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.