Abraham “Abe” Ernest Alexandor
Birth: February 28, 1889 in Wolverhampton, England
Death: September 13, 1962 in Victoria, B.C.
Gravesite Details: Row C plot 22
Leading furrier in Victoria, fashionista, father social observer/commentator
Abraham Ernest Alexandor, known as A.E., was born in Britain. Family lore held that his mother, Fanny Bach Alexandor, was related to the famous composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. According to a travel document issued in 1948, A.E. had brown hair and grey eyes.
A.E. and his brother A.J. were fourth generation furriers. Their great-grandfather had been a leading raw fur merchant in Leipzig for 45 years. He instituted raw fur auctions which became the world-wide standard. Their grandfather was one of the original founders of what became London’s largest raw fur auction. The trade was handed down the patrilineal line. Known as furriers of ‘high repute’ in England, the family business included a chain of twenty fur stores in England.
In an account of his life given to the Victoria Daily Times on September 29, 1936, A.E. revealed that as a boy he wanted to become a plasterer. When he was 12 his father took him out of school so he could apprentice with a plasterer. He was paid two shillings and sixpence a week. However, after falling into the mortar he changed his outlook. Shortly after he took a cattle-boat from Liverpool to Montreal. From there he took the ‘harvester’s’ special to Winnipeg. He said that he stayed in Winnipeg for three months before returning to Montreal.
However, there are a number of conflicting accounts of the date of his immigration to Canada. According to immigration papers, at the age of 22, A.E., his brother Alexander “Alex” Jacob Alexandor, (A.J.)(1880-1973), sister, Julia Alexandor Bernstein (1887-1980) and brother-in-law, Judah Bernstein, immigrated to Montreal in 1900. All of the men were furriers. However, the 1921 Canadian Census shows A.E.’s immigration date as 1902. Finally, an article in the Times Colonist of Victoria on June 28, 1932 stated that A.E. and A.J. came to Canada in 1903.
A.J. established and owned the firm A.J. Alexandor Ltd. which became “known all over the Dominion” as the largest chain of retail furriers in the British Empire. The firm operated fifteen shops in Central and Eastern Canada with branches in Montreal, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Ottawa, Quebec, Halifax and Murray Bay.
According to the 1911 Canadian Census, A.E. was living with his sister Julia Bernstein and her husband Judah in Montreal. Both men listed their occupation as “selling furs”. They each worked 45 hours a week and their income for 1910 was recorded as $1000 each.
A.E. moved from Montreal to Ottawa in 1913. He opened the Ottawa branch of A.J. Alexandor Ltd. with two employees. He built the business which at one point included having the patronage of people at Government House. A.E. moved the store to 67 Sparks Street and by 1920 had a staff of thirty-five.
The Ottawa Citizen carried a few articles in October, 1918 regarding A.E.’s health. They reported on October 1 that; “Mr. Alexandor had been taken critically ill with double pneumonia and given six hours to live. Happily, however, through possessing a strong constitution and receiving careful nursing, he pulled though and after three weeks spent in the mountains has regained his health once more.” The paper reported on December 5, 1918 that A.E. had fully recovered from his illness and had returned to his business.
On Tuesday March 2, 1920, A.E. married Beatrice Morris, daughter of the Russian born clothing merchant Moses L. Morris. They were at Beatrice’s home in Westmount with Rabbi Abramovitz and Rev Siegel of the Reform Congregation Shar Hashonym officiating. A.E.’s brother A.J had married Beatrice’s older sister Bessie on June 8, 1904.
The employees at the Ottawa branch of A.J. Furs gave their boss and Beatrice a surprise banquet in honor of their marriage. According to the February 23, 1920 Ottawa Citizen, the couple were given a “beautiful mahogany mantle clock and two handsome mahogany candle sticks.” Beatrice was also given a “nice bouquet of violets and roses.” The article concluded “At the close of the banquet the guests enjoyed a very sociable game of cards after which the decks were cleared for dancing which lasted to the early hours of the morning.”
On March 6, 1920, the couple embarked on a two-and-a-half month honeymoon. They set sail for New York on the SS Imperator en route to England and then on to the major fur centers of Europe. A.E. was interested in finding out what was “smart and chic” in European fur fashions. They were among the first class passengers aboard the Empress of France, which docked in Quebec at 5:30 pm on May 9.
The couple returned to Ottawa in mid-May just in time for A.E. to deal with a fire at his store. The May 19, 1920 edition of the Ottawa Citizen reported that a fire had broken out the night before. Five fire houses answered the call and extinguished the fire in about an hour. No one was killed, but a few fire-fighters suffered from smoke inhalation, or had minor injuries. The fire chief could not determine the cause of the fire and speculated that the blaze either began in the elevator shaft or was due to spontaneous combustion. There was between $75,000- $100,000 worth of water damage to the company’s stock of furs including about $300 of damage to fur coats being stored for the summer. A.E. reported that most of the loss would be covered by insurance. Some water damage was also done to the neighbouring store. Fuller details are in the article above.
According to the 1921 Census of Canada, A.E., age 32, and Beatrice, age 26, were living in a six room brick veneered home in Ottawa at 146 Brighton Avenue. A.E. was the homeowner. His occupation was listed as farmer. After moving to Victoria, A.E. farmed part time on his four acres of property in Gordon Head.
The comings and goings of the Alexandor’s were often covered by the press, both in Ottawa and in Victoria. Beatrice’s visits to her sister Bessie’s summer cottage in St. Hilaire, Quebec and later in her own cottage outside of Ottawa, visits from her sister Rosalie, parties that Beatrice hosted or attended were all detailed by the Ottawa Citizen.
The Ottawa Citizen reported on March 4, 1924 that A.E. was leaving Ottawa and moving to Montreal and become the Vice-President of A.J. Alexandor Ltd. His new job was to begin on April 1. Before he and his family moved back to Montreal, they hosted a gathering at their home to which about thirty people attended. Assistant Manager Mr. J.A. Senecal, who would become the manager, presented A.E. with a gift of a gold mounted walking stick. Beatrice received a “handsome basket of flowers.” The paper described the evening as follows: “Mr and Mrs Bert O’Part entertained in delightful manner by giving a clever exhibition of slight of hand tricks and most pleasing musical selections were contributed by Miss Jennis Gottdank who played the violin and by Miss Doris Mortimer, pianist. Supper was later served.”
In 1930, A.E. stepped down from his position of Vice-President of A. J. Alexandor Ltd. That same year his name appeared in Victoria’s City Directories for the first time. He told a reporter from the Victoria Daily Times in February, 1933 that he “followed the birds to Victoria.”
In September, 1930, A.E. bought the Victoria branch of Foster’s Furs from Mrs. Mary Jane Foster, widow of Frederick Foster. First known as Fred Foster Furs and later called Fosters Furs, the business was established in 1895 by taxidermist and furrier Fred Foster. The Victoria shop remained a family business until 1930 when Mrs. Foster sold the store. A.E. kept the name Foster Furs. Mary Jane relinquished all financial interest in the Victoria location, but continued to own and run the Vancouver location under the name Foster’s Fine Furs.
On October 11, 1930, the Victoria Daily Times reported that A.E. Alexandor ‘acquired’ Foster’s Fur Store at 1216 Government Street. The paper stated that A.E. had been Vice-President of A.J Alexandor Ltd for twenty-five years and was bringing his expertise in furs and design to Victoria. The article continued by saying that A.E. would bring in “an entirely new stock of furs and has installed an ice-cold freezing storage department for use in the summer months. Among the new features of the business will also be a partial payment plan to enable the purchase of fur coats on convenient terms, if desired.”
It seems as if retail fur stores had samples of coats to choose from. Once a selection was made, a custom fit coat was created, or designed. A.E. often brought coats from the factories of A.J. Furs in Montreal. He advertised them as “models in practically every fur ranging from high-priced models to those at the most moderate figure, but in each case they are original and individual creations, designed and elaborately worked in the studios of A.J. Alexandor Ltd of Montreal, recognized as Canada’s finest furrier.”
A.E. operated a fur factory at the Government Street location. Raw furs were often purchased directly from the trapper. A large part of A.E.’s work was designing styles that “strike a individual note, while harmonizing with the general trend of fashion’s decree.” He was also willing to work with style ideas from patrons. A.E. often supervise the creation of the “smart new models” of his own design, which he guaranteed to be the latest fashion. The factory also remade or repaired coats. A.E. touted that Foster’s Furs was known as “Victoria’s big manufacturing house where precious furs of finest quality are transformed into the smartest new Parisian modes.”
On December 2, 1932, The Daily Colonist announced that Foster Furs would be moving to 758 Yates Street. The shop underwent extensive renovations and redecoration, including the use of natural light to help shoppers see the furs more realistically. The December 27, 1932 edition of the Times Colonist described the furnishing and appointments in the new store as “smart and modern in every respect.” Fire-proof storage would be available to the public.
Beginning in early November, 1932, A.E. was called as a witness in a dispute in a court case and also in a case involving lack of payment. Details of that case are in the collection of articles above.
During the depression era, A.E. was able to keep Foster’s Furs open. On February 24, 1932 the Times Colonist reported: “These days of so much unemployment, it is most gratifying to know that Foster’s Fur Store are keeping their factory going at full time.” On July 10, 1932 A.E, said; “In spite of the depression we have not closed our factory for a single day during this past three years.” Foster Furs were taking new orders every week and “didn’t insist on a cash deposit. We make the coat first and then if it is quite satisfactory, you can place a deposit.”
In 1936 A.E, introduced the idea of “Fosterizing” fur coats. He often advertised in the papers that “Fosterizing” was a scientific treatment that would add years to the life and loveliness of the coat by; cleaning fur and lining, removing all moth larvae, replacing oil on dried pelts to restore the original luster and provide greater resistance to damp weather and making it look like new. In 1936 the price for “Fosterizing” was $7.50, (roughly $160.00 US in 2023) and rose to $10.00 by 1947
In September 1936, A.E. incorporated himself under the name Foster’s Fur Store (Victoria) Ltd. He registered the firm with himself President.
The Victoria Daily Times reported on April 6, 1946 that A.E. bought the building that housed his shop.
The marketing strategy that A.E. used involved taking advantage of current events, appealing to both men and women and to community spirit. When targeting men A.E. spoke of expressions of love and honor. When appealing to women, ideas of luxury and of treating oneself were themes. In the 1930’s A.E. was using the idea of ‘buying local’ by promoting buying furs at Fosters as a means of “supporting your local fur factory and keeping your money in your home town.” In 1940 A.E. suggested that buying furs would help support the British war effort.
In November, 1941, A.E. appealed to Victorians to sell outdated or unwanted furs at Foster’s and that Foster’s would then send the furs as a present to “Bundles for Britain.” In 1942 A.E. reported that old furs made snug warm jackets for the men of the service. With the fur on the inside, men doing guard duty were able to stay warm on cold and windy nights. In 1945, A.E. appealed to people to donate to the community chest.
Being the oldest furrier in Victoria and promoting the selection offered by Fosters were reliable themes in the advertising campaigns. A.E. sometimes offered coupons in his advertisement, or sometimes he named a woman who could redeem the advertisement for two tickets to a show at either the Capitol or at the Dominion theater.
A.E.’s marketing strategy took advantage of the fluctuation in the wholesale price of furs. In 1932 he stated that prices were at the lowest ebb that he had ever seen, so it was a good time to buy furs. As prices rose, A.E. would advise consumers to purchase coats before prices rose even higher and suggested that fur coats were a good financial investment. A.E. mused that luxury items such as fur coats were often bellwethers of economic conditions. As times got touch, his industry was among the first to suffer, as economies improved, retail fur store were often among the first to recover.
Foster’s Furs was featured in the gossip column in the Times Colonist a number of times in December 1930, 1931 and again in December 1932. Those articles are posted above.
A collection of his advertisements are posted above as well as on the Jewish Victoria website.
A.E. was also able to use the press to his advantage. The Times Colonist on February 26, 1932, and the Victoria Daily Times on February 27, 1932 both reported that A.E. would be leaving Victoria for a month-long business trip to Eastern fur centers. As part of the trip, A.E. would be going to Toronto to give an address at a fur merchants’ conference held at the Royal York Hotel. A.E.’s speech was called “Canada and the Important Position it Holds in the Fur Trade.”
A.E. regularly travelled to Vancouver and Seattle and also frequently visited New York, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg and sometimes Edmonton. He attended raw fur auctions and fashion shows. When he returned from his trips A.E. was often interviewed by the press. His position with Foster’s Furs was described as either President, Proprietor or Managing Owner. A.E. offered commentary on a wide range of topics from fashion trends, to business opportunities, political insights, and social conditions. The full articles are posted above and a summary of his musings follow.
Business trips, often by air, usually lasted about a month, and were sometimes followed by a vacation either to Palm Springs or Harrison Hot Springs. In 1939, A.E. attended the World’s Fair in San Francisco. On March 25, 1936 the Daily Times reported; “Mr A.E. Alexandor of Gordon Head and his two daughters Evelyn and Josie have returned to Victoria after cruising up as far as Prince Rupert.” A number of other trips that A.E. took with his family including his sister Julie were chronicled in the paper. However, it seems that A.E. travelled alone for business, including his excursions to Palm Springs, Vancouver Island and San Francisco.
On February 17, 1940 the Daily Colonist published A.E.’s extensive itinerary including which flights he took where. That year, due to the war, fur supplies from Europe were scarce, so A.E. brought a large shipment of raw furs, raised and trapped in B.C., to sell in New York. While at the conference, A.E. was a guest at a banquet held by the American Retail Furriers’ Association.
A.E.and his family’s attendance at various parties and events was often recorded in the press. For example, The Victoria Daily Times on October 19, 1936 noted that A.E. attended an ‘enjoyable’ bridge party hosted by the United Commercial Travellers and the Ladies Auxiliary.
A.E.’s involvement with the Jewish community seemed marginal. However he was a pallbearer at the funerals for Eli Fromson, Isaac Herbert Herman and Benjamin Ablovitz. While he lived in Ottawa, The Ottawa Citizen announced on May 3, 1922 that the Jewish community had launched a campaign to raise $35,000 to build a new community center. A.E. joined the Publicity Committee.
His sister Julia who was widowed and living at the Alexandor residence was President of the Ladies Auxilliary of B’nai Brith. On February 4, 1939 she hosted ‘large’ gathering at ‘her’ home at 51 Marlborough. The guest speaker called for a boycott of German goods due to the Nazi persecution of Jews. Before tea was served, funds were gathered in aid of the German Refugees Fund.
As early as 1920, A.E.’s donations and philanthropy was noted in the papers. On December 9, 1920, the The Ottawa Journal reported that A.E. donated $50 to the campaign to raise funds for the Ottawa General Hospital. Most donations were higher.
He maintained his community spirit in Victoria. The Times Colonist on December 16, 1937 reported that A.E. donated a ‘handsome’ seal coat modelled by Maxine Hughe for a Christmas Bureau fundraiser. The top bid for the coat was $75.
On September 27, 1938 according to the Times Colonist, A.E. presented a set of silver fox furs to jockey who won a race. In 1939 his gift of $20 to the Community Chest and Red Cross Campaign was noted.
The Victoria Daily Times on November 9, 1945 recorded; “Mr A.E. Alexandor will be host to the staff of Foster’s Fur Store at dinner at the Empress Hotel tonight, followed by theatre party at the Royal Victoria Theatre. Later in the evening Mr. Alexandor leaves by T.C.A. plane to visit his daughter and son-in-law Mr and Mrs Harry Weiner at Longview, Washington.”
A.E. announced his intentions to retire from the fur business circa 1948. In an attempt to sell or lease the business, A.E. advertised in the Montreal Gazette. The advertisement on February 16, 1948 read that he would “arrange lease.” or sell the fixtures and his stock at his cost of $15,000. He promised to hold ‘enquires in strict confidence.’ Following his retirement, A.E. was listed as living in Vancouver until her returned to Victoria circa 1959. At that time the Times Colonist reported in January 1959 that A.E. had joined the staff at Foster’s Furs.
A.E. was an enthusiast of open-air sports. In addition to farming on his property in Gordon Head, A.E. enjoyed fishing particularly in Brentwood Bay. On many Sundays A.E, would often take friends fishing on his motor boat. He also enjoyed golf. In the spring of 1939 and 1941 he participated in a golf tournament sponsored by the United Commercial Travelers (UCT). Both times he was scheduled to play at 2:35 at the Uplands Golf Club and at Colwood Links respectively.
A.E. and Beatrice had three children; Frances “Frankie”, Evelyn “Bubby”, and Josephine “Josie”. Frances and Evelyn’s trips and the parties they attended or hosted were often chronicled in the Victoria papers. Little of Josie’s social life was recorded in the papers.
Frances was born on February 16, 1921. On June 30, 1940 she received a shorthand speed certificate for 110 words a minute. That year, Frances also earned a secretarial diploma (with bookkeeping) from St. Ann’s. She was listed as a stenographer in Vancouver’s City Directories in 1943 and 1944. Frances married Jack M. Wartels of New York on April 7, 1946 at the family residence which by 1942 was in Vancouver. She had two sons, Larry and Gary. Frances died on February 9, 1978.
Evelyn was born on May 10, 1923 and married Harry Weiner of Vancouver on September 6, 1944 at her home at 4409 Angus Drive in Vancouver. The couple moved to Ohio. They had two daughters, Lisa Weiner and Beatrice Weiner Barnett. Evelyn died on March 14, 2002.
On December 30, 1936, Josie and Evelyn attended the Children’s Ball at the Empress Hotel. In July, 1939 Josephine won First-class honors in piano. There is a photo of Josie and other children waving good-bye to their teacher printed in the paper on April 3, 1940. Josie hosted a tea in honor of a friend who was visiting from Seattle. She attended the Vancouver School of Art and graduated in 1951. Between 1948-1951, Josie was listed as a student living at 4409 Angus Drive in Vancouver with her father and her aunt Julie. No further information about her was found.
In the 1935 Victoria City Directories A.E.’s wife Beatrice was listed as the proprietor of Foster Furs. In 1937 the City Directories recorded the Alexandor home address as 51 Marlborough Street in Gordon Head. A.E.’s sister Julie Bernstein immigrated to Canada with her husband Judah circa 1900. By 1936 she was widowed and began living at 51 Marlborough that year. Julia lived with her brother and his children until circa 1955. Beatrice died on February 6, 1937.
On June 29, 1937 the Daily Colonist reported that: “Mr. A.E. Alexandor and his three daughters, Frankie, Evelyn and Josie, accompanied by Mrs. J. Bernstein, 51 Marlborough St are leaving today for Qualicum Beach to spend the Summer months at their cottage.”
Julie was listed as ‘guardian’ in the 1940 Voter’s list. She lived in Victoria until circa 1943. She moved to Vancouver and lived with A.E. Following the marriage of his daughters, circa 1955, A.E. moved back to Victoria, but Julia stayed in Vancouver. She lived in Vancouver until her death in 1980 and is buried there.
A.E. was not listed in Victoria or Vancouver’s City Directory between 1950-1954, but in 1955 he was listed as: Abr E. (Helen) retired h 2800 Lincoln. The 1957 and 1968 voters lists showed A.E. and Helen as still living at 2800 Lincoln Street.
Helen Boas Alexandor was first married to Martin Boas. They wed on February 14, 1936 and remained together until Martin died in Minnesota on April 24, 1953. It’s unclear when Helen returned to Victoria or when she and A.E. married, but she did take Alexandor as her last name. Helen died on March 5, 1996, almost thirty-five years after A.E.’s death on September 13, 1962. A.E. was buried beside his first wife Beatrice and buried in Jewish Cemetery in Victoria and Helen was buried beside her first husband Martin.
A.E.’s commentary on style, politics, business, political, society
Times Colonist February 26, 1932
“Everyone knows that Canada is the outstanding country in the world for very fine furs. A great income is derived by the various provincial government from the exports of valuable raw furs and Canada’s furs are the best in the world.”
A.E. told the Times Colonist on March 30, 1932 that he was “amazed” that people in Eastern Canada weren’t aware of the mild climate in Victoria. A.E. mused that “Many Canadians have been in the habit of going to Florida for the winter to escape the coldness of the eastern winters because they were never advised of the fine climate here.” And, “What Victoria needs is an extensive advertising programme in all the eastern cities, particularly Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal.”
The article concludes with A.E. also noting that; “If the Imperial Conference which is to take place shortly in Ottawa accomplishes what it is setting out to do, Canada will reap many great benefits and the one industry which stands out most prominently to benefit is the lumber industry of BC.”
The Victoria Daily Colonist March 31, 1932
A.E. noted; “The commercial world is becoming adjusted to a new standard of business. In our own line, that of furs, a trying period has been passed through but now we have reached a solid foundation of supply and demand furs can at no time be termed an essential commodity, and consequently are the first to feel the effects of depressed trade, and the first to recover. The steady increase in fur trade throughout the country speaks volumes for the trend towards better times.” A.E. also noted that there was an undeveloped market for fur coats from Victoria Eastern Canada, particularly for the holiday season.
The Victoria Daily Colonist June 21, 1933
“Conditions have improved greatly during the last four months and no one in the east is talking of depression. Most of the retail shops are advertising that they are all paying much more for merchandise than they did four months ago and are strongly advising immediate purchases because they cannot duplicate any merchandise at the low prices. This applies to practically every commodity particularly furs, dresses and gent’s clothing.”
A.E, also noted that B.C. loganberry growers would be interested in knowing that canned loganberries were served in many homes and are “indeed welcomed.” A.E. suggested that “The market in the east for loganberries is still very much underdeveloped.” A.E. was “confident that the east will be in a position to talk all the canned fruits that B.C. can ship them.”
Times Colonist October 4, 1935
Prices of furs increased by 22%. A.E. asserted that; “The fur business had been one of the first to suffer when depression times set in, while it was generally agreed it was one of the first to pull out of the slump since prospects often set their minds on furs as soon as they had a little extra money.”
The Province July 11, 1936
Trapping Muskrats brought in nearly $44,000 into the province in 1935. A study in Ontario which found that Muskrats particularly enjoyed eating rice, and that after about a month they fattened up and “improved their size.
A.E. Alexandor, a Victoria furrier who is considered an authority on the subject said: “The opportunity exists here, as it did in Ontario for the government to step in and lend a hand to the trappers by providing for them larger animals and consequently better furs to trap. With the government spending money on practically every other industry of the province surely a few dollars contributed towards assisting the trappers would not be out of place Although during the last couple of seasons prices for the ‘rat’ pelts have run only between 90 cents and $1.25 in former years around 1920 they went as high as $5. Fur prices now ‘ain’t so good’ the trappers tell you, “but they’ll come back to 1920 days when this depression gets over and the ladies stop oftener as they pass the fur stores.”
Times Colonist January 26, 1937
“Whenever you see prices on a commodity like furs jumping up you can be sure prosperous conditions are on the way.” (example: Prices on Muskrats furs have jumped from 85 cents to $1.75)
Times Colonist January 19, 1938
After returning from a raw fur auction in Seattle, A.E. commented on the new styles for the season saying; “The tendency is now to lightweight furs with silver fox in capes and scarfs holding the spotlight in the fashion forecast. Jigger coats, capes and short coats from Kolinsky skunk are a highlight in the spring fur fashion news sharing the honors with Japanese mink weasel in various shades and black caracul (sheep/lamb)”
Times Colonist March 28, 1938 The Daily Colonist March 29, 1938
A.E. travelled by boat from San Francisco where he witnessed “an abounding evidence of labor unrest which was creating a general instability among financial interest.”
While docked in Cuba he saw ‘evidence of a pending revolution.’ In New York there was a large police presence to guard against labor unrest. Fur prices were 25-30% higher than last years. A.E. noted that there was labor unrest in Montreal and Toronto, but to a lesser degree.
A.E. concluded that: “Travel as far as you like to any other country on this continent, but you won’t find anywhere the peace and comfort that there is here in Victoria. We have no labor unrest, no major political upheavals and a man can say what he likes without the threat of having a gun stuck in his back”
Times Colonist April 1, 1939 The Daily Colonist April 2, 1939
A.E. noted that the “spring and summer furs are showing a trend to color. He observed that: “There was great activity in building in the southern states.”
While vacationing in Palm Springs, A.E. was surprised at the number of furs (mink, fox, skunk) being worn. “The little jigger (double breasted) coat and the bulky bolero are among the most popular fur pieces for the season.”
Times Colonist January 30, 1940
“The name of this province is well advertised throughout the fur centres of the world. The expert in raw furs is continually asking for pelts from British Columbia. This is because British Columbia has established an important reputation as a producer of furs of finest quality such as martens, squirrels, fishers, otters, beavers and raccoon. Few people really comprehend the importance of the fur industry to British Columbia. Thousands of trappers make a splendid living from their calling. For example, a trapper who can catch between 30-50 fishers in a session will receive approximately an average of $85 a skin. British Columbia ranks as the first of the fur producing provinces of the Dominion. The fur trade, one of the oldest branches of Canadian industry employs thousands of men, women and boy and some expert furriers draw salaries as high as $25,000 a year. This province stands top in the producing of raw pelts. The world today can look to British Columbia to fulfill its raw fur requirements.”
Times Colonist February 14, 1940
A.E. observed that raw furs from British Columbia are in increasing demand in New York because of the diminishing exports from Russia and other European countries as a result of the war. A.E. was bring a large shipment of British Columbia pelts. He was also due to attend a banquet given by the American Retail Furriers’ Association in order to raise funds to help Finland.
Times Colonist March 21, 1941 & The Daily Colonist March 23, 1941
“Since my last visit in the US a year ago I find a vast change– the attitude of the people is very different, so many people a year ago were anti-British, feeling the war was none of their business– today those people are pro-British”
“Practically every American with whom I talked said to me ‘we must smash Hitler’
“It is indeed very impressive when one attends a picture show and sees pictures of Their Majesties or Churchill, flash across the screen. The audiences show enthusiasm. When they see anything of a Fascist or Nazi nature they show disgust and resentment’
Noting that stores were featuring British merchandise and Union Jacks, A.E. mused; “If we in Canada could adopt this wonderful spirit, I am sure we could accomplish a great deal for the benefit of the British Empire”
A.E. told of huge army training camps and added, “we in Canada should feel very proud to know we have such a friendly and protective neighbour.”
“The US is now in this war and with her high degree of efficiency and in view of the fact she was the birthplace of mass production, the average American feels the Axis powers have not a chance.”
“I met many people who were strict isolationists previous to passing the Lease-Lend Bill, now however they are in favor of the bill and are awaiting the day when both Italy and Germany will be crushed. Everyone in the country is anxious for Britannia to keep on ruling the waves.”
The Daily Colonist April 8, 1947
The fashion forecast for the upcoming season “revealed a trend toward the fuller, longer coat with large sleeves and the loose fitting motif predominating.”
The Daily Colonist May 11, 1941
The British fur trade, vital to British power in purchasing vital munitions, suffered from the war. However the efforts of the Fur Trade Export Group were summed up by A.E.;
“Our fellow members of the fur trade in Britain are making tremendous sacrifices. Profit and expansion of trade are secondary considerations to their resolve to do their part in maintenance of British exports. Their sole aim is to secure dollars to be converted into British currency and so into the guns and planes that will bring us to victory. We on this side of the Atlantic can only aid by active support of heir aims. During the past 45 years Foster’s Fur Store has made it a policy to offer for sale each year a wide selection of furs dressed and dyed in Britain. This year thanks to the marvellous convoy work of the Navy, we are striving to expand this programme and shortly, within the next few weeks will display the purchases we have already made. It must be borne in mind that, true to British traditions, there is no sacrifice of quality despite arduous conditions. Every coat we show will meet our strict standards, perfect in it’s class and type, backed by our guarantee. These shipments will include English nae Moleskin cots, Musquash coats, Rabbit coats, Coney coats Marmot, Electric Seal, Antelope, Wallaby and Squirrel. It must also be remembered that the English climate is greatly similar to that of Victoria, therefore, English made garments are designed for lightness and are eminently suitable for Victoria weather. We guarantee the quality, we have spoke of the selection value is synonymous with our name. It means for our customers to realize that, in purchase of British made furs they aid both the Empire’s war effort and themselves.”
The Daily Colonist April 8, 1947
The fashion forecast for the upcoming season “revealed a trend toward the fuller, longer coat with large sleeves and the loose fitting motif predominating.”
Inscription on Gravestone:
In Memory of
A Beloved Husband and Father
1889 – 1962
Fannie Bach Alexandor
Alexander “Alex” Jacob Alexandor (1880-1973)
Isaac Gershon Alexandor (1882-1864)
Mrs. Susie Gampell (Southport, England)
Mrs. Ada Lush (Southport, England)
Julie Bernstein 1887-1980 (Vancouver)
Beatrice Morris Alexandor (1895-1937)
Helen Seckel Alexandor (1908-1996)
Frances “Frankie” Alexandor Wartels (Hollywood California) (1921-1978)
Evelyn “Bubby” Alexandor Weiner (Cleveland, Ohio) (1923-2004)
Josephine “Josie” Alexandor (Vancouver, B.C.)