Pierre Elliot Trudeau in Vancouver: 1976

Update (First Published July 2014):


UBC Library Digital Collections. Trudeau tours Museum of Anthropology June 1976 (Also in image: Douglas Kenny (UBC President 1975-83), left, and Arthur Erickson (MOA Architect), right.


UBC Archives Photograph Collection. Trudeau (with unidentified man) at the commissioning of the 520 MeV cyclotron at the TRIUMF particle accelerator facility at UBC. February 9, 1976. No photo attribution.

I’ve been remembering, recently, the dominant national political personality during my formative years, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I found this rather good photo in UBC Library’s Digital Collection of his June 1976 visit to UBC. Here, he is visiting UBC shortly after the official opening of the Museum of Anthropology’s new facility (along with UBC President, Douglas Kenny, and MOA architect, Arthur Erickson). The main reason he was in town was for the official opening of the UN Habitat Forum.

Trudeau made at least two trips to Vancouver in 1976: the later trip in June, and the trip portrayed below, in February, of an inspection by federal officials of Habitat, then under construction.

2011-130.0269 - Dignitaries [8 of 15] Feb 1976 (Al Clapp, PET, Barney Danson, Hugh Keenleyside, Ron Basford) Erol Baykal photo

2011-130.0269 – Dignitaries at Habitat Forum [8 of 15] Feb 1976 (Al Clapp, PET, Barney Danson, Hugh Keenleyside, Ron Basford). Erol Baykal photo

2011-130.0408 - Feb 9th Trudeau on site family + 2nds [1 of 11] Feb 1976 Erol Baykal photo

2011-130.0408 – Trudeau on site of Habitat Forum shaking hands with Habitat designer/carpenter Michael Malcolm in Hangar 6. Feb 1976. Erol Baykal photo

If you would like to engage in a bit of time travel, you will find below a couple links to CBC’s digital archive collection that pertain to PET.

First, here is a CBC Radio episode from 1957 (more than a decade before Trudeau became national Liberal Party leader) called “Fighting Words” (complete with the today-bizarre remarks by the host pertaining to ‘civilizing the Eskimos’). This quiz show, hosted by Nathan Cohen, tested guests’ knowledge of quotations. In this episode, guest panelists included Trudeau and his ultimate nemesis, Rene Levesque. (But political careers were in the future; at the time, Levesque and Trudeau were both journalists).

And, secondly, this is a salute to PET’s passion for foreign affairs: a report on his trip in 1973 to the People’s Republic of China, including a visit with the ‘Great Helmsman‘, who would die in 1976, leaving in his wake the messy succession problems  – remember the ‘Gang of Four‘? – which typically occur upon the passing of dictators.

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