Dear Churchill Centre Members and Friends:
We are pleased to present this Annual Report issue of Chartwell Bulletin. We thank our members most sincerely for their past support, and trust that we will continue to earn it in the future. For those of you who are not members but who share our interest in Winston Churchill, we hope that this Report will stimulate you to join us in support of the Centre’s mission.
Following is a summary of just some of the Centre’s major activities in furthering our goal of educating new generations on the leadership, statesmanship, vision and courage of Winston Spencer Churchill.
- New Executive Directors & Organizational Structure: Lee Pollock, a dedicated Churchillian and member of our Board of Trustees has become Executive Director – U.S. Allen Packwood, who continues as Director of the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, has assumed the same position in the U.K. Lee and Allen are ideally suited to these responsibilities and are bringing new energy, outstanding professionalism and bold vision to The Churchill Centre on both sides of the ocean. In addition, we have added new members to the Board of Trustees of The Churchill Centre/UK (TCC-UK) and created an Executive Committee to coordinate its activities in conjunction with Allen. Under their guidance, TCC-UK will soon be at least as robust an organization as its American counterpart. We are also pleased to announce that Lord Marland has assumed the role of Chairman of the U.K. Executive Committee, which also includes Stephen Rubin and David Boler.
- Conferences: Our 27th International Churchill Conference, held in March in Charleston, SC was a tremendous success with over 200 attendees and an outstanding group of speakers, thanks to the organizational efforts of Craig Horn, Ken Childs, Judy Kambestad, Dan Myers and Mary Paxson. The Conference was held in conjunction with the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina, providing us with an excellent template for future collaboration with academia.
- The 28th International Churchill Conference will be held in London, this October 27-28, and Allen Packwood has assembled an internationally recognized and much acclaimed group of participants. Meanwhile, our Canadian colleagues are already planning the 29th annual conference in Toronto for October 2012, including a side trip to Ottawa, where Churchill spoke to the Canadian Parliament in December 1941.
- Communications: Since the redesign of our website (www.winstonchurchill.org) last year, it has been attracting significantly increased traffic with over 50,000 visitors and 192,000 pages viewed in just the last thirty days. The site now has over 1,000 pages of content, and is a major resource for students, scholars and the general public seeking to learn more about the Greatest Statesman of the 20th Century. Our member newsletter, Chartwell Bulletin, is now fully electronic and is recognized as the premier source of current news about Churchill and the Centre, while our flagship quarterly journal, Finest Hour, under the direction of its esteemed Editor Richard Langworth, continues to be recognized as the leading scholarly publication devoted to the life and times of Sir Winston. The Centre has also established a firm following through various forms of social media, including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Linked-In.
- Education: Together with the Churchill Archives Centre, we will co-sponsor a major show “Winston Churchill: The Power of Words” in the summer of 2012 at the prestigious Morgan Library in New York City. This exhibition will feature a large collection of important documents from the Archives and will be the centerpiece of a program of lectures, films and other events in New York and elsewhere, making June-September next year America’s “Churchill Summer.” In conjunction with this show, we will be organizing a “Churchill in New York” tour for members and friends who wish to view the exhibition.
- In 2010, we conducted another successful teacher institute in Cambridge and London with grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and we will be applying for similar grants in future. We also our continuing our series of educational programs for high school teachers around the country, and have at least one if not two special teacher training seminars planned around the Morgan exhibit in 2012. This summer, we will conduct a special Churchill Curriculum Development Workshop at which selected teachers, using materials created through our earlier programs and working with Archives Centre material, will develop curricula that will be available for a wide range of teachers in the future. Finally, this year, we will launch a new High School Research project that holds tremendous promise for extending knowledge of Churchill to an even larger audience of young people.
- Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny, the Churchill film documentary produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center has been shown in some twenty-five cities around the country, in some cases running for as much as three months. We have worked closely with the film’s producers in setting up showings and arranging for Churchill experts to introduce the film and entertain questions. To date, the film has been seen by over 20,000 people. It is an excellent educational tool for reaching new audiences and we continue to work with the producer to find new outlets for it. As a result of these efforts, the Wiesenthal Center presented its posthumously-awarded and prestigious Medal of Valor to Winston Churchill at a gala dinner in New York on March 28.
- Chapters and Membership: The Centre has a network of over thirty local chapters throughout North America, with a new chapters recently started in Essex, CT, and Montreal, PQ. With the assistance of our newest Trustee, Admiral Mike Franken (the first commander of the U.S.S. Winston S. Churchill), we have begun an effort to reach out to members of the U.S. military. We recently showed Walking With Destiny at the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command in Tampa, FL and anticipate additional efforts to introduce our service personnel to Winston Churchill and his legacy.
Saving the best for last, we are pleased to announce the beginning of a new initiative to create a Churchill Library and Centre at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. For well over two decades we have desired a physical presence for Churchill activities and studies, ideally in our nation’s capital, and believe that this is essential for our future development. We are working in collaboration with The George Washington University to create a repository for significant collections of books and other Churchill material to be donated by Centre members and friends. The Library and Centre will also include permanent and temporary exhibition space, an event center and ultimately an endowed Chair in Churchill Studies. We are working with the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, the Churchill War Rooms and Museum in London, Chartwell, and the Churchill Museum in Fulton, Mo., to make this bold initiative a reality.
Not entirely unrelated, we are also developing a Leadership Summit to be held in Washington, D.C., during the first quarter of 2012. This event will focus on the theme of “Fostering Collaboration and Understanding: Security and Democracy in the 21st Century” and will feature highly prominent speakers from academia, public affairs and business including a keynote address by a major American public figure. The prior evening we will host a gala award dinner to honor a very distinguished individual with our Winston Churchill 21st Century Leadership Award. More details will be announced as they are available.
We hope this Report has provided you with a useful overview of the Centre’s current activities and our plans for the future. We always value your feedback, opinions and suggestions and welcome your input. Our Executive Directors in both the U.S. and the U.K. will continue to communicate with members and friends on a regular basis during the year and please feel free to reach out to them at any time.
Thank you again for your trust and support.
Laurence S. Geller