The History of David Lewis Public School


David Lewis Public School was officially opened on Thursday, May 10, 1990. Our guest speaker was Stephen Lewis, son of David Lewis.

David Lewis was the political, leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) from 1971 to 1975. He was born in 1909 at Svisloch, Russia. He died in 1981 at Ottawa, Ontario.

Lewis came to Canada with his family in 1921. He grew up in Montreal and he attended McGill University. He won a Rhodes scholarship to attend Oxford in England. Lewis' interest was socialist politics.

In 1936 Lewis became the national secretary to the newly formed Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). Lewis remained secretary of the CCF until 1950, trying many times to win election to Parliament. In 1950 he held a variety of executive positions and helped draft the Winnipeg Declaration of 1956.

Lewis consistently worked to rid the labour movement of communist infiltration and to forge a link between the Canadian socialist and labour movement. In 1962 Lewis won a seat in the House of Commons for the NDP for the first time. Lewis ran for Parliament in York South in 1962, 1963, 1965,1968, 1972 and 1974. He lost only in 1963 and 1974. In 1971 he won the leadership of the NDP, and in the next election his party won 31 seats.

In 1974 Lewis lost his seat and retired from politics. He became a university professor.