“A Man’s A Man For A’ That” Comes to Canada, Eh?

“A Man’s A Man For A’ That” Comes to Canada, Eh?

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.

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!

Regards, Pat


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.


“A Man’s A Man For A’ That” An Ordinary Scotsman Shares Extraordinary Journey in Final Memoir

“A Man’s A Man For A’ That” An Ordinary Scotsman Shares Extraordinary Journey in Final Memoir

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

PRESS 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.

Gayle Moore-Morrans, Moomor Publishing
gayleian@gmail.com

DECORATING OUR “FOREVERMORE HOME” WITH PICTURES AND MEMORABILIA

After two and a half months getting settled in what we have come to refer to as our “Forevermore Home” (or should that be “Forevermoore”? Nah, it leaves out the “Morrans” part of our name), Gayle is finally posting about what some of our friends and neighbours have started calling “the MM Gallery.” You see, we have made 10 moves in our almost 13 years of marriage and we’ve started saying the only way we will move again is if we are taken out in coffins or to a nursing home. At ages 73 and 84, and with Ian’s not-so-good health, we are planning to stay put “forevermore.” We moved last summer half way across Canada to a downtown senior’s high-rise apartment building in Winnipeg but to a too-small apartment as that was all that was available at the time. On June 1st this year we moved “up in the world” to the penthouse floor (17th) to a bit larger apartment with a fabulous view of the city and sky. After cleaning out a rental storage area and (again) downsizing some things that we have given away to family members and the Sally Ann Thrift Shop, we have finally found room for all those pictures and memorabilia that we’ve decided we just don’t want to part with. That leaves us living in the “MM Gallery.”

Hallway-Memorabilia Plaque.JPG

The above-pictured plaque is a feature of our hallway wall and poetically expresses our sentiments about the type of decorating we have in our Forevermore Home.

One of Gayle’s hobbies is combing used book stores for unusual books that mirror her interests. Some years ago she came across a book entitled “Decorating With Pictures” (© 1991 by Stephanie Hoppen, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York).

100_1284M100_1285

Hoppen’s text and pictorial examples couldn’t have matched any more perfectly Gayle’s natural inclinations to decorate with lots of colour and gusto. Reading the book and looking at the many and various examples of rooms full of a “wonderful kaleidoscope of colors and textures” were a true inspiration and vindication. Now, in our Forevermore Home nothing is going to be stored away for use “some day”; we are going to use things or get rid of them. Like Hoppen, we believe “pictures are the soul of a house.” Some people may remark that our home looks “busy” or “overwhelming”; but we have persisted in celebrating those items of artwork and memorabilia that we have collected over the years. We continually delight in relishing the displays on a daily basis. How great it was, then, to read Hoppen’s statement, “I love lots of pictures. I love mixing different media and different subject matter. I love framing some identically, some differently, and I love the effect that simply regrouping or reframing a collection of pictures can have on a room. A collection of pictures takes time to amass, time to evolve, and is ever-changing as new pictures come and old ones are reframed and rehung. It is a living, growing thing but don’t be frightened by it. Use it, tame it, tailor it to your own likes and needs.”

Here are some samples of the lavishly-laden walls, shelves and windows in our apartment:

Balcony Monkey, Parrot & SombreroBalcony Southeast CornerBalcony Window View 2Balcony window viewBalcony-Calla Lily & Sunflower artBalcony-Mexican Mask, Embroidery & WeavingBedroom Music WallBedroom North WallBedroom Southeast Corner into EnsuiteBedroom-Ian and Gayle musicmaking photosDen East WallDen-Bookshelf WallDen-north wallDining Room Watercolour Peonies and Ceramic ButterliesDining Room-Artwork - Oil, Lithograph, Silkscreen, etched candles, crystal stemware and decantersHalf-bathHallway looking southHallway to Den - Macrame HangingHallway-Family baptismal photosHallway-Family photosHallway-German and Alsatian picturesHallway-Ian's book promotionsHallway-Scandanavian and Scottish greeting shelfHallway-Scottish GalleryHallway-Scottish Swords and Shields plus Horses' BrassesHallway-Wedding and Ethnic PicturesKitchen-Egg Coddlers, Swedish shelf, Austrian and Scottish pot holders, cow bellKitchen-Rosemaled Canisters and Dalarna Hest, Swedish ClothKitchen-Slovakian, Norwegian and German Plaques, Swedish Dalarna Hesten, German and Norwegian doll pot holdersLiving Room Northwest CornerLiving Room West WallLiving Room Window View and Stained GlassLiving:Dining Room Northeast Corner

The particular tastes in memorabilia that we have chosen to celebrate are as follows:

For Ian: Anything Scottish, such as swords, shields, bagpipes, kilts, tartans, crystal bells and whisky decanters; items associated with his avocation of music-making; memorabilia from his profession as a machinist, such as metalwork, coins and vintage model automobiles; reminders of his early apprenticeship as a blacksmith, such as figures of horses, horses’ brasses and smithing; animal pictures and figures.

For Gayle: Folkart of many countries, particularly the Scandinavian and North Dakota traditions to which she was exposed from childhood and the German and other European traditions she encountered in her early adult years; percussion instruments; flower displays, vases and unique flower pots; embroidered, macraméd, rosemaled and appliqued items; crystal and porcelain; handmade pottery; original oil, watercolour or acrylic paintings; lithographs and copies of medieval manuscripts; religious artwork; German wood carvings.

Jointly: Family photographs including baby and childhood photos; group photos; graduation and wedding pictures. Items from our over-two years’ living in Mexico and from our shared interest in depictions of birds from stained glass to paintings to needlework to figurines.

Perhaps these will be subjects for in-depth postings in the future.

We’ll close with the house blessing made for Gayle years ago by Pam, a dear friend.

Hallway-House Blessing Plaque

 

Okay, I Think We’re Done… For Now!

Source: Okay, I Think We’re Done… For Now!

Impressive press release from a writer friend. We’ve already ordered his books!

STORY INSPIRED BY A PET BIRD

The following article appeared in the Vernon Morning Star newspaper, Vernon, British Columbia, posted February 8, 2015 in the Lifestyle section. Gayle has made a few deletions and additions for accuracy. The original article is at

Story inspired by a … pet [bird]

by Cara Brady

Gayle & Ian - JLJBL interview-Morning Star

Gayle and Ian Moore-Morrans sign copies of their new children’s book, Jake, [Little] Jimmy & Big Louie. they will have a book signing Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at teach and Learn. (photo credit: Cara Brady/Morning Star)

When a writer meets and marries an editor, the result is books. Ian and Gayle Moore-Morrans have just published their first book written together, a children’s book called Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie.

Their previous books, written by Ian and edited by Gayle, are From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada, a memoir, and Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie[, a novel].

The couple included members of their extended family, great-grandchildren Leland German, then 11, as reader, and Hannah German, then [seven], as illustrator.

Jake, Jimmy & Big Louie is a book to appeal to anyone of any age who has ever loved and raised a pet. Ian draws on his own experiences raising a cockatiel to tell the story of a boy who takes on a budgie with a disability and an at-first unwanted raven, and follows their adventures and growing friendship.

Ian, 82, still has vivid memories of the first time he ever saw a book. He grew up in poverty on the West Coast of Scotland.

“I must have been about four. My brother brought home a book from school and it had pictures in it. It was such a temptation. I went to school until I was 14 and got good marks in writing. My teacher told me I should be a journalist but that seemed too far beyond me,” he recalled. “I joined the air force and it was the first time I had sheets on my bed and three meals a day.”

He later became a blacksmith, then an industrial machinist and has written a book, Metal Machining Made Easy.

Gayle also showed an early aptitude for writing and wrote for church papers and magazines while she was a parish worker, [secretary, social services director and program and magazine editor]. She married a pastor and lived in Germany for [eighteen] years, keeping up her writing and editing and detailed scrapbooks. She was widowed [after she moved to Canada] and met Ian, who had lost his wife, in 2003 in Winnipeg. They made their way west and decided they liked Vernon after performing here as Mr. Scotland and his Bonnie Lassie, a singing duet, at a Kelvern Celtic Society Ceilidh.

Ian said [he] started to write the book [many] years ago [at age 63]. “I had a dream about this little budgie and thought if I’m ever going to start writing this story, I better start writing it now.”

Gayle added, “We dedicate this book to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Ian and Gayle are now working on a new book, Came to Canada, Eh? Continuing a Scottish Immigrants Story. Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie is available through http://www.createspace.com/5114278 or Amazon. Their blog is at http://www.ianmooremorrans.com and their publishing company is Moomor Publishing.

Ian and Gayle will have a book signing Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at Teach and Learn in Vernon.

In addition, Gayle and Ian will host two book launches for Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie at their home, Sunday, February 22. Information from the poster follows:

Announcing
Book Launches for 
“Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie,”
the adventures of a boy and his two pet birds
set in Vernon, British Columbia
(a children’s chapter book for ages 7-12 and for older people, too)
Sunday, February 22, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (take your pick)
Book readings and signings, a “bird hunt,” and refreshments
At the home of authors Ian & Gayle Moore-Morrans
House #69, 6688 Tronson Road, Vernon
(just west of the airport)
250-275-1446 (you may call ahead to reserve a place)
also
A Book Reading & Signing
Saturday, February 28 at 2 p.m.
Vernon Teach and Learn Ltd.
3015-30th Avenue, Vernon