#78 - ICS Canada News and Views Spring 2023
To a new Friend of Winston Churchill – Rick Shaver
A very interesting trend is emerging from our supporters. 2022 brought several new friends to ICS Canada and we are looking forward to meeting them on May 10th!
Perhaps, related to last year’s invasion of Ukraine, by Russia, coupled with the slow rise of extreme right-wing groups, Churchill is once again becoming mainstream and relevant. Mostly positive, sometimes not.
Finest Hour is not only a must read for every Churchillian but a wonderful teaching tool, a lesson in history, for younger generations to be exposed to.
Is it not our responsibility to ensure that it is the facts which they hear and read, not articles, videos and/or books promoting self-serving hyperbole?
Please consider giving a subscription to your children and /or grandchildren as a gift for their birthday, High School graduation or University Convocation.
Finest Hour Inserts
Certain FH magazines include an insert advertising the International Churchill Society. This is ICS in the United States – please ignore.
There is a reference to update your contact information on the envelope which the Finest Hour is mailed please disregard as the link is directed to US subscribers.
Questions related to renewals or updating contact information, please direct them to our Administrator, at email@example.com.
The previous email addresses used by ICS Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are no longer valid and should not be used.
Annual Dinner – May 10, 2023
We are delighted to provide details of the Annual Dinner to be held at the Albany Club of Toronto
This year’s Dinner will be in a different format – Jerry Grafstein, former Senator and former Executive
Assistant to Prime Minister John Turner, will be interviewed by Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin.”
This will include a fresh assessment, with the benefit of hindsight, in “Meech Lake,” Free Trade” and the Mulroney/Turner relationship, which was conducted with great civility – not evident in the current era.
Steve has written a brilliant biography of John Turner, which includes considerable information on the part played by Jerry Grafstein in John Turner’s life in politics and their friendship until Turner’s death in 2020. Jerry has also written on his extensive experience in Ottawa politics with his insightful, ”A Leader Must Be A Leader” – encounters with eleven Prime Ministers.
The flyer with full details of this fascinating programme will be sent to you shortly.
The makeup of our Society is that of a very diverse group, both in age and work status.
Although the majority are 'baby boomers' (1946-1964), we have many from the 'silent generation' (1928-1945). Not surprisingly, 2022 brought several new supporters from ‘generation X' (1965-1980) and a sprinkling of 'millennials' (1980 -2000.
As so many of the Society's supporters do not have Facebook profiles, our endeavour to start a new email project will give an opportunity to those of you who are not on Facebook or do not have the time, the same benefit as our FB members.
We will include articles, videos, archival documents and photographs along with upcoming events that we posted on FB that calendar month.
Facebook is interactive. Our FB members have the opportunity to comment both on the posts and with each other. As this email is distributed as BCC, the recipients are anonymous, and your comments cannot be shared.
This will give you the chance to listen to discussions with International Churchill Society’s (USA) Executive Director Justin Reash and his guests, Chartwell Chats with Katherine Carter, Churchill related topics hosted by the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre and of course links to the videos posted from the annual International Churchill Conference.
We are also very fortunate to have Richard Langworth, a very dear friend of ICS Canada, favour us with his articles, which we will now be sharing with you.
To date, we have sent out two emails. The first included a sampling of links to older postings from Oct, Nov and December, which we hope will pique your interest. The second, much shorter included postings solely from January 2023.
This email is strictly 'opt in'. If, after a few editions you feel that this is not what you were expecting, or you are inundated with too many emails in general, we understand if you chose to unsubscribe.
As this is somewhat of a work in progress, your feedback will be paramount to its success.
To be added to the Distribution List or if you would like to see a sample, please do not hesitate to contact us.
ICS Canada Website
We are very pleased with the progress our team has made developing an updated fresh look to the Society’s website. We are on schedule for a 2nd quarter launch.
Please continue to renew and/or update your subscription and/or any changes to your contact information on our site.
Sir Winston Churchill & Volodymyr Zelenskyy
The Special “Finest Hour” issue #198 was devoted to the Leadership Award given to the remarkable Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The 19-minute presentation can we viewed on You Tube using the link below:
Winston Churchill’s Visits to Canada
The Great Man’s Third Visit. March 3 - 6, 1932
Winston Churchill had lost heavily in the stock market crash of 1929. In an effort to re-coup some of his losses he signed a contract in November 1931 to give forty lectures in the United States which would bring him 10,000 pounds.
On December 11th, the “Europa” arrived in New York and that same day he spoke in Worcester, Massachusetts with the theme “Anglo-American unity.”
Two days later he travelled by taxi to the home of his old friend the financier Bernard Baruch. On stepping out of the taxi and crossing the road he forgot that Americans drive on the right and after glancing in the opposite direction he was struck by a car travelling over thirty miles an hour. He later wrote “I do not understand how I was not broken like an eggshell or squashed like a gooseberry.” In fact he was gravely injured, bleeding heavily from his head and both thighs.
If the “Lenox Hill Hospital” staff had any doubts about the eminence of their new patient, they were resolved when King George V telephoned to inquire about his condition.
After a week in hospital and convalescing, in Nassau, Bahamas, he recommenced his lecture tour on January 28, 1932.
This included a stop in Toronto on March 3rd where he spoke in Maple Leaf Gardens at an event sponsored by the Simpson’s department store, with former Prime Minister Arthur Meighen presiding.
The fee to the speaker was the princely sum of $2,500. The arena had been built the year before, and Churchill was the first speaker of international renown to speak there.
Earlier in the day Churchill was interviewed by a reporter from “The Globe” newspaper, who was obviously fascinated by Churchill’s appearance; as readers were informed; “Mr. Churchill’s face is round and pink. His hands are square and pink. His hair, what remains of it, is gold – an astonishingly bright gold. His cigar is long and black. His bedroom slippers are of snakeskin.” Then a meatier observation, “It must be a pleasant thing to be Mr. Churchill: to be unvexed by doubts; to be undismayed by circumstances to know the right answer to every problem that troubles a troubled world; to command that treacherous jade, the English language, and hold her obedient to command. “
Despite newspaper hype and ticket prices of 50c and $1, the audience totalled only six thousand, which was a disappointment. Churchill had used lapel microphones during his U.S. tour, but the hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt warned him that using such a device with the Gardens sound system would cause an echo. Churchill turned to Hewitt and said, “Young man, if I want your advice I will ask for it.” Hewitt was right and Churchill discarded the lapel microphone, but he refused to use the stand up microphone, and, thus, many could not hear him.
The next day’s “Toronto Daily Star” reported on the speech. “When Mr. Churchill spoke about the virtues of fiscal protection, he was applauded. He was so eloquent and so persuasive, that I joined into the applause myself. I had forgotten for the moment, that I was listening to a man who used to make famous speeches in which he extolled free trade.”
The “Globe” in an extensive report also commented on Churchill’s change to becoming an anti Free Trader, which he illustrated in an interesting manner -
“The time has come to put a girdle around the Empire estate. It might, in the first instance, be a light and flexible girdle, but a girdle all the same, and within this economic girdle many special commercial ties should be developed by agreements and inter-Imperial commercial treaties.”
The following day, March 5th Churchill spoke at a luncheon in Ottawa given in his honour by Prime Minister R.B. Bennett and attended by parliamentarians of all groups. The “Ottawa Evening Journal” reported; “The Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill, former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, declared that; “Canada was once again on Vimy Ridge – on the Vimy Ridge of the Empire. The struggles of the Great War was over. The Empire was coming back to its own; and the nations of the Empire stretched out their hands to Canada to lead not only our own Empire but if necessary, the whole world out of the
Former (and future) Prime Minister, Mackenzie King, met with Churchill in Government House that same day, together with the Governor General, Lord Bessborough. The matter of the Byng incident in 1926 was discussed, and Bessborough wrote that; “Winston considers that Lord Byng was right in refusing a dissolution to King… but he was wrong in granting a dissolution to Meighen and should have sent for King again.” This opinion was shared by King - as he recorded in his diary.
Churchill sailed home from New York on March 11th and was greeted with a surprise.
William Manchester in “The Last Lion” wrote that after the news of his serious accident had been received his great devotee, Brendan Bracken, approached a number of his admirers suggesting that they show their affection for Churchill in the ordeal he had suffered and they purchase for him an automobile. This was enthusiastically supported, with the group, including the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward 8th Lords Beaverbrook and Rothermere and Charlie Chaplin.
The gift, a £two-thousand Daimler, awaited Churchill when he arrived at Paddington Station.
Several of the donors were there and they sang: “For he’s a jolly good fellow.” Winston tried to smile, then bowed his head and wept.
(The next issue will include details of Churchill’s fourth visit, in August 1941, to Placentia Bay,
Newfoundland (although at the time not actually part of Canada) to meet President Roosevelt, and their formulating the “Atlantic Charter.”)
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