At the age of 16, Harry boarded a freighter with his sister Sarah. Brothers Charlie, Sam and Dave were already in Canada and Harry did not want to miss out.
Harry joined Dave in Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1914, where he became Dave’s assistant doing electrical work.
The Nemetz brothers eventually relocated to Watrous, Saskatchewan. Harry’s strength was as a merchant. He moved to Selma, Saskatchewan, where he bought a store and also became postmaster for the town. Soon he bought a second store in Watrous.
In 1920, Harry married Ann Karasov. They lived above the store with their two small children, Milton and Phyliss, until they decided to move to Spokane, Washington, to go into the jewelry business with Ann’s brother.
In 1925, Harry and Ann moved to Vancouver and, with the Nemetz brothers’ aptitude for electrical work, opened a small business. He and his brother Bill ( whom he bought out after a short time) bought an business at 1067 Granville Street called Bancroft Refrigeration which he renamed Domino Refrigeration.
Their youngest son, Alvin, was born in Vancouver in 1929. They lived at the very fashionable Ferrera Court on East Hastings, the residence of many young Jewish couples, including the family of David Marks, cousin of the legendary Marx Brothers, whose daughter Sadie was to become the wife of comedian Jack Benny.
Later they moved to a home on 8th Avenue and Bayswater.
Harry and Ann were both very active in B’nai Brith for over 60 years, Harry becoming a District Deputy and Ann, President of the Ladies and a Grand Deputy of the region. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Jewish Old Folks Home and the Jewish Community Centre. Harry also served as treasurer of the Schara Tzedeck synagogue.
Harry was also a good friend of the Chinese community, frequently attending banquets as their guest.
In the 1940s, Harry started buying downtown real estate and, by the time of his death in 1991, had amassed a large portfolio of property on Hornby, Homer and Richards streets.
An avid gardener, Harry often used the roofs of his properties to grow tomatoes.
Harry’s daughter Phyliss married a dentist, Dr. Irving Snider, and traveled the world as a journalist and travel agent. Phyliss and Irving did not have children; however, their legacy, The Phyliss and Irving Snider Foundation, benefits many charities today.
Harry’s oldest son Milton and his wife Frances died tragically in a car accident, leaving two teenage daughters, Lisa (Levi) and Laurie. Lisa became a prominent lawyer and television host, sadly dying at the same young age as her mother, 42.
Laurie lives in Toronto and works in development at the National Ballet of Canada.
Alvin received his M.A., pursued a career in banking, and with his wife Sheila lived in Toronto, later returning to Vancouver.
Alvin and Sheila’s daughters, Jill (Witte) and Andrea, live in Toronto and Halifax.
Harry and Ann have 4 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren who live in Toronto and the United States.
Harry and Ann are buried in the family plot at the Schara Tzedeck cemetery in New Westminster, B.C.