The 2023 production and release of Ginger Mason‘s Henry Frederick Terry (1907-1980) ~ I Remember is linked to Franci Louann‘s Charlie Henry Workman (1897-1976) ~The Unspoken (2017). Both publications recount the impact of the British Home Children program on the families of the authors. For Ginger Mason working on the RML publication offered her an opportunity to assemble archival records, family photos, and other documents about her grandfather’s and his brothers’ immigration to Canada from London. Mason’s mother had begun to piece together the family’s history of children recruited to work as labourers on Canadian farms, but Mason’s investigation of the immigration program and consultations with extended family members produced a more complete picture. Louanne similarly describes in The Unspoken how her father spoke little of his Home Child Experience. Her broadsheet and poems mention the research that she needed to complete to learn of close relatives in other countries and to learn basic details on the agencies that guardianship over her father for much of his childhood. Both publications list resources that are available to Canadians whose families have been affected by the British Home Children agencies and programs.
In a BBC story covering of a recent discovery of British Home Children photographs, the impact of the program on Canadians today is emphasized,
An estimated 10% of Canada’s population – around 4 million people – are descendants of the British Home Children. The vast majority are not aware of their stories, however, as most children did not tell their descendants about the past.”
Ginger Mason’s and Franci Louann’s publications offer creative approaches to hidden circumstances related to Canada’s history of recruiting foreign and disadvantaged children into farm labour. Their artist books are available for free download from this site, or in print by exchange.