Vintage Edmonton: First Annual Sir Winston Churchill Society Banquet LP (May 10, 1965)

While crate-digging recently I came across this LP at the Old Strathcona Antique Mall here in Edmonton. I had seen it through a couple years and finally pulled the trigger, and it's a fascinating peek at the society's first annual banquet  featuring Field Marshal Lord Harding at the Hotel Macdonald on May 10, 1965.

The society's website (which you can visit HERE) has a history on the banquet:

 "It all started on 25 January 1964. Arthur Cload and his good friends Dr. H.T. “Tom” Southwood and Dr. A.H. “Arnie” Lane had attended the annual Burns Club dinner. It had been another pleasant dinner, with Bill Newbigging as the current chair. Alan Macdonald was past chairman and Sandy Mactaggart the incoming chair. The Scottish bard had been dead some 165 years and the Edmonton club had held their dinners every year on January 25 since 1920.

       After dinner, the three friends adjourned to the hotel lounge for a final nightcap when Arthur observed that there was a man, still living, who was a giant in his time and who well deserved similar recognition. And so the seed was planted and they assembled a group of like-minded gentlemen: Basil Dean, publisher of the Edmonton Journal; John Flint, owner of a printing business; Cameron Steer, lawyer and later judge; and Dr. H.D.M. MacPhee, physician.

     The first decisions the men made were that there be an annual dinner, that they would seek out men who had worked with and knew Churchill to deliver a Memorial Address, and that the dinner be patterned after a military mess dinner. With the basics in place, Arthur Cload wrote a letter to Churchill seeking permission to form a society in his name.

     The committee applied to the Province of Alberta for society status, which was duly approved, and Arthur mailed Churchill photocopies of the documents. Churchill’s private secretary thanked him and added, “he [Churchill] bids me to send you his good wishes.”

       Douglas Walker-Brash, Head of Post, British Government Office in Edmonton, was instantly enthusiastic. He used his consular contacts and lo and behold, Field Marshal, Lord Harding of Petherington, who had achieved fame as the commander of the Desert Rats, agreed to deliver the first Memorial Address to 625 gentlemen at the Hotel Macdonald on 10 May, 1965."

Field-Marshal Lord Harding's visit to Edmonton:

The LP itself was in near-mint condition and the recording by Robert Rhodes of CKUA is first-class: