Bulletin #33 – Mar 2011
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If you have registered for the 27th International Churchill Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, but have NOT received a confirmation, please contact Mary Paxson as soon as possible so that she can make the necessary arrangements for you.
With only one week to go, we are still accepting Late Registrations. Please consider joining us! Follow this link for online conference registration.
The Churchill block of rooms at the Francis Marion Hotel is completely sold out, though there are a few rooms left at the regular rate. Unfortunately, Saturday night is now completely sold out.
We have sold all of the allotted tickets for the Hobcaw Barony & Low Country Boil and we have started a waiting list. Please contact Mary if you are interested in being placed on the waiting list of visit the online registration page.
There are a few tickets left for the Middleton Plantation Tour and Lunch on Sunday 03-27-11 and for the Walking Tour of Old Charleston on Sunday 03-27-11. Please let us know if you would like tickets for one of these events. You can also purchase tickets online here.
There will be no refunds given after March 15, 2011.
For Late Registration or any questions pertaining to the conference, please contact:
Director of Administration
1-888-WSC-1874 or 1-312-658-6088
The items on exhibit are to include letters of correspondence between Sir Winston Churchill and General Mark Clark, who knew Churchill during WWII. After retiring from the Army, Clark served from 1954 to 1966 as president of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in Charleston.
Also on display will be autographed copies of Churchill’s book “A History of the English Speaking Peoples” that General Clark received from Lord Mountbatten on behalf of Churchill.
The exhibit will run at least through the end of the 27th International Churchill Conference and all conference attendees are invited to visit.
The display will be in The Daniel Library, which is located at 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, SC 29464. Tel: 843-953-2569.
By Suzanne Sigman
Professor John H. Maurer serves as the Chair of the Strategy and Policy Department at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and is an academic adviser to The Churchill Centre. Since 1995 he has offered a popular elective course—”Winston Churchill: Statesman and War Leader”—during the College’s winter term. Examining Churchill as a strategic leader provides an opportunity to explore a wide range of topics in strategy and policy: civil-military relations, transformation, the politics of war in democracies, the strategic international environment, the effectiveness of different instruments of war, and ethics in wartime.
A close examination of Churchill’s strategic decision making, for example, is an exercise in critical analysis, assessing alternative courses of action in strategy and policy. Churchill’s speeches and writings, too, provide an unparalleled example of the power of what is today called strategic communication to shape outcomes in the world of action. The course considers the driving forces—that is, changes in domestic politics, economy, society, technology, the international strategic environment, and military capabilities—that undermined Britain’s standing as a superpower during the first half of the twentieth century, and how Churchill sought to stave off the decline of British power on the world stage. Another thread running through the course is an examination of the parallels between Britain’s strategic predicament in Churchill’s lifetime and the driving forces shaping today’s world, along with the security challenges that confront the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The students taking the course are drawn from all of the United States armed services, the State Department, and national security professionals, as well as officers from partner countries. One student, an officer in the Air Force, took away from the course the insight that “the great strength of democracy is that leaders can be held accountable for their actions . . . and Churchill, although ambitious, held great reverence for the House of Commons and British democracy.” For Professor Maurer, working in the classroom with these seasoned professionals, veterans who have served in the hard-fought campaigns of the terror war, is a great honor. “I work with and learn from heroes,” he writes. The course on Churchill is thus an opportunity for leaders to learn and draw inspiration from the life of a great leader.
An exhibition on the life of Sir Winston Churchill, which features documents from the Churchill Archives Centre and from Chartwell is to be held in Madrid. The event is being staged by the Comunidad de Madrid at the Sala de Exposiciones Complejo “El Aguila” (C/Ramirez de Prado, 3) from 25 March until the beginning of June.
The exhibition is entitled “Walking with Destiny. Churchill and Spain: 1874-1965” and will be opened by Esperanza Aguirre, President of Madrid, in the presence of the great-grandson of Winston Churchill, Mr Jack Churchill on 25 March 2011.
Author C. Brian Kelly will be on hand at the 27th International Churchill Conference in Charleston, South Carolina to autograph copies of his new book. Look for him in the conference vendor’s area.
By C. Brian Kelly
One of the most famous speeches in history can be traced in large part to a scribbled note from a U.S. president to a former prime minister of England. “Dear Winnie,” Harry S. Truman scribbled on the bottom of an acquaintance’s letter, “This is a fine old school out in my state. If you come and make a speech there, I’ll take you out and introduce you.” That suited Winston very well, and there he was, on the afternoon of an early March day in 1946, boarding a train to Missouri with Truman, various aides, and “the usual entourage of Secret Service men,” reported Margaret Truman.
Actually, it was Winston who first thought of traveling to America to impart some of his deepest thoughts. “I think I can be of some use over there; they will take things from me,” he told Lord Moran. Thus, in late 1945, it was announced that he would be visiting America. About that time, too, Frank Lewis “Bullet” McClure, president of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, was looking for an eminent speaker for the small Presbyterian school’s annual Green Foundation lecture, recalled Robert Pilpel in Churchill in America.
McClure told Westminster alumnus Brig. Gen. Harry Vaughan, a White House military aide, that the school would like to land Churchill as its speaker. In no time, McClure found himself at the White House closeted with Vaughan’s boss, Harry Truman, who then promised to forward the invitation to Chartwell “under aegis of the Presidential Seal,” Pilpel wrote. That was when Truman scribbled his “Dear Winnie” note of encouragement on the bottom of the letter.
“Thus the stage was set for what was to become ‘Fulton’s Finest hour,'” added Pilpel, also noting that Winston decided to make a holiday out of the speaking engagement as well. “I want sun, solitude, serenity, and something to eat, and perhaps something to drink,” he told Moran. “On January 14 , accordingly, he and Clementine arrived in New York aboard the Queen Elizabeth en route to the Miami Beach estate of…Colonel Frank Clark [a Canadian wood-pulp magnate].” After restful days painting, indulging in nonrationed foods for a change (eggs were a welcome novelty), and beginning to work on his speech, Winston turned up in Washington, ready for the sojourn to Truman’s homestate of Missouri.
The speech ahead would be serious, but for the moment it was a lighthearted, convivial group boarding the ten-car presidential special. “Dad assigned General Vaughan to keep Mr. Churchill liberally supplied with his favorite liquid refreshment,” Margaret Truman recounted. This decision prompted a Churchillian pronouncement on his drinking habit: “When the General delivered the first drink,” Margaret noted, “Mr. Churchill held it up to the light, and said, ‘When I was a young subaltern in the South African [Boer] war, the water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable we had to add whiskey. By diligent effort I learned to like it.”
As Winston soon found out, too, a hand or two of poker were in the offing for the long hours ahead on the overnight train. Margaret recounted: “Dad proposed to teach Mr. Churchill the intricacies of poker, about which he claimed to know nothing. He soon had the poker-playing Missourians doubled up with comments such as, ‘I think I’ll risk a few shillings on a pair of knaves.’ But their laughter dwindled as he displayed a startling knowledge of the game, plus some sly remarks that he had played something like it during the Boer War.”
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“Happy are the painters for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour…..will keep them company to the end, or almost to the end, of the day.” -Winston Churchill, 1921 December. (“Painting as a Pastime”, Strand Magazine; Thoughts, 220-21.)
The Churchill Centre has recently become aware of a large painting by Sir Winston Churchill, offered for sale for the first time in a number of years. Churchill’s paintings, especially in this size, infrequently come to market and the current owner has asked our assistance in finding a suitable buyer.
The seller has generously agreed to make a donation to The Churchill Centre if a member or friend purchases the painting, so we are reaching out to you for your assistance. The seller’s donation will be used to support The Churchill Centre’s important work in educating the world about the thoughts, words and deeds of Sir Winston Churchill and their relevance for today.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in acquiring this painting, please contact TCC’s Executive Director, Lee Pollock, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 658-6027 for more details.
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Dear Fellow Canadian Churchillians:
A very warm welcome is extended to the following new members:
Dr Charles Siegel and Mr Richard Betteridge.
Next Event – “An Evening With Sir Winston”
Albany Club of Toronto; Wednesday February 23rd, 6.30 pm, (sandwiches, snacks, coffee (not dinner); cost $45 p.p. (includes a drink ticket). Please send your cheque to Barrie Montague, 570 Letitia Court, Burlington, Ontario, L7N 2Y8.
In the last issue of this Newsletter we included information on the “First Summit” in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, which produced the “Atlantic Charter.”
With August 8th 2011 being the 70th anniversary of this historic meeting we are delighted to welcome Professor Peter Russell to address us on this major event. Peter is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Rhodes Scholar, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he taught political science from 1958 until his retirement in 1996. He is also a past chair of our sister society, the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy.
Peter is also a prolific author and he will have available for purchase, at a very modest charge of $10, a booklet he has prepared in conjunction with The Atlantic Charter Foundation, entitled “The First Summit and the Atlantic Charter.” Proceeds to the Foundation.
We will also show a film from Sir Martin Gilbert, entitled “To Conquer or Die”, which commences with Churchill taking over as Prime Minister, and his efforts to bring the United States into the war. It includes the Atlantic Charter meeting, and also excellent coverage of his visit to Ottawa in December 1941, with part of his “Some Chicken, Some Neck” speech, in our House of Commons.
The Evening also includes our AGM, which will be kept very short.
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By Terry Reardon
TORONTO, February 23, 2011 – Thirty-five members and guests of ICS Canada attended the AGM of the Society, which was included in an “Evening with Sir Winston,” at the historic Albany Club. During the business part of the event, Chairman Randy Barber welcomed a new Director, Geoffrey Pollock, and recounted the actions of the Board during the past year. These included making an application to Veterans Affairs Canada for a grant to assist R.H. Thomson in a Project of Remembrance, honouring the 68,000 Canadian servicemen and women who died in WW1. The names of the deceased were projected onto a building in the City of Ypres in Belgium and concurrently to 150 schools across Canada. The speaker for the evening was Professor Peter Russell who spoke on the “First Summit,” in August 1941, off the coast of Newfoundland. Peter explained that at the time Churchill thought the meeting a failure, as President Roosevelt would not commit to the United States entering the War. However it did take that a step further, and it resulted in the Atlantic Charter, which was the forerunner of the United Nations Charter.
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CHURCHILL SOCIETY OF CONNECTICUT
By Roger Deakin
Further to the news item which appeared in the November issue of Chartwell Bulletin, on November 29 a decision was taken to form a new Chapter of The Churchill Centre and Museum in Essex, Connecticut. With the encouragement of Joseph L Hern, Chairman of the New England Churchillians in Boston, who is sacrificing some of his territory, along with D. Craig Horn, the President of the Churchill Centre USA. This new chapter will encompass the entire state and will be known as the Churchill Society of Connecticut. More details will follow, but the next event for the new chapter is likely to be in the spring, likely in May.
Unrelated to the news above, but with reference to the same issue in November 2010 of Chartwell Bulletin, Roger Deakin has submitted a photograph of the plaque mentioned in the item about Michael Malley’s visit in South Africa to the site of Winston Churchill’s capture on November 15, 1899 during the Boer War. Shown in the background is the railway line, now electrified, where the armoured train was wrecked and in the foreground the plaque commemorating Churchill’s capture. These photographs were taken during a visit to South Africa in 2008.
Curtis Hooper has kindly agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds of each sale to The Churchill Centre and Museum. Click to find out more information on how to purchase your copy.