I just finished reading Robert Gardiner’s first book, The History of Pakenham. I say “first” because I believe that Robert is going to grace this world with many more books to come.
You don’t have to be a Pakenham native to enjoy this book. The 200 years he covers, 1823 to 2023, tells a history that is reflected throughout Canada.
It begins with the stories of those first settlers, many of whom came from the British Isles. His diligent and wide-ranging research tells of the challenges, achievements and disasters that they and their descendants faced. Then there’s the wars, politics (Liberals in Pakenham!), religion, industry, thefts – often peppered with Robert’s wry sense of humour. And a must-read is his coverage of the building of the Pakenham five-arch bridge. Truly astonishing.
Robert’s writing style reminds me of Pierre Berton’s – it is that good.
You can purchase this 366-page hardcover book for $40 at the Pakenham General Store. It is worth every penny (looney) and could be a wonderful Christmas gift. Robert says that many books have sold already. A second order will arrive in mid-October.