SKIDMORE, Patricia

Author Tags: History

Vancouver-born and Coquitlam-raised Patricia Skidmore is the editor of the Fairbridge Gazette and lives in Port Moody.

In the late 1990s she began exploring the story of child migration to Canada and discovered why her mother was reluctant to talk about her past, resulting in Marjorie Too Afraid To Cry: A Home-Child Experience (Dundurn, 2013), the story of her mother's experience as a home-child.

At ten years old, Marjorie Arnison was one of thousands of children (over 100,000 between 1869 and the late 1930s) who were removed from their families, communities, and country and placed in a British colony or Commonwealth country to provide "white stock" and cheap labour. Her book contains 65 b&w illustrations and a Foreword from former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who, in February of 2010, as Prime Minister, gave a formal apology to all British Child Migrants sent from Britain between 1619 and the mid 1970s. Patricia Skidmore's mother Marjorie attended this Apology.

For Patricia Skidmore, being the daughter of a child migrant was a shameful experience. There was no sense of family on her mother's side, no roots to ground her to her place of birth. Her mother rarely spoke of her five years at the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School [south of Duncan, on Vancouver Island] or why she has been sent there as a little girl. Finally, in adulthood, Skidmore was able to unravel the story and confront the issues inherent in forced child migration.

Review of the author's work by BC studies:
Marjorie Too Afraid To Cry: A Home Child Experience


Marjorie Too Afraid To Cry: A Home-Child Experience (Dundurn, 2012) $30.00. 978-1459703407

[BCBW 2012]