Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Prized Document Found

My niece, Robin and her cousin Elizabeth from Ottawa were going through papers and photos (there are a ton of them) when they came across something they handed to me to deal with. It is a speech written for T.C. “ Tommy” Douglas, then Premier of Saskatchewan and former leader of the CCF / NDP Political Parties in Canada and who is generally acknowledged as the “Father” of Canada’s Socialized Medicare. Douglas also the grandfather of actor Keifer Sutherland, star of the TV series “24”. The document is dated August 2nd, 1961 and is a typed original, complete with hand written corrections and annotations in red ink, perhaps in the great man’s own handwriting. It is Tommy Douglas’ speech for the Founding Convention when he was running for (and won) the leadership of the newly formed New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP).

My brother’s late wife, Willow, was the granddaughter of Arthur Moran Boutillier (1869 – 1955) who served as Member of Parliament for the Progressive Party of Canada, aka. “United Farmers”, representing the rural Alberta Riding of Vegreville. In 1961 the United Farmers and Labour’s Party, the Canadian Commonwealth Federation (CCF) amalgamated to form the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) of which I have been a member since the early 1970’s. His son, Heubert Ried Boutillier, Willows father, was active in the CCF and the NDP as well so that is probably where the document came from.

I have a friend in Nanaimo, Dale Lovic, who is a Tommy Douglas historian. I will call and ask Dale what I should do with the document. It is too important to just file away for another fifty years.

Douglas 1961


  1. That document belongs in the National Archives! What an amazing find!

  2. Hey, Croft. I know the past week has been difficult, and that you will miss your brother dearly. I do extend our sympathies to you. I also know that you will treasure your memories of Gord, and you will have those forever ! I guess it just reinforces the fact, that life is short, so we should live it to the fullest.
    Sincerely, Trent and Teresa

  3. Trent, Have you got your new MH home yet? How did the importing go?