Phil Gale was born in Dorking, England in 1950. He lived in England until the age of 44, emigrating to Canada at that time. His father Elmer James was born in Ontario and saw Phil’s move to Canada as the fulfilling of his own lifelong dream, setting him up with a Navy buddy in Victoria, B.C. Thus, Phil lived for the remainder of his life in B.C.’s capital, other than a six-month stint in Dubai, UAE.
Phil was extremely proud of his Canadian citizenship and it was here that he started to write prolifically. He made the successful transition from a long career as a professional Baker in England to that of an Employment Counselor and Job Search Consultant, hence the job-related material in Chapter 4. A man of deep faith, Phil took great delight in writing his monthly column for the “Northern Light Magazine.” These articles can all be enjoyed in Chapter 3. He could often be found sitting on the edge of the bed with a number of religious texts spread out in front of him, while he studied passages of the Bible in great depth. He led worship in his local church in Victoria, latterly belonging to a worship band called “The Celts” and he enjoyed playing guitar in his spare time.
But the side of Phil that few rarely saw, was that of his keen sense of humour. He would often make up stories that had me laughing until my sides ached. There is a whiff of his fanciful side in the short story “Where there’s a Will” in Chapter 1.
Phil believed that everyone has aptitudes, gifts and abilities, sometimes remaining hidden, and he saw his role in life as encouraging people to reveal these qualities as they hold the key to reaching one’s full potential. Suffering from depression at times himself, Phil was an advocate for those with mental health conditions and wished to help illuminate some of the stigma around them. It was his brother’s schizophrenia that inspired his brilliantly written, published article “The Double-sided Story of That Man on the Street” from Chapter 2.
Phil passed away on January 15, 2019 in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C., after a four-year battle with bone marrow cancer. His raw narrative on those cancer years can be found in Chapter 5. He is missed greatly by family, friends, colleagues and fellow church members but may this website, and the legacy of his extraordinary writing, live on.