What follows is what our Dad, Wallace Brown, wrote, followed by the words of his children.
Wallace Brown, son of Dr. Alexander ("Sandy") Brown and Mary ("Maimie") née Wallace, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and moved to Scotland in 1938 when his parents returned after many years as immigrants to Canada. He was brought up in Yorkshire where his father was vice-principal of Huddersfield Tech, then principal of Halifax Tech. His early education was at King James School, Almondbury, and Heath Grammar School, Halifax, followed by an enjoyable National Service as an Army Sergeant in Hong Kong, 1952-54. He then attended Saint Edmund Hall, Oxford (BA, MA), University of Nebraska (MA), University of California, Berkeley (PhD).
After teaching stints at the University of Alberta and Brown University, he joined the History Department at the University of New Brunswick in 1967, where he spent the rest of his career. He specialized in American colonial and early national history. He was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Association. He prided himself in being a hard-working journeyman historian, who published widely at both the scholarly and popular level. He was a successful print, TV and radio journalist including five years as film critic for CBC Radio, Fredericton. He was past President of the Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew, founding member of the Fredericton Whisky Tasting Society, and on the executive of the Fredericton Film Coop. For several years he was the Atlantic Provinces’ agent for various alcoholic products including Absolut Vodka and Glenmorangie Single Malt. He liked mystery novels, fly fishing, beer, hiking, curries, wine, jazz, theatre, pubs, alcohol, the films of Jean Renoir (for whom he once auditioned), the poems of Thomas Hardy, and the company of women. In his later years, he had some success acting in commercial movies, something he believed almost anyone could do. Although brought up in Yorkshire and living most of his adult life in North America, he was a Scot through and through. He did not believe in the afterlife, but will be pleasantly surprised if he’s wrong.
The central fact of his life was his life-long love affair with his wife, Paula and the family it produced.
Now for some words from his children (Catherine, Alexander, Paul and Emily) that speak to the character of our loveable dad. He loved good food, good conversation, and happy hours at the pub or anywhere for that matter, but most of all he loved his family, unconditionally. He had an incredible sense of humour and loved to tell a story, both written and out loud. He strove to be kind and well mannered, did not suffer fools and never judged a book by its cover. He treated everyone the same no matter their background. In July 2020, his beloved wife, our mom, Paula, died, which left him incredibly lonely. He was extremely grateful for his family and friends who tried to fill the void with as many visits as COVID protocols would allow, but nothing, of course, could replace the company of his dear Paula. Since her death, he often reflected on his great love affair with our mom and noted that it was not until he met her (at that fateful Christmas party in 1968) that he truly started to live and know happiness. We like to think they have been reunited in death. His legacy will live on in his children who will strive, as he and mom did, to be kind and accepting and to leave this world a better place. Dad and mom will forever be in our hearts. RIP. P.S. If there is an afterlife, could you please send us a sign. P.P.S. Thank you to the nurses and doctors at the Oromocto Hospital and Hospice House for the amazing care you gave our dad and the support you gave to his family.