Harry Leslie Smith--veteran, passionate defender and promoter of public services, refugees, anti-poverty activist, the "world's oldest rebel"--died early November 28 morning in a Belleville, Ontario hospital, aged 95.
Harry grew up in extreme poverty through the Great Depression in England, went to work at age seven, fought in the Second World War, married a German woman, facing hostility and discrimination, emigrated to Canada, and ran a business in Ontario.
After seeing another cycle of growing inequality, financial crises, damaging austerity, and politicians feeding xenophobia and racism, he became alarmed that the world would repeat the mistakes he had live through. Harry became a renown writer, activist and podcaster in his 90s, after publishing Harry's Last Stand, a defense of public services and equality, inspiring younger generations.
Earlier this year, at age 95, Harry embarked on a global tour to highlight the plight of refugees and encourage compassion, remembering the hundreds of thousands of European refugees forced from their communities and homes during the Second World War.