OUR HISTORY

1892

1892

The Canadian Club is founded in Hamilton, Ontario – its founders set out the Club’s purposes as the study of history, literature, art, music and national resources of Canada, the recognition of native worth and talent and the fostering of a patriotic Canadian sentiment.

1906

The Men’s Canadian Club of London was organized at a meeting of the Irish Benevolent Society held July 6 at the then city hall. It was also suggested that while there were clubs for the Irish, the English and the Scots in London, there wasn’t one for “Canadians” and thus the attraction of the Canadian Club.

1910

The Women’s Canadian Club of London was established as the members and organizers of the original Canadian Club were men, as was the nature of the society of the day.

1911

The fourth annual meeting of the Canadian Club of London held in the historic Tecumseh House featured speeches by the Hon. Clifford Sifton, Chair of the Conservation Commission of Canada, the Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King, then Minister of Labour for Canada and later Prime Minister, and His Lordship Bishop Michael Francis Fallon, then taking up his duties as the Catholic Bishop of London. accommodation, and many availed themselves of the opportunity to hear the distinguished guests. A special guest was Sir George Gibbons, the first president of the London club, who was newly back in London after being knighted in England by King George V.

1913

A joint meeting with the Women’s Canadian Club Col. Charles R. McCullogh of Hamilton, the acknowledged founder of the Canadian Club movement as the speaker.

1919

In May, the speaker was Dr. William Roche, one of Western’s first two graduates and the newly appointed Chancellor for the university

1929

The Tecumseh House was demolished and the Canadian Club moved its meeting to the new Hotel London which opened in 1927.

1930

An interesting speaker in November was a Major George Washington Stephens who had made a long study of the possibilities of a St. Lawrence Seaway project. He spoke to the Canadian Club at noon and the Women’s Canadian Club in mid-afternoon at Central Collegiate.

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1936

For the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Club of London, held at Hotel London, a special printed program paid tribute to the founders. Music was provided by the regimental band of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

PRE-WWII

The club hosted, among other speakers, Count Nicholas Ignatieff, a former Russian nobleman, then a teacher at Upper Canada College; the Hon. Howard Ferguson, then the High Commissioner to Great Britain (and later premier of Ontario); and Fuad K. Mufarriji, secretary of the Arab Defence Council, who cautioned that the Jewish people had no real historic claim to a homeland in Palestine.

WWII

There were regular speakers from the military as well as representatives of Poland and other countries overrun by Germany and Russia expressing hope their countries would be re-established after the war. A speaker from China in 1942 said his country could win over the Japanese as long as the allies didn’t introduce some kind of “Munich” agreement that would create a withdrawal of support.

1944

One of the more unusual speakers was a Lord De La Warr, a British peer who traced the connection of his ancestors to the region, declaring Delaware Township, Delaware village and the Delaware first nations tribe had all been named by his forebears.

1946

A London Free Press editorial at the time of the anniversary of the club’s founding agreed with Fred Landon that much of the partisan bitterness which used to mark the elections in London had been eliminated through the efforts of the Canadian Club in sponsoring non-partisan discussions on public issues.

1949

On March 9, External Affairs Minister Mike Pearson spoke about international tension in recent weeks because of the Cold War and hinted at a new Atlantic pact which in a few weeks became the beginnings of NATO.

1972

The Canadian Club’s meeting site moved again from the Hotel London to the downtown Holiday Inn and subsequently to what is now London Hilton.

1973

In September, the Canadian Club of London admitted Mayor Jane Bigelow as its first female member. The speaker on the occasion was Toronto Mayor David Crombie. London lawyer David Peterson, club president, presented Mayor Bigelow with the first official women’s membership. Several other women also joined the club at that meeting including London teacher Jean McKenzie who four years later became the first female president of the Canadian Club of London.