Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{June 22, 2008}   Did you blink? If so, then you missed the tenure of P.M. #17!

Despite the fact that I was actually alive when he was Prime Minister, I don’t know much about John Turner. This is probably explained by the fact that he was the P.M. for 2.5 months when I was 7 years old.a152412.jpg

Name John Napier Wyndham Turner
Born: June 7, 1929 in Richmond, Surrey, England
Died: hasn’t
Party: Liberal
Held Office: June 30, 1984 – September 17, 1984
Best known for: -having the second shortest tenure as a P.M. (after Charles Tupper). In fact, he called an election just 4 days after being sworn into office. The party was decimated in the election, with the Liberal only winning 40 seats (their lowest number ever). In that election, Turner won the seat in Vancouver Quadra (which is *my* riding, btw) and became the leader of the (very small) opposition.-he ran for the Liberal party leadership in 1968 and said, “My time is now,” and that he was “not here for some vague, future convention in say, 1984.” Trudeau won the 1968 leadership convention handily and guess what year it was when the next leadership convention, which Turner won, was held?
Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M. -one of his middle names is “Napier,” making him “John Napier” and, as we all1 know, John Napier invented logarithms. John Turner, however, did not invent logarithms.-his wife, Geills McCrae Kilgour is the great-niece of John McCrae, who wrote In Flanders Fields

-in 1965 he rescued former P.M. Diefenbaker who was struggling with the undertow will swimming in Barbados

-he is in the UBC Sports Hall of Fame, having been one of the three fastest men in Canada between 1947-1949

If you are just dying to read more about J.T., check out:

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Image credits:(First photo: Robert Cooper/Library and Archives Canada/PA-152412; second photo: Robert Cooper/Library and Archives Canada/PA-152415; both photos: Restrictions on use: Nil; Copyright: Robert Cooper.

1Where “all” = me & Sarah

Sarah says:


John Turner was also part of a big scandal while in the UK in the late 1950s. He danced numerous times with Princess Margaret and they were said to be good friends in real life. HUGE press coverage ensued and many pearls were clutched because John is Catholic (and the princess would have had to renounce her claim to the throne if they’d married).

Princess Margaret? Say No More!

Turner was unfortunately very un-telegenic. He licked his lips and cleared his throat very often while speaking – it was like an annoying tic.

Brian says:

He is also perhaps the best-known butt groper in recent Canadian political history. I remember that 1984 campaign for repeated derriere taps that were caught on camera, most notably one on Liberal Party President Iona Campagnolo and the French Vice President… prompting feminists of the time to market “Turner guards” to wear across the back.

[…] represented by the Right Honourable John Turner, who was the Vancouver Quadra MP from 1984-1993 and was the Prime Minister for about 2 […]

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