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Murray Thomson fonds
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3.2 m of textual records, graphic material, sound recordings and moving images
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Name of creator
Murray Thomson was born in Honan, China in 1922. His father was a United Church missionary. Thomson came to Canada at an early age. He was a student at the University of Toronto when the Second World War began. He enlisted in the air force and became a pilot although he never flew in a combat mission. Murray received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Toronto.
As an undergraduate, he co-founded the Humanist Group, a citizen’s group for social change. His first job after graduating was a position in the adult education division of Saskatchewan’s socialist CCF government. Thomson received an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. In 1955 Thomson went to Thailand on a UNICEF research fellowship. He then spent four and a half years in India working in adult education for the American Friends Service Committee. Upon his return to Canada in 1962 he became peace education secretary for the Canadian Friends Service Committee in Toronto. In 1970 he became director of the CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) programme in Thailand. In 1972 he became the Regional Field Director of the South East Asia CUSO Programme. He also worked with the Canadian Friends Service Committee in South-East Asia sponsored by the Canadian Friends Service Committee, the peace and development wing of Canadian Quakers.
Thomson was the co-founder of the inter-church peace group, Project Ploughshares, a founder of Peace Brigades International in 1981 and of Peace Fund Canada. He helped establish the United Nations World Disarmament Campaign. In 1990, Thomson was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal. In 2001 Thomson received the Order of Canada. Thomson has been an active pacifist and lives in Ottawa. He died on 2 May 2019, in Ottawa, Ontario, at the age of 96.
Scope and content
Titles of series (with the exception of 22 and 23) are derived from chapter headings used by Thomson for a proposed autobiography for which the materials were gathered. Series 22 has been created by the archivist to contain all the correspondence to and from David Smith. Series 23 has been created to house audio-visual material in one place. The series are as follows: University Days and R.C.A.F.; Adult Education in Saskatchewan; UNESCO International Institute for Child Study; Quaker Conferences in Southern Asia; Peace Education and the CFSC in Canada; International Development: CUSO, Thailand and Canada; Canadian Council for International Cooperation; The Group of 78; Project Ploughshares; The UNSSODS I-II and World Disarmament Campaign; Peace Brigades International; Canadian Seniors for Social Responsibility; Religions for Peace (WCRP); International Council for Adult Education; Peace Fund Canada; Canadian Friends of Burma; Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee; Nonviolent Peace Force (Canada); Nuclear Disarmament and a Culture of Peace; Make Room for Peace (In the War Museum); Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention; Correspondence with David Smith and Audio-visual.
Immediate source of acquisition
The fonds (5-2012) was donated by Murray Thomson in January 2012.
The fonds was accompanied by a chronological inventory compiled by Thomson. Arrangement of the finding aid to this archive is based on the inventory.
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There are no access restrictions.
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Further accruals are not expected.
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