PARKER, Gilbert




Author Tags: Health, Poetry, Politics

Gil Murray Parker joined the Navy after high school but lasted in the Venture officer cadet school only a year, preferring to go to university in Edmonton where he became an engineer. Parker travelled widely in the Soviet Union and in the successor states from 1986 to 2003, first as an amateur ambassador, then as a businessman, learning the language and making friends across eleven time zones. This is the basis of his book, Looking Through 'Glasnost'; Aware of Modern Russia.

Prior to turning his hand to writing fulltime, he also worked as an international trader and a retail businessman. He has published non-fiction articles, was a VP of the Alpine Club, and a Yoga teacher. He has won the Paul Harris Award (Rotary Club) and is an honorary citizen of Victoria.

Coast Mountain Men:
Mountaineering Stories from the West CoastHis self-published poetry title Mom, Marian & Me; A Family's Poetry (Victoria: Aware Publishing, 2005) combines the poetry of his mother H. Margaret Parker, his sister Marian Arthur and his own, with a narrative to place their poems in context with their lives. "I hope to show the differences that three poets from the same family have adopted," he wrote.

DATE OF BIRTH: March 16, 1937

PLACE OF BIRTH: Alberta

ARRIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1966

EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: engineer

BOOKS:

Coast Mountain Men: Mountaineering Stories from the West Coast (978-0-9736906-2-0, 140 pages, 27 photos) 2007

Looking through 'Glasnost'; Aware of Modern Russia (self-published through Aware Publishing, 2007)

Mom, Marian & Me; A Family's Poetry (Victoria: Aware Publishing, 2005).

Aware of the Mountain, Mountaineering as Yoga (Trafford Publishing, 2001).

Bridging the Pacific, City Twinning and Victoria's Twinned Cities, editor and contributor (City of Victoria, 1995).

[BCBW 2007] "Health" "Poetry" "Politics"


Looking Through Glasnost
Promotional copy (2007)



In 1991, the communist hierarchy of 74 years collapsed, throwing the Soviet Union into turmoil. The market economy failed to materialize. Western money dis appeared into the hands of the “oligarchs.” The expectations of the people were dashed, their personal savings erased by successive devaluations of the ruble.

LOOKING THROUGH GLASNOST describes a dozen extended visits, starting with the Rotary Club initiative of 1988, then as Sister-City representative from Victoria, as a Rotary Club leader, mountain climber and business man. Over 15 critical years, Parker explored Georgia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, and Russia east to west, befriended many Soviet citizens, learned Russian and came to under stand the crumbling Communist model and the faltering democracy that replaced it.

Gorbachev created a water shed with perestroika and glasnost, the ideas that ended the Soviet Union and started a new historical period. The heritage of the tsars and a century of communism have made the people patient and tough; their love of community has brought them through a most tortured period of their history.

LOOKING THROUGH GLASNOST AWARE OF MODERN RUSSIA
by Gil Parker
ISBN 978-0-9736906-1-3 258 pages, paperback
Aware Publishing
325 Irving Rd, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8S 4A1
Contact: Ph 250 370 9349 Email: gparker@telus.net
Price: $21.95 CDN ($19.95 US).


Coast Mountain Men: Mountaineering Stories from the West Coast
Press Release


from promo
Vancouver Island and the adjacent Coast Mountains are a mountain playground and a wilderness environment that only recently has reached the wider appreciation by outdoor enthusiasts. Its deep forests and remote alpine regions provide challenges for climbers and opportunities for conservation.

Coast Mountain Men describes fourteen explorers and mountaineers who have contributed to mountain knowledge, history and culture in the widest sense, all with a connection to the alpine ranges of the West Coast of Canada.

Access to the hills has changed markedly over the seven decades during which our adventurers have plunged into these wild mountain ranges. The traditions of climbing have been affected by that access, by the formation of active mountain clubs and by the development of techniques and equipment. These biographies demonstrate how each climber has reacted to these changes; their experience is instructive.

More than any factor, the reality of wilderness impacts mountaineers. Nature in the raw does more than provide the terrain for a climber's sport; it allows each who would enter a sounding board against which to play the song of his life.

-- press release, 2007

Looking Through Glasnost
Article



After 1991, when the communist hierarchy of 74 years collapsed throwing the Soviet Union into turmoil, the market economy failed to materialize and western money disappeared into the hands of the oligarchs. The expectations of the people were dashed, their personal savings erased by successive devaluations of the rouble.

Gil Parker’s Looking Through Glasnost describes a dozen personal visits by the former engineer and mountain climber, prompted by a Rotary Club ‘sister-city’ initiative in 1988. Over a 15-year period, Parker explored Georgia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, and Russia east to west, befriended many Soviet citizens, learned Russian and came to understand the crumbling Communist model and the faltering democracy that replaced it. 978-0-9736906-1-3

[BCBW 2008]