Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shades of Winston to Come...

Churchill at Yalta with some cronies... My son visited Yalta a few weeks ago.

I have been reading an awful lot about Churchill lately, as I have been reading about England in the Edwardian Era and he was Home Secretary.

I also listen a lot to the BBC where it's all War all the time :) and I researched and wrote my own grandmother's WWII story, Looking for Mrs. Peel, published at

It's only a recent interest, although a while back, many years ago indeed, I enjoyed a production called Young Winston, with, I think, Simon Ward.

Anyway, I found this little article as I was poring over the November 28, 1910 Montreal Gazette. I was looking for a report on Laurier's speech on the Naval Bill, which led to his Liberals losing the next election and messing up Norman Nicholson's life on the railroad.

"Suffragists committed serious disturbances at a meeting at Lambeth tonight, at which Winston Spenser Churchill was speaking.After several men (sic) had been thrown out, Mr. Churchill strongly denounced the suffragist's tactics and said "I am told that individuals are to be singled out for violence. If that is their language, there is only one answer and that is 'Come On'".

Hmm. Edith Nicholson, and I have mentioned often in this blog, was a militant suffragist (suffragette) sympathizer. I wonder how she would have held up in a one-0n-one with Sir Winston. She was Commandant of the Quebec Red Cross during WWII.)

The December 1, 1910 newspaper also has an article about a pro suffrage talk given by a Dr. Charles Zueblin of Boston to the Montreal Women's Club. He says that the Anglo Saxon woman is more than ready for the vote and has proven it with her public service and community activities. He says that although there isn't a man on the street who does not feel himself to be superior to a woman, that is protozoan thinking. (ouch!)

He says that women are suffering a similar plight to the Negroes. He cites the trials of the brilliant Booker T. Washington as an example of how Negroes have been oppressed. Well, he used the word 'handicapped' rather than oppressed. (In a 1905 letter from Normal School Marion Nicholson writes about attending a talk by Booker T. Washington. She says he is a terrific speaker and that he told some great jokes.

The Dr. also said he believed women should be educated, although they should take different subjects, perhaps meeting at meal times, as men seemed to have lost the art of conversation.

Tell that to the great orator Winston Churchill.