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Newfoundlander Returns Home to Launch Book


When trying to decide on a location for the Newfoundland launch of her first non-fiction book, Jacqui (Barron) Tam and her Iceberg Publishing team looked at all the typical places. But it wasn’t until a friend suggested the local Land Rover dealership that she felt they’d found the perfect spot.

Tam, who will be in St. John’s for her book launch on January 23, 2003, says there couldn’t be a more appropriate spot to share the very personal story of a man whose last years were ravaged by Alzheimer’s, but who is remembered by many people for his habit of wearing khaki clothing and for his green Land Rovers.

The book, Standing Tall: A Daughter’s Giftis a tribute to “a man who had a profoundly positive impact on my life,” Tam says. “It’s a story filled with love, with pride and with hope.”

“But it can also be extremely sad,” she continues, “as we share my father’s deterioration through his ten-year struggle with a devastating disease. Being surrounded by his favorite vehicles in a location he would love will help us remember the joy, and remind us how important it is to remember the person before the illness.”

Remembering and celebrating the person before the illness is one of the key messages in Tam’s story, and in her talks to individuals who have either personal or professional connections to the disease.

Described by one of her earliest test readers as ‘brutally frank and honest, but not morose’, the book doesn’t shy away from describing the impact of the disease on both the victims and their loved ones.

“But this is not just a story about Alzheimer’s,” Tam says. “It’s a story about a remarkable father-daughter relationship, and about the important lessons my father taught me.”

Tam, who is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Kitchener- Waterloo, says launching the book in her home province during Alzheimer Awareness Month is truly fitting, as she is committed to helping raise awareness about the disease, and offering support and help to those living through what she and her family faced.

“And we’re especially grateful to Land Rover of Newfoundland for partnering with us for this event,” she concludes. “Because the unique location speaks volumes about how important it is to celebrate memories.”

“My father would have loved to see Land Rover back in Newfoundland before his death. Now the team at Land Rover is helping to preserve his memory—and share his legacy.”

Jacqui Tam’s father, Dick Barron, passed away on October 30, 1994 at the age of 72 after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s. He was born in Holyrood, Newfoundland, and was a veteran of both the Second World War and the Korean War; he spent his married life in St. John’s with wife Mary (Morry) now a retired nurse, and three children (Steve, Rik and Jacqui).  The book launch will be held from 7:00-9:30 pm on Thursday, January 23 at Land Rover of Newfoundland, 942 Topsail Road. Author readings are scheduled for 7:30 and 8:30 pm.