On Remembrance Day, Shaw TV – Channel 10 will be premiering a special feature, titled “The Writings and Life of George Whalley Presented by Michael DiSanto”. The feature will air at 10:00am, 2:00pm, 6:00pm, and at 9:00pm on November 11th.
George Whalley (1915 – 1983) was an eminent and accomplished Canadian scholar, poet, CBC script-writer and broadcaster, musician, biographer, and translator. He served in World War II as an officer in the Royal Navy and later in the Canadian Royal Navy. During the war, he was involved in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck, worked in the Naval Intelligence Division designing new surf boats to land and retrieve secret agents, and perhaps most impressively, designed an acoustic beacon, called the FH 830, which was crucial in the invasions of Sicily and Normandy. For his heroism and bravery in saving a life at sea, he was awarded the Royal Humane Society Medal.
Since 2009, Dr. Michael John DiSanto, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film at Algoma University, has been working to highlight Whalley’s life and restore his place within Canadian history and twentieth-century modernism. His projects to date include publishing an extensive website, georgewhalley.ca, co-organizing the Centenary Conference in Honour of George Whalley in 2015, and the recently published The Complete Poems of George Whalley. Many of Whalley’s poems were penned during his time in World War II. Future works include publishing a collection of Whalley’s letters, a new edition of his essays, and a biography.
“George Whalley’s contributions during the Second World War have yet to receive the recognition they deserve,” said DiSanto. “He was a brave man who participated in major events that changed the course of the war. In his wartime poetry, arguably the best written by a Canadian, he shows us what he witnessed and illuminates what it means to be at war.”
For more information on DiSanto’s ongoing work on Whalley, please visit Algoma University’s faculty web page.