I was born on August 18, 1932 in Winnipeg to Henry and Fanny (Weidman) Guttman and lived in the north end on Charles Street between Stella and Flora Avenues for 25 years. I have one brother, Dave, who lives in Toronto with his family. We lived in the middle unit of a triplex with my aunts, uncles and grandparents (on my dad's side) in the units on each side of us, so life revolved around family.
My father was born in Polonga Courland Russia on May 15, 1895, and moved to Scotland when he was 6 months old, with his parents Simon and Bluma (Cohen) who were cousins. On April 19, 1910, my grandparents, my father and his 3 siblings left for Canada traveling for 10 days in the steerage section of a ship and settled in Winnipeg because they thought it was a thriving city. My dad was a brilliant student, but being the eldest, he had to go to work so that his brothers could complete their education and at age 15 he was employed by Simmons Bedding Ltd. My father was one of the founders of the Maple Leaf Curling Club and one of 18 chartered members who founded the Y.M.H.A. as well as a life member in the Masonic Order.
My mother was born on May 22, 1902 in Winnipeg. Her parents, Abraham Peter and Clara Sarah (Booke), were born in Orla, Poland and Chechenov, Russia respectively.
During World War II, my mother volunteered at the Y.M.H.A. and opened her home on weekends to members of the Armed Forces. She was a life member of the Eastern Star and Hadassah Wizo. In her late years, she developed diabetes and unfortunately had both legs amputated within a 2 year period. She was an amazing woman, always willing to help others, particularly those with medical problems even though she, herself was severely handicapped.
My parents were married on June 15, 1924 and in 1982 celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. My mother passed away on May 30, 1983 and my dad passed away on March 2, 1988.
There never seemed any doubt that I was a proud product of a Jewish home. My parents saw to it that I got a Jewish education by enrolling me at the Talmud Torah night school where every Saturday morning I would attend Shabbat services. My Bar Mitzvah was held at the Knesseth Israel Synagogue in 1945.
In my youth, while I was going to public school, I worked as a pin setter at a bowling alley, a delivery boy for a drug store and a cashier for a Jewish book store. I joined the Y.M.H.A. on Albert Street with my friends and we formed a club called the Sheiks. I always looked forward to the Saturday night socials at the Y. I enjoyed curling and was on a team with my brother and my dad for many years at the Maple Leaf Curling Club.
My public school education started at David Livingstone, continued at Aberdeen and finished with high school at St. John's Tech in 1949. That year I was part of a 5 man bowling team that won the Western Canada High School 5 pin Bowling Championship. I graduated from Grade 12 shortly before my 17th birthday and got a job with A. Tadman, C.A. for $40 a month, with the long term goal of becoming a Chartered Accountant. As I was not eligible to get into the C.A. program at that time, in the summer of 1950 I decided to quit my job and start work for the City of Winnipeg, where in 2 years, my salary reached $119 a month. In the summer of 1952, I felt that to succeed in today's world an education was important. I then made the biggest and best decision of my life — to re-enter the C.A. program and was fortunate to be accepted back with the same accounting firm, although it was only for $50 a month. In the fall of 1953, I started the C.A. program, which meant working days and going to school at night. I graduated as a Chartered Accountant in December 1958 and in 1963 became a partner in the C.A. firm of Tadman Hornstein and Kalef. I retired as a partner at the end of 1997. I am still working with the firm as an Associate and this year completed my 57th tax season.
I was on Council at the Institute of Chartered Accountants for 8 years and on February 2nd, 1991, received my F.C.A. (Fellow of Chartered Accountants). I did volunteer work with Variety Club (a children's charity) and in 1990, was awarded a Variety Club International Presidential Citation. My volunteer work continued with my involvement with the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue where I have been very active, having served on the Investment Committee (including 3 years as chairman), the Cemetery Committee (which I chaired from 2001 to 2007) as well as the Executive, the Board and the Finance Committee.
In 1956, I was at an Accountancy dance where I saw the girl of my dreams, Lolly Segal, and it was love at first sight. Six weeks later on her 18th birthday we became engaged and were married on December 25th, 1957. Lolly and I have 3 daughters, Marni (Lanny Jacob), Jodi (Moish Margolis, living in Toronto), Gayla (Jerry Abells) and we have 9 wonderful grandchildren — Maylee, Rory and Jordy Jacob; Lindy, Kelsea and Shelby Margolis: and Bradley, Harlan and Ryan Abells.
I am enjoying semi-retirement with the love of my life, Lolly. We like to play bridge and golf, and like to travel, particularly cruises. We also look forward to our annual 2 month stay in Palm Springs in the winter.
My participation in the Endowment Book of Life is important to me to remember my Jewish heritage and to help support the community in its many worthwhile causes.