Memories of Mowat

Brodie Thomas
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Canadian author Farley Mowat passed away on Tuesday evening at the age of 92. Many people on the southwest coast still remember the controversial figure.

Canadian author Farley Mowat passed away on May 6 at the age of 92. The author of "A Whale fof the Killing" and "The Boat Who Wouldn't Float" spent about 8 years living in Burgeo.

Mowat spent about eight years in Burgeo, but because Burgeo was an outport in the late sixties, Mowat ended up travelling through port aux Basques quite a bit on his way to and from the Stephenville Airport.

When he did, Walt Strickland was his go-to taxi driver.

Strickland remembers Mowat’s distinct tam hat.

“It was a queer looking cap. Once you seen it, you knew it was Farley Mowat.”

He also remembers the long talks they had on the drives to and from Stephenville.

“He always told stories,” said Strickland. “I used to tell him a few too.”

Mowat was famous for saying he never let the facts get in the way of the truth, but Strickland said the author gave him some different advice.

“He’d say, 'Walt, you’ll never get in trouble for asking questions.'”

- Check Monday's edition of Gulf News for more on Mowat's passing, and the impact he had on this corner of the island.

Organizations: Stephenville Airport, Gulf News

Geographic location: Burgeo, Stephenville

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Recent comments

  • keith Stringer
    May 08, 2014 - 11:21

    In the book 'A Whale For The Killing' Mowat described a few people from Burgeo tormenting, shooting it with small caliber bullets, shotgun pellets and even BB pellets. In addition he wrote that they ran into it with a power boat causing an injury to the trapped animal. During my many visits and stays on the SW coast I have often heard from the locals that Mowat fabricated the story and that the whale injured itself. I would love to believe that version but it doesn't seem likely. What was the truth?