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Laurence Geller's Remarks at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Gala Tribute Print E-mail

On March 28, 2011, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading international human rights organization, posthumously awarded its Medal of Valor to Sir Winston Churchill at a gala dinner in New York. The Chairman of The Churchill Centre's Board of Trustees, Laurence Geller, accepted the award on behalf of Sir Winston and the Churchill family and made the following remarks.

By Laurence Geller

On behalf of The Churchill Centre I would like to thank the Simon Wiesenthal Center for honoring Sir Winston Churchill with the Medal of Valor. Our mission simply is to ensure that the lessons learned from the life, times, deeds and actions of this bold, courageous, complex giant amongst men are never forgotten. Teaching the importance and relevance of these lessons, and their pertinence in our precarious and rapidly changing world, are what we at The Churchill Centre are passionately driven to do. Not only for today's generations, but for all generations of freedom loving people yet to come.


It seems to me that The Churchill Centre's mission, and that of the Simon Wiesenthal Center are so very similar and that together we must strive to ensure the horrors of the twentieth century are not only never repeated but, perhaps more importantly, the lessons learned from that traumatic and bloody century can guide us all not to repeat past tragic mistakes. Millions of the dead surely demand that of us?


Churchill was an unabashed supporter of the rights and destiny of the Jewish people, often to his personal detriment. Anti-Semitism, or perhaps, more correctly stated, Anti-Jewish sentiment, was rife throughout all too many levels of UK society and throughout the corridors of governmental power. Churchill certainly paid a political and popularity price for his support of Jews. However, from his support of the Balfour Declaration to the Foundation of the State of Israel, he never wavered in his beliefs.

The volatile, fragile and all too often terrifying times we live in today are sadly and all too real a mirror of those horrific years when Winston Churchill's boldness, courage and clarion call were for so many the sole beacon shining brightly as the lights of freedom were rapidly being extinguished throughout Europe. All in the name of perverted causes, ever evil totalitarianism and the inevitable, and always so glibly rationalized, accompanying genocide.


Churchill Fans to Gather in Charleston Print E-mail

By Robert Behre
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THE POST AND COURIER, Monday, March 21, 2011 - They won't all be smoking cigars and wearing top hats -- in fact, maybe none of them will -- but some of the nation's greatest Winston Churchill devotees will gather here this week to talk about his life and legacy.

Kenneth Childs, a Columbia lawyer who is co-chairing the conference, said the meeting is being held here not simply because Charleston is an attractive city with several good places to eat.


One of Churchill's best American friends was the Wall Street financier and statesman Bernard Baruch, who resided part time at Hobcaw Barony, a plantation property outside Georgetown.


Churchill visited Baruch's coastal home once, and Churchill also visited Camp Jackson -- now known as Fort Jackson -- outside Columbia at the beginning of World War II, Childs said.


There he witnessed a large-scale paratrooper exercise. "I had never seen 1,000 men leap into the air at once," Churchill later recalled.


Childs, a self-described history buff, said he admired Churchill's influential roles in leading Britain not simply in World War II but also World War I. Churchill was Prime Minister of Britain from 1940-1945, and is credited with rallying his nation early in the war while his nation stood alone against the Nazis. He also served again as Prime Minister from 1951-55.


"The most important thing to emphasize is this is just not an organization focused on one individual who has been dead for 45 years," Childs said. "It's an organization that's interested in international affairs, politics and statesmanship. Churchill was a remarkable statesman."


The conference is entitled "Churchill in the News," partly because it will feature rarely seen Movietone footage of Churchill's life and times -- footage that is part of the University of South Carolina's collection.

Judy Kambestad of California is coordinating the 27th International Churchill conference and expects 200 to 250 to attend, including MSNBC anchor and political commentator Chris Matthews.


Like Childs, Kambestad said she got involved with the Churchill Centre, a nonprofit organizing the conference, because of her admiration for Churchill.


"He was the one who basically defeated Hitler. I think most people realize that, but they don't know much else about him," she said.


Churchill was more than a politician but also an accomplished journalist and painter. He also was among the 20th centuries most quotable leaders.


"When 9/11 happened, we have a hotline and we were flooded with requests for Churchill quotes," Kambestad said. "Even the president called and wanted some Churchill quotes."


While Churchill lost power shortly after World War II, he gave a highly influential speech in which he warned an "iron curtain" had descended across Europe -- an early description of the tension that would become known as the Cold War. When he died in 1965, the Queen of England granted him a state funeral.


Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.


Read the entire article here at The Post and Courier




Churchill Painting for Sale Print E-mail

"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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (312) 658-6027 for more details.

For a full account of Churchill’s paintings, which are found in the Royal Academy, the Tate Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution, read "Churchill the Artist" in Finest Hour 100.

New Executive Directors for Churchill Centre U.S. and U.K. Print E-mail

In order to support its expanding worldwide activities, The Churchill Centre and Museum (TCC) has appointed new Executive Directors for the United States and the United Kingdom. Lee Pollock has undertaken responsibility for the U.S. and Allen Packwood for the U.K., both effective January 1, 2011.

Lee is a longstanding Churchillian based in Chicago and has been a member of The Churchill Centre Board of Trustees since 2009. "I'm extremely excited about the challenges that lie ahead. Churchill has so much to offer, even in the 21st century, and we're in the ideal position to bring him to a new generation of Churchillians," Pollock said. In conjunction with Mary Paxson, TCC's Director of Administration, Dan Myers, Chief Financial Officer, and John David Olsen, Director of Communications, Lee will focus on expanding the Centre's activities in the U.S., including membership development, education and programming.

Allen Packwood, who continues in his primary position as Director of the Churchill Archives Centre (CAC) at Churchill College, Cambridge, will support the Trustees and Executive Committee of TCC - U.K. in increasing the Centre's awareness and profile in the United Kingdom. Packwood, who has worked at the CAC for 15 years now, the most recent ten as Director, says, "I'm delighted to take on this new role with TCC. Churchill College is extremely supportive and feels this move will help expand awareness of Sir Winston and the Archives Centre, while also bringing the Churchill world closer together. I look forward to meeting new and old friends on both sides of the Atlantic".

Phil Reed, previously TCC's Executive Vice President, stepped down at year-end 2010 to focus on his primary responsibilities as Director of the Churchill Museum and War Rooms and more recently of HMS Belfast, docked on the Thames in London. Phil will continue to lend his knowledge and experience to actively support TCC's trans-Atlantic mission. Laurence Geller, Chairman of the Board to TCC remarked, "It's taken us two men and a team of horses to replace Phil Reed and we're really going to miss his day-to-day involvement. But naturally we wish him the best in his expanded role at the Imperial War Museum."
My Life as Churchill’s Bodyguard Print E-mail

THE ST HELENS REPORTER, 19 January 2011 -  He protected one of the most revered leaders in world history but barely spoke at word about for decades.


As a young Royal Marine at the very end of the war, Neville Bullock was detailed as part of Sir Winston Churchill's official bodyguard.


The role gave him a unique eye and ear on modern history.


He travelled with him to the famous Potsdam Conference in occupied Germany where Churchill, Russian leader Stalin and the American President Harry S. Truman to effectively carve up post-war Europe and Asia after the end of hostilities and decide what punishment to administer to their foe just nine weeks after victory.


Now, more than 65 years after his historic duties finished, pensioner Mr Bullock has received a surprise, but much treasured, honour.


Neville, a former Garswood parish and district councillor, has received the Churchill Centre and Cabinet War Rooms Museum's 2010 Somervell Award.


His essay, ‘Eyewitness to Potsdam' came to the attention of Awards Scheme chairman Lawrence S. Geller who was delighted to successfully nominate him.


This week Neville opened a package addressed to his home in Thornhill Road to find the surprise plaque prize.


The ever-modest octogenarian said he was "delighted and humbled" to have been singled out for recognition.


Mr Bullock, now a grandfather of two who finished his council duties for Billinge and Seneley Green ward in 2006 after eight years service, said: "The American members of the Churchill Society have presented me with this and I am very grateful.

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