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Harold Gordon Skilling fonds Series
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Addresses

The addresses in this series date from Professor Skilling’s return to Canada in 1959. Most were delivered at conferences, with those from 1986 on dealing primarily with Tomas Masaryk. The principal Masaryk conferences represented are those at the University of London (1986) and in Prague (1994 and 2000). Included also is Skilling’s address on Masaryk given on the occasion of his receiving an honorary degree from Charles University in 1990, and the series of lectures he delivered on Masaryk in Prague in 1992. Other conferences represented include the Conference on the Prague Spring in Paris and the Institute for Slovene Emigration Studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia (both in 1998).

An audiotape of a lecture given by Professor Skilling in Prague in April, 1994 is filed as /06S

Personal

This series contains biographical information, address books, business cards, correspondence, greeting cards, notes and passports relating primarily to personal activities, including Gordon and Sally’s friendship with many people in Czechoslovakia, and honours bestowed on him over his lifetime. Included are files relating to the Skilling family generally, biographical sketches and curriculum vitae, and files relating to his 70th and 88th birthday parties (1982 and 2000). There is also a scrapbook of greeting cards and postcards received from friends in Czechoslovakia between 1964 and 1982, and files on honours bestowed – including his festschrift, and Czech awards – Order of the White Lion (1992), Czech Academy of Sciences (1994), and the T. G. Masaryk honorary medal (1999).

In 1933 Gordon hitchhiked and rode freight trains across North America, first to the founding convention of the CCF in Regina, writing letters back to his parents along the way and also describing activities at that famous gathering itself, and then on to the West Coast. His correspondence and the pamphlets, brochures and press coverage he collected survive in this series. He later attributed these experiences as being the seminal event that shaped the evolution of his political views.

Other files in this series provide glimpses of his activities late in the 1930s and in the 1940s, and of his return to Toronto in 1959. They also document of his extra-curricular activities, first as a teenager with the West United Church Club (1926-1927), then as an alumnus of Clinton Street Public School and of Harbord Collegiate in Toronto, and finally as a member of the Canadian Association of Rhodes Scholars. The series ends with selected messages of sympathy and other items relating to the death of his beloved wife, Sally, in 1990.

The scrapbook of greeting cards from friends in Czechoslovakia is filed in box 051.

Oversized material has been removed from /007 (11) to file .(01).

Photoprints taken in the 1980s and 1990s of Professor Skilling, Helen Hogg, Czech friends and the Jazz Section, a semi-official agency under the Union of Musicians in Prague, are filed in /009(07)-(11).

An audiotape of the presentation of the Order of the White Lion to Professor Skilling on 8 May 1992 and of the Stefanik medal ceremony is filed as /02S. An audiotape relating to Professor Skilling’s birthday (which one?) is filed as /03S; audiotapes documenting the 75th anniversary celebrations of Harbord Collegiate Institute are filed as /04S and 05S.

Sound recordings

-Talk by Skilling on CBC Radio, recorded 10 September 1945 [3 "78" discs]
-Interview on the BBC, "Czechoslovakia", August 1978 [1 reel]
-"Central Europe", CBC Ideas, n.d. [1 cassette tape]