Marjorie

Marjorie: Her War Years can now be pre-ordered

 “Marjorie: Her War Years. A British Home Child in Canada” can now be pre-ordered  at Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca.

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Former Fairbridge Farm School principal claims that the British were “over-sexed.”[1]

Release date: August 11, 2018

Overview:

As a child, Marjorie Arnison was removed from her mother’s care and deported to the colonies. In September 1937, ten-year-old Marjorie and her nine-year-old brother Kenny were sent to the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School near Cowichan Station on Vancouver Island B.C., Canada. Their eight-year-old sister Audrey (aka Bunny) followed in August 1938.

Marjorie was always at ‘war’ with being removed from her family, her community and her country. Marjorie was well into her senior years before she learned that it was to her mother’s eternal distress that she lost three of her children to Canada. There was a strange comfort for Marjorie in finding out that her mother’s distress matched her own.

Gordon Brown, former prime minister of Britain: excerpt from the Foreword:

This is a worthy sequel to Marjorie, Too Afraid to Cry, which told a painful but critically important story of lives turned upside down by the then UK Government’s policy of sending children overseas and away from their families for ever.

Dr. Margaret Humphreys CBE, OAM, Child Migrants Trust, Nottingham, England.

“Marjorie’s memoir is important in helping us all to remember a time not too long ago when the ties which bind us became lost to Governments. This is a powerful reminder of the consequences of child migration.”

Rex Weyler, author of Blood of the Land and Greenpeace: The Inside Story:

Marjorie: Her War Years is the sequel to the stunning Marjorie: Too Afraid to Cry, that chronicled the experience of British children forcibly taken from poor families and used as cheap labour and “white stock” for the British colonial empire. In 1937, at the age of 10, Marjorie Arnison found herself motherless and alone at the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School, near Victoria, British Columbia, an environment of humiliation and abuse.

Marjorie Her War Years follows day-to-day life at the school, how the girls banded together to soothe each other from the constant verbal abuse and to avoid the ubiquitous pedophiles. This is an important book because it exposes the dark side of “civilized” society, as it reveals the strength of the human heart to rise above that darkness.

 

Click here for a copy of the Isobel Harvey 1944 Report


[1] Stated in a 1944 Report by Isobel Harvey, Superintendent of Child Welfare, on the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School. The visit was prompted when a cottage mother reported allegations of homosexual behaviour in her cottage. A number of pedophiles working at the farm school also came to light. The children at the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School had little protection and no one to turn to. See https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/4265/view/Child%20Migration%20Programmes%20Investigation%20Report%20March%202018.pdf for the March 1, 2018 Independent Inquiry: Child Sexual Abuse. Child Migration Programmes, Investigation Report.

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Look for “Marjorie: Her War Years. A British Home Child in Canada” on August 11, 2018.

Marjorie is happy to see the manuscript for "Marjorie: Her War Years. A British Home Child in Canada." The story of her day to day life at the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School, on Vancouver Island, BC. Release date: August 2018.
Marjorie is happy to see the manuscript for “Marjorie: Her War Years. A British Home Child in Canada.” The story of her day to day life at the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School, on Vancouver Island, BC. Release date: August 2018.

 

Marjorie Her War Years. Foreword by Gordon Brown
Marjorie Her War Years. Foreword by Gordon Brown

Where to Buy?

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The sequel to Marjorie Too Afraid To Cry is called: Marjorie: Her War Years. A British Home Child in Canada. Release date: August 11, 2018

Marjorie Her War Years. Foreword by Gordon Brown

Marjorie Her War Years. Foreword by Gordon Brown

Scheduled for release August 11, 2018.

Marjorie: Too Afraid to Cry centred on the recreation of Marjorie’s lost early life in her town of birth – Whitley Bay in northern England and her journey to Canada as a 10-year-old-girl and her return to London to be present for the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown’s February 2010 Apology to all British Child Migrants. Marjorie struggles with settling into her new ‘life’ and after 11 months at the farm school things brighten a little when she is reunited with her younger sister.

The sequel to Marjorie Too Afraid To Cry is called: “Marjorie: Her War Years.  A British Home Child in Canada.”
This book gives an account of the day-to-day life during Marjorie’s five years at the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School. It was not an easy time for Marjorie. She battled daily with the loss of her family and had a difficult time settling into her ‘new life’ in the colonies. This book ends in December 1942, shortly after Marjorie turned 16 – when she was placed out to work in a series of homes in Victoria BC, as a domestic servant. It documents Marjorie’s struggle to find peace with the betrayal and rejection she feels from her mother and her country.

Front Cover Top: The girls of Pennant Cottage. Marjorie is 5th from the right, or the first girl sitting on the slanted section of the railing of the porch. She is sitting beside one of her favourite cottage mothers, Mrs. Willis. This cottage mother was caring and compassionate, and was able to help right some of the wrongs from the years of abuse that Marjorie faced from her earlier cottage mothers. Her kindness allowed Marjorie to build self-confidence and trust in herself and in others, especially as she headed out into Canadian ‘life’ on her own. (Courtesy of the Cowichan Museum and Archives. 999.10.15.42.)

Front Cover Bottom: Fairbridge children heading back to their cottages from the fields. Many of the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School photos were ‘staged’ for publicity purposes and to be used in the Fairbridge Farm School Annual Reports and fund raising advertisements. (From the Fairbridge Farm School Inc. Annual Report Thirty-first Year, 1940. Page 8.)

Marjorie War Years Cover photos

Click here for a copy of the Isobel Harvey 1944 Report
The Province of British Columbia’s Superintendent of Child Welfare, Isobel Harvey, visited the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School in August 1944. Her report was not favourable of the conditions she found the children living in. “A Child Welfare worker viewing Fairbridge is left with a feeling of helplessness. The basic idea, antagonistic to every concept of Canadian Child Welfare, that these children are poor English children and, therefore, different from the ordinary child, is rooted so firmly in practically every staff member’s mind that there is no use arguing against it. I was told over and over again by the Principal that I was incapable of understanding these children because they were English children. Anything they do, any trait they develop, is laid to the class from which they come. In fact, Fairbridge seems to be class conscious to an astonishing degree – even the Canadian cottage mothers get the same idea. One fifteen-year old girl who has very superior intelligence was placed in the trainee course for domestic work, thereby having to give up half her academic work, the only thing she cares about. She has become utterly unmanageable but, if you mention her, each person from the Principal down, tells the story of how this youngster said in rebellion, “My mother raised me in the gutter, and I’ll go back to the gutter.” That statement to them made it clear that it was not the school discipline but the child and the class from which she came that was at fault. Mr. Logan himself apparently believes in an aristocracy or the intelligentsia, for he told Miss McKay that in spite of her idealistic outlook she would have to come down to his belief that 5% of the world would always rule the other 95%. Miss McKay said anyway it would not be the same 5%. Canadian ideals of democracy are not being taught here. In fact, nothing that is Canadian is taught and the children make very derogatory remarks about Canadians. But, as one staff member remarked, their only experience of Canadians had been a series of poor cottage mothers.”

A cover of a Fairbridge Society Annual Report. Circa late 1940s

A cover of a Fairbridge Society Annual Report. Circa late 1940s

                 

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CBC Radio Interview – British child migrants

My CBC “On the Island” interview about British Child Migrants. Interview was held February 13, 2013.

Click here to listen.

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Marjorie is delighted to see ‘her story’ now found and never to be forgotten again.

After years of research, Marjorie’s long forgotten past has been found and is now published. Marjorie is delighted to see ‘her story’ in print.

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New Project

My next project is a continuation of my last two books – thus my research material is of triple benefit to me.

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