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Alicia Priest Celebrates New Memoir with Events in Victoria & Vancouver


Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 12:36pm

Join Victoria-based author and long-time journalist Alicia Priest as she celebrates the launch of her fist book, A Rock Fell on the Moon: Dad and the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist with events in Victoria and Vancouver this September:

Victoria: Wednesday, September 17 - Book launch in the Robert Service Room at the Bard & Banker Public House (1022 Government Street) at 7:30pm. Books will be for sale by Munro’s Books, admission is free and all are welcome. For more info, call Munro's: (250) 382-2464.

Vancouver: Thursday, September 25 - Evening event at Book Warehouse on Main Street (4118 Main Street) at 7pm. Readings by Alicia's family, to be followed by a book signing. For more info, call Book Warehouse: (604) 879-7737.

A Rock Fell on the Moon is a riveting, rollicking memoir in which Priest conducts her own investigation into an infamous theft committed by her father, Gerald “Gerry” H. Priest, in the Yukon Territory in the 1960s. Gerry stole $160,000 worth of silver ore out from under the nose of his employer—one of the largest mining companies in Canada. Had the same amount of ore been stolen today, it would have been worth around $2.3 million. The theft led to a costly yearlong investigation by the RCMP, a series of expensive trials of record-breaking length for the territory, and ultimately Gerry's stint in the notorious Oakalla prison.

Gerry never admitted his guilt publicly, not even to his own daughter. In A Rock Fell on the Moon,Alicia Priest consults letters, news stories, archived RCMP files and court documents, and also interviews mine employees, litigators and RCMP investigators, to piece together the full story of her father’s infamous heist. The result is a lively, heartrending account of a mysterious crime that came extraordinarily close to succeeding; a fascinating look into the small mining communities that once thrived in the Yukon; and the personal story of Priest’s family, who could only watch aghast as the life they knew crumbled around them. As she uncovers more of the story, Alicia must reconcile two different versions of her father: the fun-loving, bush-savvy adventurer who raised her, and the man accused and convicted of the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist.

Alicia Priest is a journalist with more than twenty-five years of newspaper, radio, magazine and reporting writing experience. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Georgia Straight, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Magazine and Western Living. She lives in Victoria, BC, with her husband Ben Parfitt—also a writer. In 2012, Alicia was diagnosed with ALS and decided that it was time to tell her family’s story. This is her first book.