life of a teacher, counsellor, colleague, friend and a gentleman - Hugh MacDonald, fondly referred to as Big Mac. What a career he had, beginning as a Phys. Ed and English teacher at Western Tech and going on to spend 30 glorious years as Head of Guidance at Harbord Collegiate.
For many of us who came-as rookies-to Harbord in the 60's and 70's, Hugh was a mentor, advisor and fashion guru. What a dapper guy he was with those slick suits, some made to measure in Hong Kong. Many tried to emulate his style, but none of us could match it.
His mentoring skills were obvious as Harbord became a training ground for future Guidance Heads in the Toronto Board. There were actually five of us who worked with Hugh and went on to Guidance Head positions in other schools. He allowed us to go with our ideas and let us grow and flourish, crossing his fingers that we wouldn't perish.
Hugh became a real part of the community around Harbord. His contacts with former students who settled here and around the world are legendary. Until the last few years when his health began to fail, Hugh wrote to and received Christmas cards from over 200 former students. He loved young people and they loved him right back. He attended their weddings all over the world, and he remembered those students who had misfortune in their lives. In the year 2000, Hugh was there for the change overrr of Hong Kong and visited former students during his visit. I'm sure that that special trip to the far east was one of the highlights of his life. Hugh had a genuine interest and respect for nnnations all over the world. He often sponsored an adoptee from a Christian organization. Hugh genuinely cared about people. He was quietly there for all of us -staff, friends, students and their families in good times and in bad. He would acknowledge an accomplishment, wedding, birth, death in the family with a personal note, card or gift. He was honoured to be best man when his good friend Jim Christie married Reiko.
As we all know, Hugh had a great sense of humour, particularly the quick quip. In fact, I better get moving, be quick and to the point because Hugh is probably looking down on us right now and nodding off with his familiar "z...." Whether it was someone rattling on in the staff room, a speech in the auditorium or the athletic banquet, Hugh was always ready to give us the gong. On a personal note, to demonstrate his sense of humour, let me relate an incident from some 33 years ago. It was a cold winter's night and my wife was getting a little anxious because I hadn't arrived home from school yet. By the way, she has always said that life is quite an adventure living with me, and I'm sure that Hugh would agree. Well, low and behold, a phone call came from Hugh. His first words to Carol were, " You know those signs you are supposed to pay attention to - Caution Wet Floor - well, John didn't!" Hugh was a good friend as always and drove me to the hospital to have my broken leg tended to , but he and my wife certainly did have a few good chuckles about it afterwards at my expense.
When Frank Miller, a high school buddy from Oakwood C.I., asked me to speak today, I called Bonni Morley and asked her to share her thoughts about her dear friend Hugh. Bonni visited Hugh the day he died and also the previous Saturday, his 75th birthday. As a birthday gift, she gave Hugh a wonderful framed picture of himself and included touching words that brought tears to my eyes. That day, Bonni shared a recollection with Hugh when colleague Jack Harryman had worn a smashing new suit to school and the very next week Hugh arrived in a dashing suit direct from Hong Kong. Jack exclaimed, "I have been eclipsed." Last Saturday, Hugh laughed out loud at that, and it was, of course, the last time anyone heard his laugh.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Hugh's beloved caregiver, Geraldine. She has been at his side for the past few years , and he was so proud when she got her Canadian nursing accreditation and was able to sponsor her husband and 4 children to come to Canada. T believe that Hugh hung on until the family finally arrived at his home last Friday and he was content knowing that this young family would be starting a new life in Canada just as his Scottish parents had, many years ago.
Hugh, you are at peace now and can no longer be present in our lives, but we will never forget you and you will always be a part of us. God bless.
Eulogy by; John Stewart (Staff 68 - 80) a colleague and long time friend of Hugh's
.Class of '56 Reunion information.
Murray Rubin suggested that we (class of ’56) should let you know that we have set the date for our 50th reunion for a Sunday Brunch on April 15/07. Details to follow.
We’d like people who
1) want a class list
2) plan to come, or
3) know how to reach others in the class
to send an email to Harry Gross (email@example.com) with their request/information.
By the way, we invite others, who had attended HCI during the years 1951-56, but may have graduated from another school, to attend as well.
Many thanks. We, in turn, will direct everyone to the Harbord Club site.
Go Find Events
460-20 Eglinton Ave. E.
Toronto, ON M4P 1A9
The Annual Meeting of the Harbord Charitable Foundation will take place at Harbord Collegiate Institute, 286 Harbord Street, Toronto, On. Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 12:00 noon. This will be followed by a meeting of The Harbord Club at 12:30 p.m. Meetings to take place in the Museum - use the Harbord Manning entrance (south-west corner of the school) and along main floor.
THE HARBORD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION//span>
TORONTO, ONTARIO NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
Take notice that the Annual Meeting of the Members of The Harbord Charitable Foundation will be held at 286 Harbord Street, Toronto, On. Thursday, October 12, 2006 at noon
To receive and
consider the Report of the Board of the Board of Directors, and the
financial statements of the Foundation for the year ended February 28, 2006;
b) To elect Directors for the ensuing year;
c) To appoint Auditors for the ensuing year; and
d) To transact such other business as many properly come before the Meeting.
Any member who cannot attend is requested to sign and return the attached proxy to the Secretary, Harbord Charitable Foundation.
DATE: September 18, 2006. By order of the Board, Pat Wong, Secretary.
I _____________________________ a member of the Harbord Charitable
Foundation hereby appoint________________________ as my agent to vote for me
and on my behalf at the meeting of the members of the Corporation on the 12th of October 2006, and at any adjustment thereof.
Dated the_______ day of 2006.
Signature of Member _______________________
If you are unable to attend the annual meeting, please fill out and return the above proxy or a facsimile, it is an indication of your interest in the affairs of the Foundation, and will help to obtain a quorum so that the business of the Foundation may be conducted.
The Harbord Club
ANNIE KWONG - President
PETER MILLER - Treasurer
MURRAY RUBIN - Executive Committee
DORIS CHAN - Executive Committee
ROSA GALATI - Executive Committee
JOSIE GALATI- Executive Committee
SIDNEY CAPLAN - Executive Committee
GORD HINCH - Executive Committee
SID KLOTZ - Executive Committee
HELEN KLINGMAN - Executive Committee
PATRICIA WONG - Executive Committee
SYD MOSCOE - Chairman of Museum Committee
Officers of The Harbord Foundation
ANNIE KWONG - President
PETER MILLER – Treasurer
MURRAY RUBIN - Signing Officer
286 Harbord Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada