Well anyway, around this time, in the thirties too, people were coming into Kirkland Lake and opening businesses. Both Seymour Sukerman, who came here in the thirties, early thirties and uh, oh, my ski friend? (Marlene suggested "Aidelbaum") Seymour Sukerman and Mr. Aidelbaum, whose first name I don't know . . . Saul . . . Saul Aidelbaum, both arrived in town in the thirties and both came as peddlers. They were selling whatever goods they had from door to door. They had come from Montreal where they were finding it very tough to make a living and they moved into Kirkland Lake and brought their wives, and there were children came. They both decided after a while, after working as peddlers in town, to open their businesses and Seymour Sukerman took a small store on Government Road. There had been a new building built there, and there were two stores, one side was Seymour's, a little small store that was no more than twelve feet wide and probably forty feet long, you know, and my brother Morris took the other half of that building and established his move from Duncan Avenue, where he had been operating a studio at 37 Duncan and moved on to Government Road, and they both did quite well during the thirties. The town was booming. There were a lot of weddings.
Seymour was very good with clothes. He was an expert at measuring people and he was a very snappy dresser himself. He spoke French fluently. He employed . . . one of his chief salesman was French, and the other one was not French, but he was very popular, a golfer and he later had the shoe store, (Marlene suggested "Polyblank") . . . Polyblank, Jack Polyblank, and he had another, I've forgotten the name of the Frenchman. He was a really nice guy who later went into business for himself. But Seymour used to advertise in French and he, on the radio, and he catered to the French trade in fact a lot of people thought that he was French.
I remember one time I was being introduced to Bishop Rheaume when he was here. I was doing some work at the time in the church. They had an ordination. And while everybody was outside I was then called to be introduced to the bishop, and he held out his hand and I kissed his ring. I wasn't sure whether I should, but that was what everybody else was doing and, of course, he said, "Enchante de faire votre connaisance." And I replied, "Ju suis enchante de faire votre connaisance." And we spoke a few words in French and my French is not really great but it wasn't too bad either. I could carry on a conversation cause I had lived in Quebec for many, I was raised there, and finally the bishop said to me, "Je ne savais pas que vous Jtais franHais." He said, "I didn't know that you were French." So a voice from the back came up, it was one of their priests, who was a younger priest whom I knew well, and whose name I've forgotten at the moment, and whom I used to speak to quite often when I was doing weddings there, and he said "Mais oui. Il est Franšais, pareille exactement comme Seymour." (Marlene asked for a translation.) He says, "He's French, exactly like Seymour." which of course everybody got the joke except for the bishop. Everybody burst out laughing but the bishop didn't get the joke. But anyway that was what happened when I met the bishop. He said, "He's French, exactly like Seymour." So that was, uh . . .
Then as I say, Aidelbaum did quite well and opened a men's wear, then into a ladies' wear. When his son finally . . . his son Abe was very, very interested in skiing. And did a great deal to establish the local ski club and then switched his activities to the Raven Mountain Ski Club, which he was really instrumental in the building of. And of course Marion was interested in the ladies' wear business and she more or less took over, after Abe was married to Marion Kokotow, she took over that department.
Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Museum of Northern History Collection