Cornwallis and Indigenous Commemoration

June 2019

The first four sessions of public engagement in the process dealing with issues relating to Edward Cornwallis and to the need for greater Indigenous Commemoration wrapped up this week.

All of us on the Task Force were greatly impressed by the numbers of people who attended the sessions at the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre, St. Mary’s University, the Millbrook First Nation Community Centre and the Zatzman Dartmouth Sportsplex — and equally by those who gave what were clearly heartfelt presentations. My guess is that close to 200 people came out to the four sessions, with about 50 coming up to the mic to speak.

Perspectives on the topic of Cornwallis and the early history of Halifax ranged widely, and the Task Force thanks all who took the time to offer their individual views.

Everyone in all four settings followed the guidelines, which asked for respectful silence to be given to each speaker, with no interruptions of any kind. The sessions were intended to be for listening, not debate, and that’s exactly what happened.

One observation I had was that regardless of the differing points of view expressed, each speaker came there for the same reason: which was to share their perspective on the matters under discussion in the hopes that it would resonate with others. Their presentations were affirmations of hope that others would see value in their point of view. Talking not shouting. It was, the Task Force believes, how such controversial issues need to be dealt with for us all to move forward.

There will be more public engagement sessions in the fall. In the meantime, the Task Force meets once a month to discuss how best to move toward reconciliation on both important topics.

HRM Task Force

June 2019

For the latest information on the Halifax Regional Municipality’s Task Force on the Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History, please go to the web site given below.

https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/a-c/task-force-commemoration

The Hat is now on Kobo

May 2019

I finally got around to making my YA novel about the 1755 Acadian Deportation from Grand-Pré available on Kobo. It remains on all Amazon platforms as well. Here is a link to where it is on Kobo. https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-hat-6

Books … so far

April 2019

There is at least one of my books missing from this display — Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future — but I think the rest of them are all there. When the book on The Lincolns comes out in 2020, it will be number 20. A book to be co-written with Jesse Francis — for Acorn Press about the history of PEI’s Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site will be number 21. It too should come out in 2020.

Dreams to Remember

April 2019

I cannot say when the book on the Lincolns — tentatively entitled “Dreams to Remember: The Life and Times of The Lincolns, Nova Scotia’s Legendary ’60s Band” — will be on bookstore shelves.

But an important step was taken this week. I sent the 51,000-word manuscript off to Nimbus Publishing. At some point in the weeks or months ahead, Nimbus will assign an editor and designer to work on it. I’ll let everyone know when the book moves on to that step.

Today, I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone who contributed a story, gave me a lead, or helped locate an image. There is a very long list of all those people, too long to give here.

My greatest thanks go to the Lincolns themselves, for sharing their stories with me. In alphabetical order: Barry, Dick, Don, Frank, Jack, John, Layne and Rod gave me great material for the book—and so did dozens of fans.

In addition, John MacLachlan Gray wrote a terrific Foreword and Frank MacKay composed an Afterword days before he died.

As I was writing the final few words, a crazy and unexpected thought popped into my head. An earlier book—”Endgame 1758″—came to mind. What? I said to myself. That was about an imperial struggle 250 years ago, not a rock ‘n roll band. Then it occurred to me, like “Endgame 1758,” “Dreams to Remember” is a continuous and compelling narrative about a collection of fascinating individuals. Rock ‘n roll and a massive siege: they are all about life, aren’t they?

Lincolns’ Book Update

March 2019

It’s been a fascinating seven months, talking to members of The Lincolns and collecting memories from their fans. After a long time with my head down figuring out what goes where, I can now report that we are on the homestretch. The finish line is not yet quite in sight, but it’s just around another couple of bends.

Frank MacKay’s passing less than two weeks ago added a sudden sense of urgency to getting the book finished at my end and into the hands of Nimbus Publishing. It also turned the book — deservedly — into something of a memorial to Frank.

I’ll share more information on the book’s status in the weeks ahead when there is something to tell. My immediate goal is to deliver the package of words and images to Nimbus as early in April as I can. Whether or not it will enter the publisher’s queue at that point is out of my hands. As things stand, publication is slated from the spring of 2020. I am ever the optimist, and hope that my early delivery might see the book come out sooner. But that may not happen—there are other people’s books already in the queue.

The photo comes from the first reunion of the Lincolns, at the Teachers’ College in September 1978. Several in the photo are now gone.