Some time ago, a student and friend in the Creative Writing course that I teach at the Oshawa Senior Citizens’ Centre shared with me some letters that she had found when she was a young girl. She knew of my interest in all things historical, and particularly in the WWI era — one of my current works in progress is set just after, in 1919.

These letters were in the attic of a house that she and her family moved into. She had puzzled her way through them over the years, and taken them with her from home to home. I understand and share her fascination with them — the letters are a small window into the past. Even the yellowed paper and faded, flourish-y handwriting speak of a different era.

The letters belonged to a Ms. E. Shand; most of them were written by Canadian Nursing Sister Lena A. Davis, who was serving in Greece.

We decided to work together to find a good home for the letters.

Soon, thanks to the Canadian Letters and Images Project (overseen by Dr. Stephen Davies at Vancouver Island University), the letters will be available online for historians and researchers.

I’m happy to have had the chance to be part of their journey, and look forward to sharing the links when the letters are online. Who knows? There may be a story in this yet… although I’m not sure I can juggle another manuscript at the moment!

A Story in Letters
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