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AVROLAND's Logo The Prime Minister

John George Diefenbaker - no Avro site would be complete without at least a mention of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, some loved him, others felt he was the villain responsible for scrapping the Arrow and killing Canadian aviation. A 1963 Maclean's article stated "...ever since he took office it's been well known in Ottawa that he suffers from an almost morbid inability to make up his mind. (At one point in 1959, for example, fortyseven senior federal government appointments -- all of them the prerogative of the prime minister -- were vacant at the same time, simply because Diefenbaker couldn't decide among the suggested nominees.) Born on 18 September 1895 in Neustadt, Ontario, he was prime minister of Canada from 21 June 1957 to 22 April 1963, and died on 16 August 1979. More than any one person, Dief is as well known as the Arrow itself but the facts are often clouded with feeling - 40 years after the fact, people still argue who did and said what. To try and paint bigger picture, AvroLand will be posting information obtained from House of Commons breifs, from Diefenbakers memoirs, and from material at the Diefenbaker Centre collection -- AvroLand wants you to make up your mind with the available facts, we believe that there were many factors involved in the decision and as time allows, you will be able to learn more about one of the most important decisions in Canadian history!

The plaque at Diefenbakers grave reads as follows:

Right Honourable John George Diefenbaker

John Diefenbaker, a prairie populist and spellbinding speaker, advocated that all Canadians should be "unhyphenated Canadians." He served as prime minister from 1957 to 1963. In 1958, he won the greatest electoral victory in the history of Canada's House of commons.

Prime Minister Diefenbaker introduced the Bill of Rights, extended voting rights to Aboriginal people and promoted northern development. Diefenbaker remained in Parliament until his death on August 16, 1979. Thousands saluted the train that brought his body home.

He is buried, with his wife Olive, on the banks of the south Saskatchewan River, along this path

Read a copy of the eulogy delivered by Prime Minister Joe Clark at the burial service