Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Flying Parson of Labrador and the Real Story Behind Bert and I

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Flying Parson of Labrador and the Real Story Behind Bert and I

Article excerpt

The Flying Parson of Labrador and the Real Story Behind Bert and I. By Robert Bryan. (Camden, Maine: Down East Books, 2014, Pp. 208. $25.95.)

The stories of "Bert and I" were a regular part of the soundtrack of my Maine childhood. The stories are classics among Mainers that often get told again and again. They cover everything in life, including religion, but you would not know one of the storytellers is an Episcopal priest. So, there was no way for me to know then that I would end up sharing an alma mater and a profession with Robert Bryan, Marshall Dodge's partner. For some reason, Bryan name was not often connected with these stories, so it was not until I read this book that I learned the true history of those beloved tales. Although it is part of the title, the book is far more than just the history behind "Bert and I"; it provides a fascinating and entertaining glimpse into the life of a priest and a pilot. On one level, this is a book worth reading because it tells a story of a time and a place in our collective church history that does not often get talked about. The memoir begins with Bryan's childhood, but largely focuses on his ministry in Northern Quebec and the Maritimes in the 1960s and 1970s. Through a variety of vignettes it paints a picture of life in those remote communities. Through Bryan's eyes, one comes to love these people and places, as he did. The post-war boom of population, technology, and planting churches did not extend to his parishes and communities. …

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