Canadian Fiction in East Africa and India

The idea I am putting forward is that new Canadians bring their storieswith them, and these stories then become Canadian stories. Canada‚Äôs pastlies not only in the native stories of the land itself, but also in Europe, andnow in Africa and Asia; Canadians have fought not only in the World Wars,but also in the warsContinue reading “Canadian Fiction in East Africa and India”

Tanzania redux

I just finished M.G. Vassanji’s novel, The Book of Secrets. The story takes place in Tanganyika (German East Africa) and Kenya largely during the first World War years and into the aftermath of their independence. The protagonists gravitate between the cities of Moshi, Dar-Es-Salaam and the fictional Kikono; Voi, Mombasa and Nairobi respectively. The bookContinue reading “Tanzania redux”

Stop all the clocks, let the mourners come

I have been writing about my visit to Kamuli, Uganda for a submission to a memoir writing competition and in that process a re-examination of my time has led me into a deeper understanding of the events. In previous posts about my uncle, Father Kees de Cock, I had described my quest to affirm someContinue reading “Stop all the clocks, let the mourners come”

The streets have no names

Verifying the third “fact” about Fr. Kees de Cock proved to be the most difficult challenge as I embarked on a hunt to discover the street bearing his name. My first step was to conduct a Google map search of Kampala, the city where my Dad believes the street is located. I have employed GoogleContinue reading “The streets have no names”

Please don’t call me Sir

I had more faith in my father’s second “fact” about Uncle Kees being recognized by the Queen. I had doubts, however, having never seen any evidence. I am unclear about the basis of my father’s faith, whether or not my parents had seen any pictures or were simply repeating the information as relayed to themContinue reading “Please don’t call me Sir”

Building pillars

The information about Uncle Kees arrives in dribs and drabs, in no particular pattern and from a variety of sources. The stories from my Dad were the beginning, leading to different forms of inquiry with little basis except that Uncle Kees was part of the Mill Hill Missionaries, stationed in Uganda in the town ofContinue reading “Building pillars”

Server to everyone

My Dad spoke often of his older brother, my uncle, Fr. Kees de Cock. Dad would repeat one of three “facts”: a building was named after Uncle Kees; he was recognized by the Queen (of Netherlands); and they named a street after him in Kampala. As a young adult, I took these statements for granted,Continue reading “Server to everyone”