John George Dryden, a 42 yr. old Toronto legal assistant is claiming to be the only known son of John George Diefenbaker, the 13th Prime Minister of Canada, according to a recent story broken by the National Post.
Mr. Diefenbaker served as PM from June, 1957 to April, 1963. He was widowed in 1951 and re-married two years later to Olive Freeman Palmer. She would be by his side through many a political campaign, and they also raised her daughter Carolyn from a previous marriage. No other children connected to them are known to exist.
WHO’S YOUR DADDY
Mr. Dryden’s claim is that his mother, a soprano soloist named Mary Louise Dryden (nee Lonergan) was a close friend and confidante of Dief the Chief. There is historical evidence to back this up.
Dryden also claims evidence of his name, his looks, a virtual estrangement from his father and years of family innuendo and rumor.
Mary Louise responded to her son’s allegations by telling the National Post, “That’s crazy!” His father called it “absolute rubbish.”
We know that Pierre Elliot Trudeau did have another child with another woman. In 1991 he had a daughter Sarah with Deborah Coyne (both pictured as his funeral in 2000).
But Diefenbaker? It hardly seems possible. All evidence point to a man who would never conceive of such a thing if you’ll pardon the expression. Dief and Olive were true blue by all accounts.
Still, do we not owe it to the history of Canada to proceed with DNA testing? DNA can be obtained from Diefenbaker family members and/or historical artifacts like clothing and toiletries, all of which are nationally archived. Of course there is always a Dryden paternity test which would also solve at least part of this mystery in quick order.
Would it be that defamatory to the legacy of the great Diefenbaker that he may have fathered a child out of wedlock? It would change nothing of political history, but it might allow one man to end his personal doubt, having grown up among family whispers and speculation. GET THIS DONE.
(I have mentioned on my show many times that John Diefenbaker once practiced law in the small Saskatchewan town (Wakaw) that I grew up in. As children playing, we were told that that old shack was once a Prime Minister’s office. Years later they restored it and moved it to a memorial park in his honor. I have included a photo of it.)