Memorable Manitobans: Julius Berkowitz (1908-1970)
Businessman, community activist.
Born at New York, New York on 16 May 1908, he moved with his family to southern Saskatchewan in 1912. He attended school at Estevan and moved to Winnipeg in 1922, where he became a shipping clerk with the Monarch Overall Manufacturing Company, founded in 1910 by Harry Steinberg. He later worked as a salesman for the firm, renamed Monarch Wear of Canada Limited, and held various managerial position.
In 1955, he became the company's President and, by the time of his death, it was one of Canada's largest producers of denim and pants. He established branches of the firm at Steinbach, Portage la Prairie, and Beausejour, and a training facility at the Peguis First Nation. He inspected garment plants in Russia (1966 and 1967 and, in 1970, went to Turkey on behalf of the Canadian Executive Service Overseas to establish a garment industry there.
On 23 September 1934, he married Bernice Shragge (1909-1966) and they had two children, including Herman Ivan Berkowitz. Active in the community, he was President of the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, Co-Chairman of the Central Council of Christians and Jews, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board of Greater Winnipeg, and President of the National Garment Manufacturers Association of Canada. He also served on the executive committee of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
He died on 13 December 1970, while vacationing at Chicago, Illinois and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.
Birth registration [Bernice Shragge], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Marriage registration [Bernice Shragge, Julius Berkowitz], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Julius Berkowitz dies in Chicago at age 62,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 December 1970.
“Julius Berkowitz dies; funeral here Tuesday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 December 1970.
Obituary, Winnipeg Tribune, 14 December 1970.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 14 April 2022