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HARVEY I. POLLOCK, K.C.
Born: Apr 10, 1933
Date of Passing: Feb 05, 2023Offer Condolences or Memory
HARVEY I. POLLOCK, K.C.
Harvey was engrained prairie Manitoban, distinctly north end/ south end Winnipeg urban, and Whiteshell Canadian Shield strong. Each day he awaited sunrise to swing out of bed, activate his personality and engage in the enterprise he knew best: living his life. He loved his life; a gift. And he lived each day as if it were his last. Vibrant and enthusiastic, nothing about Harvey's youthful 89-year presence was limited nor unadventurous. He never retired; he never unretired. He planned to be in his law office for Monday morning faceoff. But on Sunday, February 5, 2023, that old Yiddish adage "Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht", Man plans and God laughs, knocked. He was a good man deserving a painless peaceful passage in the comfort of his bed. Receiving a gentle kiss from God, he was gone.
This fourth child of Russian Jewish escapee immigrants was born April 10, 1933, at St. Joseph's Hospital on Salter Street in Winnipeg. He was raised in Bethany, a child of the prairie, picking rocks off fields, bouncing uncontrollably on the metal tractor seat, absorbing blond wheatfields in the blue and fire open sky horizon. He attended country school. He loved his horse, Barney. He observed commerce, his father peddling eggs, furs and seneca root and marketing cattle and hogs. A country store was purchased as well as land to farm.
On February 5, 1944, while his father stayed behind to continue the cattle business and farming, the rest of the Pollock family relocated to north end Winnipeg. Better educational opportunities awaited. Harvey became a student at Machray School and St. John's Tech. He was fun, active, with no mean spirit. Respect for teachers and authority figures was a life-long transmitted value. His currency was respect. He was invited into the "Trojans" club at the YMHA and made meaningful enduring friendships.
During university, Harvey worked the trains as a sleeping car conductor for CPR, Winnipeg to Calgary. He banked his cheques, spent his tips. Upon finishing his return route, he would hop the train and whistle the rails to Regina where he courted his soulmate, Sylvia Friedman, marrying on December 28, 1954.Their life together was a love story.
Having graduated from the University of Manitoba Law School in 1957, receiving his call to the Bar in 1958, Harvey served as counsel to the Children's Aid Society of Winnipeg, worked for Hart Green Sr. and Jr., and opened his own firm in 1960. Harvey and Sylvia opened their home to unwed pregnant teenagers. Harvey found loving homes for beautiful babies. For years, Harvey drove Highway 1 west to Portage la Prairie, Thursdays at the Greenberg law firm. In the early 1960s, representing a client charged with Murder 1, thirty-something Harvey during cross examination extracted a compulsion in the chief witness to admit to the murder. A moment better than Perry Mason as this real-life client would have been executed.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood identified Harvey to champion the legal rights of First Nation Peoples. He was a legal pioneer acting resolutely in countless matters, empathetically with a view to creating meaningful change for coming generations. Talmudic justice coursed through Harvey's belief system. Wrongs were to be righted and constitutional challenges governing hunting and fishing were now in the courts. Harvey was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1970, designated now as King's Counsel. In 1971 Harvey had the great privilege of being made an Honourary Chief of all First Nations Bands in Manitoba. He was given and proudly received the name, "Si-Naki-Tonem", he who interprets difficult meanings.
Access to justice was Harvey's calling card. When J.J. Harper was shot and killed on March 9, 1988, his brother-in-law Harry Wood said, "Get me Harvey". The Wasagamac Community had its warrior and to war went Harvey. Five words of which he knew the answer, "Did you fingerprint the gun?" set off his firestorm of representation as he cut through complexities in the wild jungle of cover-up and thereafter suffered personal victimization by police personalities seeking revenge for his excellence. He became a media darling. Inquest, Aboriginal Inquiry, civil lawsuit, LERA prosecution, Hugh's Commission. Perseverance, fortitude, stomach. A book was spawned, "The Shooting Death of JJ Harper" and a television movie where he was prominent lawyer protagonist. The authorities who had attacked him suffered well-deserved criticism. He was "Tuffy", true to his grade 9 nickname.
For six decades the courtroom was Harvey's workshop. He was guided by a moral and professional compass. He came home for six o'clock dinner at 427 Boreham Blvd., conveyed material facts and circumstances of cases, and sought 'learned opinions' from his school-age children. He was setting the table for the future of his firm. Following dinner, he ritually rested, kissed and hugged his bride, and then returned to his command center to type his own documents and prepare for the next day's court appearance.
Harvey was a litigator who genuinely cared about his clients. He made time for everyone regardless station in life. He was a centrist thinker. From a silver tongue his word was golden. A handshake was his professional passport. He maintained a profound respect for the courts, judges, law society, colleagues, and the police. He believed in law, order, and civility.
He was dapper in 3-piece suits, Dack shoes, at times topped by fedora. As part of his dapper, he used fountain pens and a blotter to sign letters and documents. Old school. He wore through dictaphones and tapes. He enjoyed having teeming thoughts recorded shorthand but as time travelled digital, he modified; the personal computer, voice activated dictation, iPad and iPhone becoming his techno-frenemies.
Harvey possessed a unique musical talent, his whistling. His instrument was a high pallet and controlled swirl of wind beckoned from unblemished lungs, tunneled through pursed lips. Perfect pitch in the pasture to an audience of cows, on the farm roads, in the school yard, on the streets of north end Winnipeg. Before hitting it big, with Romeo Champagne, he formed the Lipsomaniacs and performed while in university. Harvey practiced until his lips were chapped. Classical music was his acoustic comfort. In 1977 he won the first World's Whistling Competition in Carson City, Nevada. That accomplishment led to the National Film Board production, "It's A Hobby For Harvey" and thirty years later, "The Whistling Lawyer" (https://vimeo.com/63325043), and an album. Whistling also led Tuffy to some film work, television appearances, performances with the Winnipeg, Toronto and Bismarck Symphony Orchestras, and countless Manitoba small town fairs and variety shows. But the pinnacle moment in Harvey's musical career came in 2003 when he had the privilege to guest conduct the WSO in full performance at an evening in his honour.
Harvey was a proud member of his Judaic Tribe. He was complex, skeptical of the address to whom he prayed. When asking his own father at a young age if he believed in a higher being the retort of wisdom came: "It couldn't hurt." But Harvey did hurt; on November 13, 1982 losing his 22-year-old son to a drunk driver, on November 30, 2009, losing his 54-year-old daughter and on August 31, 2011, his beloved wife. Work was his medicine. Family, friendships, the collegiality of the legal profession buoyed him from potential crumpling. Harvey was resilient, granite strong.
Sylvia and Harvey were fun; a healthy social circle of friends, they lived, danced, and attended myriad life cycle events. Together they attended the symphony, opera, and theatre. With children, Karyn, Martin and Nathan, memorable summers were Manitoba lived, Falcon Lake and West Hawk Lake. Yard work at his summer cottage, horseback riding, tennis, golf, reading, playing cards, perfecting barbequing skills, operating his twin engine power catamaran, and socializing punctuated time away from legal service.
Harvey was a functional diner, fuel to power his plant. Whatever the dish, be it Chinese or Italian cuisine, grilled rack of lamb, hamburgers, or a Saturday schmaltz herring out of the barrel, his afterburn was the omnipotent proclamation, "this is the best… ever".
For Harvey, being a loving, good, and responsible husband and father, devoted son, brother, in-law, cousin, uncle, and friend were deep in his DNA. He was proud to be a Pollock and a Friedman by proxy. His lifelong friendships were rich, cultured, and true.
In mourning are: son, Martin Pollock (Lori Hunter), son-in-law Daniel Globerman (Diane Ducas), brother Gordon Pollock, sister Cecile Kowal (Monte), grandsons Ethan, Jesse and Jayden Pollock, grandsons Adam (Dobrochna) and Noah (Samantha) Globerman, granddaughter Simmie Globerman (Kevin Minuk). Harvey was blessed to have great-grandchildren and will be missed by Saul, Mila, Kara, Max, and Sonny. Harvey also leaves to mourn sisters-in-law Pearl Kredentser and Lynne Pollock (Mischa). Harvey was predeceased by sister Myra Kravetsky and brother Mischa, brothers-in-law Lloyd Friedman (Lola), and Sam Friedman (Jean), and sister-in-law Faye Wasel (Harry).
Funeral services were held at the Chesed Shel Emes on Thursday, February 9, 2023, Rabbi Anibal Mass officiating, the Last Brief delivered by Martin followed by Jayden's tribute on behalf of the grandchildren. The mitzvah of casket escort was performed by Zaida Harvey's grandchildren. Interment occurred at Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.
To those who congregated at the funeral service, to those who attended online and to those who have reached out by email, text messaging, voicemail and by other means, Harvey's family thank you for your support. The family also extends gratitude to Estelle Raber of Shaarey Zedek, and to Rena Boroditsky and Sheldon Kaminsky of Chesed Shel Emes, and the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery workers who, with dignity and caution, assisted the family tucking in the blanket of earth for eternal rest.
Donations may be made to a charity of choice.
May the memory of Harvey be a blessing.
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 25, 2023
Condolences & Memories (11 entries)
I only had the privilege of knowing Harvey for a few short months from May 2022 until his passing. We were working on a project of Harvey's outside of his law practice and, while we only had occasion to meet in person 3 or 4 times, his open and welcoming nature made me feel like we'd been acquainted for years. I was not familiar with Harvey previously, but quickly discerned that this man had lived a full and remarkable life of triumph and tragedy, rising above it all with dignity and humility. Propelled by my curiosity and relentless "cross examination" we spent far more time talking about his life than the project at hand, especially regarding his Prairie boyhood in Bethany. Alas, I had more questions to ask of Harvey and deeply regret not being able to pose them. Rest in the peace you were so diligent in earning Harvey. - Posted by: ross mitchell (Acquaintance) on: Mar 02, 2023
We delighted in Harvey’s whistling since buying our cottage 1979. I was Barbara Hilderman at that time. I sold it to my brother Bill Johnson last year. lot 1 Howe bay. Condolences to the family. - Posted by: Barbara J. Keith (Neighbour Lo 1, Howe Bay) on: Feb 26, 2023
Dear Martin and family. My good friend Harvey has left. He was my favorite and will miss our phone calls and conversations. Harvey loved his cousin Danny and through that we kept up a close friendship. Farewell my friend. I will miss you. Cousin Phyllis POLLOCK - Posted by: Phyllis POLLOCK (Cousin ) on: Feb 25, 2023
One of the great moments of my life was in 1989. I was on a flight from Edmonton to Toronto, which had a brief stop in Winnipeg. For the flight's first leg, I had been sitting beside a prominent CBC national news anchor. At Winnipeg, Mr. Pollock joined the flight, and sat to my right. I of course recognized him, and for some reason I asked him to please whistle Ave Maria, and maybe once we landed in Toronto. Well, Mr. Pollock began whistling for me before the plane departed Winnipeg. All but one passenger applauded when he finished. The CBC anchor said a rude comment to me about the public whistling, and before I could respond, Mr. Pollock shook my hand, and for the longest time I had ever experienced, held that handshake for many minutes, looked me in the eye and said to me, "say nothing; some day in some way he will apologize to you or me". Well, three years passed and in 1992 my phone rang at Northern Telecom. It was the CBC anchor, and for thirty minutes that man apologized to me, and he said for me to pass on his apology to Mr. Pollock. I never did call Mr. Pollock. I just knew then and to this day know his handshake and eye contact spoke volumes about the classic gentleman that was Mr. Pollock. - Posted by: Ted Moorhouse (Flight acquaintance) on: Feb 25, 2023
To the Pollock family, My deepest condolences to the entire Pollack family and friends in your great loss of Harvey Pollock. I was a dear friend of Nathan Pollock’s and went to school with Nathan. I have such fond and vivid memories of the Pollock’s home growing up and I am so sorry for your loss. Nancy Hicks - Vancouver, BC - Posted by: Nancy Hicks (Friend ) on: Feb 25, 2023
From 1981 to 1985 I was the law courts reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press. Reporters had an office in the courthouse. It was a delight to hear Harvey’s whistling in the hallways. As well, interviews with him were always productive, providing plenty of quotes and context to use in stories. He was a passionate advocate for his clients. - Posted by: Pamela Fayerman (Journalist ) on: Feb 25, 2023
Harvey and Sylvia's son, Nathan, was a good friend to me at a time when I found it difficult to make friends. I think of Nathan often (and the whole family, for that matter). I always enjoyed Harvey's energy, liveliness, and kindness. My deep condolences to Marty on the loss of your one-of-a-kind, special father. - Posted by: Michael S. Gray (Family Friend) on: Feb 25, 2023
Sincerest condolences to the Pollock family and friends. Definitely a life well lived, much respect given. Thank you for all you did for others. - Posted by: Janice Morin Fred West (Admirer’s of Mr. Pollock) on: Feb 25, 2023
Deepest regrets and sincere condolences to you and your family, Martin. I will never forget Harvey`s and Sylvia`s work with Citizens Against Impaired Driving, then the association with MADD Canada. Their help and advice were invaluable. I feel honoured to call them my friends. May they long be remembered with love and respect. Margaret Taylor. - Posted by: Margaret Taylor (Friend) on: Feb 25, 2023
My sincere condolences to Harvey's family and friends. Harvey was an excellent example of the perfect human being that we all needed in our lives. Rest in peace Harvey Pollock. - Posted by: Robert R (friend) on: Feb 25, 2023
Dear Martin, Danny and the whole Pollock family, I send my deepest sympathies on the passing of Mr. Pollock. Your family was a big part of our lives for many years.. and I remember your Mom with great fondness and your Dad. Memories are a wonderful thing and that the joy of laughter as you remember your loved ones is good for the soul. With Deepest Sympathies Donna Hay ( Dennis was my husband and I know you will all remember him , and he has been gone for 5 years now) - Posted by: Donna Hay (Friend) on: Feb 25, 2023
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