Corner Brook historian publishes memoirs of hometown Tack's Beach

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Rex Brown holds a copy of his memoir ‘Out from the Harbour’.

A harbour is a complex word that means a lot to Rex Brown, and delving into his first book would help the reader understand why.

Brown, the driving force behind the start and growth of the March Hare literary festival, has joined the figures he has rubbed shoulders with for decades in penning his own novel.

He grew up in Tack’s Beach, Placentia Bay — a long resettled harbour community that, like so many others, diminished and disintegrated following the collapse of the cod fishery.

Brown’s memoir takes the reader on a tour of the traditional harbour in the 1950s. They meet the 23 families of the outport, learn of the public places that existed, and eventually get insight into the Brown family’s shop.

The book was five years in the authoring, but nearly a lifetime in consideration, says the author. He certainly always harboured his feelings of the long lost community within. However, he acknowledges they were sentiments of love and affection.

“But I think I have told you a love story,” he writes in ‘Out from the Harbour.’ “Is there any other word for it?  ‘Sense of place’ doesn’t seem to quite cut it for Tack’s Beach and me.

“I hope that in my flick around Tack’s Beach harbour in the 1950s, I have shed a bit of light upon where we hail from, we Newfoundlanders and Labradorians of the outports-some of us resettled, all of us clinging to every morsel of this place, Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Brown hopes his memoir will mean something significant to anybody with a connection to Tack’s Beach or the Placentia Bay area, but also to those who have experienced rural life in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, the historian also strived to make a greater imprint on his readers.

“I am also hoping it will be a significant book for filling in the picture of historical Newfoundland,” he said. “I hope it will serve people well who are desirous to be better informed as to from whence we sprung.”

The book was released from Flanker Press about two weeks ago, and is already available in local book stores. For a man who has spent a good part of his life, promoting writers, it is a special feeling to now have a book of his own published.

“I must say, it’s a pretty special thing,” Brown said. “To be able to get the physical book in your hand. It is great to have such a new experience as this at the age of 66.”

Twitter: WS_CoryHurley

Organizations: Flanker Press

Geographic location: Tack, Placentia Bay, Corner Brook Newfoundland and Labrador

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • George Mayo
    May 19, 2014 - 16:18

    What a superb gift to receive earlier this month on my 70th birthday. Rex I have to thank you for the wonderful memories your beautiful book rekindled of my early years growing up in Burin. There were many connections, e.g. Rev David Pierce the soccer player and his father the Principal of my first school, the games we played, the fish flakes and the similarity with the G.A. Bartlett & Sons, the schooners in the harbor, et cetera. What a jump back from the many weekends we spent at the Executive Table at the then NTA Building on Kenmount Road.

  • Don Brown
    April 21, 2014 - 15:19

    We read your book and found it a wonderful depiction of life and events at Tacks Beach during those times.Just one minor correction: uncle EPH,like my father John F. Brown,built his own motor boat. I distinctly remember the construction beside his store.

  • Daphne Park
    March 18, 2014 - 10:27

    My grandfather Hedley Barrett was from Tacks Beach, would be nice to read any comments, stories you remember about him

  • Don Brown
    March 03, 2014 - 15:39

    I look forward to getting your book,Rex.I left Tacks Beach in 1949 but went back for a visit a few times afterwards so I remember you as a very young boy.I remember your brother Howard well but most of all I remember your mom as one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. I later visited your dad,her and Howard in Topsail.All the best to you and family. Don.

  • Don Brown
    March 03, 2014 - 15:36

    I look forward to getting your book,Rex.I left Tacks Beach in 1949 but went back for a visit a few times afterwards so I remember you as a very young boy.I remember your brother Howard well but most of all I remember your mom as one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. I later visited your dad,her and Howard in Topsail.All the best to you and family. Don.

  • Cindy Benoit
    February 27, 2014 - 09:55

    I know my mom Marion Brown would love a copy please let me know where I can purchase a copy for her. Congrats!

  • Marian Trowbridge
    February 26, 2014 - 19:13

    Congratulations!!! I would love to purchase a copy of this book to give to my husband Freeman who grew up in Tack's Beach and talks about it so often. Where can I get a copy?

  • Andrea Sturge
    February 26, 2014 - 16:36

    excellent job cousin Rex looking forward to reading this book everybody is very proud

  • Doris Green-North
    February 26, 2014 - 16:21

    Hope it reaches the book stores here in St. Catharines ON soon. I will be looking for it. Thank you for writing this book and I look forward to reading it! I moved to Burin from Broad Cove when I was 13 yrs old. CONGRATULATIONS!!

  • Doris Green-North
    February 26, 2014 - 16:20

    Hope it reaches the book stores here in St. Catharines ON soon. I will be looking for it. Thank you for writing this book and I look forward to reading it! I moved to Burin from Broad Cove when I was 13 yrs old. CONGRATULATIONS!!

  • Alison Sturge
    February 26, 2014 - 15:11

    Proud shout out from the Topsail crowd. Aunt Maude and Howard would be brimming!

  • Jessie Hapgood
    February 25, 2014 - 18:56

    Rex; I can't wait to get my hands on that one for to read. I was 9 yrs old when we resettled, (daughter of William and Elizabeth warren) Love to go back home whenever I can. Jessie

  • margaret senior crocker
    February 25, 2014 - 18:35

    hi rex iam from bests hr (via)tacks beach charlie adams was my step father rita my mother where could i fine a copy of this book?i grew up their from the age of 5 until be resettled when i was 16.please and thank you.

  • Gladys Reid Stacey
    February 25, 2014 - 17:54

    Congratulations Rex ,I am looking forward to getting a copy of your book..you may not remember me but we did go to school at Tacks' Beach..it's been 54 years since I last saw you..so sorry to hear of Howards' passing...take care and I'm sure I will enjoy your book...wishing you all the best sincerely,Gladys Reid Stacey.

  • can't wait to read it
    February 25, 2014 - 13:21

    probably one of nicest fellows a person could ever met; a great high school teacher; certainly one of the best that walked through doors of Herdman Collegiate; and now a renowned author; all at age 66; way to go Rex; all of lifes pleasures and joys u richly deserve; the very best to you

  • bob wall
    February 25, 2014 - 06:03

    Rex, haven,t read it yet but know there,s great feeling for you in doing this. Having spent a lot of my summers as a young man in the outports i think i know how you feel. God Bless & hope this gives you a great deal of satisfaction. "BOB".

  • Paula McHugh Grudich
    February 23, 2014 - 10:35

    Congratulations, Rex! I look forward to reading your book. It will be great to hear your reading during the March Hare.

  • Mike Madigan
    February 22, 2014 - 15:10

    Well done Rex! I'll have a copy! Ed Humber has spoken of Tack's Beach often and your good work!! The Sharecroppers have written songs with you and your comunity in mind! All the best! ~Mike Madigan (mike_madigan@yahoo.com)