Flashes from the Past: Forty-Two Years Covering the News


250 pages
Contains Photos, Maps
ISBN 1-55081-164-9
DDC 971.8'04





Reviewed by Bob Forsey

Bob Forsey is the education officer at the Newfoundland Museum in St.


Flashes from the Past, a chronicle of the author’s 42-year career as a
press photographer and television cameraman, throws light on key
historical events in the growth of Newfoundland and Labrador as a
Canadian province.

Kennedy witnessed history being made while working for The Daily News
and the CBC. His coverage of the National Convention and the subsequent
referendums (1946–48) shows how the confederates won a hard-fought
battle to get Newfoundland to join Canada. The opening of the iron ore
mines in Western Labrador (1962) and the Trans-Canada Highway across the
island (1966), as well as the coming on stream of the massive
hydroelectricity project in Churchill Falls (1972), were significant
events in the economic growth of the young province.

Kennedy also captured many tragic events. His photographs of the
Knights of Columbus fire of 1942 and the Gander airplane crash of 1986
tell these sad stories in grim black and white. Comic relief is provided
by Kennedy’s April Fools’ Day photographs for 20 years. His role in
submitting a “gag entry” into an art contest almost cost him his

Kennedy’s press pass gained him entry to all sorts of events where he
could meet celebrities, from Prince Elizabeth and Prince Philip during
the Royal Visit to Newfoundland in 1951, up to the tour by Prince
Charles and Princess Diana in 1983. There is plenty of human interest
detail in Kennedy’s descriptions of the many events he covered, but
the 79 photographs and several maps he includes serve to capture the
emotions of the triumphs and tragedies in ways words cannot.


Kennedy, Frank J., “Flashes from the Past: Forty-Two Years Covering the News,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/7840.