Arnie Patterson: A Nova Scotian's Memoir


178 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55109-389-8
DDC 971.6'04'092





Reviewed by Agar Adamson

Agar Adamson is the author of Letters of Agar Adamson, 1914–19 and former chair of the Department of Political Science at Acadia University in Nova Scotia.


Arnie Patterson’s work life has been long and varied: reporter for the
Toronto Telegram and the Halifax Herald, public-relations work for A.V.
Roe Canada at the time of the Avro Arrow controversy, candidate for the
House of Commons, Trudeau’s chief press secretary during the 1979
election, founder of a Dartmouth radio station. He also did some
excellent PR work in connection with the 1958 Springhill Mine Disaster.

Patterson’s memoir sheds light on topics that are frequently
overlooked by the national media. His chapter on the demise of the Arrow
project gives the reader an insight into the personalities of the people
involved on both sides of the debate; particularly interesting is the
portrait of Crawford Gordon Sr., then-president of A.V. Roe.

Liberals in Nova Scotia had a difficult time while Bob Stanfield led
the Conservative Party. Budding politicians can learn from Patterson’s
reminiscences of his electoral defeats. His final chapter, “Ten Most
Memorable Men,” includes interesting comments on Crawford Gordon, Fred
Gardiner, Trudeau, Allan MacEachen, John Turner, and Horace Fraser,
among others.

Former Liberal senator Keith Davey once called Patterson, “one of the
best raconteurs in the business.” Readers of this book will likely
agree with the ex-rainmaker.


Patterson, Arnie., “Arnie Patterson: A Nova Scotian's Memoir,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,