Co-author and Editor Gayle continues to feel bad that the pandemic has prevented her from having an in-person book launch for her late husband Ian Moore-Morrans’ second memoir, Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad.
However, today brought some boosts to her outlook. First of all a call from Charles H. Cameron, a fellow member of the Robert Burns Club of Winnipeg, that we perhaps can soon start planning a book launch once the Burns Club can meet again for their monthly luncheon meetings, as well as giving Gayle some ideas about further promoting the book.
Then later that day she returned to her apartment and found this nice note on her shelf from a fellow resident of her senior’s high rise, (a British-born immigrant, like Ian), who had recently bought a copy of the book from Gayle.
I did enjoy reading Ian’s book “Came To Canada, Eh?” It was a hoot! But I was again struck by his unskeptical and unsuspecting manner as I earlier evidenced [in his first memoir] “From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada.” As I had indicated [an alternate title might have been] – “Innocents Abroad.” However, when I read the Epilogue and noted that Ian had chosen ‘honesty’ as (what he thought) his most important characteristic, it somehow all fell into place! Because he was such a generous, trustworthy person, he trusted others to be as open and honest as himself. What a guy!
Gayle soon replied: Thanks , dear friend, for those words. You are the first one to give me feedback on my final contribution to the book. And you got the exact purpose of that Epilogue and why I originally chose Robert Burns’ poem, “A Man’s A Man For A’ That” as the book’s epigraph. You made my day!
The first part of the above-mentioned Epilogue is quoted below:
When choosing the epigraph from Scottish poet Robert Burns (“A Man’s A Man For A’ That”) at the beginning of this book, I recalled a conversation with Ian some years ago. While creating a program about writing one’s faith journey, I thought I’d try Ian out on one of the proposed exercises by asking him to choose one word to describe the characteristic he thought most important in living his life. I had used Christian for myself and was expecting that he would choose Scottish. He surprised me though, by choosing honesty. Of course, I thought, that was Ian in a nutshell–honest! He strove throughout his life to support or protest his view that the true worth of a person (himself and others alike) is defined by honesty and independent mind rather than by class or riches or position in life. And I think this book proves it! However, it also thoroughly demonstrates that he was intrinsically Scottish and nomadic as well.
From P. 331, Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad, by Ian Moore-Morrans with Gayle Moore-Morrans, First Edition, 2020.
The above-mentioned Epigraph (a poem or quote to introduce the theme of a book) is quoted below, along with Ian’s added underlining of portions from this favourite Robert Burns poem as found in his well-worn copy of The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, 1759-1796, Collins, London and Glasgow, and accompanying Glossary by James MacKenna. This underlining helped Gayle in choosing this particular poem as the book’s epigraph.
FINALLY: A BOOK LAUNCH!!!! Co-Author/Editor Gayle Moore-Morrans celebrated as she launched Moomor Publishings’ latest book on the Amenities Floor at FRED DOUGLAS PLACE, her seniors’ residence in Winnipeg, on September 10, 2021, almost 11 months after the book had first been published. Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, it had not been possible to have an in-person launch for the book until then. There was a good turnout of residents eager to hear about Gayle’s insights (some of them had already purchased and read the book in months past), an interview of Gayle as co-author/editor, a book signing/sale and a chance to watch a video of Ian reading a story from the book, plus a number of videos of him singing as a Scottish entertainer in years past. More book readings are being planned: A zoom presentation across all five Canadian time zones, sponsored by the Facebook Group LUTHERAN WOMEN CONNECTING on November 6th at 3 p.m. Central Time (plans are to record the presentation for later sharing online) and a live presentation for members of the ROBERT BURNS CLUB OF WINNIPEG on November 20th.
Reviews of Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad, by Ian Moore-Morrans with Gayle Moore-Morrans
From James Osborne, author of Amazon #1 bestseller, The Ultimate Threat:
“Came to Canada, Eh? is a brilliant and beautifully told story of the journey through life by a newcomer to Canada, at once both candidly disarming and brutally honest. This book is an important contribution to Canadian heritage.”
From Charles H. Cameron CD, Past President, Robert Burns Club of Winnipeg:
“Mr. Ian Moore-Morrans, in my humble opinion, reminds me so much of aPoet/Song writer in Scotland, each travelling the countryside in search of employment and happiness to better his life and that of his family. A paraphrase of Robert Burns’ poem, Rantin’, Rovin’ Robin could aptly describe Ian’s story: “Ian was a rovin’ boy, Rantin’, rovin’, rantin’, rovin’, Ian was a rovin’ boy, Rantin’, rovin’ Ian! He’ll hae misfortunes great an’ sma’, But ay a heart aboon them a’, He’ll be a credit till us a’ —We’ll a’ be proud o’ Ian.”
From Liz Olson, award-winning short story writer, occasional editor/copy editor and former editorial assistant for Canada Lutheran magazine: “Put down that celebrity bio and pick up Came to Canada, Eh? Ian is the real deal, the most relatable Everyman you will ever meet. Circumstances don’t allow for fame or fortune, despite his remarkable gifts, but nothing keeps this guy down for long. His indomitable spirit and quirky humour sustain him through a rollercoaster of adventures and tragedies, and the ride even leads him to a second chance at love at the end of the road. Don’t miss this!
From ARK on amazon.ca, 4 out of 5 stars:
“Never a Dull Moment. Ian’s experience as an immigrant to Canada with the attendant challenges of employment are possibly representative of the challenges faced by many immigrants now, and in times past. Ian’s experiences will likely resonate with immigrants especially, as well as with those who have felt like an ‘outsider’. Ian’s determination in the face of obstacles will be an inspiration to many readers. Very readable and enjoyable chronicle.”
By Amazon customer on amazon.ca: 4 out of 5 stars:
“Ian is a story teller. Reading the book I can hear Ian telling the stories and the book is full of his storied life. There is a chuckle on every page.”
From Pat, a Winnipeg reader and a fellow resident at author’s senior housing. “Dear Gayle, I did enjoy reading Ian’s book “Came To Canada, Eh?” It was a hoot! But I was again struck by his unskeptical and unsuspecting manner as I earlier evidenced in his first memoir “From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada.” As I had indicated, an alternate title might have been – “Innocents Abroad.” However, when I read the Epilogue and noted that Ian had chosen ‘honesty’ as (what he thought) his most important characteristic, it somehow all fell into place! Because he was such a generous, trustworthy person, he trusted others to be as open and honest as himself. What a guy!”
From Editorial Evaluator at Friesen Press prior to publication:
“First off, I found Ian to be an incredibly strong storyteller, very direct, down-to-earth, and relatable. His writing style is straightforward and easy to read, even when “speaking” with the Scottish burr.
More importantly, he truly lived an extraordinary life. Although the individual moves and layoffs, for example, are fairly commonplace, when told en masse, in this sort of personal narrative, I found it incredibly impressive that he managed to maintain his hope and optimism. I can’t imagine that, in his shoes, I would have shown even a fraction of his determination.
Overall, he is a very sympathetic and likable character, even when occasionally coming across as a bit grouchy―and I like the fact that he actually acknowledges this likelihood.
In a personal memoir, unless one is famous, it is very important that the main “character” is compelling, likable, three-dimensional, and flawed. I never got the sense that he was painting himself as a victim or a hero. Instead, it seemed like a very honest retelling of the events that made up his Canadian experience.
I appreciated the way he retained his connection to his Scottish roots, and found it particularly interesting when he felt the need to defend England and Queen Elizabeth from his German colleagues. When combined with the various historical facts that are shared within the narrative, I found it very impressive that he was able to put his natural Scottish biases aside in order to speak to the larger picture.
The inclusion of his essay, “Destroy the Scots: A Brief History of the Peoples of the Highlands of Scotland and their Desperation in Trying to Exist,” really added a great deal of depth and gravitas to the narrative as a whole, and gave the reader a clearer insight into not only a historical period that most non-Scots are unaware of but into his character as well.
His deep roots were clearly a large part of the man he was, and influenced the way he interacted with the world around him, balking at injustice, appreciating practicality, and standing strong against anything that threatened to get in his way.
I very quickly felt like I knew him, and was enjoying following him on his various moves around the country. I also found it sort of refreshing, in an odd way, that he came across so many dishonest, unpleasant Canadians. As an editor, I have evaluated many of these sorts of stories, and in almost all of them, we Canadians are portrayed almost universally as polite, generous, kind, and so on. And on the whole, I think we are. But at times, one starts to wonder at the almost total absence of jerks. I have certainly come across plenty of those in my life, all of them born and raised in Canada. By including these negative representations, I found the story seemed somehow more real and relatable. His love of Canada, and its people are showcased as well, but in a seemingly more realistic way.
With so many changes of setting and scenery, the pace of the narrative was good, always moving forward. It also afforded him the chance to introduce many interesting people, and does an excellent job of keeping them recognizable and individual.
While his writing is generally very simple in style, he also showed a real knack for capturing a moment. For example (from his essay): “Even today, over 250 years later, one can feel an air of mourning that persists in Scotland’s Culloden Moor. No birds sing; no heather grows on the mounds of earth that cover the many mass graves.” One can almost feel the haunted stillness of the place. This is very good writing.
Lastly, the organization is very effective. Largely chronological, and interspersed with pictures, poems, song lyrics, articles, and so on, as well as the lovely eulogy and epilogue. I found the narrative flowed very organically and kept my attention right through to the end, with the elements written by you, Gayle, fitting seamlessly into the story, never detracting or distracting from the rest but actually adding greatly to it.”
The Editor’s Manuscript Evaluation written for Friesen Press before publication: “A sequel to From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada, this story follows Ian Moore-Morrans’ continuing experiences in Canada, endeavouring to survive and thrive in his new country, while facing and overcoming recurring professional and financial setbacks, as various recessions lead to lay-offs and dozens of relocations around Canada―with his wife, children, and pets―in search of new opportunities. Through all the ups and down, he and his family manage to stay positive and hopeful, overcomingthe hardships, supporting each other, and always staying open to whatever life has to offer next. This story follows his personal and professional adventures through his retirement, the death of his first wife, and to his second marriage, during which he is finally able to focus his energies on singing, dancing, writing, and basically enjoying his life to its fullest until his passing in 2019.
Robert Burns Day, January 25, is an appropriate time to post this recent press release. Some of Burns’ poetry as well as the Winnipeg Burns Club feature in several of the stories therein. If you haven’t got your copy yet, it’s not too late!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Winnipeg, MB – January 12, 2021] In this month of celebrating the birthday of Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns, a new memoir by a Scotsman-turned-Canadian is being celebrated. Canada is known for being a mosaic of people who have immigrated here in search of a better life. The late Scotsman, Ian Moore-Morrans, was one such immigrant. This second and newest memoir, Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad documents his experience, after finally overcoming poverty to settle into a life of (sometimes uncertain and chaotic) middle class prosperity in Canada.
To quote a Winnipeg reviewer: Put down that celebrity bio and pick up Came to Canada, Eh? Ian is the real deal, the most relatable Everyman you will ever meet…. His indomitable spirit and quirky humour sustain him through a rollercoaster of adventures and tragedies, and the ride even leads him to a second chance at love at the end of the road. Don’t miss this!
Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad by Ian Moore-Morrans with Gayle Moore-Morrans offers the story of an ordinary, yet truly extraordinary Scotsman and his endeavours to survive and thrive as an immigrant to becoming an eventual citizen in a new country – Canada. Despite facing numerous roadblocks, Ian perseveres – with enthusiasm or sometimes impulsiveness in facing new possibilities in far-flung parts of Canada, in the humour that rarely leaves him despite setbacks and encounters with less-than-honest persons, in his willingness to share his evolving talents as a musician and writer, and in his honesty and obvious love for family and constantly changing circumstances.
The full extent of Ian’s nomadic ways is both fascinating and stunning. From 1970 to 2002, Ian and his first wife Mary moved almost annually, living multiple times in six provinces (including five times in Winnipeg) within 34 years. Ian’s story also documents the two years following the death of Mary, when he encountered Gayle, the soulmate of his later life, their whirlwind romance and marriage and their decision to continue Ian’s nomadic ways as they embarked on a new adventure to Mexico.
After Ian’s death at age 86 in 2019, Gayle as editor and co-author, was able to finish Ian’s story and offer it for publication with her insights into its central theme of honesty and independence of mind as exemplified in the immortal Robert Burns’ poem, “A Man’s A Man For A’ That.”
Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad by Ian Moore-Morrans with Gayle Moore-Morrans (a sequel to Ian’s first memoir, From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada), produced by Moomor Publishing through FriesenPress, is available in print and as an eBook from most major online book retailers including Amazon and the FriesenPress Bookstore. (Paperback copies are available at a special reduced price in Winnipeg by contacting Gayle directly or in Flin Flon at Tiff’s Puppy Parlour.)
About the Author Ian Moore-Morrans, a machinist by trade, as well as a Scottish entertainer–singing and playing in bands for well over fifty years in Canada, the UK, Egypt and Mexico–and a busy husband, father and grandfather, rarely found time for writing until his early sixties. After retirement (and marrying an editor), he quickly excelled, being named one of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading by THE AUTHORS SHOW in 2014. Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad is his fifth published book.
This sequel to Ian Moore-Morrans’ first memoir, From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada, continues the story of an ordinary, yet truly extraordinary Scotsman and his endeavours to survive and thrive as an immigrant to and eventual citizen in a new country, CANADA. The full extent of Ian’s “nomadic” ways is both fascinating and stunning. From 1970 to 2002, Ian and his first wife Mary had moved almost annually. They lived multiple times in six provinces and had two extensive trips to Britain within 34 years. Ian’s story also documents the two years following the death of Mary, when he encountered Gayle, the soulmate of his later life, their whirlwind romance and marriage and their decision to continue Ian’s nomadic ways as they embarked on a new adventure to Mexico. Readers will marvel at the sheer volume of roadblocks that Ian encounters in finding and keeping skilled machinist jobs in volatile economic times, in his enthusiasm and sometimes impulsiveness in facing new possibilities in far-flung parts of Canada, in the humour that rarely leaves him despite setbacks and encounters with less-than-honest persons, in his willingness to explore and share his evolving talents as a musician and writer and in his honesty and obvious love in dealing with family members and constantly changing circumstances.
Who makes up your book’s target audience?
People of any age, especially those who are interested in the Scots and their tendency to populate, entertain and bring their culture and expertise to the world. In this age of refugees and mass immigration, it could be advantageous to learn of one particular Scot’s adventures as he encountered obstacles, prejudice and triumphs in adjusting to the culture of a new country.
What are your book’s key themes?
Memoir/Autobiography Scottishness Music and Writing as Avocations Immigration to Canada Life in Canada in the 1970s-early 2000s Master Machining – Skilled Blue Collar Work Recessions in Canada – 1974-75; 1980; 1981-82; 1990-92 Adjustments to Constant Moving and Changing Circumstances Losing a Spouse and Finding Another Family Joys and Concerns Changing Religious Perspectives
How do your book’s key themes directly relate to your target audience?
All of these themes would be of interest to most people, but especially to those who have encountered vast changes in their life circumstances or who are attempting to understand and accept those who have lived through those changes and adjustments.
What are the key learning outcomes you would like readers to take away from your book?
** Empathy for immigrants and the challenges they face in adjusting to life in a new country and culture. ** Understanding and acceptance of the Scottish people. ** Support for those who volunteer their time and talents in musical or literary pursuits. ** Advantages of using humour in facing adversities in life. ** Inspiration from a “senior” who remains romantic and open in later life.
What are the book’s main objectives?
In Ian’s own words when first deciding to write his memoirs: “I’ve encountered so many Scottish descendants who knew little or nothing of their ancestors and thus determined to write my life story for my descendants and others who were curious about the Scotland their ancestors left as well as the immigrant experience. Then, there are the ‘Scottish-wanna-be’ folk who have a fascination with anything Scottish. As well, most people like to read of other peoples’ misfortunes and first-hand adventures.” From Gayle’s perspective, bringing this memoir to fruition when Ian was too ill to do so (and following his death in February 2019) became a way to grieve his loss, celebrate his life and keep him close to her. She looks upon sharing his story as an “act of love.”
Why should readers buy this book?
It’s a good read – educational, eye-opening and entertaining to boot!
What makes the authors credible sources to have written this book?
Ian Moore-Morrans enjoyed writing during most of his life but never had time to pursue it in earnest until, at age 63 and approaching retirement as a machinist, he decided “it’s now or never,” learned to type and began writing stories. To date this is his fifth published book. Ian’s musical training began at age 13 with the Salvation Army in Campbeltown, Scotland, UK. He excelled as a Scottish entertainer for most of his life, playing in bands or singing for well over 50 years in the UK, Egypt, Canada and Mexico. Ian left formal schooling in Campbeltown at age 14, had career training in the British Royal Air Force and earned his General Educational Development (G.E.D.) Certificate (Grade 12 equivalence) in Canada at age 44.
Gayle Moore-Morrans, Ian’s editor and co-author, has also been writing throughout life, both in her work capacity (as a Lutheran parish worker, a secretary, a social services director at a seniors’ centre and finally as a program director and magazine editor of a national church women’s organization) and in documenting personal and family happenings. Best of all, though, she likes to edit and enhance the writings of others. Living with Ian has given her a first-hand perspective as to his honesty, personality and talents. As his primary care-giver during his later years, she took on the task of finishing this memoir, not only editing it but also adding many sections to it as Ian’s health, memory and writing ability failed, drawing on her memories of 15 plus years living with Ian and also constantly checking with Ian as he was able to examine added portions of the manuscript. In addition, she researched facts and interviewed family members in Canada and the UK, as well as located and edited all images used in the book. Gayle’s elementary and high school education took place in New Rockford, North Dakota, USA. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Magna Cum Laude), in Psychology, Religion and Philosophy, from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, USA (1963). She also understands the “immigrant” situation, having lived most of her adult life in Germany (18 years) and, since 1984, in Canada (including part of that time for two years in Mexico
What needs do this book satisfy in the market?
** Human interest story, especially from an immigrant’s perspective. ** Family heritage story from Scottish cultural and Canadian perspectives. ** Romantic story from a senior’s perspective. It’s never too late for love! ** Entertainment – sometimes providing a well-needed laugh, even in the face of adversity!
Have the authors won any writing awards?
Ian was named one of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” by THE AUTHORS SHOW in 2014 and his essay “Why I Write” was a chapter in the ensuing book: 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, 2013-2014 Edition. Gayle (as Gayle Johannesson, Editor of Esprit magazine) received an Award of Merit Honourable Mention for “General Excellence (magazines – specialized) from The Canadian Church Press in 1999.
Have the authors published other books?
** Metal Machining Made Easy, 2002, updated 2018. A “how-to” manual. ** Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie, 2010. A novel of adventure and time travel. ** From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada, 2012. A memoir. ** Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie, 2014. A chapter book.
Where can readers buy a copy of Came To Canada, Eh?
If you are lucky enough to live in Winnipeg, signed copies of the book at a special price are available from Gayle. Just email her to make arrangements to pick up the book (firstname.lastname@example.org). Anyone else can order the book at local bookstores worldwide, distributed to the trade by The Ingram Book Company. They are also offered online through distributors such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Just search for the author (Ian Moore-Morrans) or the book title (Came To Canada, Eh? Adventures of a Scottish Nomad). ISBN 978-1-5255-7591-4 (Hardcover) 978-1-5255-7592-1 (Paperback) 978-1-5255-7593-8 (eBook) Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs