As we celebrate the 113th birthday of celebrated humanitarian Lotta Hitschmanova today, Dr. Lotta’s fans will be pleased to know that her name still finds itself on the short list of 8 notable Canadians to appear on our new $5 banknote.
The pace of government can often seem incredibly slow, and yes, it has been over 2 years since the short list was created, after more than 600 nominees had been submitted by Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
I suspect it may be challenging for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to choose a single individual to appear on the banknote, and I have thus proposed a creative solution to the problem:
To select Terry Fox, Lotta Hitschmanova and Isapo-muxika (Crowfoot) to appear together on our next $5 banknote.
I have just come across a 1969 book that Clyde Sanger wrote two decades before his biography of Lotta Hitschmanova: “Half a Loaf: Canada’s Semi-Role Among Developing Countries” (The Ryerson Press).
One chapter highlights USC Canada’s work in Korea, in which Clyde provides an insightful profile of Dr. Lotta, excerpted below.
And as you can see, Lotta bucked the trend of other agencies sending Canadian “experts” overseas; it was a source of pride for her that all of USC’s programs were run by locally-engaged staff in partner countries. Continue reading →
Each November 28, thousands of Canadians celebrate the birthday of beloved humanitarian, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990). This year, there is a second celebration, as the Canadian Unitarian Council celebrates its own 60th anniversary this week. The two celebrations have much in common.
In Part I of the “Lotta Unitarian” story, I asked the question how a World War II refugee, born into a Jewish family in Prague, Czechoslovakia, could became such a revered figure (a “saint”) for Unitarians in Canada?
Here’s a recap of the “Lotta Unitarian story,” as sketched in by Lotta’s biographer, Clyde Sanger: Continue reading →
Dear fans of celebrated humanitarian, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, CC (1909-1990), I have some disappointing news to share.
A couple of years ago, I started a “Let’s put Lotta on a Stamp” petition that has now grown to include 1,420 signatories. In June of 2020, I made a proposal to the Stamp Advisory Committee of Canada Post as follows:
Today we welcome guest blogger, Jennifer Keane, who shares her reminiscences of her family’s connection with celebrated humanitarian, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990).
Vancouver Province – June 29, 1959 – Fisk family moves to Tokyo
“I had the great good fortune to spend important years, 1959 to 1962, of my life in Tokyo. My father, Fred Fisk, was manager of the Tokyo office of Canadian Pacific Airlines.
“Lotte Hitschmanova visited Tokyo during this time, likely en route to Korea. My father met Lotte early in our stay, perhaps 1960, helped her arrange her travel and became a devoted friend. Continue reading →
Today we welcome guest blogger Calla Fireman, who shares her story (originally published in the Ottawa Citizen) about her family connection with celebrated humanitarian, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990).
The story concerns her father, Dr. Harold H. Fireman (1919-2020).
Dr. Fireman was born and raised in Toronto, graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1942, spent over 4 years with the Canadian Air Force as a medical advisor mostly in Newfoundland, before returning to a long and successful career in Internal Medicine in Ottawa.
“I’ve enjoyed reading about Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova as I have a family connection to her. My father, Dr. Harold H. Fireman, was Lotta’s physician in Ottawa for many years. Continue reading →
Today we welcome guest blogger, Sharon Wells, who shares her touching memories of the time when her mom was Lotta Hitschmanova’s caregiver during the years (1983-1990) she was tragically afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease.