Minnie Ellen Shnitka Berman
Birth: May 1, 1900 in Liepaja, Liepāja, Kurzeme, Latvia
Death: May 3, 1982 in Victoria, B.C.
Minnie’s family immigrated from eastern Europe to Canada early in the twentieth century. By 1908 they were living in Calgary, Alberta. Her father, Aaron Shnitka and brothers, Max and Ben were partners in the Alberta Grocery.
In 1921 Minnie marred David Berman in Edmonton, Alberta. They moved to Montreal, Quebec so that David could attend McGill. He received a medical degree in 1924. David’s career took him first to West Virginia. In 1927 he was hired as a Medical Heath Officer of Saanich. The family settled on Moss Street in Victoria; Minnie was with David at every step.
Minnie’s social activities were chronicled in the local papers. Her attendance at a number of high profile social events, both Jewish and non-Jewish were noted. She was an active member in a few women’s organizations including Hadassah and Daughters of the Nile’s Miriam Temple, the woman’s auxiliary of the Freemasons.
In February, 1936, Minnie attended a tea to honor doctor’s wives and women doctors. Dr. E. Maude Robertson, an obstetrician from Sooke, was in attendance. The event was hosted by Mrs. Herman Robertson in her home on Clive Drive in Oak Bay. “Spring flowers with daffodils, iris and tulips predominating were effectively used in floral decorations throughout the home.”
As a member of the woman’s committee of the Gorge Vale Golf Club Minnie helped organize a bridge party of eight tables which was held in November, 1936. Bronze chrysanthemums and yellow and orange marigolds decorated the lounge at the club.
In February 1941, the Women’s Canadian Club hosted a tea in the foyer of the Empress Hotel. Minnie was in attendance.
Minnie hosted a unique bridal shower in honor of Mrs. Ralph Fromson in March 1942. In lieu of gifts, attendees brought War Savings Stamps. The guest of honor was presented with an array of the stamps spelling “Victory”. A sit-down dinner was served with center-pieces of daffodils and forget-me-nots. The guests included the wives of high profile Jewish men.
Minnie hosted birthday parties for her children, the details of which were carefully documented.
Minnie accompanied her husband to high profile social functions and fundraisers. However, not much was written about her following her husband’s death.
Her son Michael became a doctor and moved to San Pedro, California and her daughter, Joy moved to England.
Gravesite Details: Row G – Plot 32
Aaron Shnitka (1860-1952
Sarah Esther Shnitka (1866-1943)
David Berman (1901-1958)
Sidney Joshua Shnitka (1887-1971)
David Benjamin Shnitka (1888-1965)
Max Shnitka (1892-1957)
Abraham Shnitka (1894-1972)
Fanny Shnitka Golden (1895-1972)
Leah Shnitka Black (1901-1980)