The Winds Softly Sigh
Reg Sparkes was born in 1906 in Jackson’s Arm, White Bay, Newfoundland.
His father was a schoolteacher and gave him his first schooling. He attended school in St. John’s and received his teaching certificate from Memorial Training College for teachers. He continued his education at the University of London and received his L.C.P. and then onto Columbia, New York, where he obtained his MA.
For many years Mr. Sparkes taught school in Newfoundland and Labrador and later became supervisor of schools for the province. His war service included working with the educational branch of the Canadian Legion and acting as personnel officer for the Canadian Army during the Korean Conflict.
Mr. Sparkes was Newfoundland and Labrador’s first speaker of the house of assembly in 1949 when the province first joined Canada.
He also worked at the Newfoundland Savings Bank as manager and for many years he was a special representative for the bank of Montreal in Newfoundland. Reg Sparkes is now retired and living in the country occupying him with writing, gardening, and carpentry. He has one sister and is married with three sons and two daughters This is his first book.
This book is a recollection of stories and anecdotes about growing up in a small Newfoundland Village. It is a story about childhood and poignant memories as told from the viewpoint of a mature man reflecting on his past. The richness of life amidst the lack of wealth is caught in the author’s clear eloquent style.
All the detail of the outport home, the one room school, the awesome churches, the inspiring trading schooners, the eerie superstitions and beliefs make this book an enthralling experience for the reader. The reader is not deluded into romantic nostalgia but kept alert to the joys and contentment that were snatched from a life where hardship and deprivation were fundamental facts. Readers of the Winds Softly Sigh will be enriched with this wise and often witty and humorous narrative of a past that few can now recall.