“Well, the boat ride was not nice at all. The boat was terrible. We had bunk beds. The food was nothing and for most of us we were sick! I was able to walk around, but for some of them, the whole trip they were just lying around sick – their blankets were covered in it! I didn’t know anybody on the boat either and there were no rooms. We were all on top of each other.

The boat was called the General Sturgis and we landed in Halifax. I found out after that it used to be a cattle boat that they converted when they were shipping American troops. Now they were using it for us. I remember feeling good that I was finally leaving Germany. 

I was lucky to meet a friend on the boat. He became my partner and we opened a valet service. We worked together in Montreal for 40 years.”

Irving Leibgott, a tailor, came to Montreal in 1948 when he was 24 years old. In 1952 he married Mary Leibgott and raised three children in Montreal. After working as a tailor in a factory, he eventually opened a custom tailoring shop. He was a tailor all his working years.