2 photographs : col. & b&w ; 10 x 15 cm and 5 x 4 cm
1972-2010, predominant 1977-1983
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the Robinson family's immigration to Ontario as well as Morris Robinson's professional history and business activities with Libman and Company.
Included is family correspondence; the Robinson's customs paperwork and travel documents; Morris' curriculum vitae, professional records and some documentation of his business activities; and genealogical accounts of the Robinson family including a history by Lilian Henry. Of note is a letter Morris Robinson sent to Irma when he first arrived in Boston on his way to Toronto as well as letters Morris' parents hand delivered to Irma just before she left with the children to join Morris in Canada.
Identified in the photographs are: Morris Robinson and Phoebe Robinson.
Material was in possession of Morris Robinson. Morris donated it to the OJA.
Morris Robinson was born in Cape Town, South Africa on May 27th, 1948 and grew up in Benoni. He completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Witwatersrand and graduated as a Chartered Accountant in 1973. On February 25th, 1973. Morris married Irma Startz who was born in Benoni, South Africa on December 10, 1951. Irma earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Witwatersrand and went on to obtain a Post-Graduate Higher Teacher's Diploma. The Robinsons have three sons. Their first son, Marc, was born in South Africa on September 26th, 1976 (just a few months after the Soweto riots). Their sons Frank (b. December 31, 1980) and Daniel (b. March 12, 1985) were born in Toronto.
The Robinsons were motivated by political unrest, which manifested in the anti-apartheid Soweto uprising of June 1976, and the desire for a safe future for their family, to seek opportunity abroad and to emigrate. In February of 1977, Morris heard through friends about an accounting job opportunity in Canada and was officially appointed to the post of comptroller at Libman and Company, then Canadas’ largest jewellery manufacturer. The Robinsons arrived in Toronto in early 1978 and settled in Thornhill, Ontario. In 1989, Morris became a partner of Libman and Company. During his career in the jewellery industry, Morris was involved with the Canadian Jewellers Association and served as the organization's chairman. He was also a founding member and first treasurer of the Diamond Bourse of Canada. Irma pursued a teaching career with the Toronto District School Board, specializing in ESL and eventually becoming the principal at an ESL school for adults. The Robinsons were founding members of Shaar Shalom Synagogue. In 2012 the Robinsons sold the family home in Thornhill and moved into the city to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.