Consists of two class photographs on cardboard backings and one medal issued by the Protestant School Board of Montreal for general proficiency in school studies.
7-3C; SC3; PC
Photograph backing is flaking.
Photographs removed for preservation in Photograph Collecion.
Evelyn Ancel (nee Weiser), April 29, 1914-January 16, 2009. Zalman Weiser and his wife Clara (Darabaner) arrived in Montreal with their two daughters, Annie and Sarah in 1907. They were brought by Clara's father David who was involved in the fur trade in Havre St. Pierre. In all there were 13 members in the Weiser household, twins Annie and Sarah, Max, Harry, Hymie, Louie, Florence, Evelyn, Ethel, Lillian and Pearlie.
Zalman Weiser began working in Montreal as a peddler, and his wife Clara sold some of the goods from their home. Peddlers who came to the house to buy or sell merchandise also received informal lessons on speaking English and French. The family later purchased a store in which to sell their goods at 989 St. Laurent (which later became 3777 St. Laurent) and lived in the residence above it (3779 St. Laurent). Once the store came into being, peddlers would come once a week to take a parcel on credit to try and sell door to door. These peddlers were Jewish and came from Poland, Russia and Romania. Customers of the store and the peddlers were mainly French Canadian.
Zalman was a wholesaler of dry goods (fabric). He had salesman to help in the store and also sold to retail establishments like Greenberg's and Eaton's. The store was always closed on Saturdays, which highly unusual for the time. The family also signed for their own packages. The success of the store was great enough that a second building was purchased on St. Dominque, and the store expanded through the rear. The full building had 3 residences. Two were rented out in order to generate revenue. Zalman also purchased old, unheated houses in poor districts in the neighbourhood near Ontario and Sanguinet (as many as 8 or 10 at a time) and rented them out.
Salesman who worked at the store often started their own businesses later on. A. Schecter, Joe Nadler and the Stein brothers were customers. Florence was the first full-time bookkeeper, a job that was taken over by Evelyn in later years (when Florence went out to go work with her husband Leo in his store).
Goods were also sold to out of town customers. Of all the Weiser boys, only Max travelled to sell goods. He later opened his own store. Annie and Sarah both married boys who worked in the store. Sarah's husband (Abe Schacter) opened a coat factory (Entire Ladies' Cloak). Annie's husband (Sam Segal) sold material yard goods. Harry and Florence's husband (Leo Cytrynbaum) opened their own outfitting store. The store was sold in the early 1950's (possibly 1951).
Zalman Weiser worked with several charities, the main one being Hebrew Free Loan Association, which provided loans without interest. Zalman used to sign (vouch) for people on their loans. He also worked with orthodox charities like Lubavitch. In the summer the Weiser family rented houses off the island. They rented in Chateauguay, Plage Laval and Ste. Rose (Laval). They stayed nearby because someone had to work in the store, so they stayed within an hour's drive. A housekeeper would stay with the children at the summer houses (as well as when the family was in town during the fall/winter/spring). They would load up the car with 8 or 9 people (split 3/3/3), but would have to make two trips to move the whole family. The family had a car as long as Evelyn could remember, but Harry was the one who did all the driving until other children were old enough to share the responsibility. Neither parent drove.
Evelyn attended Strathearn for elementary (grade 1-7). Elementary school was free, and Evelyn was registered by older brother, Harry. He was the one who supplied the anglicized name "Evelyn" to the school, as her name was Chava. At the time, the birth certificate was issued by the midwife (Mrs. Crystal/Krystal?). Unsure of the legality of the birth certificate, the family later hired a lawyer to get official birth certificates from city hall. Top of her class in Grade 7, Evelyn was awarded a medal and a scholarship for her first year at Baron Byng. The students at Strathearn were mostly Jewish, but Evelyn never encountered any anti-Semitic attitudes from students or teachers.
While attending Strathearn, Evelyn attended the Yiddishe Folks Shule, then located on St. Urbain near Pine. At the time, Mr. Wiseman was Principal. The classes contained about fifteen students. Class was held everyday after school and Sunday mornings for one hour. Evelyn was taught reading and writing in both Hebrew and Yiddish, and this continued until she began high school. The Weiser sons went to a Rabbi's house for private study.
High school (Baron Byng) cost $2.50/month. In bad weather the children took taxis. Hymie won scholarships for his 4 years of high school (best grades for the year). Evelyn won it upon entry. Hymie later studied at a Yeshiva and went to New York. At the time Harry went to school, Baron Byng did not exist, so he attended Montreal High. The three youngest children attended Strathcona High School.
After Evelyn graduated from Baron Byng the family moved to 245 Cote St. Catherine Road near Laurier. Shortly after they moved to Outremont Ave. (possibly 458). Evelyn and Ethel both went onto post-secondary studies at MacDonald College and were trained to become teachers. Since schools were not hiring Jewish teachers at the time, Evelyn became the bookkeeper for the family business. Ethel was able to find a teaching position later on.
Evelyn was married in 1941 at Beth Yehuda synagogue on City Hall near Duluth. The weddings of all of the daughters were paid for by their parents (and possibly the boys as well). Clara would prepare cases for the newlyweds, filled with linens from the store. The parents provided properties to the children when they got married, where the children would pay rent to the parents (and possibly more than one child would occupy the home - they and their spouse would share with a sibling and their spouse). After getting married Evelyn and Michael (Julius Michael Ancel) continued to live at the home of Evelyn's parents. When their first child was born they rented a home on Jeanne-Mance (from strangers) near either Fairmoun or St. Viateur. They bought their own home at 740 de l'Epee (near Bernard) for which the Weisers provided the downpayment on the $7000 - a 3 flat home. That house was later sold and another 3 flat home was bought at 883 Stuart near Ducharme.