Peterborough Historical Society logo

Fighting for Democracy: A Canadian Activist (from Peterborough) in Spain’s Civil War

Jim Higgins was an English orphan who migrated to Canada for farm work in Saskatchewan in 1928. The Depression of the 1930s triggered his activism in the causes of social equality and democracy. In the polarized climate of the time he joined 1700 other Canadian volunteers to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War. In 1941 he settled in Peterborough, married, raised a family and continued working in the union movement to further workers’ rights. Janette Higgins is Jim’s eldest daughter, a writer who grew up in Peterborough and edited her father’s memoirs, providing a fascinating insight into a life both ordinary and extraordinary.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021, 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. Register to attend by sending an email note to with “Higgins” in the subject line.

Copies of Fighting for Democracy can be purchased from the Hutchison House Bookstore for curbside pick-up: $23.00: 270 Brock Street, Peterborough. For arrangements, phone 705-740-2600, 705-743-9710, or email: , or . Copies may also be purchased at Happenstance Books and Yarns, 44 Queen Street, Lakefield, 705-652-7535.

Janette Higgins, Author of Fighting for Democracy
Janette Higgins, author of Fighting for Democracy: A Canadian Activist in Spain’s Civil War