D1212 – W. H. Rhodes Educational Trust Canada Tour, 1961
We are pleased to share the news of an interesting new accession of material relating to the W. H. Rhodes Educational Trusts Canada Tour of 1961, now available to consult on request at Special Collections and Archives.
Donated by David Phillips, a member of the 1961 Canada tour group, the collection includes printed information about the W. H. Rhodes 1961 tour, such as booklets and itineraries; material collected during the trip, such as Cunard ephemera and leaflets from places visited; and photographs and news cuttings that document the trip.
It has been fascinating to learn about the history of the W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts
The first Canada tour took place in 1937, as a result of the vision and generosity of Mr. W. H. Rhodes, C.B.E., Such was the success of this pilot tour that, the following year, Mr. Rhodes founded the W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts, under the terms of which students were selected to visit Canada in 1938, 1939 and every year from 1951 to 1963.
The boys were drawn from secondary schools of the cities in which Mr. Rhodes had business interests. The 1961 tour included 16 students from London and 8 students each from Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow, and Manchester. The boys, aged on average 18.5 years and at the end of their last year of sixth form, were selected for their academic achievement and good character.
The Foreword to the Report on the 1961 Tour to Canada (archive reference: D1212/4) discusses the great opportunity afforded to those boys chosen:
To be transported at this juncture, from the industrial cities of Great Britain to the heartland of Canada, is a timely and broadening experience; to share in this venture with highly selected companions, in the most formative years of life, is a unique opportunity; to go as “representatives of one country of the Commonwealth visiting another” is an honour […] With the months of careful preparation behind them, they set forth determined to play their full part in helping to realise the high ideals and purpose of our generous founder, “in strengthening those ties of kinship, mutual trust and affection enduring among the countries of the British Commonwealth”.
The tour groups travelled to and from Canada on Cunard ships, accompanied by a representative from the Cunard Company.
The 1961 tour sailed from Liverpool on R.M.S. Carinthia on 2 August and travelled back to the United Kingdom on the R.M.S. Saxonia, arriving at Southampton on 1 September.
For the outward journey on the Carinthia Cunard printed special W. H. Rhodes luggage tags and created travel booklets that included interesting information about life on board the ship, such as instructions on how to distinguish the rank of an officer on board, and guides to places they were visiting in Canada.
The 1961 tour group visited Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara, Sudbury, Temagami and Camp Wanapetei. They had tours of Universities, Civic Buildings, Farms, Businesses and Factories (such as the International Nickel Company and the Queenston Hydro-Electric Project), and were welcomed by City Mayors, Businessmen, Academics and Politicians (including the Prime Minister John Diefenbaker).
The new accession has been added to Cunard Associated Deposits, a collection of items deposited by individuals with personal connections to the shipping company. The full catalogue for the W. H. Rhodes Educational Trusts Canada Tour material is available online.
Other W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts material can be found in the archive at:
- D371/4/6/3-4: W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts tour to Canada, 1963 – booklet and report. (2 items)
- D42/PR4/14/8/5: W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts tour to Canada,1952 – booklet. (1 item)