By Stu Whitley
This is the fourth in a four-part series.
During his entire life, my father has adhered to a habit of
truth—‘truth’ in that he has not been afraid to question the ‘why’ of a
thing. This included the way in which the past influences the future,
and his determination to manage events to the extent that it has been
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it,” he’d say.
was nowhere more apparent than in his decision to emigrate to Canada to
seek a better future for all of us. Three homes in three countries
within the span of a decade:
my childhood in England droppedbelow the horizon of the grey Atlanticen route to a different life in a new worldwell I remember a worn train groaningto a halt for us in a remote northern townof tarred felt paper, clapboard and tin
two brothers and I jostled our way
to the smoke green Pullman cars
only to be yanked back sharply
by a skinny old man in a pillbox cap
declaiming ‘Canadian National Railway’