Arnold Glass

My Story...

On my mother's side, I am the third generation born in Canada. My grandmother, Sarah Goldstein was born here in the 1880's. My grandfather, Leopold Meltzer came to Canada from Russia via London at the turn of the century. He set up a hardware and appliance business first in Winnipeg and then in Snowflake, Manitoba. Around 1920 he returned to Winnipeg where he established Western Paper Box Ltd. My mother Gertrude was born in Winnipeg in 1907.

My father's parents, Aaron and Annie "Gutel" Glass came to Winnipeg in the late 1890's and my grandfather made his living as a shoemaker. My father, Louis Glass, was born in 1906 and grew up in north end Winnipeg. At the age of 12 he went to work for the railroad as a telegraph messenger. After my parents married, my father worked for his father-in-law at Western Paper Box, and my mother stayed home to raise my brother Sheldon and me.

I was born in 1935 and attended Champlain, Machray, and St. John's Tech schools in Winnipeg's north end. We lived in a duplex on Cathedral Avenue which we shared with my mother's parents. After graduating I went on to the University of Manitoba where I earned my Commerce degree, and then became a Chartered Accountant. Beginning after graduation in November 1961 I worked at Acklands where I retired as Vice President in 1988. Since then I have assumed a career in financial planning.

In December 1960 I married Rennie Diamond. Rennie was born in 1939 to Mollie and Saul Diamond. Mollie was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and Saul came to Canada from Russia as a teenager. She had two brothers, Sheldon (deceased) and Howard. Their family too lived in the north end where her father owned and operated "Quality Grocery" at the corner of Matheson and Main. Rennie attended Luxton School, graduated from St. John's Tech and went on to a career in nursing. In 1977 she utilized her energy and entrepreneurial spirit to establish "Shirt Stop" which she operated until her death in December, 1990.

Rennie had a strength and passion that extended to many areas - music, Yiddish culture, athletics, and people. She was a feminist with a determined sense of equality and fairness. Her warmth and friendliness drew people to her, and she was an exemplary mother to our three children, Karyn, Leonard and Marla.

Karyn, who lives in Winnipeg, was born in 1961. She is married to Jim Chess and they have two children, Ethan and Rebecca. She is a Chartered Accountant. Leonard, who lives in Vancouver, was born in 1963. He is a lawyer and is married to Shauna Tucker. They have three girls, Gillian, Emily and Liana. Marla, born in 1967, is married to Daryl Chiang and they have two boys, Evan and Noah. She is a teacher in Toronto.

As a young family man, I began my community involvement on the Board of the Talmud Torah and went on to serve on the Board of the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council. I was asked to represent the WJCC on the Board of the Y, and have been involved with the Y ever since, including a term as president from 1988-1991. I was also pleased to serve on the Jewish Foundation's Strategic Planning Committee.

The Rady Centre, and the entire Asper Jewish Community Campus, is an exciting place to be these days. Activities of all kinds make the place busy and vibrant, and it gives me hope that future generations will decide to stay in Winnipeg and raise their families here. My commitment to The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba underscores my belief that the Foundation will be the cornerstone of the future of this community, providing resources so that our community can continue to flourish.