#77 - ICS Canada News and Views Winter 2022
Updated: Apr 26
Dear Fellow Canadian Churchillians:
To new Friends of Winston Churchill – Yes, we have several but until they are given their special Holiday Package next week, we are holding back their names. They will be introduced in January's Churchill Bulletin email. We are looking forward to meeting them at the annual May dinner. Many thanks to those of you who took the opportunity to give a Christmas / Hanukkah gift to a new Friend of the Society.
Finest Hour Magazine
Your membership/subscription provides for four quarterly issues of the award-winning magazine.
In the last few months, you will have received two Special issues, #198 covering the “Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award for Volodymyr Zelenskyy” and #199, “Churchill and the Queen.”
These Special issues were provided to you at no additional cost. If you have any questions please email our Administrator, Myra Dodick, at email@example.com.
Finest Hour Inserts
Certain issues of the magazine include an insert advertising the International Churchill Society in the United States – please ignore. Also, on the envelope of the Finest Hour magazine, there is a reference to update your address. Please disregard this as it is ICS US. If you have questions relating to renewals or updating your contact information, please direct them to our Administrator, Myra Dodick – details above.
It is also pertinent to advise that previous email addresses firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are no longer valid for ICS Canada and should not be used.
Juno Beach Centre Preserved!
Previously we had reported that the Juno Beach Centre had been immersed in a costly, two-year legal fight to head off the construction of multiple-unit condominiums in two buildings on lands adjacent to the Centre.
The “Save Juno Beach” campaign rallied supporters of the centre. They wrote 65,000 letters to Canadian and French politicians urging them to protect what is widely considered hallowed ground. As the organizers stated, “Juno Beach is one of the most sacred places in Canadian military history. The battle on June 6, 1944, was an extraordinary example of Canadian acts of personal courage. Today, the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s Second World War museum on the site of the landings, honours their memory, preserving the story of Canadian servicemen and women who put their lives on hold – or sacrificed them entirely – to fight for a better world.”
At the eleventh hour, a new agreement was signed which provides a 99-year lease to protect it from development.
The president of the Royal Canadian Legion, Bruce Julian, stated: “This agreement will safeguard and preserve this portion of Juno Beach for future generations. We thank the Government of Canada and the municipality of Courseulles-sur-mer for recognizing the sanctity of this territory and taking concrete action to preserve it. May we always Remember our Fallen soldiers.”
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome and thank those in our Society who have not only joined our Facebook Group but participate through comments and/or acknowledgements of our posts.
In previous communications, we've stated that the primary endeavour of our FB Group is to focus on Churchill's interactions with Canada both on a personal and professional level.
Our group is growing and its voice now extends outside our borders. We presently have members in the UK, USA, India, Germany, Iceland and Argentina. As we continue to post additional content relating to Churchill and his special relationship to Canada, we hope to expand the insight of those in other countries to Canada’s place in 20th century history.
We acknowledge and understand that many of you may not be on Facebook. If you would like to have access to those posts without joining Facebook, we will be sending out a bimonthly email with links to the articles and videos. Please note, this is strictly “opt in”. To be included in the distribution list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Listed below is a sampling of recent articles and videos you will find when scrolling though our page:
Dr. Chris Bell's video lecture on Churchill and the Dardanelles. 1941 film of Churchill addressing Canadians in Italy.
Video of an impassioned speech on human rights given by former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Irwin Cotler, along with the introduction by John Baird, former Minister of Foreign Affairs. Presented at the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy’s November 30th dinner where Mr. Cotler was the honouree.
Weekly postings by Richard Langworth, Founder of ICS, Churchill historian and Senior Fellow for the Churchill project, Hillsdale College.
Katherine Carter, Property Curator at Chartwell, hosting the first of many Chartwell Chats to come. Postings of several talks from the 39th annual ICS Conference themed, “Churchill: War and Peace”, held in Kansas City, Missouri, in October, including:
Laurence Geller, Chairman, International Churchill Society – opening remarks
Garry Kasparov delivering the 36th Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture 3
Sean McMeekin on Churchill and Stalin at War, 1939-45
Dr Charlie Laderman on “Churchill, Pearl Harbour and Hitler’s Gamble”.
Many of the recipients of this newsletter are accomplished authors, historians, academics and so on. If you have written articles, blogs, given lectures or have book excerpts (in digital format) related to Churchill and or a Churchillian-like message, please feel free to post it in our group.
We are very pleased to announce that we are in the process of refreshing and upgrading your Society's website. We are in the preliminary stages of this somewhat complicated process and anticipate transitioning to the new site early in the second quarter of 2023. In the interim, please continue to access our existing site for renewals and to update your contact information.
WINSTON CHURCHILL’S VISITS TO CANADA
The Great Man’s Second Visit
August 8 – September 6, 1929
The British general election held on May 30, 1929, resulted in a victory for the Labour Party. Churchill was returned to Epping, but now he was out of office after four years in the public eye as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
He took advantage of what he hoped would be just a hiatus from government by embarking on a journey to Canada and the United States with his son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack’s son, Johnny.
The four crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Empress of Australia. Churchill, writing to Clementine, on August 12 of his arrival in Quebec City, described the Château Frontenac as a “tremendous hotel on the most modern lines.”
He visited the tourist sites of the Citadel, Wolfe’s Cove and the Plains of Abraham, where the battle which decided the fate of Canada was fought in 1759, and then went by car into the countryside, as he “wanted to see the country at close quarters, and nibble the grass and champ the branches.”
After leaving the confines of England, he wrote of the “immense size of this country which goes on for thousands of miles of good fertile land, well watered, well wooded, unlimited in possibilities. How silly for people to live crowded up in particular parts of the Empire, when there is so much larger and better a life open here for millions.”
Randolph kept a diary, recording his impressions of the trip: “From our window we can see at night the Rothermere Paper Mills all lit up. Papa said apropos of them, ‘Fancy cutting down those beautiful trees we saw this afternoon to make pulp for those bloody newspapers, and calling it civilization.’”
They proceeded across the country in a special rail car, which the CPR had made available for them. Churchill spoke in Montreal and Ottawa, and wrote to Clementine of the overflowing, enthusiastic audiences. He toured the House of Commons and was impressed. “It seems to be much more sumptuously looked after than ours. Mackenzie King took us around everywhere, we climbed the towers, rang the carillon, which is the finest in the world.”
Following his visit to Ottawa, Churchill continued to Toronto where he spoke to a combined luncheon of the Empire Club, the Canadian Club, and the Toronto Board of Trade. His speech was heard by three thousand people by way of loudspeakers placed outside the Royal York Hotel, which was advertised as “the largest hotel in the British Empire.” 5
The Toronto Star newspaper reported, “He roused his vast audience to applause as he spoke of the ties of love that bind the overseas dominions to the motherland... long before the hour set long queues formed outside the banquet hall... it was the biggest event of the kind in Toronto.”
One prediction made by Churchill in that speech was sadly not to come true: “I believe that President Hoover was right when he said that peace was assured for fifty years.”
The party moved on to Winnipeg, and then Calgary, where he visited the oilfields. Randolph gave his own opinion in decrying the actions of the oil magnates, which he felt were “pigging up a beautiful valley,” and criticized the oilmen for their lack of culture. “Instantly Papa flared up, ‘Cultured people are merely the glittering scum which floats upon the deep river of production.’ Damn Good!”
The Churchills stayed at the Banff Springs Hotel, and Winston wrote to Clementine: “I have been welcomed with so much genuine interest & admiration as throughout this vast country... I am profoundly touched & I intend to devote my strength to interpreting Canada to our people & vice versa; and bringing about an even closer association between us.”
Churchill continued his letter to Clementine with an astonishing statement: “I have made up my mind that if (Neville Chamberlain) is made leader of the (Conservative Party) or anyone else of that kind, I (will) clear out of politics & see if I can make you and the kittens a little more comfortable before Idie.” He spoke of his remaining ambition, which was to become prime minister of Britain, stating that, “if that were barred, (he would) quit the dreary field for pastures new. As Daniel Peggotty says, ‘There’s mighty lands beyond the seas.’ However, the time to take decisions is not yet.”
Was Churchill serious? Probably not – he never acted on this statement, despite his upcoming lonely decade in the House of Commons that would have given him every reason to move to Canada – while he would have been a most interesting presence in this country, civilization can be grateful that he stayed put!
Leaving Alberta behind, Winston wrote to Clementine on September 1: “I have some news which will interest Mary (their youngest daughter then six years old). First of all, we have encountered bears. We were motoring along when suddenly at a turn in the road, bears were seen approaching at no great distance. It was in fact a she-bear attended by two large cubs. We stopped the motor alongside of them. The she-bear reared up her hind legs in what was at first a menacing attitude, but it turned out she was not at all hostile, but was in fact only begging for biscuits, for which purpose she was accustomed to waylay travellers passing along this road.”
Speaking on September 3 (exactly ten years before the start of the Second World War) in Vancouver, Churchill referred to the tense situation in the Middle East: “Palestine belongs to two races – the Jews and the Arabs. The Jews have at least as good a right there as the Arabs, and there is no reason why the Arabs should resent the arrival of large numbers of Jews to develop the country.”
Churchill’s final public address was in the Empress Hotel in Victoria on September 5. The Daily Colonist reported that, “Mr. Churchill was given a tumultuous reception when he arose to address the vast audience. Waves of applause and cheers greeted him, and it was nearly five minutes before he was able to make himself heard.”
The newspaper continued: “‘I am a traveller who is finishing today what is to me a most memorable and thrilling journey across the Dominion of Canada,’ stated Mr. Churchill, in opening his address. ‘I am also finishing what has certainly been a serious task – making the sixteenth public address I have given in Canada in the last month.’”
Churchill spoke of a subject of special interest to his audience. “The Pacific Ocean is coming into its own. The shores of America and Asia are being brought closer together, and you must be the channel through which the ever growing cornfields of Canada must discharge their products to the people of the Orient.” On specific countries in that sphere, he spoke of recent challenges in China but he did not foresee any danger from its neighbour. “We have very old and highly valued associations with Japan... I have always found my confidence in the Government and people of Japan strengthened by their conduct, in peace and in war.”
Then the Churchill party sailed down to the United States, eventually arriving in New York on October 24, the beginning of the Stock Market Crash.
Our next issue will cover Churchill’s 1932 visit.