Boxing the Compass: A Life of Seafaring, Music, and Pilgrimage

Heritage House. Apr. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781772034738. pap. $26.95. MEMOIR
Retired Canadian naval officer and scholar Hadley (emeritus, Germanic studies, Univ. of Victoria; Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea) recounts his life of seeking and accomplishment. His early recollections exemplify white middle-class life in British Columbia during the 1940s and 1950s. He grew up in the coastal province of British Columbia, toured Europe with an elite school band, and joined the Royal Canadian Navy reserve while attending the University of British Columbia. Summers were spent crewing on warships. He met his wife in Brussels when they both hosted at the 1958 World’s Fair. The couple spent time in Germany while he worked for the Canadian government and later for his research. While teaching at universities, he wrote marine history books. He became involved in restorative justice efforts, working with people in prison in Victoria. The Hadleys traveled to Uganda, leading workshops about restorative justice and ethical decision-making.
VERDICT This title clearly showcases a life lived on the author’s own terms.
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