The members of Local 5328 are employees of the Parkdale Works of the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco).
The members of Local 5328 are employees of the Parkdale Works of the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco).
Rachel Manley is an author of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction, and member of a prominent Jamaican political family about whom she has written several lauded memoirs. She is the daughter of Michael Manley, a Jamaican politician who served three terms as prime minister (1972-80, 1989-92). Her paternal grandparents are Edna Manley, a sculptor and arts educator, and Norman Manley, co-founder of the Jamaican People’s National Party and the first Premier of Jamaica.
Rachel Manley was born in Cornwall, England in 1947 to Michael Manley and his second wife, Jacqueline Kammelard. At the age of two, she was sent to Jamaica, where she was raised by her paternal grandparents in their home, Drumblair. In 1969, Manley receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (Special Honours) from the University of the West Indies.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Manley published three volumes of poetry and contributed to several magazines and literary journals, including The Jamaica Journal, Caribbean Quarterly, and Focus. She also worked in a variety of roles, including as a high school teacher and member of the radio advertising department of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados (1980-1986). In 1979, she received the Jamaica Centennial Medal for poetry.
In 1986, Manley immigrated to Canada, where she would eventually settle in Toronto. In 1989, Manley edited a version of her grandmother’s diaries, published by Andre Deutsch under the title Edna Manley: The Diaries.
Manley began writing family memoirs in the 1990s, publishing Drumblair, a book about her childhood with her grandparents, in 1996. The book was critically acclaimed, winning the 1997 Governor General’s Award for English language non-fiction. This volume was the first in a memoir trilogy; it was followed by Slipstream, about Michael Manley (2000), and Horses in Her Hair, about Edna Manley (2008).
These works were followed by two additional novels, The Black Peacock (2017) and The Fellowship (2019). The Black Peacock was shortlisted for the 2018 Amazon First Novel award.
Manley has received many writing fellowships over the years, including the Mary Ingraham Bunting Fellow (Literature) from Radcliffe College, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center Fellowship; and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.
Poetry: Prisms (1972) Poems 2 (Coles Printery, 1978) A Light Left On (Peepal Tree, 1992)
Non-fiction: Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 1996) Slipstream: A Daughter Remembers (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2000) In My Father’s Shade (UK version of Slipstream) (BlackAmber Books, 2004) Horses in Her Hair: A Granddaughter’s Story (Key Porter Books, 2008)
Fiction: The Black Peacock (Cormorant Books, 2017) The Fellowship (Cormorant Books, 2019)
Born in England, Harold Saville emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario just before the outbreak of the First World War. When war broke out he returned to England and enlisted first in the Cavalry and then in the Air Force. He served with the RAF and was shot down, but survived. He returned to Hamilton where he lived until his death in 1950.
Founded in 2004 by Stuart McLean, Madison Avenue Inc. is a Canadian production company that manages CDs, books, live entertainment and all other productions connected with Stuart McLean’s radio program, the Vinyl Cafe, which aired on CBC from 1994 to 2016. This includes an extensive touring show across North America, which took place annually until 2015; recording of live concerts; the production of audio collections of Vinyl Cafe stories released in various formats (cassette, CD, vinyl and digital); and Vinyl Cafe books.
Charlotte Gray is a British-born Canadian author of non-fiction, specifically literary biographies and works about Canadian history. She has published 11 books and numerous articles.
Born in Sheffield, England in 1948, Gray went on to read history at Oxford, graduating in 1969. Following the completion of a post-graduate diploma at the London School of Economics, Gray embarked on a career in journalism, writing for The London Daily Standard and editing Psychology Today (UK edition).
In 1979, Gray immigrated to Canada, where she became a freelance magazine writer. From 1986-1993 she served as Ottawa editor for Saturday Night magazine, contributing articles for monthly issues of the magazine. In 1997 she shifted her focus to book-length works, releasing her first biography, Mrs. King: The Life and Times of Isabel Mackenzie King, to critical acclaim.
Gray’s non-fiction books have won or been shortlisted for most of the major non-fiction awards in Canada, including the Governor-General’s Award for Non-fiction (shortlisted, 1998), the Trillium Award (shortlisted), the Nereus Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Award (shortlisted), the Canadian Authors Medal for Non-fiction, the Canadian Authors Award for Canadian History, the Donald Creighton Award for Ontario History, the Ottawa Book Award, the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime Book, and many more. Gray’s first five volumes were best sellers, and several of her works have been adapted for television, including Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Trail (1999) and Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike (2010).
Gray appears frequently on radio and television as a commentator, and in 2004 participated in CBC’s The Greatest Canadian television series as an advocate for Sir John A. MacDonald. Since 2005, she has also held an appointment as Adjunct Research Professor in Carleton University’s Department of History.
Additional noteworthy accolades of Gray’s include honorary doctorates from Mount Saint Vincent University, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, York University, and Carleton University. In 2007, she became a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2009 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
List of Gray’s non-fiction books:
Mrs. King: The Life and Times of Isabel Mackenzie King (Penguin Viking, 1997)
Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Trail (Penguin Viking, Canada and Duckworths (UK) 1999)
Flint & Feather: The Life and Times of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (HarperCollins Canada, 2002)
Canada: A Portrait in Letters (Doubleday Canada, 2003)
The Museum Called Canada: 25 Rooms of Wonder (Random House Canada, 2004)
Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell (HarperCollins Canada and Arcade Publishing (US), 2006)
Nellie McClung (Penguin Canada, 2008)
Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike (HarperCollins Canada and Counterpoint (US), 2010)
The Massey Murder: A Maid, her Master, and the Trial that Shocked a Country (HarperCollins Canada, 2013)
The Promise of Canada: People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country (Simon & Schuster Canada, 2016)
Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise (HarperCollins Canada, 2016)
Seth (born Gregory Gallant) is a renowned Canadian cartoonist, visual artist, and book designer. Seth has achieved prominence in the realm of independent comics for works which often express nostalgia for early to mid-twentieth century Canada.
Seth was born in Clinton, Ontario in 1962. He grew up in Southern Ontario, a region which is frequently featured in his work. Seth attended Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) in Toronto from 1980-1983. During this time, he took on his pseudonym.
In April 1991, Seth launched his comic series Palookaville with Montreal-based publisher Drawn & Quarterly. His next project, the autobiographical graphic novel It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken, was published to wide acclaim in 1996 (Drawn & Quarterly). Seth would go on to win two Ignatz awards for the volume, which was listed by The Comics Journal as one of the 100 best comics of the twentieth century.
Seth has since published eight more graphic novels and has contributed illustrations to a wide range of publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, McSweeneys Quarterly, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. His illustrations are also in Lemony Snicket’s children’s series and Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe collections (audio recordings and books).
Additionally, Seth has undertaken significant book design projects: in 2014, Fantagraphics Books enlisted him to design the complete collection of Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. Seth has since designed additional comics reprint series featuring the works of John Stanley and Doug Wright.
Seth has received each of the major American comic awards, including the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz.
Since the early 2000s, he has lived in Guelph, Ontario.
David Lewis was a political leader, labour lawyer, and university professor.
David was born in Svisloch, Poland on June 23, 1909. He was the son of Rose (nee Lazarovitch) and Moishe Losz, a prominent labour leader in Poland and Canada.
David immigrated to Montreal with his family in 1921. He attended Baron Byng High School where he befriended Irving Layton, A.M. Klein, and his future wife, Sophie Carson.
He attended McGill University from 1927-1931. While at McGill, he helped found the Montreal branch of the Young People’s Socialist League, and founded a campus magazine, The McGilliad.
In 1932, David was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and attended Oxford University. At Oxford, he was active with the Oxford Union and developed a reputation as a leader and a talented speaker.
Following his return to Canada, he practiced law in Ottawa. In 1935, he became the national secretary for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. With the CCF, he helped draft the Winnipeg Declaration of 1956.
In 1943, he co-authored Make This Your Canada with F.R Scott.
In 1950, David resigned as national secretary and moved to Toronto to practice law in partnership with Ted Joliffe. Through his support of Tommy Douglas, David played a role in the founding of the New Democratic Party in July 1961. He was elected as Member of Parliament for York South in 1962. He lost his seat in the 1963 general election but returned to the House of Commons in the 1965. He was re-elected in 1968 and became the federal leader of the party in 1971.
David lost his seat in 1974 and resigned as leader. In his post-political life, he became a professor at the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton University.
David was named as a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1977. His memoirs, The Good Fight: Political Memoirs 1909-1958 (Toronto: MacMillan) were published in 1981. He died on May 23, 1981.
David is the father of Stephen Lewis, the diplomat and former leader of the Ontario NDP, Michael Lewis, Janet Solberg and Nina Libeskind.
Stephen Lewis is a politician, humanitarian, global activist, diplomat, and public speaker. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada, was named “Canadian of the Year” by Maclean’s in 2003 and has received countless awards and recognition for his humanitarian work in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Stephen was born in Ottawa on November 11, 1937. He is the son of Sophie and David Lewis, the former leader of the federal New Democratic Party. He is married to Michele Landsberg, author and columnist for the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, with whom he has three children, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Avi Lewis, and Jenny Lewis.
Stephen received post-secondary education at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Before he could finish his degree, he entered politics and was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1963 as a member of the New Democratic Party.
Between 1970 and 1978, Stephen was the Provincial Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. Following his political career, he became involved in broadcasting. He received the Gordon Sinclair ACTRA Award for broadcasting in 1982 and his CBC radio documentaries were published as Art Out of Agony: The Holocaust Theme in Literature, Sculpture and Film (Toronto: CBC Enterprises, 1984).
In October 1984, Stephen was appointed as Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He chaired the committee which drafted the five-year UN Programme on African Economic Recovery and the first International Conference on Climate Change in 1988. In September 1986, the UN Secretary General appointed Stephen as his Special Advisor on Africa.
In July 1988, Lewis resigned from his ambassadorship. He continued to act in a personal capacity as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Africa.
In May 1992, Stephen was appointed as Special Advisor on Race Relations to the Premier of Ontario. In 1993, Stephen joined the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on the Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in Beijing in September 1995.
Between 1994 and 1996, Stephen was coordinator of a two-year study commissioned by the UN on the impact of armed conflict on children, led by Graça Machel.
On October 25, 1995, Stephen was appointed Deputy Executive Director (External Relations) of the United Nations Children’s Fund. He resigned January 6, 1999.
In 1998, Stephen was selected by the Organization of African Unity to participate on the International Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the Surrounding Events. Between 1999 and 2001, Stephen acted as Consultant to UNAIDS, UNIFEM, and the Economic Commission for Africa.
Between 2001 to 2006, Stephen was appointed as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Stephen is board co-chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, a charity he co-founded in 2003 that supports community-based organizations working on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. From 2007 to 2021, he was co-director of the advocacy organization AIDS-Free World which he co-founded with Paula Donovan.
Stephen is the author of Race Against Time (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2005), a publication of lectures delivered during his Massey Lecture Tour.
On July 1, 2006, Stephen was named McMaster University’s first Social Sciences Scholar-in-Residence.
Stephen holds 40 honorary degrees from Canadian and American universities. His first honorary doctorate was given at McMaster University in 1979.
Judith Robinson was born in Toronto, Ont. on Victoria Street on April 6, 1897. She was the daughter of Jessie and John Robinson Robinson (nicknamed “Black Jack Robinson”), who was the editor of the Toronto Telegram until his death in 1929. She attended Toronto Model School until age 12, when she contracted a childhood illness which stopped her schooling. Self-taught in journalism and literature, she also developed an interest in architecture.
Known as ‘Brad’ to her friends, Robinson became a reporter at the Toronto Globe in 1929. Under Globe President George McCullagh, she wrote a Page One feature column daily beginning in 1936. She resigned in 1940 over a political disagreement with the Globe’s coverage of World War II. With her brother John and Oakley Dalgleish, she clandestinely printed advertisements under the name “Canada Calling,” criticizing Mackenzie King government’s slow response to the war effort. In May 1941, she and Dalgleish founded NEWS, a national weekly newspaper whose editorial office was her home at 63 Wellesley St. NEWS closed in 1946. During the war she was also was active in the Women’s Emergency Committee which petitioned the Canadian government to close the Christie Street Veteran’s Hospital in Toronto. Those efforts helped result in the opening of Sunnybrook Military Hospital in 1946. Beginning in 1953, she wrote a daily column for the Toronto Telegram until her death on December 17, 1961.
Robinson authored three non-fiction books: Tom Cullen of Baltimore (1949), As We Came By (1951), and This Is On the House (1957). She edited John Farthing’s political treatise, Freedom Wears a Crown, and helped publish the medical memoir Days of Living: The Journal of Martin Roher, for which she wrote the introduction.
Born on Rondeau Point, in New Scotland, Ontario, he was the son of John and Janey (McIntyre) McKishnie and the brother of the Canadian poet, Jean Blewett.
His first novel, Gaff Linkum, set in Kent County, Ontario, was published in 1907. In 1910, McKishnie relocated to Toronto and became the dramatic editor of the Toronto Sunday World. He was the director of the short story writing program at Shaw school in Toronto. His short stories regularly appeared in Maclean’s Magazine. Many of his stories featured a Black constable named Lennox Ballister. The first Lennox Ballister story was printed in Maclean’s in July 1918.
McKishnie’s books can be described as historical fiction, romance, nature stories, humor, adventure, and juvenile stories. He was the author of the following books:
• Gaff Linkum. A Tale of Talbotville. Toronto: Briggs. 1907. 255 p.
• Love of the Wild. Toronto: McLeod & Allen, 1910. 327 p.
• Willow, the Wisp. Toronto: Allen, 1918. 308 p.
• A Son of Courage. Toronto: Allen, 1920, 284 p.
• Big John Wallace. A Romance of the Early Canadian Pioneers. Toronto: Massey-Harris Press, 1922. 47 p.
• Openway. Toronto: Musson, 1922. 233 p.
• Mates of the Tangle. Toronto: Musson, 1924. 247 p.
• Brains, Limited. Toronto: Allen, 1925. 287 p.
• Dwellers of the Marsh Realm. Chicago: Donohue, 1937. 79 p.
Donna Marie “Daisy” DeBolt, an accomplished singer-songwriter, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 19, 1945 to a musical family. DeBolt’s maternal grandfather, Percy Highfield (1882-1946), studied music in England and played violin for a symphony orchestra. After immigrating to Canada in 1910, he taught music in Foxwarren, Manitoba, and in residential schools in Kenora, Ontario. DeBolt’s mother, (Helen) Marjorie (Highfield) DeBolt (1916-1998), was a musician and music teacher, and played violin with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Her father, Donald DeBolt (d.1979), played banjo, chromatic harmonica, and the blues harp.
As a teenager, DeBolt studied jazz guitar with Lenny Breau (1941-1984). In 1965, she moved to Toronto, Ontario to pursue a music career as a folk musician. She met Allen Fraser in 1968 and the two formed the musical duo Fraser & DeBolt. They released two albums: Fraser & DeBolt With Ian Guenther, in 1971, and Fraser & DeBolt With Pleasure, in 1973. DeBolt and Fraser parted ways in the mid-1970s. DeBolt continued to write and perform as a solo artist and to collaborate with other musicians and poets. Her solo works include Soulstalking (1992), Live Each Day with Soul (2002), and Lovers and Fantasies (2004), an album featuring two songs by author Michael Ondaatje.
In addition to being a folk singer, DeBolt was well versed in blues, jazz and reggae, and played mandolin, accordion and guitar. Over the course of her career, DeBolt toured and played at festivals across Canada, performed in several theatre productions, composed for Ballet Ys, and wrote film scores for the National Film Board. She had a son, Jake DeBolt, with poet Robert Dickson (1944-2007). DeBolt died on October 4, 2011 in Toronto.
William Alexander Stephens was born in Belfast, Ireland, on 9 April 1809. While still a child, he emigrated with his family to New York and then, in 1816, to Upper Canada (now Ontario), first to Toronto and Markham, then to Esquesing Township (now part of Halton Region) where his parents, Thomas and Eleanor (Newburn) Stephens, established a farm. Stephens was one of twelve children.
In 1839 Stephens was summoned to Hamilton for jury duty. While there, he commented on the view from the top of the mountain (escarpment) and was encouraged to compose a poem about it. Stephens took up the challenge and composed “Hamilton,” a lengthy poem in a style reminiscent of the 18th century, including long passages based on Biblical stories and references to Greek myths; it also contains descriptions of early Hamilton, particularly in the first half of Book IV.
The poem, along with others by Stephens, was published in 1840 in Toronto by Rogers and Thompson as Hamilton and other poems. The book was one of the first volumes of poetry by an Ontarian ever published and helped earn Stephens the title “the pioneer poet of Ontario,” as assigned by T. J. Rexaledan in an 1891 article in Saturday Night. An expanded edition of Hamilton and other poems was published in 1871. (Both editions are available in the Archives’ book collection).
Stephens married Marian (Mary) Crispin in Toronto Township (present day Mississauga) on 13 October 1845. They lived initially in Norval and then later in Ballinafad (both in Esquesing). They moved to Owen Sound in 1850 where Stephens had been appointed customs officer, and would live there for the rest of their lives. In the 1871 census, Stephens is 62 years of age, his wife Mary is 45, and their children are listed as James C. (24), Newburn (22), Eliza A. (20), Henry R. (18), William S. (16), Haldane H. (14), Mary E. (12), and Edward W. (7).
Several of Stephens’ siblings also lived in Owen Sound, including brothers Thomas C. Stephens, Robert E. Stephens, A. M. Stephens, and Henry N. Stephens, and sisters Mary Doyle, Eliza Miller, Ellen Layton, and Rachel Layton.
Over the years, Stephens held a variety of other positions in Owen Sound in addition to customs officer, including notary public, lumber merchant, newspaper editor, insurance agent, and mayor (1869). He was a member of the Disciples church and frequently spoke at church worship services.
Stephens was a prolific writer of essays and poems, with pieces appearing in a broad range of journals and newspapers, including the Gleaner (Niagara), the Canadian Casket and Canadian Gleaner (both of Hamilton), the Advocate, Palladium, Examiner, and Leader (all of Toronto), the Albion (New York), the Saturday Courier (Philadelphia), the Review (Streetsville), the Baptist Magazine (Montreal), and more.
He also authored separately published booklets and essays—A poetical geography and rhyming rules for spelling (Toronto, 1848), Papal infallibility … as seen in the light of revelation (Owen Sound, 1871), and The centennial: an international poem (Toronto, 1878).
Stephens died in Owen Sound in 1891.
Lawrence Krader was an American anthropologist and ethnologist. Born in New York City to parents who had emigrated from Russia and Austria, Krader attended CCNY studying a range of subjects, before graduating in 1941. He joined the merchant navy during the Second World War, and then returned to school at Columbia University (1945-47) and a PhD from Harvard in 1954.
Krader taught at a number of institutions including, the University of Syracuse, the American University in Washington DC, the University of Waterloo, and the Free University of Berlin. In addition to his teaching appointments and other commitments, Krader was named the Secretary-General of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences from 1964-78.
The last decade of his life, he spent writing manuscripts on a range of topics. He died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism in November 1998, leaving much of his work unpublished.
Luca Codignola-Bo, born in Genoa, Italy, in 1947, took his Master's degree in History at the University of Toronto in 1974. New France historian William J. Eccles was his thesis director. He then taught early Canadian and American history at the universities of Bologna (1975-7), Pisa (1976-90), and Genova (1990-2016). At Genova he was also member of the University's Senate (2012-5). In 2008-12 he was Head of the Institute of History of Mediterranean Europe (ISEM) of Italy's National Research Council (CNR). Dr Codignola-Bo has been active in a number of international associations and institutions, such as the International Council for Canadian Studies (President 1985-7), the Italian Association for Canadian Studies (President 1988-90), the Italian Committee for North American History (President 1989-91), the Association internationale des études acadiennes (President 2004-6), the Association internationale des études québécoises (member of the Conseil d'Administration 2005-10), the European Science Foundation, Standing Committee for the Humanities (Italy's representative 2005-8). He was awarded the Northern Telecom Five Continents Award in Canadian Studies (1988), the Special Government of Canada Award (2001), and a Doctorate honoris causa (D.Litt.) by Saint Mary's University (2003). He was also elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2016). Over the years Dr Codignola-Bo has taught in several Canadian and American universities such as York (1990-4), Laval (1997, 2000), McGill (1998), Brown (2001), Toronto (2002), and Saint Mary's (2007, 2013-4). He has also been research associate at the Université de Montréal (1977, 1988, 1990, 1992), the University of Ottawa (1977, 1985), the University of London (1980, 1982-3, 2002, 2004), the John Carter Brown Library (1989, 2001), and the Library Company of Philadelphia (2003). At the time of the donation of his personal papers to McMaster University, Dr Codignola-Bo was Adjunct Professor (History) at Saint Mary's University (2005-17), Senior Fellow of the Cushwa Center for the History of US Catholicism of the University of Notre Dame (2016-8), and Professeur associé (Histoire) at the Université de Montréal (2016-9). He is best known for his work on the the Roman Catholic church in the North Atlantic area in the early modern era, and has also written on the history of early European expansion in the Atlantic region. Since 2016 Dr Codignola-Bo lives in Milan with his wife, Gabriella Ferruggia, a former professor of American literature. They have one daughter, Federica.
Farzana Doctor is a Canadian writer, activist, and psychotherapist. Her writing has been described as contemporary literary fiction, with a hint of magic realism. Her books explore themes of loss, diasporic identity and the immigrant experience, LGBT rights, and others.
Her second novel, Six Metres of Pavement won the Dayne Ogilvie Grant and the Lambda Literary Award in 2012, as well as being shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award.
Doctor continues to have a private practice and lives with her partner in Toronto.
Sam Lipshitz was born on 14 February 1910 in Radom, Poland. He was sent to live with an aunt in Montreal at age 17, where he joined the Jewish Cultural Club of Montreal. He joined the Young Communist League while working at the Jewish Public Library. He was dismissed from the library following the 1929 Hebron Massacre because he aligned himself with the Soviet interpretation of the event. He married Manya Lipshitz on 20 January 1930 and they settled in Toronto. He became editor of Der Kamf (later renamed Vochenblatt) in 1932. He was appointed secretary of the party’s Anti-Fascist Committee in 1933, became head of the Jewish National Committee and sat on the Party’s Central Committee from 1943 to 1946. He was arrested and briefly detained in the Don Jail with Tim Buck and fourteen other party leaders in 1942. He joined the executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1943. Through the Congress, he was sent to Poland in 1945 to report on the condition of Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust. He and Manya visited the USSR in 1956 and shortly following their return, they resigned from the Communist Party. Sam went on to a career as an editor, author, and printer.
Rose Eizenstraus was born in 1913. Her parents were socialist atheists, and she was raised in the Toronto Jewish community. At an early age, she became involved in the Young Pioneers. In 1939, she was Tim Buck’s private secretary. Rose was one of the founding members of the New Theatre Group in Montreal. In Toronto, she was involved in the Belmont Theatre Group and the Theatre of Action. She performed in the notorious play, Eight Men Speak, in the role of Zelda, during its sole performance at Toronto’s Standard Theatre on December 4, 1933.
Rose was the wife of Dave Kashtan.
Stewart Smith was born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. His father, A.E. Smith, was a social gospel church minister in Brandon and leader of the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919. In 1923, Stewart moved to Toronto and began organizing. The following year he accepted an offer from the CPC to become the National Secretary of the Young Communist League. In 1926, he attended the Lenin School in Moscow and was later appointed to the Political Bureau of the CPC. In 1937, he was elected alderman on the Toronto City Council as the first communist elected to office in Toronto’s history. In 1946, he was elected to the Board of Control. Stewart was a prominent member of the Labor-Progressive Party of Ontario and served as party leader between 1951 and 1957. He resigned from the Communist Party of Canada in 1957.
Morris Biderman was born in 1908 in Chenchine, a small town near Kielce, Poland. He was the youngest of five sons; his father immigrated to Canada when he was four years old. Morris’s childhood memories of Poland include the Russian and German troops fighting in his town during the Great War, and the 1918 Kielce Pogrom, which prompted his family to join his father in Toronto. The family emigrated to Canada in 1920, living on Leonard Avenue, then later Bellevue Avenue, in Toronto; he attended Ryerson Public School until he dropped out at age 16. Morris then entered the trades as a needle worker and became involved in Leftist politics. He joined the Freedom Choir (Freiheit Gesang), which was held at Alhambra Hall, 450 Spadina Avenue, which housed the Labour League (a Toronto-based, Communist-led secular Jewish organization) and in 1927 he joined the Young Communist League. He worked as an under presser and was later hired as an operator for sportswear at Eaton’s, where he worked until 1937.
In 1937, Morris joined the Labour League and became manager of Der Kamf, the Communist weekly Yiddish newspaper, later renamed Der Vochenblatt. When the Communist party was briefly outlawed during the Second World War, Der Kamf was closed, and Morris returned to work in the sportswear industry. In 1942, he became president of the Labour League. In 1945, he was elected as the first national secretary to the newly founded United Jewish People’s Order. In 1955, Morris was one of eight delegates in a delegation chosen by the Canada-Soviet Friendship Society who visited the Soviet Union. Following the revelations of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech in 1956, Morris broke with the Communist Party and resigned from the UJPO at their annual conference held in December 1959 at Toronto’s Union Station. He later co-founded a new organization, the New Fraternal Jewish Association. In 2000, he wrote his memoir, A Life on the Jewish Left: An Immigrant’s Experience (Toronto: Onward Publishing).
Morris married Minnie Usprich (1909-2001) in September 1929. Morris’ older brother Dave Biderman is the father of Ruth Borchiver.
Ruth Ann Borchiver was a social worker and psychologist. Her father, David Biderman, joined the Communist Party of Canada in 1921. She grew up speaking Yiddish and attended leftist shules. As a teenager, she briefly taught Yiddish at the Morris Winchevsky Shule in Toronto before pursuing a career in social work. She was head of Jewish Child and Family Services until the late 1950s. In 1991, she completed a Doctor of Education in applied psychology at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation, based on interviews with former members of the Communist movement in Canada, was titled: “A Social-Psychological Analysis of Millennial Thought in the Communist Party of Canada: 1921-1957.