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Biography

WHO IN THE WORLD IS TOM DOUGLAS?

Tom Douglas, a Founding Member of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) and a member of the National Press Club, is a best-selling author, communications consultant, 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 a return trip 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, the setting for one of his wife Gail’s 16 novels.

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. 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 Tom’s 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, returned to Holland six months later to produce 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 has also published a memoir – To Wawa with Love – about growing up in Northern Ontario. In addition, he has had four books published about World War II – Canadian Spies, D-Day, Great Canadian War Heroes and Permission Granted. A fifth book, Valour at Vimy Ridge, recounts the heroics of Canadian soldiers in World War I. Tom has also ghost-written the memoirs of a First Nations member who served in the Canadian Forces. Signed copies of his books are available by emailing Tom at: tmdouglas@cogeco.ca

Tom is a member of The Writers Union of Canada (open only to published authors). His Member's Page can be accessed at:
http://www.writersunion.ca/member/tom-douglas

Because of his writing about Canada's military heritage, Tom was awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2012. See: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/department/mincom/bio/1061

Professional Associations:

The Writers Union of Canada
National Press Club
The Memory Project
Royal Canadian Legion
Canada 150

Interests

Travel, history, politics, music, classic movies