“My Dad was Dr. Lotta’s travel agent, and life-long friend!”

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

Lotta was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize!

I made a recent discovery: humanitarian Lotta Hitschmanova was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, not once, but twice, in 1961 and in 1962!

A second discovery, the name of the nominator: Calgary resident, Arthur Smith, at the time a Conservative Member of Parliament.

Here is how he framed the nomination: Continue reading

Celebrating Lotta’s legion of loyal supporters: Dr. Vernon Burrows, OC (1930-2020)

Canadian plant breeder, Dr. Vernon Burrows, died peacefully in Ottawa on November 8, 2020.

He achieved world renown for his research on oats and was a pioneer in developing hull-less, “naked” oat varieties.

He was also a big fan of Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, who inspired him when he first heard her giving a talk in the 1970s at the Unitarian church in Ottawa.

A year after Lotta’s death in 1990, he honoured her by naming a naked oat variety he had developed: AC Lotta! Continue reading

Video: The Life and Times of Lotta Hitschmanova

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.

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

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