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Web Editor, Doug Gent
Farley McGill Mowat, OC
born May 12, 1921, in Belleville,
d- May 6, 2014, at his home in Port Hope, ON, age 92
He was a Conservationist and one of Canada's most widely-read Authors
Why is he on this site?
Well as it turns out, reading his book, "Born
Mr. Mowat visited the Bienfait-Estevan area, with his parents.
They were travelling on their way from Eastern Canada,
via the States, to Saskatoon SK.
His father, Angus Mowat, had just got a job as Head Librarian in
As it turns out, they stopped at a farm overnight,
after crossing the border from the States.
They were travelling and camping,
in what can be described as a bunkhouse on wheels.
This farm was located 1 mile south of Bienfait.
on the old corner of Highway 39.
This farm was occupied by my Grandparents.
Percy and Fanny Gent.
Farley describes in detail his visit and encounter with the Gents,
and my Grandmother Fanny giving him 50 cents when they left,
which as he describes, as possibly their last 50 Cents.
They were giving, to the extent of having nothing themselves.
I wrote Mr. Mowat after reading the book,
and received a nice reply
which is one of my treasured keepsakes.
In the book he tells the story that his
trying to repay the kindness shown to them by Percy and Fanny
set up a book exchange program,
and would send books down to the farm for them.
I am sure they were appreciated.
Mr. Mowat spent four formative years
(1933-37) in Saskatoon.
So with this short write-up in Mr. Mowat's
we know he was thru this area.
I am sure they could have stopped at any farm
in Saskatchewan and received a warm welcome.
Just so happened it was my ancestors.
Reading his recollection made me proud they were my Grandparents.
Farley was the Great Grandnephew of Sir
an Ontario Premier.
Graduated from the University of Toronto in
He served in WWII, discharged at the end of
the war, rank of Captain
One of his earlier books, "Lost in the
won the Governor General's award
He was made an Officer of the Order of
Canada in 1981,
and I think personally deserved it more than some that have received it.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
named their ship the RV Farley Mowat
in his honour, and he still helps out this cause.
He was denied entry to the United States
during the Reagan Administration.
Farley Mowat the terrorist !!!
Wonder if he was still on their no fly list?
I doubt if he cared!
Received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
He has sold 14 Million copies of his books,
in 25 countries. Tough to beat that!
He published his last book, #40, named "Otherwise", in 2008.
His books are part Fact, and part Fiction.
written to create interest, not boredom for sure.
I have read criticism of his work, for not being totally factual,
but I would rather read Farley's version,
than an encyclopaedia version, any day.
I know his heart was in the right place.
He was not a politician, that can change their stories from day to day.
He was the definition of being totally "Green",
before it became fad to do it.
Those that criticized his books, are now driving Prius cars,
and saving their pop cans!
The whales and the wolves I am sure,
will toast him, now that he has left this world.
And I doubt if he gives a damn if the Toronto Star
will print his Obituary.
He is a True Proud Canadian!
This isn't our families only connection with
Mr. Farley Mowat.
As it turns out his Uncle, Frank L. Mowat, was a close friend,
and even a Business partner,
of the Twomey family in Camrose Alberta.
My wife is a direct relative of the Twomey's!
In 1935, this Uncle Frank Mowat, an Ornithologist,
took Farley on a trip to the Arctic,
which awakened his love of nature, and shaped his later life.
Frank Mowat was a business partner of Dennis Twomey,
and a close friend and mentor of Arthur Cornelius Twomey,
who became the Head Curator of the Ornithology Department,
of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.
So now I know of a double relationship of
and his family. Via the Gents and the Twomeys.
He has written 40 books, but the one I
has the story of my grandparents, in Chapter 7, on Page 99.
Born Naked (1994) ISBN 0-395-73528-9
Thanks Mr. Mowat, for giving me an
incite into my Grandparents Character,
as they both passed away before I was born.
This page is dedicated to them:
Percival (Percy) James Gent,
and Fanny Alice Peninnah Gent, nee Davey