Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

Lotta Love for Lotta Hitschmanova as She Makes the Long List of #bankNOTEable Women

Our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, has made the Bank of Canada's long list of 12 Canadian women who could be featured on a bank note in 2018.

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Authors, artists, feminists, a businesswoman, an aircraft designer, an Olympian and our very own founder, humanitarian Lotta Hitschmanova, make up the Bank of Canada's long list of 12 women who could be featured on a bank note in 2018.

The Bank of Canada released its long list on Friday after receiving hundreds of nominations from people across Canada.

"We believe that the nominees for the bank note should have broken or overcome barriers, be inspirational, have made a significant change and have left a lasting legacy. We applied these four criteria in reviewing each of the 461 eligible unique nominations," says a statement from the Bank of Canada's Advisory Council, a group of nine people tasked with the difficult job of wittling down the list of deserving Canadian women.

Lotta Hitschmanova as a young woman in her military style uniform sits at a desk with many papers in front of her. She is smiling.

Lotta fits right in. An outspoken critic of the Nazi regime, Lotta was forced to flee her home country, Czechoslovakia, in 1938. For a few years, she stayed on the move throughout Europe, and worked for a time with refugee support groups in Marseilles. In 1942 she arrived in Canada after a 46 day voyage on a refugee boat designed to carry bananas.

"[I was] exhausted with a feeling of absolute solitude in an entirely strange country," she wrote in a letter. "I came with $60 in my pocket. I had an unpronounceable name. I weighed less than 100 lbs, and I was completely lost."

But it wasn't long before Lotta found herself - and the work that would go on to define her life. After hearing her parents had been killed in a Nazi concentration camp, she poured herself into her work. She founded the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada (now USC Canada) in 1945 to help Europe recover and rebuild after World War II - and asked Canadians to help.


Thousands answered her call and gave food, clothing and cash to help those in need, making USC Canada one of the very first international development agencies in our country. She dedicated decades to this work, developing many programs all over the world from food and clothing aid in post war countries, to midwifery training programs to help bring babies in marginalized areas safely into the world, to funding schools for orphaned kids.

Her legacy and vision of making the world a "better, kinder place for all" lives on today in USC Canada through our work with small farmers in Canada and around the globe. Learn more about Lotta's life here.

Lotta is in amazing company on this list of 12 Canadian women. Please take a look at the full list on the Bank of Canada's website.


Read 1982 times Last modified on Friday, 29 April 2016 23:16

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LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.



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  • Phone: 1-800-565-6872

USC Canada is a Registered Canadian Charity 11927-6129-RR-0001

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