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Bulletin #31 - Jan 2011
By Linda Metcalfe
- February 17 Thursday 5:00 PM Christopher Gaze Churchill and Shakespeare - Great men, Great words, Great Inspiration Evening with Churchill, Members Lounge
- May 24 Tuesday 5:00 PM Major General Sir Robert Corbett The Wicked Wit of Churchill Evening with Churchill, Members Lounge
- June 22 Wednesday 5:30 PM Dr. John Maurer Churchill and Leadership Annual Banquet, Members Lounge, and Grand Ballroom
- September 22 Thursday 5:00 PM Terri Anne Wilson Casablanca Evening with Churchill Members Lounge
- November 21 Monday 5:30 PM Paul Summerville Churchill and Social Justice Annual General Meeting, Members Lounge, and Grand Ballroom
For More Information:
The Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Spencer Churchill Society of British Columbia
Patron: The Lady Soames, L.G., D.B.E .
c/o PO Box 33074, West Vancouver, BC V7V 4W7
Phone (604) 290-0880
WASHINGTON SOCIETY FOR CHURCHILL
By Chris Sterling
Washington Society for Churchill members convened at Laura and Chris Harmon's home for a lovely selection of desserts and an informative talk and discussion about Churchill and Sidney Street-the infamous 2-3 January 1911 confrontation between anarchists and London police (and more than a few soldiers as well). Film and photos survive showing the well-dressed young Home Secretary observing events on the third, during the long shoot-out (in the East London area now known as Stepney) where two anarchists were killed. The face-off grew out of a botched anarchist bank robbery on Cutler Street on 16 December 1910-which London authorities have just marked with an historic bronze plaque.
Dr Harmon played some of that historical film as part of his talk on what took place that day 100 years ago-and why. And he highlighted the five decisions Churchill made concerning the event-to authorize the use of force, to go to the scene himself on January 3rd and to let the building burn despite fire department concerns, to re-arm London police as a matter of policy, and to harden his position on reform legislation concerning alien rights. For example, letting that Sidney Street building (from which the anarchists were shooting) burn out underlined tensions between fire and police authorities. Churchill backed the latter's concern for police lives. Ninety years later, on 9/11, fire and police authorities disagreed about using helicopters to land atop the World Trade towers in an attempt to rescue those trapped there. The functions of the two public services during crises often pull them in different directions.
This January 10th online article, "The Winners Code," is remindful of Churchill's remark, "I should think it was hardly possible to state the opposite of the truth with more precision."
No member of his family ever saw Churchill the worse for drink, although after 40 years of writing about him I did find one military staffer who helped Churchill and Eden on a wobbly walk back to the British Embassy in Teheran, after a late-night of mutual toasts with the Russians. Churchill himself liked to exaggerate his alcoholic capacity, giving rise to nonsensical myths.
The notion of him stumbling home drunk and wet, which I notice carries no attribution, is the invention of a fevered mind. It is a bowdlerization of an encounter between Churchill and a fellow Member of Parliament, related to me by the late Ronald Golding, the bodyguard present on that occasion:
Bessie Braddock MP: "Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk."
WSC: "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow
I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."
This world famous encounter occurred late one night in 1946, as Churchill was leaving the House of Commons. Lady Soames, who said her father was always gallant to ladies, doubted the story, but Mr. Golding explained that WSC was not drunk, just tired and unsteady, which perhaps caused him to fire the full arsenal.
Only later did I learn that he was probably relying on his photographic memory for this riposte: In the 1934 movie It's a Gift, W. C. Fields's character, when told he is drunk, responds, "Yeah, and you're crazy. But I'll be sober tomorrow and you'll be crazy the rest of your life." So the Bessie Braddock encounter was really Churchill editing W. C. Fields.
Richard M. Langworth, Editor
The Winners CodeBy George Chingarnde
Transformation - from what to what?
MMEGIONLINE.COM, 11 January 2011 - Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister during World War II. By all accounts, he was a remarkable man. However, he was a heavy drinker and his demeanor under the influence of alcohol was not always honorable. A story is told of how one evening Churchill stumbled into his office hopelessly inebriated with his trousers wet, his shirt half tucked in and his hair disheveled. His secretary noticed his condition and moved quickly to avert embarrassment. She went to him and pulled him aside and gave him a sharp rebuke. "Mr Prime Minister, you are drunk. I cannot allow you to go in there and meet the guests. It will diminish your standing in their eyes, and shame us all. A man of your status ought not to behave like this. You must get your act together, Mr Prime Minister, and deal with your drink problem," she chastised him.
PETERFRAMPTON.COM, January 2011 - Thank You Mr Churchill takes Peter Frampton back to the beginning. Literally.
"This album is very autobiographical. It starts with my birth, in which I thank Mr. Churchill for bringing my father back from the Second World War," says Frampton of his new set. "I woke up one morning and I wondered what would have happened if Winston Churchill hadn't been at the helm and the British and the Allies had not won. Would my dad have not come back? Would I be here? Probably not."
Mr Churchill is Frampton's first collection since his innovative Grammy-winning instrumental album, Fingerprints. "Since Fingerprints, it's been a very creative period for me," he says. "I wrote over 50 songs between Fingerprints and choosing what will be the 11 on the record. Awards aren't supposed to enhance one's creative juices, but they don't hurt. With the Grammy I feel validated as the musician that I always felt I've been."
Frampton, pairing primarily with Grammy-winning songwriter Gordon Kennedy, wrote all the songs on the album, revealing sides of himself never before seen. "Gordon is an incredible storyteller and that's why I think we work so well together," Frampton says. The song "Vaudeville Nanna and the Banjolele" is exemplary of that notion. "It's the story of how my grandmother gave me a banjolele when I was very young which started my entire musical journey. What I write has got be something I've experienced. The only way I can write, really, is from my heart. I think that's why this album is so important to me because I've tackled issues that I've never tackled before."
Recently, a note appeared in the Daily Telegraph critical of the restored gravestone of Sir Winston at Bladon. Randolph Churchill responded to the Daily Telegraph and we reprint that response here. The Churchill Society referred to by the Telegraph has no relation to the Churchill Centre or its affiliate Churchill Societies in Canada.
I refer to your article of 5 January entitled "Churchill Stone Vulgar". This is a complete travesty and Sir Winston's grave and the other family graves were repaired and the area around them was properly landscaped at the same time to ensure the whole setting befitted my great grandfather. Bladon Church kindly arranges to place fresh flowers on the grave and the whole area is regularly maintained. Our family does not recognise the organisation that have been in contact with you and the memory of Sir Winston and his achievements is upheld by the Churchill Centre, Churchill Museum at the Cabinet War Rooms, Churchill College Cambridge and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
Crockham Hill, Kent"
Teacher Genie Burke, from Greenhill School in Addison, TX, shared with fellow participants her classroom experience introducing Churchill. Genie and other participants communicate through our NEH Participant's Google Discussion Group. Many teachers developed lesson plans from their research at The Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.
I just wanted to let you all know that I did my lesson plan (a seminar on four of Churchill's post WWII speeches) today in my Cold War Politics classes. It was awesome to see the work come to life, but much more so to see how excited and involved the kids were. I guess my enthusiasm was infectious. I introduced the seminar and did the background lecture earlier in the week and ever since, I have called the students 'Young Churchillians' ...which they love;) Enclosed is a picture of one class.