When he wants to get mathematics done, IAS emeritus professor Pierre Deligne takes to his bed. A big cushion at his back, legs outstretched, reclining atop the covers, he is tucked in by a quilt of papers spread all around.
His office, meanwhile, serves as a staging ground of sorts. Conveniently located just off the mathematics library (all the better for research), it is furnished with a podium and a harvest table of a desk, also slathered in papers and more papers. “I have now too much disorder,” says Deligne. “I need to throw out half of this and file the other half.” But at the moment he can’t spare the time. He is preparing a talk for an upcoming Bourbaki Seminar in Paris.
Deligne, a boyish-looking 67-year-old, got his formative start in mathematics when a high school teacher lent him several volumes of Elements of Mathematics by Nicolas Bourbaki, the pseudonymous éminence grise of French mathematics. From there he never looked back.
He is best known for work he did nearly 40 years ago on the famous conjectures posed by André Weil, the de facto leader of Bourbaki, a secret society of French mathematicians that propagated a comprehensive overhaul and rigorous treatment of modern mathematics based on set theory. Deligne completed his Ph.D. at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiquesunder the legendary Alexander Grothendieck, a Bourbakist who transformed the subject of algebraic geometry. Grothendieck’s results paved the way for the proof of the Weil conjectures, with Deligne completing the proof for the last and most difficult of the conjectures in 1973.
But by some estimations, Deligne’s mentor was discontented or even unhappy with his proof. “Deligne’s proof didn’t make it look trivial,” says Brown’s David Mumford. “It was more spectacular and strange and came out of nowhere.” The two had contrasting styles, and as Mumford described together with Texas’ John Tate in a Science article when Deligne’s won the Fields Medal in 1978: “Deligne was able to use the extensive developments of Grothendieck as well as anyone, but his own ideas were often more concise, more particular. To contrast their styles metaphorically, one could say that Grothendieck liked to cross a valley by filling it in, Deligne by building a suspension bridge.”
For a more pop culture metaphor, Mumford likens Deligne to the ever-loveable Tintin, the iconic comic book adventurer and star of the latest Spielberg movie. Says Mumford, “Tintin is the delicate guy who is fastidious and possesses unerring skills and taste in how he does things.”
Deligne’s inimitable taste makes him outstanding in many of life’s dimensions.
He doesn’t own a car and bicycles everywhere, keeping his right pant leg perennially tucked into his sock. He has quite possibly never been seen in a suit, favoring instead well-worn sweaters in earth tones. In Princeton’s flash rainstorms he has been known to strip down to the waist to minimize the damage, though he does not take this strategy to the logical extreme.
Deligne loves nature and negotiated to buy the house right next to the Institute woods, even though it had been used for administrative space. In wintertime, he has taken to building an igloo in his backyard and spending a few nights sleeping outside. In summertime, he maintains a garden—potatoes, tomatoes, raspberries, gooseberries, leeks, basil, parsley, tarragon, chives. “Some things I like very much and I try but I am not successful,” he says. “I like very much artichoke, not so much to eat them but when they get overripe there is a bud and they open like a flower and they are beautiful. But the climate does not seem to be good for them. Every year I try. I find it very relaxing.”
He cultivates his mathematical labors with a similar perseverance and patience—picking what is ripe from his harvest table of possibilities.
“Some things are there, I have been working on for a very long time, some as long as 1985. There are five or six things in the back of my mind,” he says, noting that inevitably many things are at the “stuck” stage. “[W]hen I have something that’s unstuck me a little bit, then I will work on it.”
Broadly speaking, Deligne notes that the central subject he is interested in, one of the things he really cares about, can be encapsulated with the code word “motive.” As the standard dictionary definition suggests, a motive tries to get at what lies behind, the motivation, but more specifically and mathematically speaking it is the notion of a common theme linking parallel cohomology theories. “It’s the fact that there are a large number of very similar theories, that seem to tell the same story, but we cannot prove that, really,” Deligne explains. “So using analogies, we try to translate theorems or questions from one into the other, and in a few cases one can have some precise theory relating those parallel stories.”
On a more technical level, he elaborates by email: “Algebraic varieties, that is, spaces deﬁned using polynomials equations, have a number of cohomology theories (objects in algebra giving information about shape). The names of those theories don’t tell much (Betti, de Rham, crystalline, l-adic). They are parallel. Motives are largely conjectural, would give an overarching theory, are a useful heuristic, and in a few special cases have a precise deﬁnition, made useful by deep theorems, and have nice applications, such as to multi zeta values (numbers deﬁned as the sum of some speciﬁc inﬁnite series, ﬁrst investigated by L. Euler in the [sic] 1750).”
“The idea is that specific algebraic varieties are instantiations of some more abstract thing,” picks up Mumford. “That is, each motive can be instantiated by multiple varieties. That thing, that motive, would have for instance a kth Betti number which could be computed in any variety that embodied the motive as the dimension of its kth cohomology group, and [for which] it didn’t matter which of the cohomology theories was used. A definite link between two varieties embodying the same motive depends critically on an unproved conjecture, the Hodge conjecture, and so the theory of motives remains a dream.”
While the notion of “motive” originated with Grothendieck, the concept of “1-motives” is one of Deligne’s contributions to the theory.
“What is a 1-motive?” Tate asks himself, reiterating what turns out to be a question difficult to answer using non-mathematical language.
“The first non-trivial level of any motive has this shape, this interpretation, or can be thought of as a 1-motive,” he says. “A 1-motive is a precisely defined, not at all conjectural type of mathematical object (a homomorphism of a free abelian group into a semi-abelian variety), which represents motives of level 1, or the part of dimension ≤ 1 of any motive.”
“This notion has turned out to be extremely useful in many situations,” he adds, “but seems impossible to describe in less technical language.”
The quality that makes Deligne stand apart as a mathematician is also difficult to describe.
“He just does it better,” says Tate. “He’s the greatest, one of the greatest ever. He understands mathematics at a deeper level than most of us. This enables him to have a masterful grasp of very difficult techniques, but besides that he is very original and creative. He’s the whole ball of wax.”
And Jean-Pierre Serre, an early influence on Deligne during his time at IHES, concurs. “The very simple answer is he’s better.”
He is sharp. He goes directly to the point. He has one of the very best minds.
At somewhat of a loss to be more specific, Serre instead offers illumination by counter-example.
“Maybe I tell you some little defects he has when he gives lectures,” he says. “When he gives lectures, he writes extremely small and he speaks so low that it is really hard to understand. And he does not stress anything. He’s not making propaganda for what he’s doing. He’s just telling it.” Serre recalls an international meeting in the 1970s when Deligne was delivering a series of lectures. The audience, desperate to follow along, wrote beneath one of the shifting blackboards during the intermission: “Write Larger and Speak Louder!” After revealing these instructions, Deligne, ever THE anti-showman, obeyed for about two minutes and then returned to his understated status quo.
Deligne’s search for understanding is driven by his insatiable curiosity, almost to a fault (to point out another so-called defect). For example, he voluntarily retired several years early so as to reduce his faculty responsibilities, since in reading applications of prospective members for the School of Mathematics he was forever tempted to try out the applicants’ proposed lines of investigation and thus forever distracted from his own research.
He is also known for understanding things very thoroughly. So much so that when his children had trouble with their homework and sought his help, they had to plead with him—”Please, Daddy, just give us one way!”—lest he explore every possible way of making sense of things. Similarly, he gained a reputation for the extensive notes he complied for his own erudition on various subjects, which colleagues always wanted to obtain, and which he was always happy to share.
“He’s nice, sweet, and super-duper self-actualized,” comments one of his Institute colleagues, theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed. And even though Deligne is a bit of a solitary character, Arkani-Hamed lauds his willingness to have his brain picked, though the prospect of picking Deligne’s eminent intellect has on occasion seemed intimidating enough to make even a seasoned and reputable mathematician shake in his shoes. But for no reason, says Arkani-Hamed. “There’s no complex layer of façade to get through. He is what he is, and it’s pure.”
“For me he is maybe the best mathematician living at the moment,” concludes Serre. “One could give other names, but then I would say, ‘Well after all I prefer Deligne.’ And I’m certainly not the only one to think that.”
Ennobled as a Viscount in 2006, Deligne designed his own coat of arms. The prominently placed trio of hens was inspired by a nursery rhyme, which by Deligne’s grownup interpretation proceeds as a succession of tautologies. Mathematical discourse, he argues, proceeds in a similar fashion.
|Quand trois poules vont aux champs,|
La première va devant,
La deuxième suit la première,
La troisième est la dernière.
Quand trois poules vont aux champs,
La première va devant.
|As three hens head for the fields,|
The first one leads,
The second follows the first,
The third one is last.
As three hens head for the fields,
The first one leads.
Bulletin #48 – Jun 2012
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“Churchill: The Power of Words” Opens at the Morgan Library in New York
Successes in Rhetoric: Language in the Life of Winston Churchill
A long-anticipated new exhibit “Churchill: The Power of Words” opened at New York’s famed Morgan Library June 8, 2012. Curated by Churchill Archives Centre Director Allen Packwood, the exhibit includes a wide range of rarely-seen drafts, speaking notes and correspondence as well as recordings from some of Churchill’s most compelling speeches and broadcasts. Highlight of the show is Churchill’s original certificate of American citizenship signed by Pres. John F. Kennedy in 1963.
The exhibition opened to wide acclaim, including this review by the New York Times:
THE NEW YORK TIMES, 8 June 2012—EXHIBITION REVIEW. The orotund proclamations will be unavoidable at the new exhibition “Churchill: The Power of Words,” at the Morgan Library & Museum, because at the center of the gallery is a semi-enclosed theater. And from it, however muted, will emerge recordings of Winston Churchill’s voice, speaking to Parliament, to British radio listeners and to American audiences, breaking on the ear like waves, rising and falling with every breath, sometimes suspended unexpectedly in midair, other times rushing forward with renewed vigor.
Cable to Churchill after D-Day. ©Churchill Archives Centre.
If you enter that small theater to hear excerpts from eight of his landmark speeches more clearly, you will also see the words on screen, laid out in poetic scansion (“The whole fury and might of the enemy/must very soon be turned on us”), just as Churchill wrote them, to match the rhythms of his voice.
But ignore the sound, if you can, and leave it for last. For it is best first to be reminded just how important those speeches by a British prime minister really were, and what difference they made.
This isn’t a history exhibition, so you won’t be able to take their full measure; you won’t fully grasp how washed up Churchill’s political career was in the mid-1930s; how few in England were prepared to recognize what was taking place in Germany; how few were also prepared to think the unthinkable about war, scarcely 20 years after the continent was so stained in blood; and how visionary Churchill was, in knowing what would happen and in understanding what price would be paid.
So you won’t really be able to understand that there was a period — between Germany’s beginning to bomb England in 1940 (killing more than 40,000) and the United States’ entrance to the war at the end of 1941 — when England might well have fallen or made generous accommodation to German demands, had Churchill not been a master of words and ideas, rallying his “great island nation” as prime minister with promises of blood, toil, tears and sweat.
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“Havengore” among the Flotilla for Queen’s Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames
The ship of Churchill’s last voyage, brimming with royals, will take to London’s waterway for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
“Havengore” on the Thames.
THE AUSTRALIAN, 3 June 2012—Retired Sydney businessman Owen Palmer is among a select gathering on the prestigious 26-metre Havengore, along with Prince Andrew and his daughters princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, London Mayor Boris Johnson and former British prime minister John Major.
Best known as the craft which carried the coffin of Winston Churchill along the Thames for his 1965 state funeral, the twin-engined ex-survey ship was also used in the Queen’s 1977 Silver Jubilee river pageant.
“After being watched by 350 million people worldwide for Winston Churchill’s funeral, which was such a big event for the time, this (pageant) will be equally the biggest single public event (for the Havengore),” Mr Palmer said.
Built in 1956 and following a high-profile role, the ship was left to rot until Mr Palmer bought it in 1994.
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Churchill’s Great-Grandson Honours Debate Winners in Calgary
Randolph Churchill on hand to present Calgary Herald Shield Trophy.
By Bill Brooks
THE CALGARY HERALD, 1 June 2012—The 46th Annual Memorial Banquet of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Calgary featured none other than Randolph Churchill, great-grandson of the legendary Sir Winston, as the keynote speaker.
Randolph Churchill with Vera Swanson.The Calgary society was established to remember one of history’s greatest people, but also to promote high school students’ “facility in the use of the spoken and written word emphasizing oratorical and communication skills as exemplified by the debates, speeches and writings of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill and in so doing commemorate his leadership and achievement.”
The society sponsors high school debates with the winners attending the annual black-tie banquet. This year’s winners of the debate in the senior-high beginner category and the winner of the Calgary Herald Shield Trophy were Paul Hong and Conrad Lowe from William Aberhart High School. Senior-high advanced category winners and winners of the Calgary Herald trophy were Vasanth Ranganathan and Shahriar Shams-Ansari from, aptly enough, Sir Winston Churchill High School. Winner of the top speaker award and the prestigious Bredin Cup was Ranganathan, for the second year in a row.
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Inside the Imperial War Museum
The Churchill War Rooms are to be featured in latest series of “Museum Secrets,” airing on UKTV this month.
Museum Director Phil Reed on a tour of the Churchill War Rooms.
The Yesterday Channel on UKTV in England will be airing Museum Secrets Season 2 for the first time this summer.
Starting on June 22, 2012, Yesterday will broadcast Museum Secrets on Fridays at 9 PM for eight weeks.
The Imperial War Museum tells the story of Britain at war, from World War One to the present, through a collection of 10 million items – from guns to planes to medals to cyanide pills – at five locations in England visited by over 2 million people every year.
Find out more on the series and watch a video clip here.
In Episode Two, we descend into Churchill’s top-secret underground bunker to discover why he was an irreplaceable leader. We find out how a London housewife became a spy who withstood horrific Nazi torture to protect a vital secret, then we take cover in a World War One trench as we reveal the story of a Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose discovery turned the tide of the war. We meet an aging cold warrior who exposes dark truths about atomic weapons hidden from the British people for 50 years, then fly above Iraq with British top guns to discover how to stay frosty when enemy missiles lock on. And finally we follow a team of military researchers as they close in on the holy grail of camouflage: how to make a soldier invisible.
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Emma Soames in The Telegraph: As Churchills We’re Proud to do Our Duty
On Jubilee weekend Emma Soames reflects on the links between her family and the Crown.
By Emma Soames
Sir Winston Churchill welcomes the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to 10 Downing Street for dinner in April 1955 Photo: PA
THE TELEGRAPH, 1 June 2012—As the young Queen Elizabeth stepped off the plane bearing her back from Kenya on the death of her father in February 1952, waiting at the bottom of the steps was my grandfather, Winston Churchill, the first of 12 prime ministers to serve under Her Majesty across the next 60 years. My family’s path has crossed with that of the Royal family many times since then, but at no time before or since has that relationship been so significant.
The scratchy television footage of that dark morning is loaded with emotion. It doesn’t just illustrate the wheels of the British constitution working smoothly as a government turns out to greet a new sovereign less than 24 hours after the death of her father, but also a prime minister in his eighties doing obeisance to his new monarch, who is a slip of a young woman, pale and determined, with a new and unprecedented burden of responsibility on her black clad shoulders.
Churchill was really deeply upset over the death of King George VI, with whom he had shared so much during the War years. Miss Portal, one of his secretaries, travelled with him to Heathrow to greet his new sovereign. “He was going to broadcast that afternoon. On the way down he dictated. He was in a flood of tears,” she told biographer Martin Gilbert.
No doubt many of his listeners were equally moved when he spoke of King George VI on the radio the following day, ending his eulogy: “I, whose youth was passed in the august, unchallenged and tranquil glories of the Victorian era, may well feel a thrill in invoking, once more, the prayer and the anthem God Save the Queen.” The following day he addressed the House of Commons: “A fair and youthful figure, Princess, wife and mother, is the heir to all our traditions and glories never greater in peacetime than now.”
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The Second Annual Churchill Symposium
Join us at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans – July 14, 2012.
Churchill the Wartime Feminist
Historian Andrew Roberts considers Churchill’s feminist views on the occasion of the publication of “Women in War.”
By Andrew Roberts
In the battle of the sexes, Winston Churchill is often thought of as a male chauvinist pig due to his stalwart opposition to Votes for Women while Home Secretary in the Edwardian period. His public meetings were interrupted by suffragettes and a supporter of female enfranchisement even attacked him with a whip on a train. Despite his having voted for female enfranchisement in 1917, his reputation is sullied.
Yet a well-researched, well-written and fascinating new book, ‘Women in War: From the Home Front to the Front Line’, edited by Celia Lee and Paul Edward Strong, shows how by the time of the Second World War, Churchill had embraced sexual equality with fervour. Lee and Strong, who run a Women in War group in the British Commission for Military History, have identified a series of areas in which Churchill personally promoted the concept of women undertaking tasks that had hitherto solely been done by men, thus freeing up British males for frontline combat.
Follow this link for a short excerpt of Women in War, by Celia Lee and Paul Edward Strong.
The first ever female regiment to be formed in the British Army was the 93rd Searchlight Regiment of the Royal Artillery. Searchlights were crucial in wartime; often located on the beaches they spotlit German bombers so that the men operating the guns could shoot them down before they dropped their lethal loads on British towns. From 1935, a plan had been approved that nearly 100 searchlight companies would be required, comprising 2,334 lights, 3,000 Lewis guns, 464 three-inch guns and 43,500 men.
As Major Imogen Corrigan points out in ‘Women in War’, women were not initially allowed to take part in operating searchlights. It took Churchill to be far sighted enough to give his approval in September 1941 for the women to go into action. The use of the female regiment was the brainchild of Major-General Sir Frederick Pile, who later wrote: ‘The girls lived like men, fought their lights like men and, alas, some of them died like men.’
General Pile remained as Commander-in-Chief from 1939 until the work of AA Command and Britain’s air defence requirements could finally be closed down in April 1945. Defence writer Georgina Natzio points out how Pile was unusual during the Second World War for his endurance and staying power, assisted by the fact that he and Churchill shared a highly creative and questing outlook in the way they looked at war-related, social and technical matters. It is clear from Pile’s memoir, Ack-Ack, that they understood each other as individuals. Even though Pile was not popular amongst his contemporaries, Churchill – who had more than once known that problem himself – had the wisdom not to move him, because he recognised that Pile was a gifted leader who had welded together a strong sense of identity and purpose among the thousands who served in AA Command.
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New Churchill War Rooms Entrance will Reference Military Hardware, Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore
New entrance to be unveiled at The Churchill War Rooms.
Entrance to the Churchill War Rooms under HM’s Treasury Building.
CULTURE 24, 25 May 2012—The entrance to the Churchill War Rooms has for years mirrored its wartime role as a discreet, secret underground location where Winston Churchill and his cabinet conducted the business of war safe from the London Blitz and the terror of Hitler’s flying V bombs.
Now a new bold edifice designed by London-based architects Clash Associates is about to be unveiled that the Imperial War Museum hopes will act as a “beacon, highlighting the museum’s unique role in the nation’s history.”
The new entrance, made of burnished bronze and Portland stone, promises to complement the listed Whitehall buildings that surround it whilst referencing the bulldog spirit of Churchill, the military hardware of World War Two and the bronze sculptures of Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore.
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The Churchill Centre Presents 2012 Leadership Award to Fred Malek
The Churchill Centre honors a distinguished American and holds most successful fundraising event in its history.
Fred Malek is presented with the award by last year’s recipient J.W. Marriott.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2012—The Churchill Centre presented its 2012 Leadership Award to distinguished American civic and business leader Fred Malek at a gala dinner and award ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. on April 30, 2012. Mr. Malek, who was recognized for his forty years of service as an advisor to four United States Presidents and his leadership in private industry received the award from J. W. Marriott, Jr., a previous recipient, a Churchill Centre Trustee and Chairman of Marriott International, Inc.
Over 400 Churchillians from across the United States as well as leaders from the public, private and institutional sectors in Washington attended the dinner, the largest and most successful in TCC history. Proceeds supported the Centre’s educational activities and the new National Churchill Library and Centre to be created on the campus of the George Washington University.
Follow this link for more photos from the event.
Co-Chairs for the evening were TCC Chairman Laurence S. Geller CBE, Jane Harman, longtime member of Congress and President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and Catherine B. Reynolds, Chair of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. The host committee included Sens. Trent Lott, Tom Daschle, William Cohen and Norm Coleman, Cong. John Dingell, Gens. Brent Scowcroft, Jim Jones and David Petraeus and Secys. Frank Carlucci and Elaine Chao. Noted journalist Chris Matthews served as Master of Ceremonies.
Dinner speakers included Gen. David Petraeus, Randolph Churchill, Katty Kay, BBC Washington bureau chief, and Dr. Steven Knapp, President of George Washington University. Other distinguished attendees included Lt. Gen. Frank Kearney, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Philip Barton, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United Kingdom, Petr Gandalovic, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Edwina Sandys and Paul Tetraeult, President of the Ford’s Theater Society. Also enjoying the evening were Cong. Mac Thornberry, Sen. Roy Blunt, GWU Provost Steven Lerman and President Emeritus Steven Trachtenberg.
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Lee Pollock Previews New National Churchill Library and Center for Chicago Churchillians
Churchill Centre Executive Director reveals renderings for new Churchill Library and Center.
By Lee Pollock, Phil and Sue Larson
From left: Jill Pollock; Lee Pollock, TCC Executive Director; Phil and Sue Larson, Co-Presidents, Churchill Centre Chicagoland; Dan Myers, TCC COOChicago area Churchillians gathered for brunch at the Mon Ami Gabi restaurant in Oak Brook, Illinois in early June to hear Churchill Centre (TCC) Executive Director Lee Pollock provide an exclusive preview of plans for the new National Churchill Library and Center to be created on the campus of George Washington University in the heart of Washington, D.C. The group of some fifty local members and supporters, including TCC Chicagoland Co-Presidents Phil and Sue Larson, were given the opportunity to review preliminary architectural renderings and site plans for the new Library and Center as well as discuss the various components of the project which include an endowed professorship in GW’s history department, a comprehensive collection of books and other material by and about Churchill, an endowed Curator/Director position and an exhibit gallery employing state-of-the art digital technology to present Churchill’s story to a wide range of visitors. A recently completed video on the new facility, including interviews with TCC Board Chair, Laurence Geller CBE, Randolph Churchill, and GW President Dr. Steven Knapp, was also presented.
In addition to local members, the guests included five Rickover Military Academy cadets along with Rickover Superintendent Michael Biela and Social Studies teacher Leanne Dumais. The Rickover attendees included the recent winner of the Churchill speaking competition held at Chicago’s Rickover Naval Academy high school and the 2011 Churchill Essay winner. Longtime member Joe Troiani generously hosted 16 guests for the event.
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Chartwell Branch News – June 2012
Click on the link below to see the Chartwell Branch News for June 2012
Canadians Fêted at Banquet in Edmonton
The 48th Annual Memorial Banquet of the The Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Spencer Churchill Society of Edmonton.
At 19:30 sharp, on Monday, 7 May 2012, a trumpet fanfare was followed by the bagpipes leading the President, Roger Hodkinson and Mr. Randolph Churchill between a guard of honour comprised of Royal Canadian Air Cadets, 570 Sir Winston Churchill Squadron under the command of Captain David Goldingay up to the head table. This ceremonial entrance signalled the beginning of the Right Honourable Sir Winston Spencer Churchill Society of Edmonton’s 48th Annual Memorial Banquet.
On the terrace of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Catherine and Randolph Churchill discuss the letters Sir Winston Churchill wrote to his wife while staying at the Macdonald Hotel in 1929 with John Warnke, a Churchill Society member.The sold-out dinner of over 200 filled the Empire Ballroom to capacity. The glistening medals and honours on formal attire and military uniform matched the elegantly refurbished ballroom dating from 1915. The first Churchill Society in the world was back home where it had begun in 1965. The “homecoming” was akin to the prodigal son’s return after having abandoned the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald for close to thirty years.
Earlier in the day the Board of Directors of the Society had welcomed Randolph and Catherine Churchill on the Terrace of the Hotel Macdonald by recalling letters Sir Winston Churchill had written to his wife Clementine during his visit to Edmonton and his stay at the Hotel Macdonald in 1929. His words were most complimentary to the City and to Canada in general.
After this brief revisit of the long history Edmonton has had with Sir Winston Churchill, the Board walked over to Churchill Square, the focal point of downtown life in Edmonton with the City Hall, Law Courts, Alberta Art Gallery, Winspear Centre where the Edmonton symphony orchestra holds concerts, Citadel Theatre, Stanley A. Milner Library, and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and legal offices all surrounding this central meeting place. Amongst this bustling focus of city life, stands the statute of Sir Winston Churchill, sculpted by Oscar Neman and unveiled in 1989 and rededicated in 2004 on both occasions by the patron the Edmonton Churchill Society, Lady Mary Soames. In brilliant sunshine and before this grand statue which rivals a similar statue located outside the British Parliament Buildings, City of Edmonton Deputy Mayor, Jane Batty, officially proclaimed Monday, 7 May to be Sir Winston Churchill Day in Edmonton in honour of Sir Winston himself and the visit to the city by his great grandson, Randolph Churchill. Randolph and Catherine Churchill received the beautifully framed proclamation as a gift from the City of Edmonton.
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Semi-Annual Churchill Society Dinner Held in Grosse Point, Michigan
Professor Warren Kimball speaks on “Churchill and Roosevelt.”
By Dick Marsh & Robert Pettengill
GROSSE POINT MICHIGAN, 9 May 2012—The Winston Churchill Society of Michigan met last month at “The Little Club” on the shores of Lake St. Clair.
The Little ClubA record 92 people were in attendance for the event, including five new members, and guests.
Grosse Point was chosen this year as it is the tradition of the Society to rotate it’s meetings around the three corners of the Michigan triangle; Ann Arbor to the West, Bloomfield to the Northwest, and Grosse Point to the East.
Society President Dick Marsh first introduced Lee Pollock, Executive Director of the Churchill Centre, then Warren Kimball as the featured speaker for the evening.
Lee began the evening’s proceedings by speaking about The Churchill Centre’s exciting new initiative to create a library, education center, and exhibition space at The George Washington Library in Washington, D.C.
Well known to most members for his role as academic advisor to The Churchill Centre and as a senior editor of Finest Hour, Mr. Kimball is Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. He is the leading expert on Roosevelt and Churchill’s alliance during World War II and has written several books including his three volume work Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence and, Forged in War: Roosevelt and Churchill.
Professor Kimball spoken on the many complexities of the wartime relationship, with subtexts of the changing world power structure; the United States clearly in the ascendency, the declining British Empire, and although not obvious at that time, the eventual rise of the Soviet Union.
Kimball then discussed the geopolitical situation in post-war Europe. In assessing blame for the Soviet Union’s occupation and oppression of Eastern Europe, Professor Kimball emphasized that first on Churchill’s mind during the war years was defeating Germany and maintaining The Grand Alliance, which made it possible.
The way in which Poland was treated became the touchstone for post war relationships. At Yalta, all Churchill and Roosevelt could do was to ask Stalin for concessions to make the settlement more palatable to their constituents back at home, knowing that it was questionable whether Stalin would ever implement them.
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Churchill Centre UK Notice Board
The Churchill Centre United Kingdom publishes the news for May 2012.
By Paul Courtenay
The Palace of Westminster on the bank of the River Thames
Debate at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS)
RMAS holds debates two or three times a year, when two opposing teams, each of three officer cadets, discuss a topic of interest. On Tuesday 26th June a debate will be held on a Churchill-centric theme, and TCC-UK members are invited to attend (and will be allowed to speak from the floor if they wish). The programme will be:
• 5.00 pm short guided tour if requested
• 6.30 pm (free) drinks
• 7.20 pm debate
• 8.30 pm curry supper with officer cadets and staff if required.
Attendance is free, but the charge for those wanting a tour will be £10 and for those wanting supper will be £15. For security and catering reasons RMAS will require us to submit the names of those attending in good time, so it will be essential for members to respond without delay.
Anyone wishing to attend is asked to contact the Editor (see below) by 2nd JUNE and to request full details and an application form, which must be returned by 15th JUNE AT THE LATEST .
A TCC-UK reception will take place at the House of Commons on Thursday 6th September; full details will be circulated in due course.
Two long-awaited and important new editions of WSC books, edited by Jim Muller, are on course to be published in 2012: Great Contemporaries (1937) in late June; The River War (1899) in December. Member’s will be notified of instructions on how to order in due course.
Despite numerous warnings to those who have not yet increased their subscriptions to the current level (set for most at £40 three years ago), several members have ignored these reminders; please note that the accompanying distribution of Finest Hour 154 will have to be the last to those who have not taken the necessary steps to correct this.
We record with regret the death of member Ian Watson (Wokingham), who – until recently – was a regular attendee at Society events.
Letter from the Chairman of the Membership Committee.
Members will have recently received (or will shortly receive) a letter from Morice Mendoza, Chairman of the Membership Committee, being his annual report covering the period from April 2011 till March 2012. Please note, in particular, the item on Governance (see below).
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Churchill Exhibit at the Library of Parliament in Ottawa Open Through June 2012
Canadian Churchillian Ron Cohen brings Archives exhibit to Ottawa.
MANOTICK, ONTARIO, 31 May 2012—Churchill bibliographer, longtime Finest Hour contributor and co-founder of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa, Ronald Cohen has realized his dream of celebrating Sir Winston Churchill on Canada’s Parliament Hill.
Churchill in Canada. Ron Cohen, left, joins Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre at the Churchill exhibit at the Parliamentary LibraryAfter years of collaboration and planning, and the indispensable participation of the Churchill Archives Centre and Canada’s Parliamentary Library, six original pages of the speech Churchill delivered to Canada’s House of Commons in December 1941 are on display at the Parliamentary library, along with a video clip of part of the speech. “The six pages, typed with handwritten notes by WSC are some of the most significant and memorable from the 22-page message,” Cohen said. They include parts written and delivered in French, as well as Churchill’s infamous comment about the French generals’ speculation that “in three weeks England would have her neck wrung like a chicken” and his follow-up “Some Chicken! Some Neck!”
“I’d been talking for years to Archives director Allen Packwood about finding some way to bring something to Canada,” Cohen said. “It was the first and only time that Churchill spoke to our Parliament, and that is a significant event. It was especially important because we were in the midst of the world war and Churchill had been an inspiration to the world.”
Mr. Cohen added that the pages still hold lessons for Canadians today: “The speeches are inspirational, and what Churchill stood for is inspirational. He wrote his own speeches. He was a man of principle and an admirable leader.”
The exhibit includes the iconic Churchill portrait taken by celebrated Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh, taken right after Churchill delivered his speech in the House. (All seven Karsh photos, and speech itself are in Finest Hour #154.) “If you look at Churchill’s left hand jacket pocket,” Cohen said, “you can see pages stuffed inside—some of the same pages that are now on display. He literally stuffed the pages of the speech in the left hand pocket.”
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