Dear Fellow Canadian Churchillians:
To new Friends of Winston Churchill – Stephen Marmer, Susan Menard and Mike Harrison.
It was a “no brainer” to decide on the ideal speaker to relaunch our Evenings with Sir Winston. Ted Barris on his latest book, to be published in September, The Battle of the Atlantic – Gauntlet to Victory.
The date is Thursday October 20th, 2022, and the venue the Albany Club of Toronto. Full details will be provided by flyer and on our web site, in due course.
Is Winston Churchill relevant in 2022?
Very Much So!
Please view the presentation of the Sir Winston Churchill Award for 2022 to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Congratulations Many congratulations to long time “Friend of Winston Churchill” Peter H. Russell who was honoured on June 29 in being promoted to the highest level of the “Order of Canada” – Companion.
Peter is also a long-time member and past Chairman of our sister society, “Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy.” Back in 2004 Peter was the main representative of that Society which joined with ICS Canada in revivifying the site of the Sir Winston Churchill Statue in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.
Peter is a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, and a prolific author with his latest book being the monumental Canada’s Odyssey – a Country Based on Incomplete Conquests – highly recommended.
Your Society is committed to education. Each year we grant $500 bursaries to three deserving students studying at Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Many congratulations to these students: International Churchill Society Canada Humanities Bursary: Zayan Hafiz International Churchill Society Canada LBP Leadership Bursary: Jesse Nkunda International Churchill Society Canada Churchill Leadership Bursary: Shanice Brown-Joyce
Despite a slow start, your Facebook Group has been up and running for a few months. Although our group is small, members are actively accessing the content. Recently, one of our Members inquired as to why ICS Canada created a FB presence, after all, doesn't FB promote fake news, kitten videos and pictures of your latest dining adventure? If that is what you are inclined to, yes it is, BUT what is fed via algorithms to your FB profile is so much more. By accessing an article, picture, newspaper, you define your prompts.
A sampling of recent postings includes: Randy Barber, Chairman of ICS Canada, interviewed by Marc Cowan, host of The Daily Wrap (Cobourg, Ontario radio station, Northumberland 89.7 FM); and Terry Reardon, Vice Chairman ICSC, interviewed by Steve Paikin on TVO. We shared a live video feed of the launch of Alan Saltman's book, No Peace with Hitler, and the presentation to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the International Churchill Society’s 2022 Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award by BritishPrime Minister Boris Johnson.
Dieppe's impact on Canada, 80 years ago was devastating and remains impactful today. Terry's insightful and educational article, Dieppe: The Truth about Churchill's Involvement and Responsibility, published in The Churchill Project (Hillsdale College), brings the horrors of war to the hearts of all Canadian Churchillians. We found a short video of Mackenzie King's speech at Dieppe in 1946.
We have articles from the International Churchill Society (US), Richard Langworth's The Churchill Project, Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre, Library and Archives Canada, scratchy, snowy and wonderful original newsreel videos, and articles from the pages of newspapers around the world depicting Churchill at his best or his most curmudgeonly.
The internet is a treasure trove of information on Churchill and it is our endeavour to bring the best to you.
Our Facebook Group is what you make it. Your feedback is always appreciated and most welcome.
Winston Churchill’s Visits to Canada
The Great Man visited Canada on nine occasions.
His first visit was in 1900, when he was 26 years of age, during a speaking tour of North America. He was an international celebrity after escaping from a prisoner of war camp during the South African, Anglo- Boer war. There were two reasons for his speaking tour – one was to enhance his status as a newly elected member of the British Parliament; the other was to make money, a shortage of which he encountered for most of his life – as a friend of his remarked, “Winston was easily satisfied with the best!”
On that trip he went first to the United States where he was not well received as the Americans saw the war as British Empire building. However, as he wrote that when he crossed the border into Canada, “Here again were the enthusiastic throngs to which I had so easily accustomed myself at home. Alas I could only spend ten days in these inspiring scenes.”
He spoke in Ottawa and Montreal before arriving in Toronto. The day of the lecture was December 29 and a week before the Toronto Star advertised the event and it read, “Winston Churchill, writer and MP in his famous lecture, ‘TheWar as I saw it’ with the account of his capture and escape. Reserved seats $1.50, $1.00 and 75 cents, rush seats 50 cents.”
But all was not well - the Toronto Star’s issue of December 29 had the headline “Holding up Major Pond” which reported that Churchill had cancelled a lecture he was to have given in Brantford, Ontario. The article reported, “Winston Churchill thinks he is not getting enough of the money he draws at the Box Office. May strike after Toronto lecture. A question of cash!”
The Globe newspaper reported on December 31st of the “vast audience in Massey Hall. Every seat in the vast hall was occupied, every person present anticipated an enjoyable evening and no one was disappointed. Churchill is an extremely young-looking man, with a boyish face, fine features and a good voice. Both in features and platform presence and action he resembles his father, the late Lord Randolph Churchill. His lecture was illustrated by a number of fine views, and his stories and explanations of the many scenes he witnessed during the war were clear and vivid. Mr Churchill is possessed of a vein of humour which he draws with excellent effect.” *
The Globe continued, “Before proceeding with the lecture Mr Churchill who was accorded an enthusiastic reception referred to the reports regarding the dispute between himself and his agent, Major Pond. He trusted that he was no less regardful of his own interests and honourable engagements than any other person who was likely to receive so gratifying a welcome from such a splendid audience.”
Winston wrote to his mother two days later on January 1, 1901. “The lecture tour is by no means the success I had expected, although here in Canada there is a great deal more interest than in the States.” Then his opinion on Major Pond which is certainly direct – “he is a vulgar Yankee impresario and poured a lot of very mendacious statements into the ears of the reporters – peace has however been patched up on my terms.”
Then the subject which was central to his objectives – “I am vy proud of the fact that there is not one person in a million who at my age could have earned 10,000 pounds without any capital in less than two years.”
Churchill proceeded to Winnipeg, with the Winnipeg Free Press reporting on January 24, 1901, “Mr. Churchill said that he had been much impressed with the growth and prospects of this great city. Placed here by itself, hundreds of miles from any other city, it was distinctively the product of the great and fertile west. ‘The Canadian west is Britain’s bread shop,’ continued the speaker ‘and when I get back I shall tell the electors of my constituency that I have spoken to those who supply them with their bread.’”
Churchill concluded with a remark which was greeted with considerable laughter and applause – “I don’t know why people who live in Winnipeg should call themselves Winnipeggers. I think a far more simple and appropriate name would be Winners.” Queen Victoria had died on January 22, 1901 and Churchill returned to London to commence his parliamentary duties.
The next issue will cover Churchill’s second visit in 1929.
(Comments and suggestions would be much appreciated – please e-mail Terry Reardon – firstname.lastname@example.org)
* The Globe newspaper issue of December 31, 1900, also included in the society section, “Miss Pamela Plowden who is the guest of their Excellencies at Government House, is said to be one of the English beauties whose picture is sometimes seen in the magazines.” Winston was also a guest of their Excellencies and wrote to his mother from Ottawa: “Pamela was there, very pretty and apparently quite happy. We had no painful discussions, but there is no doubt in my mind that she is the only woman I could ever live happily with.” Winston was wrong! He married Clementine eight years later.