Some autobiographies that I have written and of which I am very proud are portrayed below. Whether I was writing the autobiography of a World War II pilot, a Holocaust survivor, a young widowed mother now retired, a religious leader, an aging soccer referee (who with grace and perseverance still plied his craft even at the golden age of 78), I was able to summon the empathy and sensitivity needed to deliver an authentic story in each case.
The Littlest Pilot is the autobiography of Flying Officer, Benjamin Yanover, of his personal experince with 114 Squadron, R.A.F., England. Fascinated with airplanes from the time of his arrival in Hamilton, Ontario from Poland at the age of 4, Yanover grew up deciding to become a pilot. Speaking about his motivation to write his autobiogrpahy, Yanover said: “It is a story of determination in the face of great odds; a story of ‘hair-raising experiences’ as a young Canadian boy dared to dream and dared to realize his dreams. It is a story that I hope will be an inspiration to many young people as they set out on life’s course”.
Yanover, in The Littlest Pilot.
Divided Journey is the story of Albert L.Stal, who with his sister, escaped the capture of the Nazis in France, as the rest of his family was sent to the death camps in Auschwitz. Finding his way to Canada, and saving whatever documents he could about his family and his experiences over the years, Stal said of his motivation to write his autobiography, “It is my hope that my autobiography, an account of the atrocities that I experienced and which deprived me of my family at an early age, would impress on our younger people that racial discrimination and intolerance are inhumane practices that have no place in civilized societies”.
From Divided Journey.
Ann Esther: A Woman of Faith: A Lone Mother’s Walk with God is about a young housewife, who was widowed at 30 with five young children. Ann Esther, fiercely independent, decided to devote herself to bringing up her children on her own to be successful adults in their own right. Through ingenuity and sheer determination and her commitment to education, she used her talent in teaching others music and her deep belief in God to take her through.
Pilgrim’s Journey is the biography of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gordon Harry Francis, who, as an ordained minister, served as a minister in Windsor, Guelph, Toronto, and other parts of Ontario in the Methodist tradition and then went on to found the Pilgrim Methodist Religious Society Fellowship, where he ministered to many who were unchurched in the Toronto area. This is an account of the many challenges he experienced along the way, as he realized what he considered his calling.
In Man and His Whistle, Ron Edwards tells of his early experiences in England where he was born, and as an eight-year old seeing the enemy “bombers coming in low over Liverpool, dropping their load and then retreating just as quickly”. But when he migrated to Canada at the age of 20, his love of soccer, which he had developed during his years playing for Everton Football Club and the Pathfinders Soccer Club in Britain, remained as he became a soccer referee. He gained recognition from the North York Soccer Referees’ Association in his retirement for 55 years of service and having refereed 6,236 games, all meticulously recorded. After retirement, Edwards was to continue referring for another three years for varied clubs.