Fonds consists of 15 B&W photographs, one acrylic painting by Tex Colter, one framed poster of signatures titled, “Friends of Sam, February 5, 1973" (see 1-984), newspaper articles about his activities, two certificates and a souvenir program of a Sammy Koffman Testimonial Dinner, 1960. One is an …
Fonds consists of 15 B&W photographs, one acrylic painting by Tex Colter, one framed poster of signatures titled, “Friends of Sam, February 5, 1973" (see 1-984), newspaper articles about his activities, two certificates and a souvenir program of a Sammy Koffman Testimonial Dinner, 1960. One is an illuminated certificate to Sam Koffman from the State of Israel Bonds, October 3, l957 (see 1-979) and the other is an Imperial Daughters of the Empire certificate to Abram Baum, May 13, l957.
1957 - 1985
Sammy Koffman was born 1911, son of Sam and Pearl (Gennis) Koffman and died in Florida, January 29, l985. He was the fourth child of a large family. His brothers and sisters were Moe, Doris, Harry, Sam, Jack, Max (Musty), Joseph (Flash), Anne (Bloom), Milton and Barry. He married twice. He married Clara Pleet of Ottawa in 1960. She died in l973. He then married Mulya Rosen.
“He was a well-known Ottawa hotelier and raconteur. He built and operated the Belle Claire Hotel on Queen Street, Ottawa where he turned it into a landmark watering spot for politicians and athletes, using his humour, wit and hospitality to draw crowds.”
Around 1931 he went to Detriot to be with an uncle, Sam Gennis. He worked for the Detriot Herald as a sports writer. By 1934 he returned to Ottawa.
In the 1930s, he worked at Goldies, a gambling club in Eastview, owned by Harry Goldberg. During World War II, he was a staff writer for the Maple Leaf, the official Canadian military periodical. Sometime after the war, he, and his brothers Moe and Harry, bought the Capital Hotel, Ottawa with its Capital Deli from the Weiss family.
He promoted the Variety Club, a Toronto organization that raised funds for disabled children and youth. Sam (Shopsy) Shopsowitz and Leon Weinstein of Toronto introduced him to the Variety Club. In 1973, he was roasted at the Carleton Towers, Ottawa by hundreds of friends, sports writers and politicians. In turn, he was a popular after dinner speaker, particularly sports banquets.
He was appointed the first president of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) for a term between 1964 and 1967.
1. Formerly labelled RG l SK 032.
2. Biographical material quoted from Citizen obituary, January 30, 1985. One correction is that Sammy Koffman bought the Belle Claire, not built.
3. CAA dates obtained from CAA office.
4. Donated by Doris Koffman, June, 1996. Souvenir Testimonial dinner donated by Dave Molot, August 9, 2004.