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Memorable Manitobans: Israel “Blackie” Simkin (1917-1998)


Born at Pine Ridge on 15 June 1917, son of Samuel Simkin (?-1954) and Fanny Bresavsky (c1880-1976), brother of Saul Simkin and Abraham L. Simkin, he began working with his father in the fuel business. After active duty in Europe during the Second World War, he co-founded Simkin Construction with his brothers Saul, Jim, and Abe. The company grew into BACM Industries, of which Simkin served as President and Chief Executive Officer for over 25 years. The firm was involved in such construction projects as the Red River Floodway, several airports, hydroelectric developments in Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and James Bay, and the Athabasca Tar Sands Development at Fort McMurray, Alberta. The firm subsequently merged into Genstar Corporation and he retired to Palm Springs, California. He contributed to such causes as the Jewish Foundation, Jewish National Fund, Rosh Pina Synagogue, and Talmud Torah / Joseph Wolkinsky Collegiate. He died at San Diego, California on 8 April 1998. His body was returned to Winnipeg for burial in the Rosh Pina Memorial Park.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: British-American Cement Plant (Sturgeon Road, RM of Rosser)


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Fanny Simkin], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 February 1976, page 42.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 1998.

“They are gone, but not forgotten,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1998, page A4.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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