“What? You wants to interview me? What for? Sure I never done nothing special or important. Well, I am 95 years of age, so I seen a lot of life. Sailed a lot of vessels, rode a lot of rails, cut timber in the lumberwoods, and I worked for years at the Bowaters paper mill. But I never did nothing that you might call heroic. Never saved any damsels in distress. But you know, I grew up in the days of sailing ships. I never went to sea in a motorized schooner. Always under sail. Planes weren’t even invented when I was born in 1899. And I lived to see jet planes and space satellites. And a man walking on the moon.” (Wilfred Osmond)
Author Jerome Jesseau begins his book with that quote from Wilfred Osmond which was said at the start of one of the many chats they had over the more than dozen years they were friends and neighbours in Corner Brook. Wilfred passed away in 2002 at age 103 and Jerome’s chats with him about his long life have resulted in this wonderful book, which is rich in Wilfred’s stories of a time now past.
In the eulogy he wrote for Wilfred’s passing Jerome said in part: “He was Newfoundland. He was that hardy, self-sufficient, hard-working individual who made Newfoundlanders what we are today. If there were more Wilfred Osmonds, the world would be a far better place.”