Gore Bay writer publishes ‘From the Banks of Bickel’s Creek’

Evelyn Cardiff, right, reads a story from her newly published book, “From the Banks of Bickel’s Creek. A book launch was held at the Gore Bay Harbour Centre on December 9.

GORE BAY—A Gore Bay writer, who grew up on Manitoulin, Evelyn Cardiff, has had her first book published, ‘From the Banks of Bickel’s Creek.’

“I would like to thank Nicole Weppler (curator of the Gore Bay Museum), Margo Little (coordinator of the Manitoulin Writers Circle) and all the members of the Writers Circle for all your encouragement in getting this book published,” Ms. Cardiff told all those on hand for the book launch held earlier this month at the Gore Bay Harbour Centre.

Ms. Cardiff explained that Syl Bellisle, publisher of High Grader Magazine, based out of Timmins, had originally encouraged her to have her collection of works published in a book. “Everything I had sent to him in the past he had published in the magazine. He knew Margo and encouraged her to have members of the Writers Circle send him their work.”

“I had told Syl I didn’t really have any notion to have my work published in a book, and didn’t know what this all entailed, but he said he would like to do all the work on it,” said Ms. Cardiff. “And the book was in progress, he had sent me some proofs, and said he would finish the book when he got back from his vacation.”

The book was to be completed in October, however Mr. Bellisle  passed away. “It was Margo (Little) and Vera (Constantineau) who really helped me get this done. And the ladies in the writers’ circle were very kind. We are all working on projects and it is great to bounce ideas off each other. They encouraged me to publish this book.”

‘From the Banks of Bickel’s Creek,’ “is pretty much tidbits of stories I’ve written over the years, stories my grandmother told me, and pieces of stories I’ve heard and written from the past,” explained Ms. Cardiff. “And many of the stories are in letter form. The stories are about my experiences growing up around Gore Bay and the area,” she said. She had attended nursing school at the former Plummer Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, and after graduating she got a job in nursing in the same hospital, working at the hospital and living in the Sault for another 39 years, until returning home.

The introduction to her book reads, “this motley collection of little stories is a mixture of family history, memoirs, rants, and fictionalized versions of actual events, with three tongue-in check rhyming pieces thrown in for good measure. Sometimes the names have been changed to protect me, and sometimes they have not. I hope that those who read this book will be inspired to scribble down interesting tidbits from their own lives as we all have our tales. Family stores should be shared with the next generation, whether they like it or not.

“Moving back home to Gore Bay, with Bickel’s Creek meandering through our property, has made me aware of the timelessness of the human experience. The creek never stops. It changes and adapts to the seasons. Sometimes it rushes and cascades, sometimes it tinkles along under ice crystals, sometimes it teems with salmon heading home to spawn and die, and sometimes it just trickles along inviting the birds to bath and the deer to drink. Yes, you can go home again. Everything is different, but everything is also the same and the spirit is refreshed,” wrote Ms. Cardiff.

“Christie Pearson Anderson has done a beautiful job with the art work on the cover of the book,” said Ms. Cardiff. “She let me use one of her beautiful paintings for the cover.”

Ms. Cardiff read several stories from her new book, at the book launch.