Fred and Cathy Haynes

Starting out as teachers in opposite parts of the world, Fred and Cathy met in Japan where they both worked for three + years.

Later they founded and ran a non-fiction publishing business for decades while raising their three sons and being involved in grass-roots community work.

Fred is currently Mayor of Saanich and Cathy is active on the board of their local community association. Cathy is also in a book club that supports the Victoria Literacy Connections’ Toonies for Tutoring program.

Favourite Book:


Too much to choose from!  I’m a huge fan of  A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, and for busy times I love good short stories, like Alice Munroe’s.


My favourites are big, substantial historical, mystery or thriller series such as Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series or Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series peppered with off the wall stuff like Terry Pratchett’s fantasies.

I also read a lot of nonfiction, and two that I recommend are The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, and Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind By Yuval Noah Harari.

What does LITERACY mean to you?


Aside from the necessity of literacy to function in the world, literacy mean seeing the world and other points in history through other’s eyes.


Reading opens the world. Early on adventure books helped me overcome my initial struggles with reading and showed me other worlds and other perspectives. Aside from personal enjoyment, being able to access, understand and weigh information led me to a Ph.D. related to diabetes, enabled our publishing business and is now essential to my work serving the community as mayor.

What books do you recommend?


For lovers of historical fiction I recommend Phillipa Gregory and Sarah Dunant’s novels for a female perspective on important historical periods, packed with palace intrigue and gripping plots.  


Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens to enjoy a big plan going completely off the rails due to an early error, and Sharpe’s Assasin, the last book in Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series.

Favourite quote:


“Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning.”
― Barbara Kingsolver


“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”  The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho