- January 15, 1938 -
Lucy Laufer (born Langer) was born on the 15th of January, 1938, in Vienna, Austria. Her parents, Olga (born Spitzer) and Friedrich (Fritz, born Lowy) Langer fled Vienna with Lucy and her brother Michael Hans Max Langer at the outbreak of World War II, when Lucy was only 7 months old. The family escaped to France, where they waited in the suburbs of Paris for approximately 8 months until they were allowed into Palestine in February of 1939. Times were tumultuous in Palestine, and Fritz struggled to find work. In 1942, the Langers left Palestine for Canada, where Fritz’s previous employers in Austria had emigrated. The influence and financial support of the Bloch-Bauer (later Bentley) and Pick (later Prentice) families made it possible for the Langers to be included in the 112 Jews who were admitted to Canada by Order in Council in that year. The first stop was Trinidad, where they waited to receive visas to travel through the United States. After getting their visas, the family boarded a ship called the Robert E. Lee. One day out from port, the Robert E. Lee was torpedoed and sunk within minutes. The family’s important documents, money, and Olga’s jewelry was lost, but the family survived on a lifeboat. They were eventually rescued and taken to port in New Orleans. The Langers were able to see their family in St. Louis, Missouri and New York, New York before they finally arrived in Vancouver, four years after they first left their home in Austria.
Lucy Laufer grew up in Vancouver BC, attending Cecil Rhodes Elementary School and King Edward High School. When ill as a child, the care she received influenced her to decide to become a nurse as an adult. At age 13 Lucy attended Camp Miriam and became active in Habonim. Lucy graduated high school at age 17, after which in 1955 she participated in a Habonim workshop on kibbutz Kfar Blum in Israel. Laufer graduated Vancouver General Hospital Nursing School in 1959; she then worked in New York for a year before moving to kibbutz Yif’at in northern Israel in 1961. She worked on the kibbutz for about two years, in the orchards and as a nurse in infirmary. Lucy married Gidon Laufer in Haifa, Israel in 1965. In Haifa she was a nurse at a well-baby clinic and a school. She returned to Vancouver, BC around 1966 with Gidon. Gidon started a business in junk and recycling, and Lucy continued to work as a nurse, specializing in wound care and palliative care. The Laufers were divorced in 1991.
Laufer has volunteered extensively in the Vancouver community, serving on Vancouver’s Habonim Camp Miriam committee for approximately 20 years. Laufer has served the L’Chaim Adult Jewish Day Care as both a nurse and board member. She has also volunteered with Shalom BC and Habitat for Humanity, and contributed her professional expertise as a community health nurse. Laufer has two sons. Danny was born in 1968; He and his partner Monica Muller have two children, Jacob (b. 2006) and Anna (b. 2008). Ron was born in 1976; He and his partner Tamar Kafka have three children, Jonas (b. 2014), Sacha (b. 2016), and Amira (b. 2019).