Turning the Tables on the OECA Prime Minister Series: The Speakers and Audience React

The sesquicentennial project of the Old Ottawa East Community Association (OECA) celebrating the life and times of Canada’s Prime Ministers has been so successful that it is continuing on into 2018.

This series of free monthly lectures was the brainchild of current and former OECA presidents Phyllis Odenbach Sutton and John Dance. Their initial concerns about a small audience were immediately quashed when it was standing-room only at the first lecture last March at the Old Town Hall. The series was moved to a much larger room at St. Paul University which came on board as a co-sponsor.

An outstanding array of speakers volunteered their time free of charge to come and speak. In order of appearance, here is who we have heard from so far:

  • Richard Clippingdale, former director of Canadian Studies at Carleton University and author of Laurier: His Life and World presented on Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
  • Dr. Philippe Azzie with the public opinion research firm Phoenix Strategic Perspectives lectured on Sir John A. Macdonald.
  • Greg Donaghy, Deputy Director, Policy Research Division, Global Affairs Canada and author of Grit: The Life and Times of Paul Martin Sr. talked about Sir Robert Borden.
  • Dr. Stephen Azzi, associate professor of political management, history and political science at Carleton University lectured on Lester B. Pearson.
  • Louis St-Laurent was covered by Dr. Xavier Gélinas, the Canadian History Museum’s Curator of Political History.
  • We heard about Mackenzie King from Dr. Norman Hillmer, Carleton’s Chancellor’s Professor for History and International Affairs.
  • Paul Litt from Carleton’s Department of History and the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies and author of Trudeaumania spoke on Pierre Trudeau.
  • Lakehead University’s Dr. Michael Stevenson covered John Diefenbaker.
  • John Morgan spoke about his great-great-grandfather Alexander Mackenzie.

Through these lectures, we learned more about our leaders and the events that helped shape some of their decisions. Sometimes this sparked an interest not there before as it did for Alta Vista resident Lois Jensen. “On a few occasions, I came home and immediately went to the computer to further my knowledge of the prime minister spoken about. That was mainly when the PM featured had not been my favourite but the speaker pricked my interest to learn more.”

Temporary Pedestrian Detours along Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway in Downtown Ottawa

Parks Canada has advised that, "Investigative work on the Rideau Canal walls in downtown Ottawa will require temporary pedestrian detours along the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway near the Mackenzie King Bridge. The work will take place between January 22nd and late February 2018, weather dependent.

Sesquicentennial Prime Ministers Book Club - Alexander Mackenzie


7:00 p.m., Monday, January 29, 2018
Room L120, 233 Main Street, Saint Paul University

John Morgan will be helping us better understand the life and times of Alexander Mackenzie, Canada’s second prime minister. In many respects, Alexander Mackenzie was the antithesis of John A Macdonald. “Known for his utmost honesty, integrity and hard work, Mackenzie sought no recognition or reward for himself,” says John Morgan. “A devout Baptist, he fought passionately for equality, democracy, the rule of law, and honesty in government.”

Old Ottawa East ranked as a top cycling neighbourhood in Canada

In an article published by City Clock magazine, Old Ottawa East was ranked as one of the top 15 cycling neighbourhoods in Canada. The full article is available on their website.

Sesquicentennial Prime Ministers Book Club - John Diefenbaker


7:00 p.m., Monday, December 11, 2017
Room L120, 233 Main Street, Saint Paul University

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