TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

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Polly Of Bridgewater Farm, an unknown Irish story. We all know the book but much less the author.  Let me tell u a little bit about her.

AA CM Scrapbook

Catharine McKenty grew up on her grandparents’ farm, ”Donlands,” then eight miles outside the Toronto city limits on Don Mills Road.  She went in every day to Bishop Strachan School, where she won scholarships in French and German.  After taking a degree at Victoria College, University of Toronto, she spent four winters as a volunteer in the mining area of post-war Germany with an international group of young people involved in reconstruction.  Later she was Research Editor for Pace, a magazine for young people, based in Los Angeles and New York, and linked with the international musical group Up With People.

Next came a stint as a speechwriter for the Ontario Minister of Education in Toronto.  It was on the dance floor that she met her future husband, author-broadcaster Neil McKenty.  They moved to Montreal when Neil was offered a job at CJAD Radio.  Catharine worked at the Reader’s Digest.  Later she and her husband co-authored a bestseller on the early days of Quebec skiing: Skiing Legends and the Laurentian Lodge Club.

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In 2002, Catharine set out to find the Fleming family farm in Northern Ireland, where the Corey family welcomed her and shared their knowledge of the old Irish ways.  Catharine did much of her research in Omagh Public Library (Tyrone Constitution 1844-47, and 100th and 150th anniversary editions), the Ulster American Folk Park; the Ulster Folk and transport Museum, and linen Hall Library, Belfast.

Go check out the bookstore: click here

Jean P.

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