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Manitoba Historical Society
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Manitoba History: Review: Gerald Malaher, The North I Love

by William R. Morrison
Department of History, Brandon University

Manitoba History, Number 15, Spring 1988

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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The North I Love. Gerald Malaher. Winnipeg: Hyperion Press, 1984. 176 pp., ill. ISBN 0-920534-23-6.

As the title indicates, this book is an account of one man’s love affair with the north, specifically the northern regions of Manitoba and north-western Ontario.

Gerald Malaher (1903-1984) was one of that legion of well-bred young Englishmen who, surplus to the needs of their native land, went out to make a career in the far reaches of the Empire. The eleventh of twelve children of an English vicar, Malaher came to Dauphin in 1921, then spent most of his working life in and around the wilderness, first with the Dominion Topographical Survey, then the Forest Service, and finally the Game and Fisheries Branch of the Manitoba Department of Natural Resources.

Many volumes of memoirs have been written by those who came to the Canadian North to find employment, fell in love with it, and stayed to make serving the region their life’s work. What distinguishes this book is the depth of feeling Malaher brings to his stories, and particularly his evident respect for the Native people of the region. The Natives are the real heroes of his tales, some of them sad, others hilarious.

This is an attractive book in every respect, sensitively written by a man with a deep knowledge of his subject. Its layout is first-rate, and the photographs, of which there are nearly 150, several in colour, alone justify purchasing it. As a record of a part of Canada which is not well known and of a way of life which is unfortunately rapidly disappearing, it deserves a wide readership.

Page revised: 23 October 2012

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