Hall of Famer
H. Percy Douglas
If the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA.) as an organization was instrumental in shaping the course of events in skiing, then it is H. Percy Douglas who had been the force which guided that Association through its struggling years from 1920 to 1930. Indeed he was referred to as “the dean or father of Canadian skiing” a phrase to which he strongly objected.
By 1907, Douglas had become one of the more prominent members of the Montreal Club, and he helped to inaugurate publication of the first Annual of the Montreal Ski Club. This yearbook of skiing later became the official publication of the CASA. As editor of this yearly review of Canadian Skiing, Douglas was influential in providing researchers of today one of the most accurate source-books related to skiing in Canada. He maintained his role as yearbook editor for the CASA until 1940, when World War II intervened and it ceased publication. It was Douglas who actively promoted the idea of a National Ski Association, and who was responsible for calling the first meeting in 1920 of what was to become the CASA. He was honoured by being elected its 1st President, a post which he held for an unprecedented 10 years.
Throughout this time, the groundwork had been laid for the dramatic and significant developments that were to take place in the 30s. They were years that saw the prestige of the Association grow, in spite of differences of opinion and disputes that would have destroyed many lesser organizations.
Throughout, the President had remained above the internal problems, and brought much credit to himself and to the office he held. His resignation was submitted in 1930, and the executive position of Honourary President was created to ensure that the benefits of his experience would not be lost to the Association. It has been said that “Percy Douglas has been a part of every major ski development in Canada.”
He was inducted into the United States Ski Hall of Fame in June 1968. In addition to his involvement in the development of skiing in Canada, he also had a lifetime interest in social work and was awarded the prestigious OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services in connection with the rehabilitation of veterans following the Second World War.
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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Manoir Richelieu in Murray’s Bay, January 1930 [L to R]: Allen T. Hew ?, Raymond Thomas, Sam Cliff, ? D’Egville, H.P. Douglas, Emily ?, Brock Thompson. CSHFM Collection.
1928 St. Moritz Olympic Winter Games [L to R]: W.B. Thompson, Sepp Muehlbauer (captain of Swiss team), H.P. Douglas (manager), Gérald Dupuis. CSHFM Collection.
1928 St. Moritz Olympic Winter Games [L to R]: H.P. Douglas (manager), Gérald Dupuis, W.B. Thompson, Merritt Putnam,?, Sepp Muehlbauer (captain of Swiss team). CSHFM Collection.
H.P. Douglas – far left W.B. Thompson – 2nd from left. CSHFM Collection.