Comox artist and writer Ruth Dickson will read from the recently
published final book of her autobiography Strangers to the Land on March 20 at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox from 1 to 3 p.m.
Her new book precedes the other two volumes of her autobiography in time, and completes her remarkable life story.
Strangers to the Land tells the story of her childhood as the daughter of a lighthouse keeper on a small island off Scotland and her family’s emigration to Saskatchewan. They became farmers, a life very different to that they had left.
When, in the late 1930s, the family was forced to give up their farm
and move to Vancouver, they again left much behind to seek jobs in
the big city. Ruth was hired as a maid, often working as hard as she
had on the farm. In Vancouver, she met George Dickson and married.
Ruth’s other two books in the series, Pebbles in the Stream – River
Rocks, and Among the Blue Mountains, tell of living with her husband and children in logging camps on Vancouver Island.
Together, the autobiographies form a fascinating snapshot of life from the 1920s to the 1950s, often in remote areas with few conveniences.
Ruth’s experiences are reminders of a time when hard physical
labour, courage and the ability to “make do” were essential.
Ruth is 94 years old this year and still an active painter and writer. Her artwork shows regularly at the Pearl Ellis Gallery.
Her latest book is available at the Pearl Ellis Gallery and the Laughing Oyster Bookshop in Courtenay.
— Ruth Dickson