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Notes & Photos

Churchill Supports: 
Ontario Legislature Internship Programme (OLIP)

The Ontario Legislature Internship Programme (OLIP) brings eight recent graduates to Queen’s Park every year to work with backbench members of the Legislature. The non-partisan programme was established in 1975 by the Canadian Political Science Association and The Legislative Assembly of Ontario The Churchill Society invites the interns to our events.

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Churchill Supports: 
Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy

The Teachers Institute is a unique professional development opportunity that is open to teachers of social studies and related subjects, including political science, history, law, civics, or native studies, currently teaching from Kindergarten to Grade 12 (Primary cycle 1 to Secondary cycle 2 and CEGEP in Quebec). Each November, the program brings approximately 70 teachers from across the country together for an intensive, informative, unforgettable week on Parliament Hill.

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Sir Winston Churchill Memorial

 

Toronto, Canada 


In downtown Toronto, next to Toronto’s City Hall stands a magnificent memorial statue of Sir Winston Churchill. Donated to the City of Toronto by the late Harry Jackman in 1977, it is made from the original mould of a work by the eminent sculptor Oscar Nemon that stands in the Members Lobby in the British House of Commons. At the unveiling of the original statue, Oscar Nemon said: “I was trying to express an idea of impatience and hurry, of a man wanting to see something done.” Today, Members of Parliament from all of Britain’s political parties rub Sir Winston’s foot for luck in their parliamentary oratory. 


In 2002 members of the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy and our friends at the International Churchill Society, Canada began raising funds to improve the beauty and accessibility of this public space – and to improve its relevance for future generations. The City of Toronto was approached and they came to share the vision of what this memorial could be. New benches were added and the grounds were improved.


It was agreed there needed to be a reason for individuals to stop, something to draw their attention, and also a reason for school groups to visit on a field trip to Toronto City Hall. That is why four informational panels were created, each panel portraying a different dimension of Churchill’s life and achievements. In August 2016 a fifth plaque, commemorating the pivotal August 1941 meeting between Churchill and US President Franklin Roosevelt off the coast of Newfoundland, was added on the 75th anniversary of that event.

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Winston Churchill

1874 – 1965

 

His faith and leadership inspired free men to fight in every quarter of the globe for the triumph of justice and liberty. Presented to the City of Toronto by the Churchill Memorial Committee aided by the generosity of Henry R. Jackman, O.C., K.St.U., Q.C., October 23, 1977, David Crombie, Mayor, David P. Smith, President of City Council.

“I have nothing to offer but
blood,toil, tears and sweat.”

May 13, 1940

 

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Battle of Britain August 20, 1940 “He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.” President Kennedy April 9, 1963

We shall not flag or fail.

We shall go on to the end.

 

We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with the growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be,we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;we shall never surrender. Speech on Dunkirk, House of Commons June 4, 1940

Their generals advised
France’s divided cabinet:

“In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.”

 

“Some chicken! Some neck!”

Canadian House of Commons

December 30, 1941

The Atlantic Charter: A Creed for Today

 
The Unveiling of the Fifth Churchill Plaque 
Nathan Phillips Square, August 14, 2017
Address by Peter H. Russell

Ladies and Gentleman, Members of the Churchill Societies, Citizens of Toronto – and of the World

For it is an event of world importance that we recognize by gathering here today

76 years ago today on August 14, 1941 the two great leaders of the free world – Winston Spencer Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt – released to the world the document they had written together in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.

On the weekend of August 9, 10 and 11, Churchill and Roosevelt had held a summit meeting with their top military advisers on a flotilla of warships anchored just off Ship Harbour on the east side of Placentia Bay.

That meeting took place in total secrecy. For Roosevelt, President of a neutral nation deeply, divided about the War (bear in mind that this was 4 months before Pearl Harbor), secrecy was necessary for political reasons.

For both leaders, secrecy was also essential for security reasons. To get to Newfoundland they had to travel through the U-Boat infested waters of the North Atlantic, not to mention coming within range of Nazi aircraft. Roosevelt came up the New England coast on the Cruiser Augusta, the capital ship of the US Navy on the east coast, with her sister ship the Tuscasora. Churchill on the Prince of Wales, the Royal Navy’s capital ship, came all the way from Scappa Flow at the top of Scotland. The Prince of Wales outpaced her destroyer escorts and was on her own as she passed by Greenland, until two Canadian destroyers, the Assiniboine and the Restigouche, picked her up and escorted her to Newfoundland.

When we think of the extraordinary risks these leaders, sailors, and soldiers took and how much freedom in this world depended on an effective alliance of the two great democracies, we can appreciate why Roosevelt framed these lines of Longfellow as his parting gift to Churchill on an earlier occasion:

Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

At Placentia Bay, as the American and British commanders met on ships of the flotilla to plan the military alliance that would be so essential for defeating the Axis powers, Churchill and Roosevelt worked for three days on the Augusta, writing the Atlantic Charter. Churchill had hoped that the meeting would bring America immediately into the war. But for political reasons that was a non-starter for Roosevelt.

What Roosevelt needed, was a statement of why a war against the Axis powers was worth waging. He knew that in his day mobilizing men and women to fight a great war required a great cause – something that was badly lacking in the first Great War.

Churchill and Roosevelt, great wordsmiths that they were, aimed to define in clear and compelling language the kind of world they and the nations allied with them would be committed to building if victory over the enemies of freedom could be won.

And that is exactly what they gave us in the Atlantic Charter. Its eight propositions (and you can read them right here on this plaque) set out fundamental conditions for humanity’s well-being:

The first three have to do with freedom – political freedom- the freedom of all peoples to govern themselves and the duty of states to respect other countries’ territory

The next two, with economics – the need to respect the benefits of free and fair trade, to have high labour standards and improved living conditions for all people

The final three are about international security – a world open to the movement and communications of all humankind, and sustainable world peace with institutions to ensure our collective security

On the 1st of January, 1942, representatives of 26 nations meeting in London, England, adopted the Charter as their “United Nations Declaration” of allied war aims. This was, indeed, the first step towards the founding of the United Nations

Let those eight propositions – those few hundred words – that led to the founding of the United Nations seven decades ago serve today as our guide

Churchill referred to the Atlantic Charter as a star. When dark forces of authoritarianism and protectionism are gathering strength in the world we need the Charter, as we haven’t for many years, to be the star that illuminates principles that we wish to see flourish in the world, and for which we must summon the courage of Churchill and Roosevelt to stand up for so that humanity with all its fears and all its hopes for future years will go forward and not retreat into a dark abyss.