Vimy Week Stories - Lester B. Pearson

Date published:

April 5, 2024

                                              Lester B Pearson - Service to Peace

Lester B. Pearson serving with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (1916) Library and Archives Canada / PA-117622

On November 6th, 1956, a historic ceasefire marked a turning point in the Suez Canal conflict. Lester B. Pearson, a prominent Canadian diplomat who would later become Prime Minister, played a pivotal role in mediating the peace agreement. Pearson's commitment to service, rooted in his experiences during the First World War, shaped his dedication to promoting peace and conflict resolution on the global stage.

Before his tenure as Prime Minister, Pearson's journey towards peacemaking began amid the chaos of the First World War. Serving in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, he witnessed the devastation of war while working as a stretcher bearer on the Salonika Front in Northern Greece. 

These experiences fueled his determination to prevent future conflicts and serve humanity through diplomacy and peacebuilding which became evident during the Suez Crisis. Recognizing the urgent need for dialogue and reconciliation, he spearheaded efforts to mediate between the conflicting parties. Through tireless negotiation Pearson successfully facilitated a ceasefire. 

M. Lester B. Pearson s'adressant à l'un des comités à la Conférence des Nations Unies sur l'Organisation internationale, à San Francisco (1945) United Nations / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / C-018532

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to international peace and diplomacy, Lester B. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. This prestigious honor underscored his dedication to service and highlighted the transformative power of diplomacy in resolving conflicts and fostering reconciliation.

As we commemorate Pearson's legacy during Vimy Week, his service to peace serves as a timeless reminder of the importance of humanitarianism and cooperation in addressing global challenges. His unwavering commitment to service, grounded in compassion and empathy, continues to inspire future generations to pursue paths of peace and reconciliation in service to humanity.

The Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson sitting at his desk (1963-68). Duncan Cameron / Library and Archives Canada / pA-212238


Check out our products in our boutique

On sale
Pick up our Vimy Foundation Hoodie and Tartan Socks together in this limited-time offer! A cold weather essential and an excellent gift! Our Tartan Socks were made in partnership with Friday Sock Co, a Calgary-based business, to create custom socks using the Vimy divisional stripes while our cotton blend hoodie is the same one used by our participants in their journeys across Belgium and France!

Hoodie and Sock Bundle!

$ 50.00 

$ 50.00 

On sale
Dogs have been used in war for centuries worldwide. Their duties have ranged from pulling carts, sentries, scouts, messengers, as mascots, rat catchers in the trenches, search and rescue, bomb detectors and first aid dogs. Countless stories of incredible heroic acts performed by these animals have been told throughout the First World War and beyond. Dogs continue to be put to work in military service to this day as their role expands to include service animals for veterans. The Vimy Foundation partnered with Dog Hair INCluded (Montreal) to design these quality and durable bandanas featuring our Vimy Plaid. Honor those four-legged friends who also helped shape our history with this rugged and stylish pet bandana.

Vimy Foundation Pet Bandana

$ 22.00 

$ 22.00 

On sale
Walter S. Allward: Life & Work chronicles the artist’s life from his formative years in Toronto working for the architectural firm Gibson and Simpson to his success as a leading sculptor. The book explores Allward’s early works, including the South African War Memorial in Toronto (1904–11), the Baldwin-Lafontaine Monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa (1908–14), the Bell Memorial, commemorating Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone in Brantford (1909–17), and the Stratford War Memorial (1919–22), before discussing how the artist turned his talents toward the Vimy Memorial, an icon of Canadian sacrifice and a legacy for future generations. About the author Philip Dombowsky is an Archivist at the National Gallery of Canada. He holds an MA (Art History, Concordia) and a Master of Library and Information Studies (McGill). Dombowsky has curated numerous exhibitions for the NGC Library and Archives, most notably in the area of book design and illustration. He is the author of Index to the National Gallery of Canada’s Exhibition Catalogues and Checklists 1880–1930, which won the Melva J. Dwyer Award in 2008.

*NEW* Walter S. Allward Life & Work

$ 30.00 

$ 30.00