Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: John Diefenbaker Gravesite

Here's a question that natives of Saskatoon can debate over a cold adult beverage: Who is the city's most famous native son or daughter?

There are three choices: hockey player Gordie Howe, singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, and Canadian prime minster John Diefenbaker.

They all made an impact in their own way. We'll stick to Diefenbaker here. He was Canada's leader from 1957 to 1963. As a silly aside, we used to play the Canadian version of Trivial Pursuit in the 1980s (the game was invented there). When a political question came up and we had no idea, "John Diefenbaker" was our emergency answer. You'd be surprised how many times it was right.

Diefenbaker was born in Ontario but moved to the Northwest Territories at a young age. Eventually John wound up in Saskatoon, as his parents thought the education of their children would be better there. He went to the University of Saskatchewan in that city. After spending much of his life in government, Diefenbaker died in 1979.

His papers were sent to his alma mater, and they are kept in the Diefenbacker Centre - which you can see in the background. A replica of his office from his days as Prime Minister are part of the complex.

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