As the federal government continues to support the commemoration and celebration of Canada’s participation in past wars, this collection offers a timely response that explores the complexity of Canada’s position in times of war and the role of social movements in challenging the militarization of Canadian society.
Lara Campbell is Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Michael Dawson is Professor of History at St. Thomas University.
Catherine Gidney is an adjunct Professor in the History Department at St. Thomas University.
When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.
As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.
Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.
Drawing on extensive records from Canadian universities, Catherine Gidney examines the gender and class dynamics of these programs, their relationship to changes in medical and intellectual thought, and their contribution to ideas about the nature and fulfilment of the self. Her research will be of interest to historians of medicine, gender, sport, and higher education.