Harry L. Symons

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Harry L. Symons
BornHarry Lutz Symons
Toronto, Ontario
Occupationhumorist, novelist, non-fiction writer
Notable worksOjibway Melody

Harry Lutz Symons (1893 - 1962) was a Canadian writer, who won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour in 1947 for Ojibway Melody,[1] a volume of humorous essays about summer recreational life on Ontario's Georgian Bay.[2]

His other works included Friendship (1943),[3] Three Ships West (1949),[4] The Bored Meeting (1951)[5] and Orange Belt Special (1956), and the non-fiction works Fences (1958) and Playthings of Yesterday: Harry Symons introduces the Percy C. Band Collection (1963).

Symons, the son of architect William Limberry Symons,[6] was an ace fighter pilot in World War I[7] and later worked in insurance[8] and real estate.[6]

His son Thomas Symons, a noted academic, founding president of Trent University, and former chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission,[9] credits the values expressed in Ojibway Melody with framing his career and contributing to Trent's decision to establish Canada's first university department in Indigenous Studies.[10] Another son, Scott Symons, was a writer whose 1967 novel Place d'Armes was the first gay-themed novel published in Canada.[6]


  1. ^ W. H. New, Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. University of Toronto Press, 2002. ISBN 0802007619. p. 75.
  2. ^ Lyn Harrington, Syllables of Recorded Time: The Story of the Canadian Authors Association 1921-1981. Dundurn Press, 1981. ISBN 0-88924-112-0.
  3. ^ University of Toronto Quarterly, Volume 13. University of Toronto Press, 1944. p. 358.
  4. ^ The New International Year Book 1949. Dodd, Mead and Company, 1950. p. 85.
  5. ^ "True truth". Saturday Night Volume 66, Part 2, 1951.
  6. ^ a b c "His life was his art. Alas, it was not a masterpiece". The Globe and Mail, February 27, 2009.
  7. ^ H. Creagen, "H.L. Symons--Ace & Author," Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Winter 1964), p. 113
  8. ^ "Prof. Lower's History Gets Vice-Regal Award". Winnipeg Tribune, April 19, 1947.
  9. ^ Symons, Thomas H. B., 1929- Trent University
  10. ^ Dick Bourgeois-Doyle, What’s So Funny?: Lessons from Canada’s Leacock Medal for Humour Writing. General Store Publishing House, 2015. ISBN 978-1-77123-342-2. p. 11