Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Richmond Talk about The Chaplain, July 2013

The evening started with a bang – MP Philip Toone 
presented the Queen Elizabeth medal to Joan Dow, 
Founder of the British Heritage Village (BHV) 
in New Richmond.
Joan and Philip talked together about the Village.
Then Joan Dow spoke about the beginnings of the village.
The BHV is now run by the dynamic Kim Harrison, 
a descendent of the Deserter and thus a relative. 
She has built the Heritage Village into a thriving institution 
commemorating the contribution of the British Isles 
to the now mainly French Gaspe Coast.
Then we moved to the small but vibrant 
church of St. Mary Magdalen.
Philip introduced me to Doreen Bird-Daley, 
the dynamic United Church minister.
Philip is undoubtedly the best Federal MP 
our region of the Gaspe has ever had. Doreen, 
new to The Alford Saga, bought all five books!
First Philip Toone, Federal MP, introduced me 
with a talk about how churches are 
the backbone of his territory.
I spoke to the tiny community, which nonetheless 
bought over fifty copies of The Chaplain 
to support their church.
Joan Dow busily kept track of the books she had sold.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Shigawake Area Book Launch, July 2013

Deacon Patsy Hayes arranged a launch 
in my home area of Shigawake.
We raised money with sales of The Chaplain 
for St Paul’s church, newly renovated with 
the help of our Province’s heritage fund.
The ACL (Anglican Church Women) arranged for 
a spread of goodies, and I brought the wine.
Gloria Hayes and her sister Ethel, artists both, lent a hand.
I spoke about the Boer War and my book, 
the first novel set there for one hundred years.
The small group of Shigawakers (large for 
our tiny community) seemed to enjoy it.
St Paul’s worthy treasurer, Edith Mackenzie, 
sold over a hundred books, with Patsy’s help.
I signed quite a few.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cascapedia River Museum, St-Jules, Quebec, July 2013

The sign stands out on Route 299 which follows 
the Grand Cascapedia River inland from the Coast.  
The Chaplain raised funds for this museum and 
for the War Museum in New Richmond.

The wall of the parking lot is covered with salmon.   
At least one out of every two years, the Grand Cascapedia 
holds the record salmon catch in North America. 
It is widely regarded as one of the best salmon fishing 
rivers in the world.  22 record “monster fish” salmon 
(50 pounds and above) have been caught by fly fishing
 in North America, 17 of which were caught here.
Opposite that, a life-sized mural of the river.
The Museum building itself is unpretentious, although the river 
has hosted Princess Louse (daughter of Queen Victoria), 
Bing Crosby, President Jimmy Carter, Bobby Orr and 
Ken Dryden, Lord Stanley (for whom the NHL Stanley Cup 
was named) and Hoagy Carmichael, among many.
The tea room (one of many exhibits) is tastefully decorated...
...where one can also buy drinks.
The Museum Curator, Rachel Dell, saw to it that

there was a spread of salmon caught on the river.
She arranged a display of The Chaplain, 
Col. The Ven John M Almond.
After my talk I signed books.  My brilliant chiropractor, 
Natalie Godbout bought several of The Saga.
Phil Dodderidge is a veteran of Hong Kong, 
and former President of the local Legion.
Cousin Helen Campbell, widow of Art P Campbell, 
(a BCS master) also ran one of the camps of the river.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Centennial Library, Cambellton, New Brunswick, July 17, 2013

I was invited to the large and splendid 
Centennial Library in Campbellton, NB.
The library is stunning.
Its director, Jocelyn Paquette, welcomed me.
The reference librarian, Eva Fischer, arranged 
this display so as to push the use of 
non-fiction books, her goal in Campbellton....
Eva found historian Carman Miller’s 
superb nonfiction book on the Boer War.
Eva sat with me and new librarian 
Gabrielle Steffler behind their display.

Eva introduced me...
...and I spoke about the Boer War, 
and the ethos of the times in 1900.
Afterwards, I signed a good many books.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Unique B&B in Bathurst, July 2013

After the Bathurst booksigning, I stayed at a 
unique B&B, Star of the Harbour (L’Etoile du Havre). 
 Must have cost over a million to build.
The Innkeeper, Denis Hachey, is a history buff.
He dreams big... he wants to erect in Bathurst Harbour,
 a huge $2.5 million aluminum sculpture of The Phantom
Ship (which appears in my book #3) the legend known 
all over the Gaspe but especially a favourite in Bathurst. 
See the website
I found my bathroom astonishingly modern...
...and the bedrooms were amazingly decorated.
...all a showcase for the ultra modern, which only 
the two partners, Denis and Benoit Perron, the principal 
of a French high school, would ever be able to create. 

The next day we searched for a cafe latte, 
and found a poster in the foyer...
...of Au CafĂ© Gourmet.  
Romain LeClair, another history buff who 
works at the inn, made a terrific turkey 
mushroom loaf, and served us delicious coffee.