McDougall Gauley LLP lawyers and staff were saddened by the news of Harry Dahlem’s passing. Hartmut (Harry) H. Dahlem, Q.C. was born in Koblenz, Germany in 1929. During World War II Harry was taken out of his Grade 9 classroom and sent to the German Eastern front. At the collapse of the German Army Harry walked some 800 miles, while evading the Russian Army, to the safety of the Western front.
After the war, Harry trained as a brick-layer. In 1952 Harry immigrated to Canada. While working in Winnipeg to work off the debt of the ship’s fare, he heard about opportunity in Saskatoon where brick-layers were needed. While unemployed during the winter months Harry decided to go to back to school. He completed high school and went on to earn bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Law at the University of Saskatchewan.
Harry articled with Newsham and Dunbar and then joined McDougall Gauley LLP (at the time known as Francis, Gauley & Dierker) in November 1962. Harry practiced criminal and education law. He started working for the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) and went on to represent the STF until his retirement in 1996. “[Harry] Dahlem was awarded Honourary Life Membership in the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation in 1989 – the only person honoured in this way who had not been a teacher.” 1
“When I was a young lawyer, Harry passed along all of his corporate / commercial files to me which created the foundation for my growing practice. Years later I asked him why he had done this and he told me he felt I was born to be a lawyer. At a time when there were no other women practicing corporate / commercial law, his generosity had a huge impact on me and my career.”
~ Nancy Hopkins, Partner
Harry was very active in the law community volunteering with the College of Law and the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan (LFS). Harry joined the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan in 1974 and he held the position of vice-chair for 12 years and chair for eight years. In appreciation for his work, the LFS established the Harry Dahlem Scholarship and the Harry Dahlem Prize in International Law.
What many people do not know about Harry Dahlem, is he was a very talented singer. As a child Harry sang in a boys’ choir in Germany, sometimes accompanied by the Rhenisch Philharmonic Orchestra. In Canada, Harry had a successful singing career having recorded recitals in Winnipeg and Regina which were broadcast as a regular program series on CBC. 2
With a distinguished career such as Harry’s, it is not surprising he has been recognized by many organizations. In addition to the STF Lifetime Membership and the scholarships set up by the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan in his honour, Harry was also appointed with the Queens Counsel designation on December 31, 1979, awarded the Senior Life Membership by the Saskatchewan Law Society in February 2012, and received the Distinguished Service Award for Canadian Bar Association.
- Dahlem, Harry H., Q.C. with Derwyn Crozier-Smith. From Classroom to Court room: A Legal History of Saskatchewan Teachers’ Foundation. Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, 2009. Print.
- Of Note Alumni Magazine – Stepping Stones. University of Saskatchewan College of Law. College of Law. 2003. P12.