Sophie Shinewald

My Story...

Sophie (Aron) Shinewald wants to be remembered as a person who accepted and enjoyed her life. She has lived with the philosophy that she is responsible for making her own life meaningful. Born in Winnipeg in 1913, the middle of three children, to Shmul and Ritza Aron, she lived on Selkirk Avenue and attended King Edward, Issac Newton and St. John's High School prior to attending Normal School to obtain her teacher's certificate. As a youngster she fondly remembers her involvement in a loose affiliation of neighbourhood clubs, the SPARKLERS and the MEMOPHS, both clubs bringing a smile to her face but no further explanation. Upon reflection Sophie remembers how much she enjoyed her school experience but she stops short of describing herself as the "teachers pet".

Graduating with her teacher's certificate in 1932, the Depression did not afford her the opportunity to find a position and she would have to wait until 1952 when, with the encouragement of her husband and children, she went back to school to qualify for a teaching position within the Seven Oaks School Division. Prior to her teaching career Sophie followed in her father's tailoring footsteps and worked as a dressmaker, an occupation that brought her a great deal of satisfaction.

1934 saw the unification of the residents of 941 and 943 Selkirk Avenue, as her next door neighbour boyfriend, Hymie Shinewald suggested that it was time for the two of them to get married. Her brother Ishi's friend Hy became her soul mate and Lansdowne Avenue near Scotia Street became home for over fifty years. Except for a slight flood in 1948 followed by the 1950 flood, the home provided only a "flood" of positive memories. Sophie describes the next fifty years of her life as full of life and love.

The Shinewalds had two children, Jackie and her husband Roy Shaw who now live in Calgary and have 2 children, and Eddie and his wife Sharon who live in Winnipeg and have four children. Sophie speaks fondly of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His position as advertising manager with the Israelite Press, the only Yiddish paper in Western Canada, was a successful challenge for Hymie. Sophie recognized her own personality as needing to be involved with people, which prompted her to become active in the Home and School Association, first at Luxton School and then to the position of Secretary for the National Home and School Association.

When Sophie reflects upon her life she speaks about the benefits of travel to make one more understanding of the world that we live in. This understanding allows Sophie to better appreciate the issues of living in Winnipeg. When she thinks about the Jewish community she recognizes the reality of the shift in our population to the south-end and the necessity to place community resources where the "young people" live. She has an appreciation for the Gwen Secter Centre and has been a volunteer there for over ten years. It affords her the opportunity to be involved with people. Sophie recognizes the importance of community and involvement and hopes that the elders of our community are encouraged to remain involved by allowing for transportation from our housing projects to our cultural, educational and social centres.

Sophie wishes to be remembered as devoted to the loves of her life, her husband, children, grand and great-grandchildren. She speaks passionately about the importance of blending family and community in order to lead a balanced and meaningful life. Sophie believes that is how she lived her life.