Saturday, August 23, 2008

Roses in December

I just finished reading Roses in December: a biography of Eddie Sargent by Patty Belle Sargent. Patty Belle wrote the story of her father's life using his notes, stories from family and friends, newspapers and other documents.

Eddie Sargent served as an alderman and the mayor of Owen Sound and also in the Ontario Legislative Assembly. He was a businessman in Owen Sound involved with many enterprises.

Eddie Sargent began his life in Northern Ontario in the Town of New Liskeard. The family escaped New Liskeard on 4 October 1922 with the clothes on their back and the satchel of money his mother had been saving. Fire swept through this northern Ontario village. This led the family to Owen Sound. Times were tough but the family was enterprising. For those who knew Eddie Sargent, you will find you will learn much about this man who played an important role in our community. Even if you didn't know him, you will find this book a fascinating read as you discover how Eddie managed through the good and bad times that he experienced in his life.

I remember Eddie. He was a member of our congregation and he would sit in the back balcony of the church. When he shopped at our supermarket, he would give a tip to the young boys who took out the groceries to his car. (In those days packers took your groceries out to your car.) The boys would appreciate it. Eddie, I am sure remembered the early days when he worked and was generous with what he now had.

I also remember the year that I was living on St. Joseph's Island, near Sault Ste. Marie. I was teaching French in five schools of the Central Algoma Board of Education. The election returns were on the television. The race was tight. The first polls that reported showed Eddie's opponent in the lead. The television announcer said that Eddie was defeated. I couldn't believe it. Well, the pronouncement was made too soon. As more polls came in the results changed. In the end, Eddie Sargent was re-elected.

Thank you, Patty Belle for sharing your father's story with us.

"God gave us memories so we could have roses in December" - J. M. Barrie - the quote that inspired the title.

Sargent, Patty Belle. Roses in December: a biography of Eddie Sargent Owen Sound, Ont. : Ginger Press, 2008.


  1. Should be a good read! Eddie gave our entire Pee Wee baseball team a ride in his small Cessna [not a the same time] back in 1965 after we won the all Ontario Chamionship agaist Leamington.

  2. I didn't remember you getting a ride in his plane.

  3. I have a complete finished wonders of the animal kingdom sticker book that says it was represented in Canada by Eddie Sargent Enterprises of Owen Sound in 1959. Wondering if anyone would know anything about book.


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