Letter from Ellen Fairclough to John Diefenbaker
25 Stanley Avenue,
September 9, 1963
No doubt you have wondered if I crawled in a hole or something and I do apologize for not having written before this.
I had intended to come down to Ottawa during the summer session but have had rather a hectic few months about which I shall tell you. The other day I met Mrs. Freeman in a Department store and when she told me Olive had been asking for me I really felt very guilty indeed.
About the first week in June I went into hospital for a check-up, the result of which was that I went back again for surgery the last week of June. I had amazing success with my recovery but, of course, it takes quite a bit out of one even under the best of circumstances.
The job of clearing out three offices and my bed-sitting room at the Chateau was a little more than I had bargained for. I have most of the stuff put away now but was amazed at what I had accumulated (it cost me $250 to have it moved to Hamilton). Gordon said “Thank goodness you didn’t have an apartment or a house,” to which I said “amen.”
I am going back into business with a group of Hamilton business and professional men in a new venture which should be quite exciting and challenging. As soon as the announcement is made
I shall let you know. My campaign manager, Mr. David Goldberg, Q.C., and I will be starting to work on the Hamilton West situation just as soon as the provincial election is over. We had intended starting September 1st but the election is claiming everyone’s attention right now. We will start a new organization, getting rid of some of the dead wood, and scouting around for a candidate because I have a feeling we may be in for an election sooner than most people think.
We will have to have three new candidates in Hamilton because, in addition to myself, I suppose you know Bob MacDonald has taken a position in Toronto and Quinto is running for the provincial.
Controller Ada Pritchard is running in Hamilton Centre which takes in a portion of my riding and a portion of Quinto’s. You may recall she is the woman I wanted Howard Green to name to the United Nations as a delegate but he wouldn’t go for it. She is a good candidate, aggressive and experienced, and should win if her workers are on their toes. She has had no experience in this kind of a campaign, however, and I am doing what I can to help her out.
We were all so sorry to hear that you had lost “Happy” who was a lovely animal. I am sure you must miss him sorely but hope you will replace him.
It must have been quite a chore moving to 541 and I have heard some intriguing tales about the situation there but will have to wait until I see you to get the story straight.
If all goes well, and my business will allow it, I shall try and come down during the forthcoming session and will hope to have a chat with all of my old friends.
I don’t know whether you heard about Howard or not but he and Jeannine are being married this coming Friday (the 13th!). You will be receiving an announcement in due course but I thought you and Olive would be interested since you met her on a couple of occasions although you may not remember.
So you can see that, with moving, surgery, son’s marriage, and my new business I have been far from idle.
As the Nova Scotians say, “God willing and weather permitting” I shall see you some time this autumn.
Warm regards to both of you.