WESTBANK WRITERS' GROUP

January 25, 2020 Peachland Art Centre

Book Launch "Alaska How I Miss You"

Roger Ensign and Geneva Ensign

Maxine and Roger Ensign with Geneva Ensign standing behind them.

Well attended and enjoyed by all. Roger had a few stories to share and signed books afterward.

Books can still be purchased through Amazon. 

Book brings man back to life

I was of the understanding that a person did not leave palliative care alive; however, I was amazed to learn otherwise, as I met someone who did just that. Apparently, there is a difference between palliative and hospice. In palliative care, a person generally has a chronic, irreversible, life-limiting illness, but may be taking medical treatment for it, with hopes of the possibility of a cure, and death may or may not be imminent. Whereas, hospice is for those who are in the dying process and receive pain management rather than treatment. Roger Ensign, an 83-year-old retired pastor was in palliative care in Washington and in a great deal of pain, and waiting to die, when his sister, author Geneva Ensign came to visit from West Kelowna. Her visit would be a game changer as they decided to co-write a book together about his life as a Free Methodist Church pastor in Alaska, a bush-plane pilot, limousine driver, logger, hunter and fisherman guide. During his piloting years, he crashed a few planes, and on one occasion the plane landed upside down in a river, and he lived to tell about it, along with experiencing hair-raising, dangerous encounters with grizzly bears and moose. Ironically, it was a garden tractor accident that nearly did him in and put him in a coma for four months. He became a paraplegic and has been using a wheelchair for the past 15 years. The book venture which Geneva lovingly referred to as the “Roger Project,” gave her brother a reason to carry on, and he came to realize why God didn’t take him home just yet. The siblings developed a close bond co-writing the book, and got reacquainted after many decades in different countries. Fast forward nine months later, the book launch was held at the Peachland Art Gallery on Jan. 25. Roger left his sick bed in palliative care a few days earlier to go on a long journey by car with his wife Maxine of 64 years, and their family. They traveled from Kelso, Washingtron to Peachland. At the art gallery, Roger and Geneva were greeted by a standing-room-only crowd, which also included members of the Westbank Writers' Group and some former Kelowna parishioners whom he ministered to over 40 years ago.


Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel