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Harry Blank (BBHS ’41)

Born: 1925, Montreal, Quebec

The son of Udel Blank and Molly Zinman, Harry Blank was a lawyer and seven-term member of the National Assembly of Quebec representing  the St. Louis  Riding for the Liberal Party. He attended Strathearn, Devonshire and Aberdeen schools before entering BBHS. After graduating he joined Canadian Armed Forces in 1943 serving overseas during the waning months of the war in Europe as an infantryman with the North Shore Regiment, New-Brunswick. He was wounded in action and returned home where he attended McGill University graduating with a Science degree in 1947 and a Law degree in 1950. In 1945 he was a member of the Montreal Regiment and from 1946 to 1950, he was a member of the McGill Contingent of the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps

Blank practiced law from 1950 to 1960 when he first ran as a Liberal candidate in the St. Louis Riding. He narrowly won the election. He was easily re-elected in 1962 and was subsequently re-elected in 1966, 1970, 1973, 1976 and 1981. He was appointed Deputy Vice President of the National Assembly in 1971 and was Vice President (Deputy Speaker) of that institution from 1973 until 1976. In 1985 Blank ran as an independent in the St. Louis riding. As his bid for election was unsuccessful, he returned to private practice focusing predominately on Immigration Law. Blank was named Queen’s Counsel in 1971

His archive of political files from 1961 to 1989 relating to affairs handled while serving as MNA are held at the Canadian Jewish Archives. Many of these files relate to Jewish concerns such as press clippings about taxes, crime, ethnic minorities, Bill 101, racism, and political infighting. As well it contains biographies of all MNAs in 1980, a National Assembly film script, publications and correspondence

Throughout his career he was a member of many organizations such as the Canadian Legion, Knights of Pythias and B’nai B’rith. He was also the director of the Baron De Hirsh Institute.