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JHSBC Oral History Collection Migration (human)
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Adele Vernon

Oral History interview with Adele Vernon. Born in London, England. During the war her mother told her and her siblings “don’t let anyone know we’re Jewish” and leaving the Jewish faith for years. Talks about being sponsored to come to Canada by his father's aunt, arriving at Pier 41, arriving during the Calgary stampede. Went back to school as a mature student in 1973 for performing arts. Started the Shalom Dancers in 1978/79. Took Wednesday night classes with Rabbi Victor Reinstein and returned to the Jewish faith later in life.

Anne Chick

Oral history interview with Anne Chick. Anne Chick was born in was born in China and moved to Shanghai at the age of four, where she resided in the French Concession. She witnessed the Japanese takeover of Shanghai in 1932 and immigrated to Vancouver in 1951.

Ben and Rita Akselrod

Oral History interview with Ben and Rita Akselrod. Rita was born in Bacau, Romania. They met in a DP camp in Austria. After the war they went to Israel then came to Canada via Italy. They worked as a peddlers then with antiques. Then started a second-hand and antique store in New Westminster. They talk about how antisemitism didn't disappear after the war.

Benjamin Dayson (Baruch Dezick)

Oral history interview with Benjamin Dayson (Baruch Dezick). Interviewed by Irene Dodek. Benjamin speaks about coming to Canada, where his name was changed from Dezick to Dayson,in Alberta. He details an interesting story in which he received his citizenship after only three years in Canada. He also speaks about his adolescent life and trials in Russia, prior to immigrating. He explains how after many complications, and being unable to move to Canada as he had wished, he made his way to Rotterdam to take a boat to Mexico, when fortunately, he was able to move to Canada after all. He talks about this travel and immigration process in great detail. He also speaks on his work over the years and moving to Vancouver, where he was married, as well as his life and his family in Canada. His wife, Esther, is also present during this interview.

Bernard Victor

Oral interview with Bernard Victor who was born in Gomel, Russia in 1893 and came to Vancouver, on April 15, 1923, from Winnipeg. Bernard was involved with Talmud Torah, B'nai B'rith, and the Jewish Literary Club. He describes living through two pogroms in Russia. He served in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in Europe from 1916 until 1919. His father worked for the Russian Vital Statistics Department and noticed large numbers of Jews leaving, encouraged Bernard and Bernard's brother to leave.

Bertha Baron

Oral history with Bertha Baron who arrived in Canada 1907 from Minsk, Russia; settled in Rumsey, Alberta. In this interview she discusses her involvement in the Victoria Jewish community and reflects on Zionism.

Bessie Diamond

Oral history interview with Bessie Diamond who was born in London, England in 1899 but her family emigrated in 1905 to Canada. Bessie worked throughout the Jewish Community in Vancouver such as setting up the Well-Baby Clinic and during the Second World War worked with refugees. Bessie built the Joseph J. and Bessie Diamond Hospital in Israel to her late husband (1964).

David Nemetz

Oral history interview with David Nemetz. David was born in Russia in the year 1894. He discusses his childhood in Russia prior to his immigration to Canada in 1912, when he arrived in Winnipeg. David describes his involvement in various Zionist groups in each city he lived in, such as the Young Zionist group and the Habonim Lodge in BC. His involvement in Canadian Zionist movements eventually lead to the establishment of Camp Hatikvah.

David Rome

Oral history interview with David Rome, who was born in Russia. His family emigrated to Vancouver in 1921 by contacting David's uncle.

David and Vera Bakonyi

Oral history interview with David and Vera Bakonyi on the late Peter Bakonyi (Vera's husband and David's father). Peter Bakonyi was born in 1933 in Budapest, Hungary. He met his wife Vera at a high school function. While in Budapest, he trained for the modern pentathlon event (fencing, swimming, horseback riding, shooting and cross country running) and played volleyball all while attending law school. He and Vera immigrated to Canada in 1957 as refugees and wed in Vancouver in 1959. He began solely training in fencing and switched his career path to real estate. Peter was a 6x Canadian Fencing Champion, 18x British Columbia Champion and attended the 1968 Olympic Games after being prevented from attending both the 1960 and 1964 games. He was also a founder of the Canadian Maccabiah Games team. He competed in the Maccabiah Games until his death in 1997. Vera and David discuss the legacy they've established in Peter's honour, such as the creation of the Peter Bakonyi World Cup (formerly Challenge Peter Bakonyi).

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