Ken Donovan is a retired Parks Canada historian who has published widely on Cape Breton history. His groundbreaking work on the history of Louisbourg contributed to a broader understanding of gender and racialized experiences within the 18th century settlement. His work on Cape Breton history, including his two major edited collections, The Island and Cape Breton at 200, has been foundational for generations of regional scholars. For a full list of publications, visit: https://independent.academia.edu/KENDONOVAN
Everybody Was Crying: Ella Barron, A Dutch War Bride in Amsterdam and Ingonish, Cape Breton, 1923-2020.
This paper tells the Story of Ella Barron, one of 48,000 war brides who came to Canada at the end of the War in 1945. A native of the Netherlands, Ella Barron, also known as Cornelia Aletta Anna Iske, was born in Amsterdam on December 12, 1923. Coming from a working-class family, Ella was the middle child of eleven children born to Christaan Iske and Geraldina Geel. This paper describes the life of a young girl and woman coming of age in Holland during the Second World War.
After the war, Ella met Alex Barron of Ingonish, Cape Breton, in October 1945 and they were married in Holland on January 24, 1946. Ella left for Canada on the Queen Mary in May 1946 and arrived in Halifax at Pier 21 on June 15. She came to Ingonish on June 16 and from that time she raised a family of 10 children. There were; however, a few adjustments to be made. Ella spoke Dutch, not English. She was a Protestant woman in a tight-knit Catholic community. Finally, she was a city girl who had to get used to country living. This paper tells the story of a courageous woman who endured poverty, discrimination and the destructive effects of war and overcame hardships as a young wife and mother in her new country. Her compelling story is based on primary material including interviews, letters and pictures.