Ship Har­bour will cel­e­brate im­por­tant world event


The com­mu­nity of Ship Har­bour in Pla­cen­tia Bay is get­ting ready for an im­por­tant cel­e­bra­tion.

In Au­gust, led by the At­lantic Char­ter Foun­da­tion Inc. it will cel­e­brate the 75th An­niver­sary of the At­lantic Char­ter. This event saw U.S. Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill meet­ing in se­cret in 1941, in Pla­cen­tia Bay just off Ship Har­bour, and pro­duc­ing a joint dec­la­ra­tion that be­came known as the At­lantic Char­ter. This later be­came the foun­da­tion for the es­tab­lish­ment of the United Na­tions.

As­sisted by an ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee of re­spected New­found­land lead­ers and others from the main­land of Canada, a pro­gram has been pre­pared that will take place in St. John’s, Pla­cen­tia and Ship Har­bour.

The Ship Har­bour com­mit­tee is chaired by Ni­cole Walsh and the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee is headed up by Ches Crosbie, Gary Walsh and Barry Daven­port.

The for­mal part of the pro­gram will com­mence on Thurs­day, Aug. 11th with a re­cep­tion for del­e­gates and in­vited guests at Gov­ern­ment House.

On Friday morn­ing the group will travel from St. John’s to Pla­cen­tia where they will visit Cas­tle Hill Na­tional His­toric Site and tour the for­mer U.S Mil­i­tary Base. Lunch will be avail­able at the Cana­dian Le­gion and in lo­cal restau­rants.

In the af­ter­noon the group will at­tend a new play by Agnes Walsh, en­ti­tled Mys­te­ri­ous Vis­i­tors, which has been com­mis­sioned by the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee as part of the com­mem­o­ra­tion. It will por­tray the re­ac­tion of Ship Har­bour res­i­dents to the flotilla that ar­rived in Pla­cen­tia Bay for the meet­ing be­tween the two world lead­ers.

On Satur­day there will be a noon­time tour of the Crow’s Nest Of­fi­cers Club in St. John’s. This will be fol­lowed in the af­ter­noon with a sym­po­sium at Memo­rial Univer­sity in the Ju­nior Com­mon Room.

The sym­po­sium will first fo­cus on the Char­ter and its last­ing sig­nif­i­cance with pre­sen­ta­tions by Pro­fes­sor Peter Rus­sell (Univer­sity of Toronto), Hugh Se­gal (Master of Massey Col­lege, Toronto and Chair of the NATO As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada), Bob Rae (for­mer Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment) and Chris Parkes (Fel­low of the Lon­don School of Eco­nomics).

A sec­ond ses­sion will look at the At­lantic Char­ter and how it led to the for­ma­tion of the United Na­tions. Pro­fes­sor Lu­cien Ash­worth, head of Po­lit­i­cal Science for Memo­rial Univer­sity, will lead a panel to dis­cuss this im­por­tant link with his­tory.

A re­cep­tion and com­mem­o­ra­tive din­ner will take place in the evening at the Cana­dian Forces Sta­tion. Con­rad Black will make the key­note ad­dress and will be in­tro­duced by Randy Bar­ber (Pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Churchill So­ci­ety of Canada). The din­ner will closely repli­cate the meal served to Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt and Prime Min­is­ter Churchill on HMS Prince of Wales at the 1941 meet­ing. Mu­sic will be pro­vided by the Church Lads’ Brigade.

On Sun­day, Aug. 14th the Com­mem­o­ra­tion will con­tinue at the At­lantic Char­ter Memo­rial Site, Ship Har­bour, when there will be a re-en­act­ment of the ser­vice of thanks led by Rev. Lt(N) Ian March-MacCuish, who is af­fil­i­ated with HMCS CABOT. The ser­vice will repli­cate that which took place on HMS Prince of Wales 75 years ago. Dun­can Sandys (great-grand­son of Win­ston Churchill) will be present and will make an ad­dress. A mil­i­tary band will be in at­ten­dance and a num­ber of groups, in­clud­ing the Le­gion, mil­i­tary and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, will lay wreaths.

The for­mal pro­gram will be fol­lowed by lunch and a com­mu­nity gar­den party with all the usual at­trac­tions or­gan- ized by the lo­cal com­mit­tee rep­re­sent­ing the At­lantic Char­ter Foun­da­tion Inc. There will also an op­por­tu­nity to visit Joe’s Cove were Churchill came ashore and to view the Foun­da­tion’s ar­ti­facts and ex­hibits be­fore the del­e­gates re­turn to St. John’s.

The At­lantic Char­ter Foun­da­tion Inc. in­vites ev­ery­one to at­tend this ac­tiv­ity in Ship Har­bour. Any­one in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a del­e­gate to all of the con­fer­ence ac­tiv­i­ties should con­tact Deb­bie Meade at 709227-0214 to reg­is­ter.

For a cou­ple of days prior to this event in Ship Har­bour the Foun­da­tion will be run­ning other ac­tiv­i­ties for peo­ple of the com­mu­nity and vis­i­tors.

Fund­ing for this event has been con­trib­uted by the provin­cial De­part­ment of Busi­ness, Tourism, Cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and by the fed­eral De­part­ment of Cana­dian Her­itage as well as do­na­tions by pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies and by the reg­is­tered del­e­gates.


This plaque marks the se­cret meet­ing of U.S. Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill in Pla­cen­tia Bay just off the com­mu­nity of Ship Har­bour in 1941.

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