Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the activities of Ivor Simmons. Included is personal correspondence and photographs of Ivor's early life in South Africa and his family life and activities in Toronto. Of note are family portraits, Bialik Hebrew Day School class photos, Holy Blossom Temple Religious school images, images of the Toronto Island Yacht Club, images of Camp New Moon, Camp Ahmek, and Camp Walden, an image at Crystal Beach, and images of Ivor and his family visiting South Africa. Identified in the photographs are: Ivor Simmons, Milly Simmons, Jack Simmons, Renee Simmons, Gail Simmons, Alan Simmons, Eric Simmons, Anthony Giffard, Theo Wardaugh, Ruth Gold, Marlene Goldbach, Vicki Feraris, and Kim Bresge.
Ivor Simmons was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1937 to Milly and Jack Simmons. He has two younger brothers: Michael (B. 1941) and David (b. 1945). Ivor's father owned a printing business. Ivor studied chemical engineering at the University of Capetown and found work at a petroleum refinery near Johannesburg soon after graduating. Around 1961, Ivor moved to London, England where he worked for the Lummus Company. He moved to Canada in 1963 and settled in Toronto. He worked for Union Carbide for a few years conducting industrial market research and then took a job performing the same work for Falconbridge Nickelmines. Around 1970, he opened his own business called A&A Liquid Waste Removal Company.
Ivor married Renee Rothman in 1966. Together they had three children: Alan, Eric, and Gail. Ivor sold his business in 1997. In his retirement, Ivor has volunteered with a variety of organizations including, animal and bird rehabilitations centres, Friends of Cedarvale, the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, and Trinity College (assisting with its annual book fair). Ivor is a member of Adath Israel Synagogue and was a member of B'nai Brith for many years.
Video recordings of Transnistria Survivors' Association's annual commemomoration ceremonies (Haskara) that took place at Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue in Toronto in 2006 and 2007.
Founded in 1994, the Transnistria Survivors’ Association works to provide a voice for and raise awareness of a lesser known group of Holocaust survivors. Transnistria was the Romanian authorities’ name for the former Ukrainian region located between the Rivers Dniester and Bug. It was placed under Romanian administration following the German and Romanian conquest of Ukraine in the summer of 1941. Prior to the Second World War, Romania was home to the third largest Jewish population in Europe; but beginning with the Citizenship Revision Laws of 1938, the Jews of Romania were deprived their citizenship rights and became the targets of repressive antisemitic policies and laws. Neighbours turned on neighbours. Thousands of Jews were murdered in pogroms, either by Romanian or German troops, Nazi Einsatzgruppen, or the local population. In 1941, the Jews who remained alive in the Provinces of Bucovina and Bessarabia were deported to camps and ghettos in Transnistria. Thousands were jammed into freight trains while others were marched by foot. Many died along the way. Between 1941 and 1944, it is estimated that German and Romanian authorities, along with Ukrainian collaborators, murdered or caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Romanian and Ukrainian Jews in Transnistria. Some of those who survived these tragic circumstances, especially from Bucovina and Bessarabia, and made a new home in Toronto gathered together to lend each other support and to tell their largely unknown story of oppression and survival. The Transnistria Survivor’s Association organized yearly Hazkarah (memorial) services and its dedicated members continue to share their extraordinary stories of survival through speaking engagements at schools, colleges and synagogues. Past presidents include:
1. Felicia (Steigman) Carmelly
4.Lou (Leizer) Hoffer
As of 2017, the current President is Joe Leinburd.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Transnistria Survivors Association
Transnistria (Ukraine : Territory under German and Romanian occupation, 1941-1944)