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Polo, Churchill, and Charity Come to Santa Rosa, California Print E-mail
Sir Winston Churchill would have enjoyed the scene at the Wine Country Polo Club in Santa Rosa, where polo teams played a charity match Saturday.


THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, 8 October 2011—"My grandfather would have loved to be here, watching a sport he loved so much," said Celia Sandys, granddaughter of the British wartime leader and statesman.

Sandys, a Churchill historian and author, presented the trophy at the Winston S. Churchill and James S. Brady Courage Cup held at the club's Trione Field in Oakmont.

The event benefits a Bay Area horseback therapy program for children with autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders.

This year, it partnered with The Churchill Centre, a London-based nonprofit dedicated to the statesman's work. Churchill was an avid polo player, winning the All—India Cup with his regimental team in the late 1890s.

Churchill played with one arm strapped to his side because he'd injured his shoulder getting off a ship, Sandys said.

He continued playing until he was in his 50s.

The charity match has been held for the past 26 years at the polo fields in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It moved north this year when they weren't available, said Melba Meakin of Horses in California, the nonprofit that sponsors the match.

Santa Rosa philanthropist Henry Trione offered the Oakmont polo fields for free, she said.

"The horses like this field and the riders do too," Meakin said.

The event also pays tribute to James Brady, the former press secretary for President Ronald Reagan who was seriously wounded and permanently disabled in an assassination attempt on the president in 1981.

Brady is a supporter of equine therapy and agreed to lend his name to the match.

The Java Beach team from Menlo Polo Club won Saturday's match 7-4 over a team with players from the Santa Rosa and Sutter Buttes polo clubs.

Read more at the ©Press Democrat

Lady Soames Birthday Celebrated at Gala Party Aboard Ship in South of France Print E-mail

By D. Craig Horn

October 2011

To celebrate a birthday is to celebrate a life. Churchillians from around the world celebrated the birthday of Mary Soames, Winston Churchill's daughter, at Cannes, France, on September 15, 2011. Celia Sandys hosted a gala birthday party for Mary aboard ship during a spectacular tour to the South of France. Thirty Churchillians came together aboard the luxurious Seabourn Legend, September 9-16, for an incredible tour of many of the venues that Winston Churchill visited and painted. The tour was organized and produced by Celia Sandys and began in the port of Civitavecchia near Rome. The ship sailed to the intriguing Corsican village of Bonifacio and then on to ports across the Cote d'Azur, the French Riviera, Le Lavandou, Provence, Sanary-sur-Mer, Saint Raphael, Cannes and ended in spectacular Monte-Carlo, Monaco. In addition to Celia, we were joined by Allen Packwood and Minnie Churchill who gave interesting and insightful presentations along the way about Churchill, his adventures and his painting. One guest summarized the week as "one of the greatest weeks that I have ever had."

View more photos from the event here.

The onboard party included tour guests from Canada, England, France and the United States of America and who were joined by the ship's Captain Andrew Pedder to raise a glass of champagne, Pol Roger of course, in honor of Mary. One of the night's many highlights was a special birthday cake, hand-fashioned in chocolate by the ship's pastry chef, into a beautiful cigar caddy inside of which were individual cakes, each in the shape of a Churchill-sized cigar. A special toast for the occasion was offered by Alan Packwood, Director of The Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College in Cambridge, England.

Mary Paxson Resigns Her Position at The Churchill Centre Print E-mail

After nearly four years of dedicated service to The Churchill Centre, Mary Paxson will be leaving as our Director of Administration. Her last day was this past Friday June 10th. Mary has taken a new position with Harris Bank in Chicago as Project Analyst in their Community Affairs Department.

Mary's tireless commitment to the Centre will be dearly missed, but we of course wish her all the greatest success in her new position. Lee Pollock, TCC's Executive Director, noted "It has been a great pleasure working with Mary. The warmth and affection in which she is held by our members are testament to her dedication to our organization and the outstanding service she has provided."

In her letter of resignation, Mary said, "I would never have been considered for my new position if it were not for the three and a half years that I have spent at The Churchill Centre. The wealth of knowledge and many experiences will continue with me as I head into this next chapter of my life. Although I am blessed and excited to have been offered this opportunity, I am also very sad in my heart to leave TCC. "

Churchill Inspires Young Speakers Print E-mail
Youth to Practice Oratory Skills

Editor's Note: Kieran Wilson is currenlty the youngest member of The Churchill Centre. Since joining The Churchill Centre and having delivered a birthday toast to Lady Soames at the age of 11, Kieran, now 15, has continued to hone his own oratory skills while mentoring other youth. Kieran is currently in grade 10 at Esquimalt High School in Victoria B.C, Canada and is the new Youth and Education Chair of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island.

By Erin McCracken

OAK BAY NEWS, 7 April 2011 - At 15 years old, Kieran Wilson might be forgiven if he didn't know who Sir Winston Churchill was.


But he not only knows most everything about the Second World War era British prime minister, he models some of his public-speaking abilities after him. He also hopes to one day enter politics.


"Winston Churchill was definitely one of the great statesmen of the modern age," the Grade 10 Esquimalt High student said. "I think he's quite the role model."


The Fairfield resident believes youth can learn a lot from Churchill. That's the reason why, at age 11, he joined the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island and continues to be the international group's youngest member.


His passion for the great orator has prompted him to organize the first Impromptu Speaking Youth Competition on Saturday (April 9) in his role as chair of his society's youth and education committee.


Teens aged 14 to 17 from all schools were invited to participate, but won't be required to know about the late Brit. They will, however, be asked to speak for two to three minutes on two impromptu topics related to history, politics and life, looking through "Churchill-tainted glasses," Wilson said.


Letter to The Churchill Centre Print E-mail

I am very honored to have been selected as the recipient of the prestigious Blenheim Award. Looking at the blue-ribbon list of former honorees is a rather humbling experience and leaves one wondering - me? My years of involvement with the Centre have been both exciting and fulfilling, whether as a Governor or a Chapter Liaison, membership chairman or conference chairman.

From 27th International Churchill Conference 2011

Of course, one does not receive an award such as this by ones self, especially when managing conferences. The heart of a Churchill Centre conference is a team: Dan Myers, Mary Paxson and the chairman. I thank them and share with them the honor of the Blenheim Award.

Judy Kambestad


See all of the photos from the 27th International Churchill Conference here.


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