About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Red Finns on the Coteau by Larry Warwaruk

During a busy week I am putting up a post from 2008 on a non-fiction book I read concerning some Saskatchewan history.
36. - 446.) Red Finns on the Coteau by Larry Warwaruk – I had never known that a large group of Finnish immigrants, mostly through the U.S., settled in the Coteau Hills near Beechy just before World War I. It was a revelation to me that most were radical socialists. Several had been union members in the U.S. I vaguely remembered that Finland went through a vicious civil war after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 as the White conservative Finns successfully fought for independence against the Red socialist Finns. Two halls (East Hall and West Hall) were established on each side of the Coteau Hills. They were to be the focal points of their communities for the next generation. Rousing political meetings, plays, dances and sports days were held through the year. Detailed newspaper reports of meetings set out reports. There were fierce debates and divisions within the Finnish communities. The Red Finns were proud communists. In the early 1930’s several families left for Karelia in northwest Russia next to Finland to join collective farms or work in industry. A few were happy. More suffered. Some were sent to Siberia in the purges. Back in the Hills the remaining Red Finns fought hard for socialist ideals during the Depression. World War II, the aging of the original settlers and the start of the depopulation of rural Saskatchewan brought about a swift decline. By the end of the 1940’s there were no longer active organizations. (Aug. 31/08)
The author, a retired teacher and principal, lives in rural Saskatchewan. He has also written several works of fiction. His website is http://www.larrywarwaruk.com/books.html.



  1. Bill - This is really fascinating! I didn't know about that part of Saskatchewan's history. Thanks for sharing this post again.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I appreciate Larry writing about a part of Saskatchewan history that would have faded in the next couple of decades without his book.