Accession consists of material relating to the Maccabees Royal Canadian Legion branch 343, including a 1998 membership register, poppy sale information, correspondence and notes regarding Ben Sussman's application for a lifetime membership, information about the ticket sales and a copy of the certificate from 1997 JNF tribute dinner that honoured Albert and Pearl Cohen, and planning notes for the 50th anniversary banquet of the Maccabees in 1995. The accession also contains the draft of Albert Cohen's speech that he presented at the 50th anniversary dinner, as well as newspaper clippings from the Hamilton Jewish News and the Canadian Jewish News relating to the Maccabees, two certificates from the Grand Order of Israel Benefit Society recognizing Albert Cohen's 40 years of membership and an award of merit, and a eulogy in Yiddish, with some translation, written by a father about the son he lost, Balinson, in the line of duty. The DVDs contain footage from the 1997 JNF dinner honouring the Cohens, including Pearl Cohen speaking about early Hamilton, one clip from 1994 of Albert Cohen telling the history of the Maccabees, and video from the 50th anniversary dinner of the Maccabees where there were various speakers including an address by the guest speaker, Commander Sam Pasternack, who spoke about the contribution of Jewish soldiers in WWII (DVD, Maccabees dinner part 3).
Michael Cohen is the son of Albert and Pearl Cohen, and was in possession of the records prior to donating them.
Albert Cohen (1918-2006) who also went by the nickname "Boomie," was born on November 12, 1918 in Hamilton, Ontario. Pearl Cohen (nee Chaunce) (1919-2008) was born in Hamilton on September 2, 1919. Albert and Pearl married in 1941. In the same year, Albert volunteered to serve in the army as a staff sargeant stationed in Hamilton. He was later discharged in May 1946 after the war. Albert then joined Hamilton's Maccabees, Branch 343 of the Royal Canadian Legion. The branch was founded in 1947 and had a membership of 150 people. The Maccabees' membership was made up of Jewish veterans of WWII, and some veterans of WWI. The branch held meetings in Hamilton's Jewish centre. Albert served as president of the branch for almost 20 years, from 1975 to around 2000. The Maccabees were quite active, and helped raise money by selling poppies for Remembrance Day. The money raised would be sent to general hospitals, veterans hospitals, and families of needy veterans. Albert passed away on August 7, 2006, and Pearl passed away April 18, 2008.