Lorraine Lohr Cathro holds her second

Lorraine Lohr Cathro holds her second

Storytelling a family tradition: Lorraine Lohr Cathro

Lorraine Lohr Cathro grew up near Stettler in a family of storytellers, and after her retirement, she decided to continue the tradition.

Lorraine Lohr Cathro grew up near Stettler in a family of storytellers, and after her retirement, she decided to continue the tradition, penning a family history that brought her back repeatedly to the communities in which she was raised.

Cathro, who recently released her second book detailing her family’s history Branching Out: Adventures and Roots spoke at the Stettler Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 29 before a crowd of about 25 people.

“I think (the presentation) went well,” Cathro said after the event was over. The Foothills resident spends a great deal of time travelling around Alberta, making presentations at libraries and genealogy clubs.

This presentation was about working with other people when completing family history projects.

“Rather than do (family history) with trees and charts, I write stories about my family,” she explained. Her first book, which was published in 2014, shared stories about her life growing up on the prairies, stories drawn out from her memories.

Her second book reads like a sequel, but it’s a sequel that depends less on her own memories and instead that of family, friends, and public accounts like newspaper articles.

“Stories are richer in detail this way,” Cathro explained. “It’s also more inclusive and involves people who can add more and more detail.”

On the other hand, working with other people makes the process much more challenging and time-consuming, Cathro noted.

Writing her family history started as a retirement project, but it’s become a passion for Cathro, who still has family in the Stettler area and makes frequent trips back to the community.

It’s also a family tradition.

“Both of my parents (wrote their histories),” Cathro said. “So, I am carrying on the tradition.”

More about Cathro’s books can be found on her website at www.lorrainecathro.com, and are available for purchase at the Stettler Town and Country Museum, through Evelyn and Don Strandquist, at the Big Valley Antiques and Collectibles, and also online at Friesen Press, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.