Mr. Lecker was born and raised in Montreal. He enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II and served as ground maintenance crew in the Air Force. Mr. Lecker was present during D-Day invasion, June 06, 1944 and marched across Europe, specifically through France, Holland and Germany. During his time in Europe, Mr. Lecker collected and saved wartime propaganda and memorabilia. Upon discharge from the Forces Mr. Lecker returned to Montreal but travelled often across Canada as a travelling salesman. Mr. Lecker passed away in Montreal in December 2007.
Initial donation was made in 1978 by Mr. Lecker to Paul Trepman, then director of the JPL. In 2005, Mr. Lecker was reconnected to the Library and Archives and made two further donations in 2005 and 2006. The last donation of Mr. Lecker's service medals was made in 2008 after his death.
Ralph Novek was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Montreal on April 10, 1917. His father, Joseph Novek, left Poland in 1905 after being warned by the Russian officers that used Joseph’s father’s tailor shop that Joseph and his brother Israel were to be arrested because of their socialist Bundist activity. Joseph traveled first to England and arrived in Montreal in 1906. He married his cousin Helen Finestone in 1916.
Ralph Novek married Shulamith Litman in 1939. The couple supported themselves through Shulamith’s dress designing and Ralph’s writing jobs. In 1945, Ralph Novek founded the Burns Advertising Company with Arthur Burns, running the business until his retirement. In addition to advertising, Ralph Novek also wrote radio plays for the CBC and contributed articles on theatre and progressive themes to various journals.
Ralph Novek also translated into English, Benjamin Sack’s History of the Jews in Canada. Novek was related to Sack through his marriage.
Donated by Joel Novek, son of Ralph Novek to the JPL-A.