Third Age Learning - York Region   



The Great Escape: A Canadian Story.

  • September 26, 2016
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Aurora Cultural Centre
Ted Barris
Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. For more than 40 years, his writing has regularly appeared in the national press – Globe and Mail, National Post, as well as magazines as diverse as Legion, Air Force, esprit de corps, Quill and Quire, and Zoomer. He has also worked as host/contributor for most CBC Radio network programs and on TV Ontario. He is a full-time professor of journalism and broadcasting at Toronto’s Centennial College

Barris is the author of 18 bestselling non-fiction books, including a series on wartime Canada.  Just a few of these are: Juno: Canadians at D-Day, June 6, 1944Deadlock in Korea: Canadians at War, 1950-1953Victory at Vimy: Canada Comes of Age, April 9-12, 1917. In June 2014, The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the 2014 Libris Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award (shared with astronaut Chris Hadfield).

In 2011, he was one of 19 civilians presented with the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Commendation. The citation reads: “Ted Barris has made such exemplary contributions by generously giving of himself, and so both benefiting veterans and making manifest the principle that Canada’s obligation to all who have served in the cause of Peace and Freedom, must not be forgotten.”

The Great Escape: A Canadian Story.

It’s the war story we think we know … but don’t!

At the mere mention of the phrase The Great Escape, people automatically think of a German POW camp, World War II, tunnels Tom, Dick and Harry, Richard Attenborough as the escape mastermind, and Steve McQueen on his motorcycle in the 1963 Hollywood movie. Right?

Wrong! The Great Escape is neither a British story, nor an American story. Ted Barris’s book title suggests there’s more to this than meets the eye - The Great Escape: The Untold Story. And that's because the POW who designed the tunnels, the principal tunnel excavators, the chief of security, the chief of diversions, one of the intelligence chiefs, one of the forgery chiefs, among the organizers of the sand disposal team (called "penguins"), the duty pilot (catalogueing every person coming/going through the main gate), and the custodian of "the canary" (the secret short-wave radio) inside Stalag Luft III ... were principally Canadian!

You will hear the proper telling of this story based on Barris’s many years of interviewing, research and acquisition of diaries, letters, documents and never before seen photography.

This event is part of the Fall 2016 Speaker series. Register for the Fall 2016 Event Series.

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