Video: The Life and Times of Lotta Hitschmanova

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On October 23, 2016, a panel discussion on the life of humanitarian Lotta Hitschmanova was organized by Rev. John Marsh of the Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Historical Society and was filmed by USC Canada at their office at 56 Sparks Street in Ottawa.

Panelists included former USC Canada Board chair Clyde Sanger, also Lotta’s biographer; David Rain, former USC Canada employee, now editor of this Lotta56sparks.ca blog; Joy Thierry Llewellyn, author of “Lotta Hitschmanova: Canada’s ‘Mother Teresa’ with Attitude“, and Kate Green, USC Canada’s program manager for Asia.

Little known Lotta facts for a Friday: her “paparazzi” encounter in Edmonton

Have you signed the petition? Let’s put Lotta on a commemorative stamp!

Lotta HitschmanovaLotta Hitschmanova was perhaps the most recognizable woman in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. In a 1973 interview, she shared a remarkable incident that took place in Edmonton: Continue reading

Little known Lotta facts for a Friday: Did you know? Lotta loved to laugh!

Have you signed the petition? Let’s put Lotta on a commemorative stamp!

The public image that Dr Lotta Hitschmanova projected to millions of Canadians – through her famous TV and radio ads in the 60s and 70s – was that of a sincere, compassionate, caring, very serious human being.

As I have suggested elsewhere, she was our conscience, our national priest, rabbi and imam, all rolled into one. And yet.

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Little known Lotta facts for a Friday: from wineries to firehalls – “life in the trenches”

Have you signed the petition? Let’s put Lotta on a commemorative stamp!

‘The smell was enough to give you the DTs.”

Lotta Hitschmanova inspired thousands of USC Canada supporters from coast to coast, many of whom packed clothing for shipment to those in need overseas. Sometimes they volunteered in unusual circumstances, as Lotta’s biographer Clyde Sanger has noted:

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Sharing a Lotta Story: “Dad and Dr. Lotta”

Have you signed the petition? Let’s put Lotta on a commemorative stamp!

“In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations–it’s cold, half-French, and difficult to stir.” — Stuart Keate

“They made an interesting couple.”

Thus wrote Kathryn-Jane Hazel, recalling the remarkable personal connection her father, noted B.C. newspaper publisher Stuart Keate, had with Lotta Hitschmanova.

NB: Stuart Keate was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame in 1974 and received the Order of Canada in 1976. Future blog posts will bring out more of the special Stuart Keate – Lotta Hitschmanova connection. Continue reading

Sharing a Lotta Story: “She loved to party”

Have you signed the petition? Let’s put Lotta on a commemorative stamp!

Lotta in Ottawa, 1943.

Lotta Hitschmanova is revered by many as a kind of “saint”, but she was as human as the rest of us, had a great sense of humour, and apparently in her early days, loved to party!

Here is a Lotta story shared by Heather Haas Barclay of London, Ontario, as she recalls the remarkable personal connection her parents had with Lotta. Continue reading

The most iconic – and confusing – uniform in Canadian history?

Have you signed the petition? Let’s put Lotta on a commemorative stamp!

museum-of-history-hitschmanova-bio-portraitaLotta and her iconic uniform were inseparable. She wore it everywhere. It became part of her public persona.

And it inevitably led to some misunderstandings and amusing stories that she herself would enjoy relating.

Here is what her biographer, Clyde Sanger, has written on page 150 of his book, “Lotta and the Unitarian Service Committee Story.” 

“Dr Lotta’s sense of humour made her collect stories of misunderstandings about her uniform: Continue reading