Harry Brown

Birth: November 22, 1913 in Andrew, Alberta

Death: September 4, 2002 (age 88)

Harry was a force for good in the Jewish Community. He was very involved with the Jewish Community in Victoria, especially with Congregation Emanu-El. In 1979 he served on the Restoration Committee whose mandate was to return the synagogue to its former glory.

Modernization of the synagogue building was done in 1948 which left the building with a stucco exterior and a Star of David predominately displayed. In order to maintain heat in the building, a false ceiling was installed. The committee restored the Romanesque Revival style brickwork on the exterior. Once the false ceiling was removed, vaulted ceilings and an upper gallery were revealed. A re-enactment of the cornerstone laying ceremony was conducted to celebrate the completion of the project. The synagogue is now a National Historical site and the restoration won local, national and international awards.

In 1987 Harry Brown joined a small group of people and helped to establish and build the Jewish Community Center at 3636 Shelbourne Street.

Harry Brown died on September 4, 2002 and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery. As the pallbearers were lowering his coffin into the ground, a cell phone slipped out of the breast pocket of one of the men and tumbled to the bottom of the prepared grave. There was a slight pause, but it was decided that it would be fitting not to retrieve the phone, The service continued. A few people said that they received a call from that number in the month following Harry Brown’s funeral.
Given that Harry Brown was so involved in the Jewish community it’s fitting that to date Harry Brown’s grave is the only one that contains a cell phone

Gravesite Details: Row T – Plot 9

Rita Lorenze Brown (1929- 2021)


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