Irma & Morris Robinson

From:   Benoni, South Africa & Cape Town, South Africa
ARRIVED:   1978


Morris was born in Cape Town, South Africa on May 27, 1948, but grew up in Benoni, a town in the Gauteng province of South Africa, east of Johannesburg. He studied commerce at the Wits University and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1972. In 1973, he married Irma, a teacher who also studied at Wits. Together, the couple had three sons: Marc (born in South Africa in 1976), Frank (born in Canada in 1980), and Daniel (born in Canada in 1985).

The family’s decision to emigrate was motivated by political unrest, which manifested itself in the Soweto Uprising in 1976. Desiring a safe future for their family, Irma and Morris began to search for job opportunities abroad. In February 1977, Morris heard of an accounting job in Canada and was appointed to the post of comptroller at Libman & Co, Canada’s largest jewellery manufacturer at the time.

The family arrived in Toronto in early 1978 and settled in Thornhill, Ontario. In subsequent years, the family was significantly extended to include Morris’ two sisters, his late mother, Irma’s sister, and her mother and her husband, who all immigrated to Canada.

In 1989, Morris became a partner at Libman & Co. During his career, he was involved with the Canadian Jewellers Association, serving as the organization’s chairman. He was also a founding member and first treasurer of the Diamond Bourse of Canada. Irma, meanwhile, pursued a career in teaching with the Toronto District School Board, specializing in English as a second language (ESL) and eventually becoming principal at an ESL school for adults.

Irma and Morris were founding members of Shaar Shalom Synagogue. Their three sons married girls from well-established Toronto Jewish families and in 2012 they sold the family home in Thornhill in order to move to the city and be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Morris Robinson
Shipping inventory
Shipping quote
Postcard to Irma
Press release
Canadian citizenship ceremony
Stamped passport