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January 2014

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Archive for January, 2014

Creating a Lasting Legacy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 @ 02:01 PM


On March 31/April 1, 2014, we will mark the 100th anniversary of this province’s most devastating sealing disasters. Many brave Newfoundlanders and Labradorians risked their lives on the treacherous ice floes of the North Atlantic to support their families and build their communities. Many did not return. Many were left to mourn. In commemorating the men and women who made incredible sacrifices to build our beloved province, we will ensure that they will never be forgotten.

On June 19, 2014, we will unveil the results of our efforts to create a lasting memorial in Elliston. There are four components to our project:  the John C. Crosbie Sealers Interpretation Centre; a Memorial Statue; a Memorial Monument; and an Interpretive Path. We are excited to be nearing our fundraising goal and the successful conclusion of this project. We still need your help to get there. Thank you to all our donors, current and future. We know you will be proud to have been part of this project.

Chris Collingwood                       Leo Power
Campaign Co- Chair                   Campaign Co- Chair



John C. Crosbie Sealers Interpretation Centre
Through interpretation, including art, artifacts and multimedia, the Centre will bring to life the stories of sealing from our earliest aboriginal people to the present day. As a museum, gallery and space for reflection, the Centre will be unique to our province and a first worldwide in its singular focus on sealing and sealers. 


Memorial Statue
Walking to Porter’s Point, you will encounter the Memorial Statue depicting Reuben and Albert John Crewe, the Elliston father and son who froze in embrace on the ice in 1914. Unable to keep his eager, teenaged son from going to the ice, Reuben went with him and tried to protect him until the end.

Granite Memorial
A Granite Memorial will list the names of all 364 men and boys who were on the S.S. Newfoundland and the S.S. Southern Cross during those fateful days in the spring of 1914. Those who perished, those who were injured and those who survived against desperate odds will forever be remembered.



Interpretative Path
Connecting the Interpretation Centre and Porter’s Point, along vistas of the sea, interpretive panels will tell some of the many stories that illuminate the central role sealing has played—and continues to play—in the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.



Donor Thank You

The Home from The Sea Campaign has resonated hugely with an amazing number of supporters. In just 24 months, our Campaign Team received incredible support from the federal and provincial governments, businesses, unions, community groups and private citizens. We know this happened because our cause is close to the hearts of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Thank you for your support and good wishes. Please visit our website at to view a full list of donors.

The Honourable John C. Crosbie
Honorary Patron



John Turner - Ukraine

By Roderick Benns

Just one decade ago, former Prime Minister John Turner recalls the unforgettable demonstration of democratic power in Ukraine.

After a late November, 2004 election in which most election observers reported massive fraud on the part of the governing party, a re-run of the presidential election occurred about a month later after great Ukrainian and international pressure.

Mr. Turner, now 84, was a key witness to that historic second chance. That’s because then-Prime Minister Paul Martin handpicked Mr. Turner to lead the largest election delegation in Canada’s history, calling him a “tremendous defender of parliamentary democracy.”

Mr. Turner led a 500-person monitoring team under the first-ever mission of the Canada Corps.

“I led the team to Kiev and across Ukraine to patrol Election Day. It was the Orange revolution and it was one of the greatest demonstrations of democracy I have ever witnessed,” Mr. Turner says.

Turner, who still works five days a week in Toronto doing promotional work in energy and the environment, is dismayed at the state Ukraine finds itself in today.

“The last 10 years have been a political tragedy. You have to listen to the people,” Mr. Turner tells Leaders and Legacies.

“Those in charge of political affairs of the country need to open their ears and their eyes and be available to the people – that’s the secret to success.”

Canada was among the first to recognize Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union more than two decades ago. Canada’s connection with Ukraine has been strong, anchored by massive waves of immigration from the country since the turn of the twentieth century under former Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier.

Democracy not an accident

The example of Ukraine’s lost decade in democratic renewal allows Canada’s 17th prime minister to reflect on Canada. Mr. Turner points out that he spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Montreal in 1963 and advocated for free votes in parliament except for budgets and the throne speech.

“I’m also in favour of strong standing committees, in favour of private members bills, and opening up question period,” said Mr. Turner.

Mr. Turner says Canada must stay “an open country” in practice and spirit.

“Democracy does not happen by accident. Citizens need to be active and parliament needs to be open to the people. There has to be political independence in parliament and in the legislature. That means the role of the individual MP has to be established,” said Mr. Turner.

As for more Canadians choosing to get involved in public life and choosing a political career, Mr. Turner says he has been on several committees over 25 years, exploring why young people don’t want to get involved in politics.

“They point to the financial sacrifice, marriage pressure, media pressure on one’s private life, and that the job itself isn’t worth it anymore – that the role of the individual Member of Parliament has diminished.”

Because of all these reasons, says Mr. Turner, “we have to be active in our own democracy” and consider how to bring in new people to renew our institutions.

Click here for original article.


Last year, Canada, along with most of the rest of the world, celebrated the 65th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.  Yom Ha’atzmaut is a modern holiday celebrating the day Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, publicly read Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 17, 1948.

In November 2005, Israel’s then Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, invited the world to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the assassination of its former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  Representing Canada at this event was former Canadian Prime Minister John N. Turner.

Accompanying him to Israel, we met with Ariel Sharon at a special event at the Knesset and stared into those expressive eyes and held his hand in a tight shake that seemed interminable.  We attended numerous state events in Jerusalem, visited the Holy City, prayed at the wailing wall, attended a special session at the Knesset and were given a private tour of the National Museum of Art in Tel Aviv.  It was at this event that Ariel Sharon’s invitation to the world made perfect sense to me.  We were met at the front doors of the museum by media and the curator of the museum, a tall blonde perfectly tanned forty-something year old woman.  She immediately embraced Mr. Turner and invited him on a tour.  He asked her, “…wow, you speak such great English and you’re so blonde, are you Jewish?”  Her answer was even more perfect.  “Yes I’m Jewish, Prime Minister, but even more importantly, I’m Israeli?”

For most people, an opportunity to see a special part of the world like Israel conjures up religious and historic significance.  For us it was recognition that Ariel Sharon, the great political tactician and military strategist, wanted the world to remember the melancholy state of tension in Israel – and it’s surrounding neighbours.

He was a special man with a fervent zeal for the state of Israel and its special place in the world.  His invitation to attend the Rabin event saw hundreds of world leader take the opportunity to be there especially the United States who sent James Baker, Condaleeza Rice and Hilary and Bill Clinton.


In his official address to attending world leaders and invitees at the Knesset, Sharon described the special condition of Israel and lectured the world that solutions to the easing tensions in Israel are not easy and are certainly not transparent – but peace is necessary.  It was truly one of his better moments to shine for the world’s media.

We left Israel after an extended stay in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv feeling buoyed about meeting Sharon and by the special relationship Canada shared and continues to share with Israel.  Throughout his career, Turner had been to Israel many times, but never with this much intimacy or understanding of her place in the world.

Shortly after our visit to Israel, we were stunned and shocked by news of Ariel Sharon’s stroke in January of 2006, we thought his personal strength would help him get through it, but for years we wondered.  It was sad to hear that he has died, but for John Turner and me, we believe his legacy is as secure as his fight for peace.

- Marc Kealey