#79 - ICS Canada News and Views Summer 2023
Dear Fellow Canadian Churchillians:
To our new friends of Winston Churchill – Gary Norris, Dr. David Crawford and Jordan Katz.
25th Annual ICS Canada Dinner - May 10, 2023 -
We were back to pre-covid days with a Full House! Guests were welcomed by renowned Canadian Town Crier, John Webster and Piped in by Sgt. Jeremy Federico.
Chairman Randy Barber welcomed the attendees and introduced guest speakers – Jerry Grafstein, former Senator and Executive Assistant to Prime Minister John Turner and Steve Paikin, Director, Clayton Conlan, gave the Toast to Sir Winston, highlighting the relevance of the Great Man’s immortal words.
On multiple occasions, In defence of his homeland against the unprovoked Russian invasion, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has quoted Churchill in his exhortations to his fellow citizens and the free world.
At the request of several of our guests, the full text of Clayton’s toast may be found on the new, updated ICS Canada’s website.
After the usual delicious repast from the Albany Club catering staff, it was over to the Guest Speakers. One particular stand out was Jerry Grafstein discussing the younger generations disconnect from the political world. He stated that it is the politicians who are responsible.
He continued by saying that if his former chief, John Turner, was alive today, he would be furious at the conduct and lack of respect exhibited by the members of parliament.
Director Hartley Nathan gave an appropriate expression of thanks to the speakers.
Randy wrapped up the formalities by thanking the Society’s directors and administrator for their work in the success of the dinner.
We promised a fresh, updated website by Spring 2023 and thanks to our website angels at Ovate Marketing, Josh Paykarimah and Scott Moore, delivered. We went live on May 9th, the day before our dinner.
We wanted to create a secure site that was easy to navigate, interactive, and piqued the reader’s interest to learn more about Churchill and ICS Canada.
The infrastructure is in place and in time, we will be adding pages, including links of interest to other websites, private supporter pages etc.
Try out our Contact ICS Canada section on the site to give us your suggestions and feedback, which we strongly encourage, be it positive or negative or just to say hi:
Finest Hour Renewals and ICS Monthly Churchill Bulletin
Finest Hour magazines include an insert envelope which is geared to ICS US member renewals. Please disregard.
Over the past two years, we have been forwarding the monthly Churchill Bulletin, which originates in the US and UK. We are strong advocates of our supporters receiving these Churchill Bulletins and as most are already on the US distribution list, in an effort to reduce email duplication, we will no longer be sending them out.
With that in mind, we are creating a separate distribution list for those of you who are not on the US list and would like to continue to receive these bulletins from ICS. Please contact us and we will be happy to include you.
Although ICS Canada is associated with ICS USA, it is important to note, we are an independent and separate financial entity. Subscriptions and donations made either through the Finest Hour envelope insert, ICS (US) website and any link found on the monthly Churchill Bulletin, goes to the US.
ICS Canada does not, at the present time, have a reciprocal arrangement with regards to funds being transferred to ICS Canada from our supporters who inadvertently join, renew or donate though the US entity.
This past year, although several of our supporters have opted out of receiving the Finest Hour, they have expressed their desire to continue their affiliation with ICS Canada, exclusively as a donor.
We are pleased to extend that option to all our supporters and friends and will issue a tax receipt for the full amount based on a minimum donation of $50.
We depend on your donations and use the money to fund the annual bursaries and other Churchillian endeavours of the Society.
One of the primary commitments of ICS Canada has been to education. Annually, your Society awards bursaries to well deserved recipients, from the Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute (WCII) of Scarborough Ontario.
On June 27th, in recognition of their leadership, academic achievements and community service, ICSC Directors, Sheryl Mercer and Randy Barber will be awarding a $500 bursary to each of the students named below:
International Churchill Society Canada LBP Leadership Bursary: Kelease Walford-Gray
International Churchill Society Canada Churchill Leadership Bursary: Dahrini Shan
Winston Churchill’s Visits to Canada
1st part August 2nd to August 10th, 1941.
To Placentia Bay, Newfoundland (although at the time not actually part of Canada).
(Excerpts taken from “Atlantic Meeting” by H.V. Morton, published in 1943).
On August 2nd, 1941, H.V. Morton, a journalist and travel writer, arrived at the office of Brendan Bracken, the British Minister of Information. He was informed that he was one of two writers who had been invited to be part of an extraordinary event. Bracken stated “I regret that I can’t tell you where you are going or what you will see when you get there. I can only say that if you go you will see history in the making and be present at one of the great moments of the war…You will be at sea for two weeks. You will be for several days in or near a foreign country. I can tell you no more.”
As instructed, Morton boarded a train at Marylebone Station. He had determined that the train was travelling north and after some hours he noticed that the train was coming to a stop at a small country station; and “looking through a window I was richly rewarded. Winston Churchill was standing on the platform wearing a blue suit, a yachting cap and smoking a cigar. I heard some one calling my name. I went toward him and met Brendan Bracken, his auburn hair ruffled, his face beaming with delight. ‘Well you see who’s on the train? Good luck.”
The train crossed the Scottish border and Morton, frustrated at the lack of information, was at last told of their eventual destination. “We’re going to Newfoundland to meet the President of the United States. We are to cross the Atlantic in the Prince of Wales. While the President and the Prime Minister converse together, the three chiefs of Staff will meet with their opposite numbers on the American side. So now you can sleep in peace.”
Once on board the Prince of Wales, leaving Scapa Flow, the home base of the British Fleet, Morton surmised, “What a target we were – Winston Churchill and the Chiefs of Staff. We were undoubtedly the best target that Hitler had been offered. Could he sink us, could he send the loathed and detested Churchill to the bottom of the sea – what a shattering blow to the confidence of all nations still fighting to be free!”
Morton was introduced to Churchill. “We shook hands. He was enjoying himself enormously, loving every minute of it. His cigar was well alight, and he watched us with a humorous twinkle in his eye from under the peak of his yachting cap. ‘I hope we shall have an interesting and enjoyable voyage,’ he said, ‘and not one entirely without profit.”
Morton continued, “The great day had come at last. It was Saturday, the 9th of August. Placentia Bay is one of the largest anchorages in the New World…There was the cruiser Augusta with the President aboard. The First Sea Lord’s barge sped across the intervening strip of water. We watched Mr. Churchill mount the gangway of the Augusta; as his foot touched her deck, we heard a band play God Save the King, and we saw him standing at the salute…Mr. Churchill brought from his pocket a letter from the
King, which he handed to the President with a slight bow. All this was still and formal, then suddenly the group moved forward and there were smiles and handshakes. Soon Mr. Churchill had brought out his cigar case and was smoking a cigar while the President lit a cigarette…”
“On the following day, Sunday, August 10th, there was an Anglo-American church parade service in the Prince of Wales. It was an idea that Mr. Churchill had been turning over in his mind on the way across, and the President had gladly agreed to it and promised to attend…”
“Then the first of the hymns chosen by Mr. Churchill went roaring out over the silent bay: O God our help in ages past. The British and Americans stood together in close ranks, their caps off, their heads bent over the hymn sheets.”
Morton spoke of the second of Churchill’s hymns, Onward Christian Soldiers. “Churchill was affected emotionally, as I knew he would be. His handkerchief stole from his pocket. What was he seeing, I wondered, for his mind embraces wide vistas…British sailors and Americans stood shoulder to shoulder, so alike most of them that they could have been brothers.”
Once the service was over, Morton wrote, “Mr. Roosevelt and his Chiefs of Staff were entertained to luncheon by Mr. Churchill in the wardroom of the Prince of Wales…after the President had departed Mr. Churchill spoke to the officers, ‘On this lovely day, the sun shining as it is on this beautiful harbour, surrounded as we are by American men of war, it is difficult for you and me to realize that we are fighting for our very lives.’”
Part 2 will be in News & Views #80.
We welcome your suggestions/comments - please e-mail,
Terry Reardon – email@example.com