Historian Takes Aim at John A. Macdonald

January 27th, 2014 by Comment button No Comments »

Political Columnist Richard Gwyn

The Canadian Club of Halton Peel was honoured to host Richard Gwyn, historian, award-winning author, political columnist, and radio and TV personality. Gwyn charmed the audience of 115 people with his knowledge and wit, concentrating on the life and times of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first and most important Prime Minister.

Richard Gwyn was born in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England, studied at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire and at the Royal Military College Sandhurst. Emigrating to Canada in 1953, he has been a journalist throughout his career, except for the period 1968-73 when he was Executive Assistant to Communications Minister the Hon. Eric Kierans, and later a Director-General in that department.

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In 1973, Richard became the Toronto Star’s national affairs columnist based in Ottawa. His three times a week columns were syndicated to 26 newspapers. He continues to write a column every two weeks for The Star.

Angie, Barry, Rotary Exchange Student Vanessa & Susan


Gwyn is one of Canada’s best-known and most highly-regarded political columnists. He is also the winner of multiple awards and the author of seven best-selling books, including The Man Who Made Us, a book that covered John A. Macdonald from his birth in Scotland in 1815 to his achievement of Confederation in 1867 and Nation Maker, a second book telling the story of Macdonald’s post-Confederation years through to his death in 1891.

Acclaimed historian Margaret MacMillan has said, “Writing with his usual elegance and insight, Richard Gwyn has done full justice to the man whose own story is woven inextricably with that of Canada.”

With his elegance and easy-going manner, Richard Gwyn held his audience spellbound as he brought to life Canada’s colourful Sir John A. MacDonald. In a tribute to Gwyn`s knowledge and his charming personality, Richard’s books sold well this evening. He happily chatted with everyone, autographed each book and posed for pictures throughout the evening.

Richard and his wife Carol Bishop-Gwyn, who is also a writer, live in Toronto’s Cabbagetown. They spend their summers in Newfoundland and manage the annual Winterset Award for Newfoundland writing established to commemorate Richard’s first wife, Sandra Fraser Gwyn. Richard is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Canadian History in Ottawa.

The Canadian Club of Halton Peel continues to draw fascinating speakers each month to their dinners held at the Oakville Conference Centre located at 2515 Wyecroft Road in Oakville. The next speaker on February 20, is Dr. Pierre Meulien, President and CEO of Genome Canada in Ottawa, who will talk about Canada’s role in the world of genomic research and its application in sectors such as health, agriculture, environment, forestry, and fisheries. His remarks will also address the benefits and privacy issues of the sequencing of the human genome under the title “Our Personal Genome – The DNA Dilemma”.

For information and reservations, contact the Canadian Club of Halton Peel at barrywylie1@gmail.com, by telephone at 905-827-6302 or by mail (cheques payable to The Canadian Club of Halton Peel at 283 River Side Drive, Oakville, L6K 3N3).

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About the author: Janet Bedford

A Real Estate Broker with Royal LePage Real Estate Services on Lakeshore Road in Oakville, I have 25 years of helping clients realize their dreams, specializing in helping my clients buy and sell homes in the Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas and the Grimsby areas. I love Oakville, its people and the exciting events I cover! My hobby, a passion, is taking pictures, writing articles and telling the world about the people, the businesses, the events, the places to visit and about this amazing Town - Oakville!

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