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Heilongjiang PROVINCE,

Photos from the Family Collection of Rita Davies

Courtesy of Rita Davies

            Vera Alexandrovnya Dobrilovskaya was born in Harbin on September 6, 1909. Her father was an officer in the Russian Tsarist military. Her mother was a nurse. Vera attended the Harbin Commercial School from which she graduated in 1926.  From 1928 to 1930 she worked in Harbin as a secretary for the General Forwarding & Trading Corporation.  In 1930 she married Eddie Diniz in Harbin.  In July, 1940, Vera moved to Shanghai, where in 1941 she met Jason Isaac, who was originally from Baghdad.  Vera and Jason had four children.  The first, Joseph, was born in Shanghai in 1942 and died eighteen months later of diphtheria.  Their daughters Joyce Savoline and Rita Davies were born in Shanghai in 1945 and 1947, respectively.   The family moved as refugees to Israel in 1950 where a fourth child, a boy, was born in 1952, but did not survive his infancy.  In 1953, the family immigrated to Canada, where they changed their name to Davies. Vera died in 1977. 

Click on any photo for a larger version.


Vera Dobrilovskaya, about age eight, poses with her mother Panna Federovna Dobrilovskaya and her brother Alexander in Harbin, circa 1917.


Vera Dobrilovskaya’s aunt, Nadezhda Vladimirovna Dobrilovskaya, a matron at the Harbin Commercial School, poses with the school’s Chinese cooks. Vera lived with Nadezhda from the age of 10 until she graduated from the school.


Vera Dobrilovskaya, seated fifth from left in the front row, is pictured with the 1926 Harbin Commercial School graduating class

Vera Dobrilovskaya stands in front of “sled men” on the frozen Sungari (now Songhua) River. The men wait to push customers across the ice.


Vera Dobrilovskaya poses in front of a bear sculpture on the Sungari (now Songhua) River embankment. (The statue is no longer there.)

Vera Dobrilovskaya, right, is shown with a friend in front of the Chinese Hospital in Harbin.
Davies_Vera_ Dobrilovskay_and_Friends_at_Hotel_Moderne.

Vera Dobrilovskaya, second from right, and friends stand in front of the Hotel Moderne, one of Harbin’s most elegant pre-World War II establishments. 


Vera Dobrilovskaya celebrates with friends at a Harbin nightclub. Vera is in the center background hugging Misha Andreev, husband of Vera’s friend Nina, front left at the table.

Vera Dobrilovskaya, top, and a friend pose on a boat on the Sungari (now Songhua) River.

Postcard of Harbin Commercial Street.

Postcard of Commercial Street in pre-World War II Harbin

Gathering for a celebration in the 1930s are, from left, Vera Alexandrovnya Dobrilovskaya and Vara Kott seated in the back row. In front are, from left, Victor Dniaredo, Nina Andreev and Eddie Diniz.
Sungari (now Songhua) River Beach.

Vera Alexandrovnya Dobrilovskaya, second from right, enjoys the Sungari (now Songhua) River Beach with friends.

Postcard of Harbin Commercial Street -  Back.

Back of Commercial Street Postcard
Vera Alexandrovnya Dobrilovskaya.

Vera Alexandrovnya Dobrilovskaya

Sungari (now Songhua) River Beach - Back

This Russian writing on the back of the above beach photo says, "This is Asya, Kolya, Lyubochka Filologova and me on the beach."
  Joyce and Rita in Shanghai.

Rita Isaac (now Davies), right, and her sister Joyce pose in Russian costumes in Shanghai.

Permission to print these photographs was granted by Rita Davies in April 2015.

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