From The 39 Steps to the Steps of Rideau Hall

Governor General John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, © National Portrait Gallery, London.

by Donna Ross MDHS Lecture Series Coordinator

The Merrickville and District Historical Society Lecture Series completes the spring series with: “From The 39 Steps to the Steps of Rideau Hall” with Bill Galbraith. Please join us on Tuesday, May 28 at 7 pm at the Merrickville Legion Hall.

Canada’s 15th governor general after Confederation (1935‑1940) was a unique choice for the position. Lord Tweedsmuir, better known as John Buchan, a Scottish‑born best‑selling author of his day, was a polymath, with many careers apart from his books, including lawyer, publisher, head of British intelligence in WWI, deputy chairman of Reuters, and a Member of Parliament. His appointment in 1935, however, sparked a nation‑wide controversy in Canada.  

Buchan was the first governor general appointed after the 1931 Statute of Westminster, which gave Canada constitutional equality with Britain. He worked tirelessly for Canadian unity and promoted the sovereignty, and loyalty to the sovereign, of Canada. In 1937, he founded the Governor General’s Awards, still Canada’s premier prizes for literary achievement.

Find out why Lord Tweedsmuir’s appointment created such a debate and learn more about this exceptional individual and his significant legacy, as presented by author J. William Galbraith.  

Bill was a federal public servant for 30 years in the fields of investment review, intelligence, and national security policy. He retired as Executive Director of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner’s office in 2018. He lives in Merrickville.

We look forward to seeing you for an evening with author J. William Galbraith and learning about one of Canada’s former GGs. John Buchan Model Governor General, a hardcover book, will be available to purchase after the lecture. We hope you will enjoy the historical lecture as well as a sweet treat, compliments of Violets on Main Bakery! 


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