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Commonwealth Study Conferences. A Brief History. Roots…. In 1918, Rev Robert Hyde, a vicar in East London founded the “Boy’s Welfare Association” – Rev Hyde had observed brutal working conditions and believed that wealth creation did not have to come at the expense of human dignity…

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  • In 1918, Rev Robert Hyde, a vicar in East London founded the “Boy’s Welfare Association” – Rev Hyde had observed brutal working conditions and believed that wealth creation did not have to come at the expense of human dignity…
  • By 1950, the organization had grown, been renamed The Industrial Welfare Society. King George VI was the patron
  • After the death of King George, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh became patron
an idea
An Idea!
  • In May, 1954, John Marsh, then Director of The Industrial Welfare Society, had an idea that he took to their Patron, Prince Philip. A Commonwealth and Empire Conference was to be organized to study some of the human problems of industry….
the key man
The Key Man…
  • A young man was soon hired by the society, to be responsible for international work – including this new project..
  • His name was Peter Parker…
  • A meeting was called at Buckingham Palace in summer 1954 to discuss the idea.. And it leaked to the press…
  • The proposed conference theme … “The Social Responsibility of Industry”
  • The Press identified Peter Parker as a “leftie advisor to royalty…”
  • Industry (The FBI) and the Trade Unions (TUC) were furious – seeing this as an unwarranted and unwanted intrusion…
  • The meeting started on a difficult note with the FBI Leading with a “barrage of pompous platitudes…”
  • The TUC followed suit.
strong leadership
Strong Leadership..
  • Prince Philip demonstrated a strong personal interest in the idea..
  • The conference title was to be changed..
  • All agreed that the conference would not deal with matters that came within the normal scope of collective bargaining..
  • Community and environmental issues would play a role..
the first conference
The First Conference
  • July 9-27, 1956 – Oxford University
  • “Welcome to the Great Experiment…” from Prince Philip…
  • A number of Canadians Attended.. Jack Armstrong reported for Group G (Swansea & London)
  • Bill Bennett (President of Atomic Energy of Canada gave one of the speeches at the closing
in summing up sir philip morris
In Summing up Sir Philip Morris…

… And that, of course, is what the ultimate outcome of this conference depends upon – I suppose that I have learned more than most of you; that was chiefly because I had so much more to learn. But if you have an equal determination with me to ensure that this is not only the very pleasant end of a beginning, but the very important beginning of something else – this conference will be remembered by our children and we shall delight to tell them about it, finishing with those wonderful words: “I was there….”

the end
The End!!
  • The Great Experiment ended..
  • There was no plan for another…
a new beginning
A New Beginning
  • About 1958-9 a group of Canadians decided to try to organize a second Conference
  • Prince Philip agreed to participate, and the organization was under way..
  • Gov. Gen. Vincent Massey was Chairman, W.V.M. Ash (Shell Oil) was President and E.P. Taylor (Argus) was Hon. Treasurer
  • Gordon Hawkins was Executive Director
the second conference may 13 june 6 1962
The Second Conference.. May 13 – June 6, 1962
  • Final Report “Conference across a Continent” tells the story..
  • The Conference..
    • Opened in Montreal
    • Study Tours in Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
    • Plenary Sessions Ottawa & Toronto…
    • Two Trains left Toronto for Vancouver
    • Other Plenary sessions in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton
    • Closing at UBC in Vancouver
a pattern appeared
A Pattern Appeared
  • In 1968, the third Conference took place in Australia
1974 was next
1974 Was Next…
  • Initially planned for Africa..
  • Then the Caribbean
  • Finally the UK
    • John Garnet – a 1956 Alumni was head of the “The Industrial Society” – which for the second time, organized the Conference
    • Clive Peacock was Executive Director
    • Betty Sharp was responsible for the program
    • Sir Anthony Burney was responsible for funding
back to canada
Back to Canada
  • During the Summer of 1977, Betty Sharp, on vacation in Vancouver, asked for a meeting all 16 alumni from BC
  • Thirteen people attended
  • Her message was simple – “1980 is Canada’s turn – are you on – or off??”
the fifth conference
The Fifth Conference
  • A letter to all alumni requested ideas..
  • A committee was formed.. And there were concerns…
    • Could the money be raised?
    • Would Canada still exist in 1980
    • Could it be done – probably not..
  • Jack Armstrong joined the committee..
    • We would do it…
the organization
The Organization
  • Chaired by Doug Gardiner
  • Funding by Ed Bovey
  • At Large – Jack Armstrong
  • Executive Director – Lloyd Hemsworth
study group chairs
Study Group Chairs
  • Met in Calgary – Late 1979
  • Prince Philip visited Canada at the time and spent time with the group
the 1980 conference
The 1980 Conference
  • Opened at Queens University in Kingston, then split in half
    • Governor General Ed Schreyer was a speaker
    • Eastern Study Groups stayed in Kingston
    • Western groups went to Calgary
  • The closing took place in Quebec City
  • The final dinner was memorable…
wind up party
Wind-up Party
  • In the Fall of 1980, Bob Taylor hosted a party in Toronto for the chairs and organizers
  • It was agreed that a follow-up should take place – in London, provided Don Mitchell could get air travel donated for everyone!!
  • Don completed his task within 2 days
february 1981
February 1981
  • The group was hosted by Prince Philip at a meeting and dinner at Buckingham Palace
  • Mary Collins was the spokesperson…
    • 18 Years between Canadian Conferences was too long
    • A Canadian event was being considered…
    • Would Prince Philip be prepared to assist??
  • Prince Philip suggested that we contact the Governor General, and he offered to call him
summer 1981
Summer 1981
  • A meeting was held in Winnipeg to discuss the idea of contacting the Governor General
  • The Governor General, coincidently had similar ideas, and learned about the meeting – his office asked if he could attend
  • The Governor General’s Canadian Study Conference was born
the governor general s first canadian study conference
The Governor General’s First Canadian Study Conference
  • Summer of 1983
  • Opened in Edmonton, Closed in Ottawa
  • Smaller event 225 members, 15 groups
  • Chair – Bill Daniel (Shell)
  • Funding Jack Armstrong (retired – Imperial Oil)
  • Executive Director – Malcolm Metcalfe
  • Core support – 1980 Study Group Chairs
  • The organization has continued, grown and has spawned another event of smaller but similar structure
1984 meeting with prince philip
1984 Meeting with Prince Philip
  • The Queen and Prince Philip visited Canada in 1984, and the Royal Yacht visited Toronto
  • A reception for alumni took place on the Royal Yacht
1986 and 1992
1986 and 1992
  • Australia and India did the 1986 Conference
    • Two openings – one in Australia, and one in India
    • Tours in India and Australia
    • Closing in Sydney
  • UK Organized the 1992 Conference
    • Oxford
1998 canada again
1998 – Canada Again
  • Huge Doubts…
    • Almost impossible to generate funding
  • Hemi Mitic and Don McKenzie refused to give up!
  • A modified format
    • Shorter
    • “Pay for Play”
    • No dedicated office – organized in record time by Ian Anderson and his company
1998 study conference
1998 Study Conference
  • Chair – Fred Telmer (Stelco)
  • Funding - Don McKenzie and Hemi Mitic
  • Executive Director – Ian Anderson
  • Opened in Mount Tremblant
    • HRH The Duke of Kent attended
  • Closed in Ottawa
    • HRH The Prince Philip
the present
The Present…
  • The 2003 Conference was held in Australia & New Zealand.
  • The 2007 Conference was held in India and Malaysia
  • The Governor General’s Canadian Study Conference has occurred 7 times
looking back
Looking Back
  • Each Study Conference has re-invented itself – changing with the times…
  • But in looking at the roots leading to the 1956 Conference, the fundamentals have remained clearly intact