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A passion for marine history

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It was a shift in wind that brought broken ship timbers, a keg and a small pallet of straw to shore that gave George Harvey the feeling a vessel was in trouble.

The year was 1828. The brig Dispatch was bound for Quebec with over 200 people aboard when it struck a rock around three miles from Isle aux Morts.

The story is one of many found within Robert Parson’s latest book titled ‘Heroes of the Sea.’

The cover depicts waves crashing on sharp and jagged rocks as a dark sky looms in the background. George Harvey, along with his children and Newfoundland dog, aide in the rescue of between 135 to 140 people.

The cover, a rendition created by artist Lloyd Pretty, was the reason the story was included.

Parsons said the collection of non-fiction stories is something he has gathered over a period of many years.

 “I figured these were all stories people would like to read, and feedback has told me that my readership prefers short stories,” said Parsons.

The source of information comes from many places he said, including but not limited to personal stories from children of sailors, research online and archived records of paper clippings.

Before heading to the publisher, Parsons approached Pretty about illustrating a cover.

“I was looking through some of his work and come across an outstanding photo. I contacted him about using it, and he explained what it was about,” said Parsons.

He then knew the story of the Harveys and the doomed brig Dispatch had to be included.

According to Parsons, early newspaper reports, articles from Scotland, and the captain’s report from the HMS Tyne, all used a different spelling, to what is known today as the Despatch.

He also noted the reports varied regarding the number of people rescued but what did ring through and did not change over the years, was the heroism of the Harvey family.

Parsons began writing in the early 1990s with a natural interest in history. He has a love for research and a love for marine history.

He is currently working on his 33rd book, a second collection of short stories on marine history.

chantelle.macisaac@gulfnews.ca

A chance to win

The Gulf News is giving away a copy of Robert Parson’s ‘Heroes of the Sea.’ To have your name entered, call the office at 695-3671 or comment on the story from The Gulf News Facebook page.

The year was 1828. The brig Dispatch was bound for Quebec with over 200 people aboard when it struck a rock around three miles from Isle aux Morts.

The story is one of many found within Robert Parson’s latest book titled ‘Heroes of the Sea.’

The cover depicts waves crashing on sharp and jagged rocks as a dark sky looms in the background. George Harvey, along with his children and Newfoundland dog, aide in the rescue of between 135 to 140 people.

The cover, a rendition created by artist Lloyd Pretty, was the reason the story was included.

Parsons said the collection of non-fiction stories is something he has gathered over a period of many years.

 “I figured these were all stories people would like to read, and feedback has told me that my readership prefers short stories,” said Parsons.

The source of information comes from many places he said, including but not limited to personal stories from children of sailors, research online and archived records of paper clippings.

Before heading to the publisher, Parsons approached Pretty about illustrating a cover.

“I was looking through some of his work and come across an outstanding photo. I contacted him about using it, and he explained what it was about,” said Parsons.

He then knew the story of the Harveys and the doomed brig Dispatch had to be included.

According to Parsons, early newspaper reports, articles from Scotland, and the captain’s report from the HMS Tyne, all used a different spelling, to what is known today as the Despatch.

He also noted the reports varied regarding the number of people rescued but what did ring through and did not change over the years, was the heroism of the Harvey family.

Parsons began writing in the early 1990s with a natural interest in history. He has a love for research and a love for marine history.

He is currently working on his 33rd book, a second collection of short stories on marine history.

chantelle.macisaac@gulfnews.ca

A chance to win

The Gulf News is giving away a copy of Robert Parson’s ‘Heroes of the Sea.’ To have your name entered, call the office at 695-3671 or comment on the story from The Gulf News Facebook page.

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