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LETTER: Chaulk and cheese

The Corte Real statue in view of Confederation Building in St. John's has been stirring controversy. BARB SWEET/THE TELEGRAM
The Corte-Real statue in St. John’s is stirring controversy. — Telegram file photo

Regarding the profusion of letters to The Telegram regarding taking down or leave standing the statues of Churchill and Corte-Real, surely there is no comparison between these two men?

One, with all his warts, is largely responsible for the leadership that overcame Naziism during the Second World War, while the other simply sailed past Greenland, couldn’t land, proceeded on to Labrador, took slaves to pay for the trip and drowned on the way back.

Except for Portugese fishermen wanting to thank us for how we treated them over the years and who paid for the statue, most of us would never have heard of Corte-Real. Yet his statue has a commanding presence on Confederation Building hill. Not so at Memorial University, where the Corte-Real residence at Burton’s Pond (a stone’s throw from Churchill Park) was quietly renovated and renamed the Global Learning Centre earlier this year.

So let’s not equate Churchill and Corte-Real as MUN has wisely done. And if the latter did something of merit somewhere else in the world that didn’t include enslaving the local population, let’s offer the statue to them.

Tom Hawco

St. John’s


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