Reminisces of Norman Shnier

Norman Shnier was a Pilot Officer in the RCAF in World War 2, and was shot down over Germany (and became a Prisoner of War) 33 days after his older brother was shot down (but did not survive).

As a result of dreams that Norman has had over the years, in the summer of 2005, Norman (with his wife Roberta, and son John) visited Clifford's grave site in Germany. In preparation for that visit, requested Clifford's Complete War Service Record from the Canadian government. When Norman was finished with those documents, he passed them along to Allan Paull, who passed them along to me. And those documents were what caused this whole web site to be started.

Norman has written about his early years, and has given me some documents to post, which are below.

Click here Norman Shnier, Early Shnier Years
Norman Shnier describes how his parents met, and his youth.
Click here Norman Shnier, His War Years
Norman Shnier describes his wartime experiences.
Click here Norman Shnier, George E. Shnier Co.
Norman Shnier describes the beginnings and growth of G. E. Shnier Company.
Click here Another Gesco History
Norman wrote another history of Gesco, which he mentions in this letter which he mailed to Cecil Shnier (who did a huge amount of work in the 1980s compiling the Shnier family tree). The letter below refers to an e-mail we received from a Stan Shnier in South Africa (this, just as the Internet was becoming widely-used), and many of us spent some time e-mailing him to try to decide if there was a family connection (we decided that there was no family connection).

April 1, 1996

Dear Cecil:

I presume by now you've been copied with the e-mail communication some of us received from the fellow in South Africa named Shnier, who is looking for family connections. When I received my copy I felt it was something you and Myra might like to follow up on – but I understand one of Phil's kids has started a communication.

When I got it I started to look for some of the family history and charts that you have prepared in the past. I apparently have mislaid them – and if you have spare copies around I'd appreciate it if you could mail me some.

Also, in looking, I found a copy of the start of a Gesco history that I was working on around 1984, and started again on in 1987. Note the coincidence – it was exactly 40 years ago today – that you started at G.E. Shnier Co. I thought you might be interested. I might say that two or three other “background” stories have been written to provide Gesco “history”. They have usually been done to be part of a financing or PR project, and have contained “embellishments and inaccuracies”. MY history while it might be unintentionally biased because it was written by me – is absolutely accurate, as far as I know. If you come across any incorrect or dubious statements please query me.

In any case, this communication from South Africa will probably trigger me to do more work on this project. I hope you are well.


Click Here Eagle Distributing Co. History
G.E. Shnier Company home page, July 13, 2007

Norman Shnier, January 6, 1920 to July 12, 2007




It is with a profound sense of loss and sadness that I must announce to the associates of Gesco (Shnier) the passing of Norman Shnier last evening, with his family by his side.

Norman lived a very full and accomplished life, serving this company both long and well, most notably as co-owner, president, chairman and chairman emeritus.  He displayed always the qualities of intellectual honesty, curiosity and wisdom.  Norman was the consummate leader, gentleman and friend.

Speaking personally I will miss him tremendously.  He was to me a friend, mentor, supporter and wise counsel always.

On behalf of all Shnier associates, we extend our condolences to Paul and his entire immediate and extended family.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.


Ed duDomaine
President & C.E.O.
July 13, 2007

Mitchell Shnier