About the Society


About the Churchill Society of New Orleans:

The Churchill Society exists to preserve the memory of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (November 30, 1874-January 24, 1965). He was arguably the greatest Britain of all time. He provides a model of courage and of the ideals that made Britain – and the United States – the great countries that they are. He is best known for his leadership of Britain in World War II: with his unmatched command of the English language he gave confidence to the British people that they could successfully resist the overwhelming forces of Hitler’s Germany when Britain alone stood unconquered in Europe. In addition to his skill as a statesman and orator, Churchill served as an officer in the British Army; he wrote many excellent books, and was a fine painter of landscapes. He received the Nobel Prize in literature; his paintings won prizes, and the great friendship of him for Americans, and of Americans for him, resulted in his being the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

The Churchill Society of New Orleans was founded in 2003 by Hill Riddle, Jr., Ted Martin and Bill Reeves. The Society is loosely affiliated with the International Churchill Society (ICS), a worldwide organization devoted to preserving the memory of Churchill’s accomplishments. The ICS publishes a very fine quarterly known as the Finest Hour, a title calling to mind Churchill’s brilliant leadership in World War II.

The International Churchill Society’s official website is WinstonChurchill.org

Hill Riddle served as President from 2004-2005, presiding over the Society’s first Birthday Dinner. Ted Martin served as President from 2005-2008, an auspicious time during which board member Betsy Stout inaugurated an annual Essay Contest, open to all metropolitan area high school students, and Churchill’s granddaughter Celia Sandys joined the Society for lunch and a lecture. J Gregg Collins assumed leadership from 2008 to the present, and together with board members Eean McNaughton and Herschel Abbott, a partnership was forged with the National WWII Museum to present the first Churchill Symposium in September of 2011.

www.nationalww2museum.org : The website of the National World War II museum in New Orleans.

The Society is managed by a Board of Directors, also known as the Cabinet. Current Board Members include the President (Prime Minister), and treasurer, pro tem, J Gregg Collins, William “Bill” Reeves, Secretary, Ted Martin, Hill Riddle, Betsy Stout, Christopher Tidmore, Walter Wolf, John Wilson, Jacqueline Gamble and Ben Capshaw.

Until his recent death, Herschel Lee Abbott was a valued Cabinet member.  His performances as Winston in a number of “Interviews With Churchill” are well-remembered.  The Cabinet is developing plans for an award to be presented from time to time in memory of Herschel.  

In January, 2016 The Orlin Russel Corey Lecture Fund was created to honor the memory of  Orlin Russel Corey, an extraordinary man.  After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II, he became a renowned theatrical producer and director.  He founded Everyman Players, a touring classical troupe.  A nurturer of talents, he served on many boards including the board of the NOCCA Institute, where he also served as President.  A lover of history, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Churchill Society of New Orleans, and he created solo performances at the World War II Museum and the Churchill Society commemorating our soldiers.  The Orlin Russel Corey Lecture Fund provides the necessary expenses for the bi-annual Orlin Russel Corey Lecturer at the World War II Museum.

2013 Board of Churchill Society

Pictured from left to right, (the late) Orlin Russel Corey, (the late) Herschel Abbott, Christopher Tidmore, Hill Riddle, Ted Martin, Bill Reeves, Betsy Stout, J Gregg Collins