Annual Update from the President - 2015

As President of the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation, I’m writing to offer my sincere thanks for your support of the Foundation in 2014.

Early in Vincent Lam’s fine biography of Tommy Douglas we hear the story of a young Tommy gathered with some friends on a Winnipeg rooftop watching the events of the General Strike of 1919 unfold before them. They watched as hired thugs with baseball bats and revolvers charged into the midst of what had been a peaceful protest, leaving one man dead and the strike finished. It was a powerful moment for young Tommy, one that would stay with him throughout a life spent striving to build a fairer more equitable society.

Fast forward to the fall of 1970, as a statesmanlike Tommy Douglas addresses the House of Commons during the War Measures Act debates, in what many would consider to be his bravest and most passionate speech. Meanwhile, in a common room at McGill University, a young Jack Layton listens and a life that will seek to build a healthier more equitable society begins with renewed commitment.

Your contributions help to educate others and keep alive the memory of fascinating individuals and ideas which strengthen and build a healthier society.

The DCF was able to support the development and launch, in February, of a DVD honouring the life and work of Cal Best, and what a wonderful tribute it is to a great man.

In April, we were pleased to support “Health and Humanity: Connecting the Philippines and Canada” part of Inter Pares’ Annual Speaker Series held in Ottawa.

We were also able to support an oral history project celebrating the transformative and visionary work of Alexa McDonough.

Our work continued in November with our support of the annual Progress Gala, held at Maple Gardens in Toronto, organized by our friends at the Broadbent Institute. What an excellent night it was.

Our scholarships and bursaries continue to help university students working in the fields of progressive politics, social policy and history.

It has also been a year of transition among the officers of the Foundation. We extend our heart-felt gratitude for the incredible work of Tessa Hebb and Pat Kerwin over many years of service. As well, our President, David MacKenzie, has stepped down after guiding us so ably for a number of productive and vital years. As Past-President, David will remain on speed dial, as we face the challenges that are ahead. I know I speak for the membership, when I say thank you all for your important work on behalf of the DCF.

It is with some trepidation that I have stepped into the role of President, but I am honoured and pleased to have this opportunity to continue my involvement in this way.  I am thrilled to work with our Executive Secretary, Anne Scotton;  Vice-President, Dianne O’Reggio;  Treasurer, Doug Massey, and of course with all our fine Board of Directors.  We have an excellent team assembled to continue the legacy and work of the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation.

We have welcomed Erin Kelly as the Foundation’s Executive Assistant and I know that she appreciates all the advice and help that Doug Massey has so generously provided in transition. A huge vote of thanks to Doug.

Once again, thank you for your generous support of the Foundation and I hope for your continued support in the vital work that we do.

In solidarity,

David White
President, Douglas-Coldwell Foundation

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