Author’s words reach unearthly audience: Chris Gainor’s book on the space program found a fan in Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk Tom Hawthorn Victoria— From the Globe and Mail Monday, May. 17, 2010 01:36AM EDT As a boy, Chris Gainor arose at dawn to watch the launch of an Atlas missile atop which rode the astronaut John Glenn. He followed the Gemini program, and by the time Apollo took men to the moon, he was hooked, dreaming of the day when he, too, might go into space. Of course it never happened. Mr. Gainor became a journalist, winning a National Newspaper Award with the Vancouver Sun, and later working as a communications director for the NDP caucus in Victoria. Every January, he dons a trench coat and jams a long cigar into his mouth as he impersonates Winston Churchill at a ceremony in Beacon Hill Park to honour the memory of the British prime minister. Read more here
SWCSVI member, Olive Bailey, was awarded a special Commemorative Badge for her secret service at Bletchley Codebreaking Centre in England during WWII. Olive Bailey was among 10,000 men and women who worked in top secret to break enemy military codes during the Second World War.
Now, 64 years later, she and about 1500 other surviving cryptography operatives were recently honoured in October, 2009 , when presented with a special Commemorative Badge by UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Speaking at last year's Churchill Birthday Luncheon, Olive entranced us with her entertaining reminiscences of personal experiences in the secret world of code-breaking and counter-espionage at Bletchley Park.(Churchill famously described the security conscious staff as, “The geese that laid the golden eggs -- but never cackled.”) Foreign Secretary Miliband paid tribute to the codebreakers, saying: “Bletchley veterans represent the selfless commitment shown by every one of the people who worked in signals intelligence. I would like to thank you personally for all that you did and for the inspiration you have given to those who follow in your footsteps". To which, all members of SWCSVI also add our hearty congratulations, Olive!
Shirley Burstall: March 4, 1937 - April 5, 2012
Shirley was always doing things behind the scenes to make sure every event was a success while spreading her unique sense of humour and joy. She supported a'' Churchill events for the Churchill Foundation and the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island. Shirley will be greatly missed. A quote by Winston Churchill made in Dundee, Scotland, on 10 October 1908, seems especially appropriate as we remember our dear friend Shirley Burstall: "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal?" Full obituary and virtual guest book available on Times Colonist website.
Aleck Trawick: June 17, 1945 - November 20, 2010
Aleck was a greatly valued member and Secretary of both the Churchill Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island. He has left a significant hole in our associations and in our hearts. Read Aleck’s obituary and leave a message for his family here.
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