Brudenell’s Peter Whelan wins literary award


BRUDENELL – A man who called Brudenell his home, and still has family ties in the area, has won his very first literary award.

Peter Whelan was born at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay. He was named after his dad, Peter, who worked evening shifts in Foymount.

“To spend time with dad, I was allowed to play outside until 2 a.m. in the middle of the winter,” Whelan said.

As a little boy, living in the hills of the Opeongo that he loved, he sometimes pretended he could fly and touch the clouds that seemed so close. His Uncle Hector would visit often and occasionally “kidnap” him to visit his grandparents in Dacre. He loved the drive down the dirt road of the Opeongo. 

“I loved looking at the stars and tobogganing by moonlight, hearing not a thing but my own footsteps and the occasional car from miles away,” Whelan recalled. “I also enjoyed the weekly trip to the dump with my dad. Simple pleasures in a simpler time.”

His first summer job was working on the cement crew in Killaloe. 

“I was 15 and it was just a few months after I had dug my father’s grave that I was hired on at minimum wage,” Whelan explained.

He still enjoys seeing the retaining wall across from the grocery store that he spent half the summer working on.

Get your July 6, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.