Veteran broadcaster Lowell Green has written a book that celebrates Canada and its unique history. The book, “Amazing But True! 150 Fascinating Stories About Canada”, came out in May and has been met with a lot of enthusiasm. It is one of the winners of the Canada Book Award for 2017 and has also been nominated for the Governor General’s Pierre Burton Award, which is presented to an individual or organization that popularizes Canadian history, and makes it available to a wider audience.
The idea for the 314-page book, full of short, easy-to-read stories about Canada, came to Lowell when he was having lunch in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, with his wife. A woman in the restaurant recognized him and told him the story of Mona Parsons, of Wolfville N.S., who hid Allied airmen from the Nazis in the Netherlands during WW2. She became the only Canadian civilian woman to be imprisoned by the Nazis, and one of the first (and few) to be tried by a Nazi tribunal. “There must be all sorts of other stories like this in Canada,” Lowell thought, over his plate of Digby scallops. He expressed this to his wife and she encouraged him to research and write the book, which is now approaching best-seller status, with almost 5,000 copies sold nation-wide.
His favourite story in the book is about a woman who was exiled to a deserted island off the coast of Newfoundland in the early settlement days, and lived in a cave, alone, for many years. When she was finally found, she was dressed in a bearskin from a bear she hunted and skinned herself. Lowell’s son drew the picture of the woman which is on the front cover of the book. “When I saw Jeremy’s drawing, I knew it had to be on the cover,” Lowell says.
The book has also some stories from Lowell’s personal experiences working as a broadcaster in Ottawa for over 50 years. It includes a whole section of his favourite tales of his love/hate relationship with John Diefenbaker.
Lowell’s goal in writing the book was to show people that Canadian history is anything but boring. It is full of strong and brave female leads, heroes, prisoners of war, and pirates. “History is more than just dates, ” Lowell says. “The way to tell history is through the eyes of the people who lived it. It’s the people that make the history.”
The book is easy to digest, with most of the stories meant to be read in under two minutes. Lowell has already heard of people reading it aloud at the dinner table to spark conversation, and to their children at bed time. “I want young people to read this book and to pass it on,” he says. “It is meant to be a memento for Canada’s 150th birthday.”
“Amazing But True! 150 Fascinating Stories About Canada” is being sold locally at Grahames Bakery in Kemptville, Old Porch Primitives in Oxford Mills, and Food Market and Canal Gallery in Merrickville. It can also be purchased online through his website, www.lgreen.ca, and at Chapters/Indigo.
Lowell started his broadcasting career at CFRA 580 in 1960 as a news and farm reporter. Since then, he has become the longest-running open line talk show host in North America. He began writing books in 2002, when he wrote his memoir “The Pork Chop”, which sold over 20,000 copies. He has published 10 books, many of which have reached best-seller status in Canada.