Port Alberni author Diane Dobson has put together a collection of childhood memories, with proceeds going towards the Ty Watson House. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Port Alberni author Diane Dobson has put together a collection of childhood memories, with proceeds going towards the Ty Watson House. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Port Alberni writer looks through the eyes of a child

Book raises funds for the Alberni Valley Hospice Society

A Port Alberni writer has compiled a book full of childhood memories to raise funds for the Alberni Valley Hospice Society.

Diane Dobson published Through the Eyes of a Child: A Collection of Childhood Memories in early November. The book is a collection of childhood memories from 14 different storytellers, including Dobson herself.

Dobson, a former life writer, started the project two years ago with the goal of giving back to the community. With the AV Hospice Society in “dire straits” due to COVID-19, Dobson will be donating all proceeds from the book to the Hospice Society and Ty Watson House.

READ MORE: Coulson Group makes donation to Alberni Valley Hospice Society

“My favourite part of each person’s life story was their childhood memories,” said Dobson. “So I decided to focus in on that.”

Dobson dedicated the book to her grandsons, with the hope that their generation—and the generations to follow—can gain an understanding and an appreciation for what came before them.

“I wanted them to understand how it was, growing up in those days,” Dobson said.

The book opens with Dobson’s own childhood memories. Dobson also interviewed 13 other storytellers, then transcribed their words verbatim. In selecting her subjects for the book, Dobson said she reached out to a wide range of people with different backgrounds. Not all of the storytellers are from Port Alberni.

“My main concern was that the stories were real,” said Dobson.

Many of the stories come from the era of the Great Depression or the World Wars. She spoke to two residential school survivors in Port Alberni, as well as Bud Madokoro—a Japanese-Canadian man who was interned during the Second World War.

Despite the hard times, said Dobson, the writers all have happy memories from their childhoods.

“People were very forthcoming with their memories,” said Dobson. “They remember the bad times, but they also remember the good times. It was tough, but I think they’re tougher for it.”

Former North Island College instructor Derek Hanebury provided copyediting free of charge, while Myrna Clark of Black Press Media provided formatting work, also free of charge.

“I paid for the production,” said Dobson. “So every penny is able to go to Hospice, which is really rewarding.”

Books are available for $15 at the Alberni Valley Hospice Society (2759 10th Avenue), but Dobson warned that they have been “selling like hotcakes” and will be sold out soon. She isn’t sure yet if there will be a second run.

Dobson said writing the book was a rewarding experience.

“It was a nice project,” she said. “I learned a lot from people about the tough times they had. Right now I don’t have any other projects planned,” she added with a laugh.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

authorPort Alberni

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

Just Posted

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP locate driver and vehicle, but are asking for video footage

Students from AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni write anti-bullying messages and draw colourful chalk art around their school for national anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY LISA ARBANAS)
Chalk art brightens public walkway on Pink Shirt Day

Students from AW Neill Elementary in Port Alberni write messages of hope

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
Nuu-chah-nulth cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar centre

An endangered Vancouver Island marmot suns itself on rocks at Mount Washington, near the Comox Valley. Learn more about this endangered species with the Alberni Valley Nature Club. (PHOTO COURTESY SANDY MCRUER, AV NATURE CLUB)
Marmots, underwater mysteries part of Alberni Valley Nature Club lineup

Club kicks off membership drive with series of Zoom chats

The current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. The art gallery has COVID-19 protective measures in place. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre puts out a call to artists

Port Alberni’s Community Arts Council will hold a pandemic-inspired art exhibit

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read