For years, many eagerly anticipated and read Joan Barberis’ thoughtful and witty columns in the Saint John, NB, Telegraph Journal. Wendy Dathan, using Joan’s personal travel journal, letters and columns, reveals a diminutive (5ft.) Navy Wren at a Loran naval base during WWII, traveller (alone but never lonely) in the Orient, CBC Radio Producer in Toronto and Montreal, newspaper reporter, passionate defender of women’s rights and the dignity of the underdog. She was a brave, resourceful woman who put warmth, zest and humour into everything she did. Stories of panhandling on the streets of Toronto, being fired by her Editor for using swear words in one of her columns, battling muskrats when she retired to Grand Manan, and keeping her sharp tongue even as she aged, were balanced by her generosity, appreciation of others and love of community. Joan cherished her adopted Island in the Bay of Fundy and is sorely missed.
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