Mountie’s memoirs packs 'em in
Hot on the heels of the August 7 visit by the Musical Ride, the RCMP were a draw once again in Port Hardy recently.
A small but enthusiastic crowd came out to Cafe Guido Wednesday for an author reading and book signing by Ian Parsons.
The retired RCMP officer was in town to promote a memoir from his 33-year stint on the force, which took him across Canada from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island.
Now a resident of Courtenay, Parsons was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan and joined the force in 1961. Over the course of a long and distinguished career he worked in six provinces in a variety of roles, including academic instructor and management trainer, retiring at the rank of Inspector.
He shared that his personal highlight came towards the end of his career — his posting in Courtenay.
His book was some 25 years in the making, beginning life as a series of anecdotes jotted down and gradually building to the finished work he is currently promoting.
“I think it’s valuable for Canadians to have an insight into their own federal police force,” Parsons said.
The crowd gathered to hear the author share a series of humorous anecdotes from the author’s time in the force. Parsons shared stories from his time as a rookie, including the time he inadvertently spilled the beans about Christmas bonus cheques to a roomful of hitherto unsuspecting wives; and an incident in which he found out first-hand that spurs on a Harley are a recipe for disaster. He explained that, while these types of stories were good entertainment, his book also contained a range of experiences and emotions, not all so positive; “I was hoping to take the reader on a journey,” he said. The work also contains some forthright opinions on what the author sees as problematic in the direction the force is heading. “It (the RCMP) is basically a frontier police force, that’s what it was created as. It really hasn’t changed that much.”
No Easy Ride: Reflections on my life in the RCMP is published through Heritage House and is available on amazon.ca