Rendezvous ‘67

Date / Period
Object Type
Books, Guides and Manuals
Canadian Red Cross
International Humanitarianism and Presence Youth

When Canada celebrated its 100th birthday in 1967, the Canadian Red Cross joined in the nationwide festivities. Its special Centennial Year project consisted of a ten-day August gathering of Canadian and international Red Cross Youth members in Ottawa, called Rendezvous ‘67. This Despatch cover illustration shows some of the participants meeting fellow Red Crossers from around the world.

Red Cross Youth (formerly the Junior Red Cross) had a long history in Canada, dating back to the end of the First World War (1914-18) and the Canadian society’s first entry into peacetime work. Since then, young people had been actively pursuing the program’s three pillars of health, service, and international friendliness. Letters and scrapbook exchanges helped Canadian youth learn about Junior Red Cross members in other parts of the world, and vice versa.

The wave of post-Second World War (1939-45) births known as the “Baby Boom” dramatically increased the number of young people enrolled in Canadian Red Cross Youth: membership sat at 1.2 million in 1967. As the Baby Boomers reached adolescence in the 1960s, they proved to be outspoken, activist, and internationally-minded, interested in making things better not just in Canada but around the globe.

Meanwhile, Canadians celebrated their centennial year in many different ways, but one of the most important was the hip, ultra-modern Expo 67. This massive World’s Fair held in Montreal centred around pavilions from many countries, bringing the world to Canada’s doorstep. Expo 67 reflected Canadians’ growing sense of confidence and interest in participating on the world stage.

"A salute to the youth of Canada and the world."

The Canadian Red Cross united these two 1960s themes of youth and internationalism through Rendezvous ‘67. Planned and implemented by youth themselves, the gathering brought together 300 Canadian youth and 90 international youth from 45 countries to learn and socialize – including a visit to Expo 67, of course!  Red Cross Youth member Marsha Werb reported to the Red Cross Central Council in November 1967 that Rendezvous participants had engaged in “open dialogue to give their ideas, ideals, and possible solutions to world problems […] and most importantly getting to know and understand one another better.”  

The Canadian Red Cross called Rendezvous ‘67 “a salute to the youth of Canada and the world,” and considered it a contribution to long-term peace-building through international understanding. Preparing the leaders of tomorrow seemed a fitting tribute to the country’s first 100 years. 

Rendezvous ‘67

The Faces of Rendezvous 67
The Faces of Rendezvous 67

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