Memorable Manitobans: Harry Smith (1913-1997)
Born in Poland on 2 February 1913, he came to Canada at the age of 16 years and worked on his cousin’s dairy farm. He then worked successively as a prospector, fur trader, and waiter on the Great Northern Railway. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to open Lindy’s Lunch and the Roseland Dance Gardens then the Club Morocco on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, allegedly the largest caberet in Western Canada with a large dance floor and an orchestra led by Al Sprintz. A larger-than-life personality, he was described as “den mother and impresario” to performers through the years, some of whom would later become well-known. He was a member of the Masons (Mount Sinai Lodge), Young Mens Hebrew Association, and a founding member of the Variety Club of Manitoba (Tent 58). He died suddenly at Winnipeg on 22 August 1997 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1997, page 25.
We thank Norman Beattie and Owen Clark for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 December 2019
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