Helen Ruby [sometimes listed as Ruby Helen] Lees (nee Cassidy) was Arthur Schmon’s private secretary at the Ontario Paper Mill in Thorold, Ontario. She was born on January 10, 1897 in St. Catharines, Ontario and died on October 14, 1944 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She was married to Arthur E. Lees. Captain/Major William S. Coolin was employed at the paper company.

Click here to view finding aid: https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/12698/Ruby%20Helen%20Lees%20fonds%20-%20RG%20595.pdf

Recent Submissions

  • Memorandum of Arthur Schmon's trip to Germany, 1939

    Schmon, Arthur (1939-04-12)
    A 10 ½ page document outlines Mr. Schmon’s impressions of Germany in 1939. Both Arthur and Celeste felt that they were “objects of curiosity” in an atmosphere of tension. Mr. Schmon described Germany as a military camp surrounded by homes, workshops and culture. His opinion was that the German people were ignorant of what was going on. Schmon admitted that Hitler was doing well for the people, in that business was doing well and people were generally employed. He wondered at how such a revered man could be so cruel to the Jews. A copy and summary of the document are included, 1939
  • Memorandum of Arthur Schmon's trip to Italy, 1939

    Schmon, Arthur (1939-04-12)
    A 5 page document, detailing Arthur Schmon’s impressions of Italy in 1939. Mr. Schmon described the impression that Mussolini left on the people of Italy. Mussolini was viewed as “one of the people”, despite his harsh disciplinary methods. Mussolini had built Italy up after the war and changed Italy from a defeated nation, to one of optimism. Mussolini questioned why the people of America did not have a favourable opinion of him. Schmon also wrote about Italy’s dealings with Ethiopia. He spoke to a Fascist in Rome by the name of Console Casertano who explained Italy’s Jewish policy to Schmon. A copy and summary of the document are included, 1939
  • Photograph - "Bill" William Coolin

    A photograph of William Coolin in his uniform, standing in front of a tent.
  • Photograph - Ruby Helen Lees with Man in office

    A photograph of Ruby Helen Lees with an unknown male in an office.
  • Letter to Helen and Art Lees from "Bill" William Coolin, 28 July 1940

    Coolin, William (1940-07-28)
    This letter discusses William Coolin's time working in the "office" and he mentions that he would like to make the Divisional staff to get out of the office. He also mentions that he experienced his first air raid. He was also recently in Nottingham and had visited the "Trip to Jerusalem Inn" which he mentions is one of the oldest taverns in England.
  • Letter to Helen and Art Lees from "Bill" William Coolin, 31 March 1940

    William, Coolin (1940-03-31)
    The letter begins with a note of congratulations for the birth of Peter Joseph Lees on March the 2nd. Coolin then passes on a note of condolence for the passing of Helen's Mother. William Coolin then describes his week of parties, one hosted by the London Irish Rifles, another night of dancing, a Masonic meeting and dinner, a show Thursday and Friday, and "a big dance on Saturday that is being given by the Countess of Durham and Viscountess Castlereagh. He then begins to discuss the war and how he believes it "might come to a sudden close this fall especially now that Russia has turned her down. I do not think Russia much of a meance though as they are not fighters, have no leaders and do not trust each other. The poor Finns made a mess of them as regards fighting troops, but too bad that Norway and Sweden did not allow the troops to pass through those countries to assist them."
  • Letter to Helen and Art Lees from "Bill" William Coolin 2 February 1940

    Coolin, William (1940-02-02)
    In the letter, William Coolin mentions that he is safe in England after "a sub tried to attack our convoy, with the result that another German sub lies at the bottom of the ocean." He mentions that he has been at the American club several nights and that he has "a nice two room furnished apartment in the Mount Royal Hotel" with his "chum Capt. Dunn".