Remembering my father

What follows is the eulogy I delivered at my father’s funeral. May he rest in peace. Donald Thornhill (April 22, 1948 – April 26, 2019) My father was a patient man and he had to be. Here’s something he told me: “With the wear and tear we gave our clothes, it’s a wonder I had […]

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Book Review: Marq de Villiers’ Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource (2003)

Water is a book about our global freshwater supply and its quality. It’s a policy-relevant and science-rich book but is neither a policy book nor an academic book. Like its subject matter, this book is meant for everyone. Author Mark de Villiers writes: “Water is not ‘ours’ or ‘theirs,’ but the planet’s. We use water, and […]

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Book Review: David Macfarlane’s The Danger Tree (2014)

The Danger Tree artfully combines family memoir and historical nonfiction. Just as author, David Macfarlane, introduces readers to his maternal family, the Goodyears of Newfoundland, he establishes the major events of the early twentieth century. The event Macfarlane most prominently features is the First World War. For the Goodyears, WWI means “three dead sons paraded […]

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CORNER BROOK IS PLANNING A COME HOME YEAR IN 2019. YOU SHOULD COME. HERE’S WHY.

Tree-covered and nestled in a valley at the bottom of the Bay of Islands, Corner Brook has undeniable striking beauty. And yet, it’s often left off the “places to visit” in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) lists. That’s because Corner Brook is admittedly the poor cousin to other western and northern Newfoundland destinations like Gros Morne […]

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Dory Stories

My father told me about the one-room variety school he and my uncles attended in Little Bay East, Newfoundland. The community didn’t have an adequate number of students to accommodate separate classes. So, the school children up to grade five shared their own classroom, while the preteens and teens from grade six onwards shared their […]

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IF POP COULD READ THIS NOW: LITERACY LESSONS FOR NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

The spring 2018 issue of Maisonneuve magazine includes my story called “Letters from Pop.” In this reported feature, I explore a legacy of low adult literacy in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). There, people traditionally learned their skills on the land and the sea more so than in the formal classroom. For […]

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