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Edgar Lion

A wedding portrait

Edgar Lion’s life in Canada began in 1940 with a year of internment in a number of camps in Quebec and New Brunswick. Born in Austria, he was considered to be an enemy alien. Thanks to distant relatives who lived in Montreal, he was liberated in December 1941 and settled in the city. In 1949, he met Phyllis and married her at the Windsor Hotel ballroom nine months later. The following wedding portrait is a vivid reminder of this celebration and the beginning of a new life.

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We both met at a party to which we were not invited. There was a party given by a McGill University
professor. His daughter arranged for a party for a whole bunch of people whom she knew who was at
McGill with her. I knew her not very well. She invited a couple of my friends who also were McGill
students and she told them if they want to bring a friend along, there were some boys who were invited
and some girls who were invited. And I was one of the ones that came along, you know. So, I went there
and my future wife also went there. She also was one of those “come-alongs”, you know. In other
words, both of us were invited as secondary people and we didn’t know anybody there but we met. I
met her and we somehow teamed up together and I brought her home afterwards. And that’s how it
started. We were married after about 9 months.
Where did you get married?
Her parents, they came from Quebec and they belonged to the Spanish-Portuguese synagogue. The
problem was the Spanish-Portuguese synagogue was under reconstruction. We couldn’t get married
there so they hired one of the major hotels downtown and that’s where we got married. The rabbi was
Rabbi Frank who belonged to the Spanish-Portuguese synagogue. We knew him from before, from other
places, you know, and I had just a few people at the wedding. The majority were friends and relatives of
my parents-in-law.

Elie Dawang
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The Auschwitz cap