07 February 2011

Peter C. Newman visits the Hastings Heritage Centre

Renowned Canadian author and journalist Peter C. Newman paid a visit to the Hastings Heritage Centre in February.  Peter stayed for tea and answered questions from the Archive Angel volunteers, regaling us with tales about the Hudson Bay Company and other subjects.  He brought some of his books for show and tell and modelled his beautiful beaver hat (left).   

Peter offered two tips to his success as a non-fiction writer.  The first is what he calls his “Hey Mabel” rule: every 6-7 pages he offers an entertaining fact or anecdote that would lead a man to say to his spouse, “Hey Mabel, listen to this ... .”  The second is his careful check for factual errors:  having his lawyer and other experts review his work has helped him avoid being sued, despite controversial topics and law suit filings.

Peter has long-term connections with the Quinte area and recently moved to Belleville.  He discussed his current book project, to tell the stories of the United Empire Loyalists and the role they played in developing a Canadian national identity.  After an interesting discussion about Peter’s other publications (24 books so far) and his approach in researching and developing them, the volunteers briefed Peter on materials that the Historical Society has in its archives about the Loyalists and other potential sources of information in the area.

At the end of the afternoon Peter kindly agreed to be part of a group picture (for our archives collection).
Peter C. Newman in his more familiar hat, with Archivist Sharon White (seated) and volunteers (left to right) Lois Foster, George Pearce, Beth Green, Laurel Bishop, Donna Fano, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gerry Boyce, Adele Dibben, Mary Jane Throop, Lorna Garbutt, Katharine Mills, Marney Black, Diane Sule, and Bobby-Jo Morris. Story and photos Nick White