Tag Archives: Diefenbaker

Clippings from Faye Campbell — Cathy Campbell 1978

Clippings from Faye Campbell — Cathy Campbell 1978
Photo courtesy of Faye Campbell
Hi Linda. This picture was taken at the Ottawa Winter Fair in 1978. This is a picture of our daughter Cathy Day (Campbell) and her dad Lyle Campbell. The picture was in the citizen

My sister-in-law Verna Campbell was going through
her scrapbook and found it

The Devil Went Down to the PUMPKINFERNO!

Up in Flames –1920s Flammable Halloween Costumes

Halloween Time Warp

Last Night I Saw Someone I Loved at the Halloween Parade

The Carleton Place Halloween Parade 1958 –Lorraine Nephin

I want a Zombie on My Jeans

Did Diefenbaker’s “Diefenbunker” Produce an Illegitimate Child


John George Dryden 42, from Toronto is searching for DNA to confirm the identity of his father. Normally this would be a questionable feat but in this particular case it is even more difficult. Dryden believes his mother Mary Lou had an affair in the late 60’s with the former Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker. Dryden has approached the Diefenbaker Canada Centre in Saskatoon Saskatchewan for possible traces of DNA that might be on possessions of the late Prime Minister.

“If we had found a treasure trove of Mr. Diefenbaker’s DNA, then we would have shared it,” Michael Atkinson said from Saskatoon.

“(But) we cannot find enough traces of hair or other kinds of material that we could feel satisfied in sharing with other people.”

Atkinson also added that there was “hardly anything” that might have been of use for DNA tests. There is no question that Dryden does resemble Diefenbaker, and last year DNA tests determined that the man he had lived with and called Dad for years was not his biological father. His mother Mary Lou was a well-known close confidante of Diefenbaker and tongues had wagged for years about the paternity of her son.

Diefenbaker is buried under a ton of cement in the University of Saskatchewan
Campus and I wonder if he was so secretive that he ordered complete elimination of his DNA. Was Diefenbaker in real life a deadbeat Dad worried about nuclear fallout in his cabinet and the country if anyone found out?

For some of you that were not born in Canada, Prime Minister Diefenbaker chose to build nuclear fallout bunkers during the height of the Cold War. These shelters were scattered across the country and were nicknamed “The Diefenbunkers”  by the opposition party (Liberals) in the early 60’s. Over 50 bunkers were built, most often in great secrecy, with the largest being in Carp, Ontario.

I had the pleasure of visiting the four floor facility this year and was just mesmerized by its structure. The bunker was meant to house important politicians, media, military and let’s not forget the money from the Bank of Canada if a bomb was dropped. Each floor was entered through massive blast doors and as I walked through the different areas it seemed to still hold past history in the air. I am quite claustrophobic and I could not even imagine being there, even with the extensive air filters and air pressure to prevent radiation infiltration.

This bunker was capable of supporting people for several weeks and had food, fresh water and all the appearances of a nuclear ‘home sweet home’. Looking at the detailed maps on the walls I was shocked to see that anyone outside of the bunker from Carp to where I was born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec was going to be toast if the ‘big bomb’ hit. It was extremely reassuring to know how much they cared as I do not believe it was ever common knowledge that any of us were in danger.

Following the end of the Cold War most bunkers were sold off or demolished. The Carp Diefenbunker was used in the movie ‘Sum of All Fears’ with James Cromwell during a war game scenario. Now it is a Cold War Museum open to the public all year round. Sometimes I wonder if we understood how serious the Cold War was, as this bunker was designed to withstand a near-miss from a nuclear explosion.

Presently John Dryden is now mentally exploding, wondering if one of Deifenbaker’s explosions created him.  His lawyer Stephen Edell said the museum’s inability to help would not end Dryden’s attempt at finding out whether he is in fact related to the former Prime Minister.

In 1958 Diefenbaker said, “Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong”. So let’s hope that Mr. Dryden gets some help to prove that his theories are right, as everyone deserves to find out who their real family is. To John time is of the essence, and I hope his ‘nuclear family theories’ are right.

Linda Seccaspina

Text and Images of the Diefenbunker in Carp, Ontario taken by myself

Photo of Dryden and Diefenbaker from a website bloging about the ordeal. Also available on CBC news