Educator, Historian Second World War Veteran.
Thamis Ebert William Gale was born on February 28th, 1921. Thamis was born in Montreal and was the son of Jamaican born William Gale who served in Canada’s segregated No. 2 Construction Battalion and Donna Gale. Thamis attended Montreal High School and Sir George William University during which time he excelled both in academics and track and field, and trained in the area of electronics.
Having served his country overseas in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1940-19345, he became at war’s end actively involved in Veterans’ Affairs and numerous other affiliate organizations such as the Canadian Legion Branch # 24-106, and the West Indian Veterans’ Association, demonstrating his desire to lend a helping hand to disabled veterans and their dependents.
After his return from the war, he married Winnifred Gittens who predeceased him in 1962, leaving a young daughter, Podina. In 1963 he married Hyacinth Allen with whom he shared the remainder of his life until his death in 1991.
Thamis was very concerned about the educational direction and social development of Black youths as evidenced from his becoming a founding member of The Board of Black Educators and his involvement in The Negro Community Centre, The Black Coalition of Canada and the Guyanese Cultural Association of Montreal, among others.
His belief in the importance of education and his desire to share his knowledge with others, led Thamis to a teaching position in Guyana, the birthplace of his wife Hyacinth. He taught electronics at the Technical Institute for 5 years during the 1970’s. It is interesting to note that his decision to venture into such unfamiliar territories was made after a discussion he had with a well -known Guyanese Canadian who convinced him of Guyana’s need for his expertise and the invaluable contribution he could make towards the betterment of the future for Guyanese youths. Thamis met the challenge with his usual commitment and dedication.
During the last 8 years of his life, Thamis worked arduously to document Black soldier’s contributions to 3 Wars- The First World War, The Second Word War and the Korean conflict. Of the Black soldiers Thamis documented, over 1300 served Canada in The Great War.
Unfortunately, Thamis died before the final chapter was completed.
Thamis departed this life suddenly on Sunday, April 21st, 1991.
Thamis was remembered as
- A Loving Husband
- A Devoted Father
- A Dear Brother
- A Kind Relative and
- A True friend
Thamis ’funeral service was held at April 25th, 1991at at Union United Church located as 3007 Delisle Montreal. The Minister was Rev Rawllier Quamie. In 2011 daughter Podina Gale gifted her father’s research on Black Canadian Veterans to The Legacy Voices Project.