Meet June Harrison as she tells her story through ‘Finding Home’

The author to launch her book during the Burns Lake Community Market

When June Harrison decided to write a memoir as a way of compiling her memories and stories of her family for her grandkids, little did she think, it would take her 10 years to finally see the book in print.

Harrison, was born to parents who were among the first few European settlers in the Ootsa Lake region. It is safe to say that she comes from one of the area’s pioneer families. Harrison graduated from Lakes District Secondary School in 1961 and just two years later, started teaching in New Westminister. She was a teacher and a school-admin for 36 years and she was the only female principals for several of those years.

In 2010, she decided to write a memoir of her time spent in the area, her childhood, her family, not for herself or as a diary, but as a gift for the future generations.

“I decided to write a family memoir for my grandchildren who live an urban life in New York,” said Harrison.

But her journey to completing the memoir was not easy. Between life getting in the way to her diagnosis of a stage four metastatic cancer five years ago, Harrison jumped through hurdles to get the memoir completed. She was given six years to live. This jolted her into action and the Covid-19 shutdown especially helped her as she could isolate and force herself to write and finish the memoir.

Although the story for the memoir was easy for Harrison, as she had lived it, it was difficult for her to shape the story properly.

“I had a hard time giving it a proper framework but then I found Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers in which he talks about how we are what we grow up with and there, I had found the initial framework,” she said adding that she also used Christopher Beach’s Master’s thesis, “Beneath the Waters: A Microhistory if Ootsa Lake, a Northern Eurocanadian community” to help give context to her memories. Lakes District Museum Curator, Michael Riis-Christianson, whose quote appears on the book’s back cover, also helped Harrison with maps and information around the area.

“This book has been a group project,” said Harrison who will be showcasing her work during a book launch at the final community market of the season on Aug. 28.

Harrison, who now lives in New Westminister, has been a regular visitor to the area and comes to stay at her parent’s house in Tchesinkut Lake. She spends her time sitting by the lake, watching the loons.

“That’s where I started the book. I know a lot of people who leave small towns and never go back but I don’t want to give up like that. For me, coming back here is like going home,” she said.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Freeport — the camp site that was the region’s largest community

A story of the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

Burns Lake to get a pedestrian-activated light

The blind turn at the RBC crossing to get safer

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogan

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Most Read