In Memoriam, Richard (Dick) Field, 1924-2018
By Mark Wegierski
This is a tribute to Richard (Dick) Field, a stalwart Canadian patriot. I had known him since the early 1990s.
I first met Dick around 1993, at the first founding meeting of the Voice of Canadians, also known as the Voice of Canadians Committees (VCC). The early 1990s were a dark time in Ontario, ruled by Bob Rae and his socialists in the New Democratic Party (NDP).
I still remember the first meeting of the Voice of Canadians in Swansea Town Hall, which was viciously disrupted by leftist thugs who pulled the fire alarms, thus forcing the meeting to a close. (The Village of Swansea was a former administrative division in the west end of Toronto.)
Dick Field decided to try to raise the banner of resistance to all the social engineering that was being imposed on Ontario at that time. We were both guided by the statement, generally attributed to Edmund Burke – “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.”
It was very encouraging to find someone in the early 1990s, willing to stand up to the vast roaring tide of left-liberalism, which had overwhelmed Canada since the late-1960s.
Dick was also amazingly able to publish an article critical of the excesses of multiculturalism, in the Toronto Star, well known as a very liberal paper. It must have taken enormous effort and courage to carry this project to completion.
Thanks to the uprising of the grassroots, of which the Voice of Canadians was in the vanguard, we were able to play a role in the election of Mike Harris in 1995, who ushered in the desperately needed Common Sense Revolution.
In an article published by me in 1997, “Canada’s ‘Civil War’.”, which appeared in The World & I, vol. 12, no. 9 (September 1997), pp. 112-117, a Washington, D.C.-based monthly with a circulation of about a 100,000 – I managed to briefly mention Dick, referencing the article he had published in the Toronto Star. My article was subsequently reprinted in a college/university reader – Annual Editions: World Politics, 1998-99 (Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 1998). It was selected from among dozens of major American magazines read by the editorial board of Annual Editions. That college/university reader would have been circulated among tens of thousands of college and university students, mainly in the U.S.
Dick and I were also very active in the Reform Party in our riding, Parkdale-High Park (in west-end Toronto). Dick’s tireless hard work contributed to the amazing seventeen percent of the popular vote that the Reform Party candidate won in the federal election of 1993. (In the Canadian electoral system, candidates who receive fifteen percent or more of the popular vote in a riding, are refunded their Elections Canada candidacy deposit.) The unified Conservative vote in more recent elections in the riding (2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015) has hovered at or below fifteen percent.
It could be argued that it is only because of the rise of the Reform Party, that the creation of a more “small-c conservative” Conservative Party became possible in December 2003.
I reconnected with Dick at the May 2009 Civitas Canada meeting, being held in the elegant setting of the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto. We were both long time members of Civitas Canada, a prestigious organization that gathers the leading centre and centre-right figures in Canada. In fact, Stephen Harper has been a member of the group, and briefly showed up at the meeting in the Royal York Hotel.
In February 2012, Dick arranged a talk in Toronto for Paul Weston, then the leader of the British Freedom Party. It was combined with a superb dinner at a prominent restaurant in the Bloor West Village area. (Bloor West Village is a somewhat trendy area in west-end Toronto.) I was very happy to have been able to meet various important and interesting figures at the dinner, including Kathy Shaidle, the well-known Canadian blogger.
After the dinner, I suggested to Dick that he might consider reviving the roundtable ginger-group which he had chaired in the late 1990s and early 2000s, called the Montgomery Tavern Society.
Indeed, Dick undertook this task cheerfully, and invited me to join as a full-fledged participant.
Our ginger group meetings have been attended by various important and interesting figures from Canada, and from around the world, which was a boon to me as a writer for broadening my contacts.
I also wanted to note that Dick was a highly effective chairman of the meetings, and also took the effort to provide superb catering for the accompanying lunches. Those ginger group meetings have encompassed some of the happiest moments of the last few years for me, which have been otherwise quite dreary.
I wanted to express my profound, profound thanks to Richard Field, for having since the early 1990s, taken up the banner in the struggle for freedom and for “equality before and under the law” in Canada. It was highly encouraging to me and my writing endeavours, that there were some people left, who hadn’t abandoned a more traditional vision of Canada. One could all too quickly fall into depression, were it not for the reassurance of friendship and the sense that one was not entirely alone.
Thank you again, most sincerely.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.