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Inaugural Chapter Meeting Held in Ottawa


By Ronald I. Cohen

As I anticipated in the last Chartwell Bulletin, the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa (SWCSO) would be holding its inaugural meeting under the auspices of the British High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Dr. Andrew Pocock CMG , on November 30th. At that time, we hoped that the event would take place at Earnscliffe (the home of Canada’s first Prime Minister and the Residence of British High Commissioners to Canada since 1930). I say “hoped” because there had been a fire in the Residence on October 4th and it was unsure that Earnscliffe would be ready for guests by November 30th. In the end, it was ready and the SWCSO was privileged to be the first event in the refurbished Residence.

Not surprisingly, the event was oversubscribed. That said, the High Commissioner and his wife, Mrs. Julie Poccock, threw themselves into ensuring that the event would be a huge success, in every respect. The reception was elegant, energetic and enthusiastic. The choice of canapés served (including a Churchillian favourite, oysters on the half-shell, shucked to order) and the Pol Roger champagne were appropriate and delicious. The High Commissioner’s toast to the new Churchill Society was witty and heartfelt. Well-known columnist and professor Andrew Cohen gave a marvelous toast to the memory of Sir Winston. I said a few words about the goals of the Ottawa Society and, more important, had the privilege of introducing Allen Packwood, who gave a riveting address entitled “Why Bring Churchill Back to Canada”. Our speaker was thanked by Don Newman, one of the most highly-respected political journalists in Canada.

One of the advantages of Ottawa as the home of the new Society is the presence of Canada’s diplomatic and political elite in the nation’s capital. Indeed, we were graced by the presence of H.E. the Ambassador of the United States, David Jacobson, Senators Michael Duffy and Linda Frum, as well as Anne Golden, the Head of the Conference Board of Canada. We were also delighted that Lee Pollock, the Executive Director of the Churchill Centre in Chicago was able to join us for the event.

Allen was able to tell us about the forthcoming display in the Library of Parliament of pages from the “Some chicken! Some neck!” speech of December 30th, 1941, about which readers of the Chartwell Bulletin will hear more in coming issues.

Anyone interested in joining, or having more information about, the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa should e-mail [email protected] or telephone 613-298-7171.

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