Aug 31, 2012 / 6:00 pm
A man who believes John Diefenbaker may have been his father is getting another chance to prove his theory.
The Diefenbaker Canada Centre in Saskatoon has discovered a lock of hair labelled as belonging to Canada's 13th prime minister.
George Dryden of Toronto has been trying for more than a year to establish whether he is Diefenbaker's illegitimate son.
He earlier had DNA tests done on some artifacts at the centre, such as a hatband and hairbrush,but the results were inconclusive.
"This looks to be a much more promising avenue for Mr. Dryden," centre director Michael Atkinson said Friday after the discovery was announced.
He said the centre has left word with Dryden about the surprise find and its decision to allow testing of a portion of the hair. But staff have not yet received a response.
Atkinson said the centre underwent significant renovations over the past 18 months and its entire collection was moved to two storage locations. While moving the items back, staff manually catalogued the inventory.
That's when workers found a small, unmarked box. Inside were three locks of children's hair that appeared to have been taken as keepsakes. A sample of blonde hair, at least five centimetres long, was attached to the name John G. Diefenbaker.
Another sample belongs to his brother, Elmer. The third sample is unidentified.
Atkinson said when he was told about the hair, he was floored. "I actually wanted to lay my eyes on the hair samples because I couldn't frankly believe it."
He said he's a bit embarrassed because the centre told Dryden last fall that it didn't have any hair or other samples suitable for DNA testing.
Dryden claims his mother had an affair with the former Conservative prime minister in the 1960s. Diefenbaker held the title from 1959 to 1963 and it has always been assumed he had no children.
He died in 1979.
Dryden, who bears a strong resemblance to the leader, has said there were longtime family whispers about his paternity. Late last year he found out the man he believed was his dad was not his biological father.
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