Monday, October 04, 2010

Alvyn Austin Speaking in Toronto October 21 on Arthur Menzies

"Canada's Far Eastern Desk: Arthur Redpath Menzies and the Creation of Canada's Post-War Asia Relations 1940-1953"

Thursday, 21 October 2010 | 2:30 to 4pm | 626 York Research Tower | York University 

Arthur Menzies (1916-2010) was responsible - as much as any one man - for creating Canadian policy to East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc.) in the Second World War and post-war period. Born and raised in China in the 1920s and educated in Japan in the 1930s, he felt sympathy towards both sides and steered Canada towards a just, even-handed policy. He was Head of Canadian Mission to Occupied Japan (1950-1953) and Ambassador to the People's Republic of China 1976-1980). This paper covers his early career and his Japan years. 

The talk is presented by Dr. Alvyn Austin, a Research Associate at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). 

Alvyn Austin obtained his B.A. in East Asiatic Studies (as it was called) at the University of Toronto in 1968. He appeared in the acclaimed film Warrendale” in 1967. He took the Museum Studies course at the Royal Ontario Museum/University of Toronto and was hired as the interpretation planner for the Norman Bethune birthplace in Gravenhurst (Parks Canada), which opened in 1976. Bethune introduced Dr. Austin to a different perspective on his missionary background, and he has made his life's work to write the history of Canadian missionaries in China and Taiwan. He is the author of Saving China: Canadian Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom 1888-1959 and China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society 1832-1905 (Eerdmans 2007). Most recently, he had been working with Arthur Menzies on his memoirs, which are the subject of his paper. 

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