On Thursday the 7th of May 2015, the third of four limited edition artist proofs of a new bronze maquette of Sir William Stephenson, the Man called “Intrepid”, was presented to the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. It was accepted by Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer. The ceremony commemorated the special comradeship between the United States, Britain and Canada, nations that enjoy common cultures, language and have been steadfast allies in two world wars and in conflicts that continue today. The event recognized the courage and sacrifices of the Americans and Canadians who brought freedom and liberty to the occupied counties during the Second World War.
The bronze was gifted by the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Fort Garry Horse, Bob Williams and the president of the Intrepid Society, Colonel Gary Solar. The bronze was created by celebrated Manitoba artist Erin (ne Brown) Senko. The event was attended by members and guests of the Intrepid Society and The Fort Garry Horse, a Winnipeg regiment, who were in the vanguard of the Normandy invasion.
75 years ago the first German military transmissions using the top secret Enigma cipher machine, were successfully deciphered by the Ultra group in April 1940, an operation that made a very large contribution to the allied victory. Stephenson coordinated events with the Polish underground who first “liberated” the Enigma Cipher.
Last year, similar presentations coinciding with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, were made to Canada House in London England and the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy France to honour and commemorate the sacrifices of the French Resistance during the events leading up to the invasion on the 6th of June 1944. The events commemorated the courage and sacrifice of the members of the British Security Coordination unit and the Allied Secret Services for their critical contribution to the Allied cause in bringing freedom to the people of occupied Europe during the Second World War. The bronze maquettes are now included in the permanent art collection at all three locations. A fourth presentation, will be made later this year in Bermuda to the Hamilton Princess Hotel, the centre of Sir William’s intelligence operations in the Caribbean.
The Intrepid Society is dedicated to honour and sustain the memory of a great Canadian, Sir William Stephenson, born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, who distinguished himself in the two World Wars. The free world today owes a huge debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts during World War II against formidable odds, in winning the battles of intelligence, subversion, intrigue and secrecy. Sir William served valiantly in World War I where he was awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Military Cross. In World War II, he undertook that which earned him a knighthood from Britain, America’s highest award, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Merit, the Order of Canada and the everlasting gratitude of the democracies around the world. Stephenson, immortalized by Sir Winston Churchill, as “The Man Called Intrepid”, was the “Spy Master”. He was the director of the British Secret Intelligence Service(SIS) and the British Security Coordination (BSC) Office in New York. As well, he was Churchill’s personal advisor for Allied intelligence and acted as his personal liaison with U.S. President Roosevelt, out of which emerged not only committed logistical support for embattled Britain, but also the embryonic organization initially headed by General William J. Donovan, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which ultimately became the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1947.
A presentation of an earlier bronze maquette by Leo Mol of Sir William was made to the CIA in 2000 by the Intrepid Society and is one of three principal works of art displayed at the Langley headquarters.
Fourteen visitors of the Canadian entourage made up of members of the sponsoring group from the Fort Garry Horse and the Intrepid Society visited the CIA museum on the 6th of May. They arrived at the agency headquarters in Langley Virginia by Humvee limo from downtown Washington, The group then was driven to the HQ building. They were welcomed by the Central Intelligence Agency Director and curator of the museum.
Juno Beach Centre
On June 9, 2014, Honorary Colonel Andrew Paterson, of The Fort Garry Horse, gifted the Juno Beach Centre with the donation of a bronze statue of Sir William Stephenson. A tribute to the members of the French Resistance to recognize their contribution and sacrifices in the preparation for the DDay invasion of Normandy and the Liberation of France. In the presence of HLCol Bob Williams – Fort Garry Horse; Mr Gérard Fournier – President of Association Résistance et Mémoire; Erin Brown – the artist; members of the Canadian delegation and representatives of the Juno Beach Centre. This event was sponsored by The Fort Garry Horse, The Intrepid Society of Canada and Whiteshell Art.
Canada House London
On June 3rd 2014, Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Gordon Campbell, accepts the bronze of Sir William Stephenson from Honorary Colonel Brian Hastings at the residence of the High Commissioner in London.