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Rose Family, 1888-
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The Rose Family has resided in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, since 1913. The family owned and operated dry cleaning and furrier businesses, and members of the family have been actively involved in Saskatoon's Jewish community and in other community and service organizations in the city.
Arthur Rose, born Avraham Ben Emmanuel HaLevi Rosenthal, was born on August 27, 1888 in the town of Galati (Galatz), Roumania. His traditional Jewish family consisted of father Emmanuel (Menachem Manoli) HaLevi, mother Esther Raisa Solomon, and three younger siblings, Noah (Edwin S.), Rebecca and Moishe Aaron (Martin). After the death of his father at an early age, Arthur was sent to live with his paternal grandparents, Jacob and Elka Rosenthal, and put to work in a tannery at the age of nine. In 1903, at the age of 14, he left Roumania for the United Sates. At first, he lived in Duluth, Minnesota, with his younger brother Edwin and an uncle who had immigrated to America some years earlier. He changed his name to Arthur Rose.
He worked at various jobs and businesses until 1912, when he travelled through western Canada for the C.E. Zimmerman Co. of Chicago, selling advertising services to newspapers and storekeepers in cities and larger towns. In this period, he met Elsie Holzberg, an elementary school teacher. They married in Duluth on January 28, 1913, and moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada the following month. They chose to make their living in dry cleaning, a relatively new process at the time. They opened the family business, Arthur Rose Dry Cleaner De Luxe (later Arthur Rose Limited), in a suitable building at 624 20th Street West, on April 4, 1913. Arthur and Elsie had three children: Myrna Holzberg (born May 21, 1917); Zora Elka (born July 23, 1918), and Gerald Ferris (born October 26, 1920.)
The Roses became members of Congregation Agudas Israel upon their arrival in Saskatoon. Arthur joined the local B'Nai Brith Lodge (#739), as well as the Masonic Order (Lodge Progress) in 1916, and the Saskatoon Rotary Club in 1924. In 1929, he was one of the founders of the Young Men's Section of the Saskatoon Board of Trade, serving as its first President in 1929 and 1930. He was known as a lifelong great booster for the community of Saskatoon. In recognition of his contributions, he was designated the Honorary President of the Saskatoon Junior Chamber of Commerce (1963-1964).
He was an honoured member of the Jewish Community, serving on the arbitration committee of the B'Nai Brith in order to prevent disputes between Jewish people from going to court. He also worked with Saskatoon Chief of Police, George Donald, to quell racial and religious incidents. Arthur and his family continued to expand the family business over seven decades. Arthur and Elsie gradually retired from daily involvement in the business, but maintained a keen interest and gave advice to their son who handled operations, until their deaths, a few months apart, in 1972. Arthur Rose died on May 17, 1972.
Elsie Holzberg Rose was born on January 17, 1890, in Duluth, Minnesota, to Harris and Taube Holzberg. She married Arthur Rose on January 28, 1913, and the couple had three children. Elsie completed her high school education, as well as one year of teacher training, and began teaching at the elementary school level at the age of 17. After moving with Arthur to Saskatoon in 1913, Elsie worked in the family dry cleaning and furrier businesses - a role she continued until her retirement years. She was a founder of the Saskatoon Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, president of Hadassah-Wizo, Saskatoon Section, National Council of Jewish Women, a founder of the Saskatoon Home and School Association, and an honorary life member of the Saskatoon Council of Women. Elsie died on October 22, 1972.
Gerald (Gerry) Ferris Rose was born October 26, 1920, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Arthur and Elsie Rose. He attended school at King Edward Public School, City Park Collegiate Institute, and the University of Saskatchewan (BSc. Chemistry, 1940). He served as a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals from December 1941 to March 1945, including training in eastern Canada and active service overseas during the Second World War.
During his high school and university years, Gerry worked in the family business. However, after returning from active service, Gerry took on more significant roles and joined his parents in the management of the family business. During the war, there had been a number of changes in the dry cleaning industry, and a number of new fabrics and fabric treatments had also been developed. Gerry spent several months working in leading dry cleaning and laundry plants in Canada and the United States, learning new methods of production, management, personnel relations and accounting. He also helped his parents adapt their fur business to address post-war realities. Gerry served as President and Manager of the Arthur Rose Limited until the business was sold in 1982, and of Rose-Art Furs until the business was discontinued in 1985.
On August 25, 1946, Gerry married Gladys Ruth Sarlin, and the couple had four children: Kathryn Reva (born February 22, 1949), Toby Helen (born May 6, 1952), Naomi Judith (born November 26, 1954) and David Barry (born December 9, 1956.) Gerry Rose was an active volunteer in the community of Saskatoon, and was able to share the leadership skills and financial expertise - which he had developed while managing the family business -- with numerous organizations over the years. His work on management committees ensured the financial success of the Western Canada Summer Games (Vice President - Administration, 1979), the Jeux Canada Summer Games (Vice President - Administration,1989), and the Canadian Special Olympics 1992 Winter Games (Vice President - Administration, 1992 in Saskatoon.
He was a member of the Board of Directors at St. Paul's Hospital, where he made significant contributions in the areas of patient advocacy and health reform. He was a Master of Lodge Progress of the Masonic Order, and was a member of the Saskatoon Rotary Club from 1949. He was a member and chairman of the Saskatoon Airport Economic Development Board, and served as treasurer and director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan. He was a founder of the Saskatoon Jewish Foundation, and an honoured member of B'nai Brith Lodge #739. After his death, the B'nai Brith lodge established an annual Gerry Rose Volunteer Award to recognize longtime service and dedication to the Saskatoon Jewish Community; the award was jointly bestowed on Gerry and Gladys in 2000. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in October, 1998. He died on March 25, 1999.
Gladys Ruth Rose was both Gladys Ruth Sarlin on November 2, 1926 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Harry and Marcia Sarlin. She attended Princess Alexandra Public School, Bedford Road Collegiate Institute, and the University of Saskatchewan (BA 1946; Post Graduate Diploma in Continuing Education, 1969.) She married Gerald Ferris Rose on August 25, 1946, and they had four children: Kathryn, Toby, Naomi and David. Gladys has been actively involved in Saskatoon community activities, as well as in local, provincial, and Canadian Jewish organizations. She was the first woman president of Congregation Agudas Israel. She was the Saskatchewan Representative to the Canadian Jewish Congress. She was president of Hadassah-Wizo, Saskatoon Section, National Council of Jewish Women.
She has been very involved in documenting the history of Jewish people in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan, including chairing an oral history project for the Congregation Agudas Israel (1984), working to preserve the archives of the congregation and the Saskatoon Jewish Community, and helping produce a drama The Women, (by Clare Booth Luce) in cooperation with the University of Saskatchewan Drama Department and the Saskatoon Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. She was the founding president of the Saskatchewan Community College Association and a founding board member of the Saskatoon Region Community College. In 1971-1972, she chaired the Mayor's Committee on Troubled Youth.
She was honoured with the City of Saskatoon Civic Committee on Status of Women, Outstanding Woman Award in 1975; the City of Saskatoon Medal for Good Citizenship in 1982; the Canadian Jewish Congress Sam N. Filer Award for Distinguished Service in 1992; and the B'Nai Brith Lodge #739 Gerry Rose Volunteer Award for service to the Saskatoon Jewish Community, 2000. Gladys moved from Saskatoon to Toronto, Ontario, in 2005, to be nearer to her children and grandchildren.
Arthur and Elsie Rose moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in February of 1913, and opened their first dry cleaning business - Arthur Rose Dry Cleaner De Luxe - at 624 20th Street East on April 4, 1913. Their first advertisement appeared the next day in the Saskatoon Star, using the company slogan which was used into the 1990s: If Rose Cleaned It - It's C-L-E-A-N. As dry cleaning was a relatively new type of business, the Roses hired expert cleaner and presser, Abe Schwartz from Minneapolis, to help them set up shop.
In 1918, they bought a lot at 334 2nd Avenue North, and built a new and larger dry cleaning and dyeing plant, which opened in October 1919. The new plant had more room and more capacity than could be used by Saskatoon customers, so the Roses opened Arthur Rose (Regina) Limited in 1920. Customers' clothing came from Regina to Saskatoon by overnight train, was cleaned and pressed and returned to Regina the next night; touch-up pressing was done in Regina before final delivery to customers. On February 10, 1927, the family incorporated its business under the name Arthur Rose Limited, with Arthur, Elsie, and Arthur's brother, Martin Rose, all signing the memorandum of association.
Business volume in Saskatoon and Regina increased to the point where shipping clothes between the two cities was no longer economical. In 1928, the Roses built a new plant in Regina called Queen City Cleaners and Dyers Ltd., which was managed by Martin. Arthur Rose (Regina) Ltd. remained open as a business, but the work was done at the Queen City Cleaners plant. In 1947, Arthur Rose (Regina) Limited and Queen City Cleaners and Dyers Ltd. were sold to the Regina family of Sam Lexier, who had been the Roses' partner in the 1920 expansion.
After World War One, there was an increase in demand for cloth dyeing services. Arthur brought a master dyer, Jack Robertson, in from Perth, Scotland, to run that part of the business, which offered dyeing of drapes, curtains, rugs, carpets, clothing, and ladies' satin shoes.
Arthur Rose Ltd. also provided fur-related services, including the cleaning, repairing, remodeling and storage of fur garments. This type of work required skilled people, but more work was needed to be able to keep these craftspeople busy and employed throughout the years. Consequently, the Roses started making and marketing fur coats. The company's fur salesman travelled throughout Saskatchewan, selling fur through agents in almost every small town in the province. This was the beginning of Rose-Art Furs, a branch of the Rose's family business which continued until 1985.
From 1924 to 1942, Arthur Rose Limited employed local painter, Stanley Brunst, in the dry cleaning plant. Brunst had an arrangement with Arthur Rose whereby over the noon hour, he would close the door to the dry cleaning room and paint during his lunch break.
The effects of World War Two on the family business echoed the experience of businesses across the country. It was a time of shortages, there was a scarcity of machinery, it was hard to get supplies, and gasoline rationing meant transportation was difficult. It was hard to find reliable and efficient employees with so many men in the armed services. There was also a change in the type of dry cleaning required, in comparison to the late 1930s. With more women taking jobs outside the home, there was less time for housekeeping, and more women's clothes were brought in for dry cleaning. Recognizing another wartime need, the Roses set up a domestic laundry service and took government contracts to maintain army uniforms and supplies for the Dundurn Military Camp outside Saskatoon.
The post-war period brought about even more change. New fabrics developed during the war did not require professional dry cleaning or laundering as often as natural fabrics. The shirt laundering department, which had increased to about 10,000 shirts per week in the late 1940s, was less than half that in 1952-1953 due to the easy care of new polyester-cotton shirts.
The fur business also required some change in this period. Because transportation was easier and more rural people were coming into Saskatoon to shop, Arthur Rose's fur sales - which had formerly been handled entirely by a travelling salesman - now required the operation of a city-based business. In 1952, Arthur Rose Limited bought a competing fur business, Trute Furriers, and melded it into its organization. In 1958, the Roses purchased another competing business, Marvins (1958) Limited - a dry cleaner and retail furrier. The dry cleaning work was moved to the Arthur Rose plant, and Trute Furriers was moved from 2nd Avenue to Marvins' former location on 3rd Avenue. In 1959, the Roses set up a separate parent company to operate these fur businesses, called Consolidated Fur Enterprises Limited, Saskatoon.
In the 1960s, other small, self-contained dry cleaning plants began opening throughout the city, making it easier for customers to drop off and pick up their clothes themselves, rather than having them picked up and delivered by Arthur Rose Limited. The expanded Rose plant was not keeping busy enough, so the Roses began looking for innovative services to increase business, adding features such as drapery cleaning and a refinishing department. In the early 1970s, rental and cleaning of work clothing and floor mats for businesses was introduced, and gradually increased to the point where additional plant space was rented on Ontario Avenue. In 1971, Rose-Art Furs opened a retail store in the newly built Midtown Plaza in downtown Saskatoon.
In 1982, three long time employees of Arthur Rose Dry Cleaning Division - Don Sanderson, Stan Sukkau and Doug Butcher - purchased the dry cleaning part of the business, which became "Arthur Rose the Careful Cleaner." In 1984, the Roses sold Trute Furriers to another local furrier with long-time experience. In 1985, Rose-Art Furs sold its entire stock and the business was dissolved.
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Rose, Gerald and Gladys. "If Rose Cleaned It - It's C-L-E-A-N." Saskatoon History Review, number 12, 1997, p. 4-14.