An Extraordinary Ordinary Man recounts the life story of St. John’s native Edgar House, told in his own words in 1999. An introduction by his son—the sociologist Doug House—situates Edgar’s life story in the context of 20th century Newfoundland society and memoir literature.
Edgar lived through the major historical events of the 20th century in Newfoundland, from World War I to Confederation with Canada. He knew and tells anecdotes about many famous Newfoundlanders, such as Joey Smallwood and Bob Cole. He was an esteemed educator, athlete, health administrator, and volunteer. Edgar’s wonderful memory and quirky sense of humour shine through in his many different stories about childhood in St. John’s in the 1910s, summers in Trinity, Buchans in the 1940s, sports, teaching, Rotary International, and everyday life in the city. A product of his time and social environment he, in turn, influenced many others through his purposeful, engaged life. Edgar House was truly an extraordinary ordinary man.