In The Temple of The Rain God is a personal narrative of the dramatic first fifty years of Saskatchewan history, from immigration, homesteading, politics, business, the agony of the Depression of the 1930s and the farm debt crisis, to the Second World War and recovery, all told through the eyes of Charles Wilson, Garrett’s father. “Irish Charlie” Wilson arrived in the West in 1905, the year of Saskatchewan’s birth, and experienced all the hardship, success, and suffering that the province enjoyed and endured on its path to where it stands today as one of the
most favoured in Canada.
Charles Wilson did it all, from farm labourer to grain buyer to home-steader to business to politics. He established himself as the pre-eminent farm loan agent in Saskatchewan and then converted to spokesman for the farmers who had become deeply indebted because of the failure of crops and prices in the 1930s. Charles served from 1936 to 1943 as farmer/debtor commissioner on the Board of Review established under the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act, an almost forgotten agency that sliced away nearly half of Saskatchewan farm debt.
Much of Charles’ story is told in his own words with unusual authenticity and colour. Through his close association with Victoria Trust & Savings Company, the rise, fall and recovery of Saskatchewan’s agricultural sector is seen through the vantage point of an Ontario based farm lender.
In The Temple of The Rain God recounts how governments in Ottawa and Regina struggled to save western agriculture from the crushing mountain of farm debt that was threatening to empty out the land so recently settled.