Reader’s Corner: Cordova Bay resident publishes story of life in Africa, England, Jamaica

From There to Here: England, East Africa, Jamaica & Canada is a recently self-published book by Saanich resident Shelagh Levey

Shelagh Levey

From There to Here: England, East Africa, Jamaica & Canada is a recently published book by Saanich resident Shelagh Levey. Levey describes the book as “an amazingly honest and straightforward account of a woman born and raised in England who then goes on to live and work in East Africa, Jamaica, and Canada.”

Levey identifies as an ordinary person, a local who has had an opportunity to make the most of what turned out to be a rich and meaningful life.

The first section of the book is chronological in that it recounts Levey’s childhood during and after the Second World War.

After qualifying as a teacher and teaching in England for two years, she was seconded to Tanganyika (now Tanzania) by the British Colonial Office.

During this unique period leading to self-government, Levey had many extraordinary experiences and adventures not normally available to a young, white woman. She was charged by a rhino when climbing in a rainforest, almost eaten by a lion, and threatened by an elephant.

Levey was married and her first child was born in Africa before the family moved to Jamaica and finally Canada.

The second half of the book recounts the last 45 years of life and events on the Saanich Peninsula, where Levey taught in five Victoria schools and volunteered for several organizations.

In writing the book, she describes how her values and attitudes have changed throughout life. She explores many current issues like education, politics, health, spirituality, environmentalism, animal rights, changing social mores, and societal and personal attitudes to aging.

“It is a frank and honest book that will resonate with a wide audience,” Levey says.

From There to Here: England, East Africa, Jamaica & Canada can be purchased at Tanner’s Books in Sidney, and at Ivy’s Book Store in Oak Bay. It is 250 pages and richly illustrated with numerous pictures and maps.

Contact Levey directly at karibu123@gmail.com.

Shelagh Butterworth Levey

Cordova Bay