Harry Hole’s leadership, integrity and dedication to his fellow Albertans are well-recognized in Edmonton and beyond. Throughout his years as an astute businessman, Harry devoted much of his time and effort to various professional boards and community organizations. A stalwart supporter of Alberta’s hospitals, universities, theatres and other organizations, Harry Hole has made evident his commitment to making the province a better place to live.
Harry was born in Edmonton, Alberta on September 14, 1921. His parents, Annie and Harry Hole Sr., had both immigrated to Canada from England hoping to find greater opportunities. They met and married in Edmonton and soon began raising a family. Hoping to provide their children with the very opportunities they had sought for themselves, they impressed the value of education upon Harry and his eight siblings. Viewing their opportunity to attend post-secondary school as a privilege, and not an option, all nine Hole children attended the University of Alberta.
Harry developed his strong work ethic at an early age. He and his six brothers maintained the same paper route for the Edmonton Journal for nearly two decades, saving their earnings to help pay for university. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1944 with a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and then served with the Royal Canadian Engineers as a Lieutenant until discharge in 1946.
Upon his return from the army, Harry worked in his father’s plumbing and heating business, Lockerbie & Hole. In 1949, he married Muriel Sweetnam, whom he had met at the University of Alberta, where Muriel studied nursing. Harry and Muriel’s family grew to include four daughters, Elaine, Mary, Janice and Karen.
During the 1950s, while Muriel served her community as a public health nurse, Harry continued to apprentice under his father, developing his expertise as an engineer and businessman. He eventually became the head of the family business when Harry Hole Sr. passed away. Harry worked to position the firm of Lockerbie & Hole as the leading mechanical engineering company in Alberta and as a national leader in the industry.
As business expanded and opportunities arose, Harry decided to remain in Alberta. He lived by Francis Winspear’s advice: “This is where the action is.” Lockerbie and Hole has remained an Edmonton-based company, employing a host of talented Albertans and building projects nationally and internationally.
Well-respected for his business skills, Harry also expanded his activities into other areas of the community. He has had a positive influence in areas related to business and trade, public health and safety, the arts and advanced education. As President of Edmonton Northlands, he played an important role in the development of the Northlands Coliseum - an Edmonton landmark and leading exhibition facility. He has lent his leadership and support to many organizations, including his alma mater, the University of Alberta, Concordia University College, the Grant MacEwan College, the Citadel Theatre and various Edmonton hospitals.
Between 1993 and 2003, Harry served as Honorary Colonel of 15 (Edmonton) Battalion, where he worked hard at improving facilities for local military units. He has contributed to, and worked with, the Edmonton Community Foundation and recently retired as President of the Edmonton Police Service Foundation, which he established and chaired. His efforts have helped to make Edmonton a better and safer place to live and work.
Harry Hole has also shared his energy and experience with numerous other organizations. His long roster of public service includes work with the Grant MacEwan Foundation, the Edmonton Space and Science Centre Foundation, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Salvation Army Red Shield Campaign, United Way and the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Harry has served as director of numerous businesses and associations, including the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Melco Developments Ltd as well as various petroleum, natural gas and development related corporations. Harry was proud to honour his father’s heritage as a Londoner when he became a member of Lloyds of London, the world’s leading insurance exchange.
Harry’s activities and contributions in both time and financial support are almost endless. While his activities and interests have been diverse, they all speak to his commitment to the province. His many contributions have created a legacy that will inspire future generations of Albertans.