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une 7 Tom Douglas

WHO IN THE WORLD IS TOM DOUGLAS?

Tom Douglas, a Founding Member of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), Executive Editor of TRAVELLERS NOTEBOOK and a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists, is a travel writer and travel promoter whose career has taken him around the globe and then some.

He rode the Trans-Siberian Railway when the Cold War was at its coldest. Touring Australia by motorcycle, he looked up the friend of a friend in a small town in Queensland and ended up buying a half-interest in a weekly newspaper. He has sailed the Atlantic half a dozen times, including first-class on the Queen Elizabeth 2. An 18-day Pacific voyage from Vancouver to Sydney, aboard the P&O liner Himalaya, included stops at Waikiki, Suva and Auckland along the way.

He has flown to Europe many times and counts among his most memorable trips a first-class flight aboard Air France where the caviar and champagne never stopped, and an ill-fated charter where an engine conked out over the North Atlantic in January, resulting in an overnight stay in Goose Bay, Labrador. The replacement aircraft also developed engine problems and there was a second unscheduled stopover, this one in Reykjavik, Iceland, before the flight finally landed safely in Luxembourg.

Several glamorous cruises in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the South Pacific have been counterbalanced by a trip across Morocco on a goat-and-chicken-festooned local bus. He has lived in France on two occasions -- once as a teacher on a military base and another time as a travel writer based in Nice, one of the settings for the 14 romance novels his wife Gail has had published by the Bantam Dell Publishing Group of New York. Since the books were set in exotic locales, Gail and Tom would visit stay in each place while Gail wrote and Tom edited the books. Tom has also self-published an award-winning memoir about growing up in Northern Ontario and has had three best-selling accounts of incidents in World War II produced by Altitude Publishing of Canmore, Alberta. A fourth book about the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge in World War I was released in April, 2007. In addition, Tom ghost-wrote the memoirs of a Second World War Squadron Leader and post-war adventurer, Wess McIntosh, entitled "Permission Granted".

Tom has chewed betel nut with the natives of Rabaul, New Guinea, and sipped tea in a stone cottage in the Outer Hebrides with his wife's distant cousins. East German border guards with machine guns (in the "bad old days") searched his train compartment for stowaways, and a Parisian taxi driver once threatened to punch him in the nose when, in his less-than-perfect French, Tom told him he was pretty when he thought he was telling him he'd been kind.

As a travel promoter, Tom has taken North American tourists by plane, ship and motorcoach to various European countries. In turn, he's been pampered as a diplomat, visiting such cities as Seoul, Tokyo, Paris and Rome while serving as communications advisor to a high-ranking Canadian politician. He has shaken hands with the late Pope John Paul, the Prince of Wales, the King of Spain and the Prime Minister of Thailand, and has exchanged toasts with former members of the "maquis", the French resistance movement of WWII, at commemorative ceremonies in Normandy.

In May 2005, Tom was selected as one of six media delegates on the Veterans Affairs Canada official pilgrimage to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in Holland. He filed stories, with accompanying photographs, back to Canada where seven articles were published by the Ottawa Sun and others appeared in several Ontario weeklies. A major feature based on the trip appeared in The Canadian Military Journal, the official magazine of the Department of National Defence. In addition, Forever Young, a national tabloid for seniors, ran an article based on Tomís visit to the Dutch family that billeted his father in 1944 as one of the liberators of Holland during World War II.

Tom and his son James, a Vancouver-based vidoegrapher also produced a documentary, The Tulip and the Maple Leaf, about that Dutch family and the ties of friendship between Canada and the Netherlands.

Tom has had a number of articles distributed by Canadian Press, Canada's national newswire service, and these have been picked up by dailies across Canada. He has also sold articles to a variety of Canadian and U.S. magazines and newspapers.

Tom wrote ``Valour at Vimy`` - LINK here

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April 12

Lecturer & Research Associate At The Frost Center, Trent University

The wartime letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost brings to light the correspondence between two officer brothers and their family at home from 1915 to 1919. Despite wartime censorship, Leslie and Cecil wrote frank and forthright letters that express their view of the war as well as their observations during training and from the trenches in some of the warís bloodiest battles. The letters also deal with the warís political context, including conscription and the Union government, as well as social issues such as the emerging role of women, the role of the growing middle class, nativism and the use of liquor overseas.

 

Rae Fleming contends that Leslie Frostís military experiences and hospitalization affected his policies as Premier of Ontario (1949-1961), especially those related to medicare and liquor control laws. Frostís government was the first to pass laws providing penalties for racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination on private property, and these laws created a movement that led to the Ontario Human Rights Code. The wartime letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost makes a significant contribution to military history and social history. Fleming places the letters in their context and shows the value of their commentary. This book will be of interest to general readers as well as scholars of military and social history.

 

Copies of Dr. Flemingís publication were available for sale and personal inscriptions.

 

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