Celebrating Farley Mowat at his boat-roofed house

Farley Boat Roof House

To kilt up or go Arctic. That’s the dilemma I face. It’s prompted by the moving of the Farley Mowat boat-roofed house in Port Hope. Come October, an international crew of professional stone-wallers will arrive in that town, 100 km east of Toronto. They will dismantle and then reassemble the boat house, placing it at a new location near the Port Hope Public Library. You can read all about this adventure by clicking here. And while you’re clicking around, you might want to check out this definitive piece (ahem) on the legacy of Farley Mowat. Anyway, in Port Hope, after the hard work comes the fun.

I am delighted to report that on Saturday October 8, I will be one of five authors — including Claire Mowat — who will celebrate Mowat with readings at the Port Hope Library. You see how this is coming full circle? I can’t help but think of Farley responding to fancy public occasions in the Big City by whirling around shameless in his kilt. No, nothing like that is going to happen in Port Hope. Farley Mowat was one of a kind. But the question is: do I gesture towards the pride Mowat took in his Scottish heritage? Or do I, instead, give a nod to the Arctic, which also formed such a large part of who he was? Perhaps by donning tuque and shades? Fortunately, I have a few months to contemplate this question . . . and, perhaps, to receive input from others.

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