MONTREAL GAZETTE | Immigrant war survivor brings inspiring message to students


Published: 24May2019

Thomas Hecht’s memories of his first school days in Montreal weren’t pleasant. He was bullied because he looked different, dressed differently and spoke no English.

His story probably resonates with some immigrant students today. Except that in Hecht’s case, these events took place 78 years ago when he was 12. So rather than becoming despondent over feelings of alienation, Hecht was motivated. He became proficient in English. He went to Sir George Williams (now Concordia) and McGill universities, earning bachelor and master’s degrees in political science. He later taught the subject at Sir George before getting involved in the pharmaceutical industry with his dad.

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