To escape the pressure to become a socialist and revolutionist, Charlie Nemetz, the oldest of the nine siblings, left the village of Svatatroiske. In fact, he left Russia twice.
At the age of 20, in 1908, Charlie sailed out of a Russian port on a cattle boat bound for South America. Family stories recall that a cow was sold to facilitate his departure.
Arriving in Buenos Aires, Charlie got a job in a packing plant that paid a dollar a day. A year and a half later, he was the manager.
However, shortly after that, Charlie returned to Russia to do military service for his brother Sam so that Sam would not have to quit engineering school in Odessa. After serving four difficult years in the frozen wastelands of Siberia, Charlie left for Canada to join his brothers
Samuel and David, were already living in Winnipeg. Arriving in the middle of winter, Charlie bought a horse and sleigh with the help of a Jewish relief organization, launching himself as a fish and fur trader. In 1914, Charlie made his way to Watrous, Saskatchewan, a popular resort town on the old Grand Trunk Railway, with a population of about 800. Sam and Dave had relocated there, and Charlie joined them in various business ventures.
Charlie’s life was full of ups and downs. His adventures led him to the retail business, power plants, cafés, automobile dealerships and real estate.