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Leonard Arthur KITZ

KITZ, Leonard Arthur
9th April, 1916 – 30th January, 2006 Leonard Arthur Kitz was born in Halifax on April 9, 1916, the son of Harry and Yetta (Lesser) Kitz. He graduated, LL.B from Dalhousie Law School in 1938, and set off for a 'vagabond cruise' of Europe, sending articles that were printed in the Halifax Chronicle, one of the last from London saying, 'War has been averted in England'.

When war did break out in 1939, he joined the army, becoming an Infantry Office with the Princess Louise Fusiliers, where he edited its newspaper. He served in Italy, as a staff officer, and in Holland. In 1945, he married Dr. Alice Duff Findlay, whom he had met in Britain. On his return from war, he founded his own law firm on Granville Street. One month his takings were $19. In 1947 he was joined by Robert Matheson. They built a major law firm in the city known as Kitz and Matheson and latterly as Patterson Kitz. He was President of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society 1968-69. He worked hard for the modernization of his city and its institutions, as an alderman, City of Halifax 1948 – 1955, and Mayor of the City , 1955-1957. He was an unsuccessful Liberal candidate for Parliament in 1958, the year of the Diefenbaker sweep.

He was owner of The Provincial Realty Company, Vice President of Halifax Development Limited while Scotia Square was developed in the 1960's, Vice President and a founder of the Atlantic Trust Company, and on the Halifax Board for Royal Trust 1982 - 88.

Forward looking and effective, he served on the Board of the Technical University of Nova Scotia 1973 – 81, and the University of King's College 1983 – 87, which granted him an honourary doctorate in 1980. When the National Arts Centre in Ottawa was under construction he was named to its first Board of Directors serving from 1967 to 1973 and representing that Board at the Edinburgh Festival in 1971.

He supported the establishment of the Halifax Grammar School in 1958, as a liberal and modern educational alternative, and served as Board Vice President.

As Chairman of the Board, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia 1976 – 78, he laid the framework for its growth and establishment at Cheapside. He was the driving force for the funding and creation of the statue of Winston Churchill in front of the Halifax Public Library on Spring Garden Road. He was past president, the John Howard Society of Nova Scotia, as well as Nova Scotia Chairman, Canadian Institute for International Affairs. He took part in the Institute's delegation to China in 1973 just after Canada had recognized China and he welcomed to his home generations of students from China.

The family is grateful to his caregivers over the years, to Fred and Frances, and many others. We wish to express our sincere thanks to the caring staff and to Dr. Graeme Bethune, at 5 East, Camp Hill Hospital. Donations in his name may be made to the Leonard A. Kitz Scholarship Fund at the Halifax Grammar School, 5750 Atlantic St., Halifax N.S. B3H 1G9 or www.
He was predeceased by his first wife who died in 1969. He is survived by his second wife, Janet (Brownlee) Kitz, whom he married in 1971, and his three children, Hilary (Steven Janus), John (Ann Colville), and Alan ( Meredith Annett), and eight grandchildren, Samuel, Nicholas (Jennie), and Jeremy Singer, Alex, Robert, Hilary, Alice and Duff Kitz. His love of his garden, and especially his raspberries and peaches, will be remembered by his many friends. His fishing trips, 'Monday night bridge', and lunch with bridge at the Halifax Club, with his many other interests and professional successes, made for a full and rich life. There will be a reception at his home 1110 Rockcliffe St., Halifax from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Friday February 3rd, 2006.

Published by The Globe and Mail from Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, 2006.
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