Rest­less re­tiree

For­mer pro­vin­cial ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter writ­ing memoirs


Though Philip J. War­ren is thor­oughly en­joy­ing his re­tire­ment, af­ter a life­time in the pub­lic square, he’s not us­ing it as an oc­ca­sion to “rust on his lau­rels.”

If any­thing, he’s as busy as ever, writ­ing, golf­ing, speak­ing, and serv­ing on com­mit­tees and com­mis­sions.

The 78-year-old New Per­li­can na­tive now lives in St. John’s, but uses al­most any ex­cuse to re­turn to his home­town.

“I was never a townie — I’ll al­ways be a bay­man,” he toldThe Com­pass­be­fore he spoke at the fourth an­nual her­itage day cer­e­mony in New Per­li­can on July 9.

To­day, War­ren spends much of his time writ­ing about the re­form of the pro­vin­cial de­nom­i­na­tional school sys­tem in the 1990s.

He should know what he’s talk­ing about, as he served as ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter in premier Clyde Wells’ cabi­net dur­ing that time, and “was part of the re­form early on,” he said.

“I’ve been in­volved in all as­pects of ed­u­ca­tion, so I think I owe it to peo­ple to write some of my views,” he added.

He’s writ­ing about “things that hap­pened,” as well as spec­u­lat­ing “about what might hap­pen in ed­u­ca­tion in the fu­ture,” he in­di­cated.

War­ren’s sec­ond writ­ing pro­ject re­volves around grow­ing up in New Per­li­can in the 1930s and 1940s.

He calls the pe­riod be­tween his birth and when he left the town — 1933 and 1949 — as a “rather neat pe­riod.” In 1933, the world was in the throes of the Great De­pres­sion, while 1949 was the year New­found­land joined Con­fed­er­a­tion.

He’s os­ten­si­bly writ­ing his memoirs for his chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, but he’s also hop­ing to pub­lish them in book form some­day.

Mean­while, War­ren says he doesn’t miss his peri­patetic life in pol­i­tics.

“I worked for a long pe­riod of time,” he said. “ When I fin­ished pol­i­tics in the mid-90s, I was ready to do other things. That’s what I’ve been do­ing.”

An­other ac­tiv­ity that gar­ners his un­di­vided at­ten­tion is golf­ing, an ac­tiv­ity he took up when he was 65.

“I feel good phys­i­cally, and I love golf­ing,” he said with a smile.

Philip J. War­ren was born in New Per­li­can, but lives in St. John’s. In his re­tire­ment, he’s writ­ing his memoirs, in­clud­ing the role he played in the re­form of the de­nom­i­na­tional school sys­tem in the prov­ince in the 1990s.

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