Tuesday 17 September 2013

Record of the Week: Ed Sullivan at the Archbishop's Charity Dinner

Coadjutor Archbishop Pocock and Ed Sullivan receive guests at the Archbishop's Charity Dinner, 22 April 1965
Catholic Charities Accession 2012-012
This month, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto kicks off its centenary celebrations, A Hundred Years of Helping. To prepare for the anniversary, ARCAT helped to gather some historical photographs.  Combing through an unprocessed accession, I came across a folder of photographs of the annual Archbishop's Charity Dinner...and then asked no one in particular, "Is that Ed Sullivan?" It seems that the Catholic Charities staff were equally surprised and delighted because this photo was selected for their promotional posters.

In 1965, the dinner was thrown in honour of Coadjutor Archbishop Philip F. Pocock and it raised $7,500 for charities, most of which went to the Good Shepherd Refuge for homeless men. The Canadian Register (1 May 1965) reported:
Among the many distinguished guests at head table was TV star Ed Sullivan who had come from New York especially to attend this charity dinner...Mr. Sullivan delighted his audience by reminiscing over the past 17 years he has been on television...[His] talk included many personal glimpses of his own youth. For example, he recalled  how he used to pump an organ at 'five cents at a low Mass, ten cents at a high Mass.'  
The connection between the Archdiocese and the famous television host is not exactly clear.  The Ed Sullivan Show did broadcast from Toronto's O'Keefe Centre in April 1963.  Perhaps he made the acquaintance of local Catholic movers and shakers during that time.

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