About Tony

Tony Skiing in Canada

Tony first arrived in the Similkameen Valley in south central British Columbia to work for peanuts – well maybe a peanut plus an apple – with Outward Bound.  Tony fell in love with this desert valley and has made it his home for 40 years.  After a little bit of this and that and going to MacDonald College in Montreal to get his farmer’s diploma (his attempt to make “cents” out of taking a BA at McGill!!) he finally ended up leasing an orchard for 25 years!  What a commitment!  And then, because farming 15 acres (with the help of owner Sylvia Lang and all his neighbours) was far too little work, he bought five acres next door and began to plant his own orchard of organic Ambrosia apples.  This was no small feat and he managed to win the award for best compact orchard in the Okanagan!

J’étais un tendre étudiant durant les années soixante, durant la naissance du Service universitaire canadien d’outre-mer et j’ai réalisé que je désirais fortement me joindre à cette organisation. Mais que faire sans expérience? J’ai conservé mon enthousiasme durant ma carrière et, avec le support de CUSO-International et de tout un groupe d’amis et de voisins, j’ai fait le grand saut. J’ai lu pas mal au sujet du développement outre-mer et je suis toujours revenu à CUSO-International; je compte sur l’intégrité de cette organisation de bienfaisance.  http://www.vsointernational.org

Tony is a hard worker with an incredible work ethic.  Now he is going to go into retirement with CUSO.  Tony says, “. . . my reading of the complexities of international development directs me still to this organization, one reputed to be consistently honest.”  Another telling comment from Tony is, “. . . Romeo D’Allaire has said, ‘Enthusiasm should not be discounted’ – I take this to heart.  I still rely on my enthusiasm and still seek purposeful ventures.  I also recall my first summer with Outward Bound in 1970, and Andy, a seasoned instructor, saying that experience wasn’t everything.  Down all these years I have sought to temper my enthusiasm with experience and now it is time to volunteer with CUSO.”

J’ai connu Susan and Brian Bexton de McGill qui sont allés avec CUSO au Nigeria comme infirmière et professeur. C’était parfois pénible pour un jeune couple, et deux ans fut une longue période de temps.  Paul Gadbois, pommiculteur extrordinaire de Rougemont avec qui j’ai fait mon apprentissage, avait pris avec lui toute sa jeune famille en Afrique avec l’Agence canadienne de développement international.  En répliquant mon père a envisagé une vie outre-mer durant sa retraite mais il est mort à l’âge que j’ai présentement.

Tony will help Tanzanian farmers.  Tony will be volunteering as a Field Assistant with the UN World Food Programme.   He will help smallholders transition to cash crop farming by increasing production and therefore raising income.  Training is to include leadership, small business management, record keeping, warehousing, post-harvest handling, and marketing.   He will assist with the initial instruction and the in-field follow-up to ensure participants understand and apply, where possible and practical, concepts learned.

I am sure he will also help them hoe their small farms and, as a result, learn how other folks survive on this shrinking planet.  Tony will listen, he will observe, he will teach and be taught.

“La pratique n’est pas tout” a dit un instructeur d’envergure à l’école de plein air où je m’engageais comme jeune volontaire, l’été de mes dix-neuf ans. En plus, je me rappelle que, même après les folies mondiales dont il a rendu témoignage, Roméo Dallaire nous conseille de garder notre esprit de service. Alors, je joins mon enthousiasme à mon expérience et je m’en vais, sac au dos, me permettre de faire quelque chose de significatif.

Je m’embarque vers l’ Afrique orientale, en Tanzanie, en association avec le Programme alimentaire mondial, une des premières agences établies par les Nations-Unies environ dans la même période de temps que ACDI-CUSO a été fondé, il y a cinquante ans. J’aide les producteurs à augmenter leurs salaires à peine suffisant pour vivre. Ce programme offre l’assistance aux habitants, dans les régions de Dodoma et Singida à l’intérieur du pays, à faire la transition vers une récolte en espèces. Un gros défi.

Here are some Pictures of Tony, his house and his orchard . . . .

Tony's House

Tony's orchard and the Similkameen Valley


25 Responses to About Tony

  1. Navin Vasudev says:

    Good Luck Tony!! if you ever visit South Africa, you are always welcome to our place in Johannesburg!

  2. Aaron says:

    C’est beau la. Ma grammaire et tout ca est horrible mais c’est va quand meme.
    A bien tot, mon ami.

  3. Becca says:

    Love it! Thanks, Tony, for including me in this incredibly cool venture. Yeah! I’ll be following it closely and will stay in touch throughout. Much love, Becca

  4. louise delaney says:

    So nice to see Tony realizing his dreams – in the words of Dian Fossey ” Dreams seldom materialize on their own”…we are with you on your journey – safe & soulful travels! Lou&Minou

  5. Karen Timoshuk says:

    Thank you so much Tony for inviting me to follow your adventure. Throughout our Nica tour, and thereafter, I have grown to admire your sincerity, convictions, sensitivity to others and your passion for the small farming ideology. I aspire to all those traits.

    All the best to you now and always. Looking forward to your posts!

  6. Russel Virginia says:

    Seeing all your gorgeous photos of you, your home, your orchard, your produce, your workers, your life accomplishments in Cawston was a real treat – you should be sooo proud – this last year was truly amazing!!!
    ginny xo

  7. Tassy McEntyre says:

    Hi Tony,
    Your big adventure sounds fabulous. I wish I could carry your backpack for you and come along!!!
    I was in Tanzania in September 1972. It, along with Kenya were two of my favourite countries. I will be following your adventures from my kitchen in Montreal with avid intrest.

  8. Mary Walker says:

    This was forwarded to me from Marian Reed. I hope you do not mind. She thought you might not mind. I had the privilege to visit Africa several years ago. Rwanda– to see the gorillas’s. Fortunately our guide also introduced us to his family and village. This experience changed me so much. Africa is not unlike the hanging gardens of Babylon. I expect this is where that came from. The country is breathtakeing, the people charming and trusting. When they trust you, (as Canadian’s they quickly do); you will have made life long friendships. You are truly blessed and I know you will come away with much greater understanding of yourself and the small space ship we all live in.

  9. Becca says:


    What a wonderful reception you have had for this venture from all who love and admire you. What a tribute to your hard work and beautiful sensibility! And this is just the beginning…

    Much love and admiration for you,


  10. dawsonwilliamanthony@gmail.com says:

    Wow! Ginny, Rebecca, Mary, Tassy, Louise and Karen, Aaron and Navin, my sincere thanks to you all who have written to me here. I am moved; you know how much. And to those who have donated, I am honoured. This venture is not without its stresses but I have your support and the support of all the fine volunteers I’ve been blessed with these past two weeks. xxTony

  11. Russel Virginia says:

    It is with relief that we read your own words today – it means that our support is reaching you & that was so important for us to know! Love following your journey through David’s words – he writes in such a fun way!
    Back home we continue to have a very “weak” winter – rain, deep freeze & more rain – B&I still go xc skiing on Rigaud Mtn next to us & this weekend we went 2x & thought of you as we skated & skied over the icy double track – the sun was out & that made all the difference. Our hut-to-hut xc ski trip to Papineau Labelle park was fabulous – finally some good snow & despite the frigid temperatures we (18 of us), went for some very good & challenging ski tours over the frozen lakes & through the bush. Now we are off to Connecticut for 4 days to celebrate a 70th bday of Bill’s brother-in-law. When we return, we will go skiing & ski-dooing way up north west of La Tuque to a hunting shack we call Whiskey Jack – you would love it as we are at least 40 km from any habitation & our parked truck (to the shack).
    Your days sound so interesting not to mention challenging – we hope the time goes slowly enough for you to catch your breath & enjoy this amazing experience!!!!
    No reply necessary – just keep on living it to your utmost – as only you know how to do!!!
    Ginny & Bill xoxo

  12. muffinofsky says:

    Thank-you so much for sending this invitation to follow your journey. How fortunate we all are to have people like you, so eager to share your knowledge and to learn from others. Those in Tanzania will be so enriched by your involvement with them.
    I love that you have written half the blog in French and it makes me want to give it a try in my reply! J’espere que vous etes en bonne sante et que vous avez une aventure merveilleux. (I don’t know how to get accents!….Please feel free to make any corrections!)
    We look forward to following your posts.
    Nancy and Gerald

    • dawsonwilliamanthony@gmail.com says:

      Nancy, Gerald, delighted to hear from you. Trust you are enjoying spring in the Similkameen.
      I was taking French lessons through last summer with la belle Suzanne in Penticton, Tristan Mennell’s teacher. I thought I made a leap in my ability but now I am back to less than the basics, coping (or not) with Kiswahili. It is a lovely language and supposedly not too difficult. I spend my days thinking still and reading in English as I’ve much to learn. T

  13. Karen says:

    Tony your posts are great! and the adventure looks grand.

  14. Navin says:

    Hi Tony!!! read your very interesting updates a few minutes ago…You have been busy!!! and well? neal and I are doing good. The unfortunate part was that we had a break-in a few weeks back. The staolen goods are replaceable ofcourse but felt very violated. We are doing better. I am off to Cape Twon this Sunday to do a course at the University of Western Cape on Life Long learning. Looking forward to going back to school again. This will mainly be an e-learning with occassional face to face meetings. Looking forward to Cape Town!!!…Keep well and hugs….Nav

  15. Nicole Woelke says:

    Tony!! I love your blog. You are doing some amazing things and meeting some beautiful spirits. I envy you my friend. So glad our paths cross. You are someone I admire greatly and hope to one day follow in your footsteps. Safe travels Tony!!

  16. Isack says:

    Ho about your canada

  17. Isack says:

    Hi Tony! How are you! I miss you Tony!

  18. Isack says:

    Tony! How a you! Godwin completed stand seve sep.9

  19. Isack says:

    Hi Tony how are you? I think are okey I’m alredy to create may email account so this is may email. Jisack348@gmail.com

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