BGen (Ret'd) Garry S. Thomson
Garry Thomson was born in Dundee Scotland. His mother was a Canadian and his father a member of the Dundee Police who later became an infantry officer and Platoon Commander with the 6th Gordons. He was captured at Anzio Beachhead in Italy.
The Thomsons moved to Canada in 1947, to his mother’s home town of Orillia. After his father joined the Ontario Provincial Police the family moved, for several years, to the northern areas of Ontario.
General Thomson graduated from high school in Kincardine and joined the Regular Officer Training Plan at Waterloo College, now Wilfred Laurier. He finished his degree many years later.
Garry Thomson was commissioned in The Royal Regiment of Canada in Toronto in 1963 and commanded the Regiment from 1976 to 1979. He commanded Toronto Militia District, now 32 Cdn Bde Group, from 1986 to 1988 and was ultimately Deputy Commander (and briefly Acting Commander) of Land Force Central Area (the Army in Ontario, both Regular and Reserve) from 1992 to 1996. During that last appointment he was able to spend some time with Canadian troops in Rwanda, Croatia and Bosnia.
He currently is the Honorary Colonel of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, a reserve infantry regiment based in Barrie and Owen Sound.
His civilian career was primarily in life and disability insurance. He was a Vice President with Constellation Assurance and Prudential Group Assurance, and Assistant Vice President with Sun Life. He completed his career as General Manager, Operations, for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
General Thomson has belonged to a number of voluntary organizations. He is a Past President of Fort York Branch, Royal Canadian Legion. He is a 40 year Chevalier/Knight of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, an intenational order of chivalry whose main charitable work is the fight against leprosy.
He served on the Board of Governors of Commissionaires Great Lakes for 28 years and was the First Vice-Chair. He retains his ties with the organization. He recently completed a stint as a Director of St. John Ambulance, Toronto Branch.
He recently completed 7 years as Producer of the Royal Canadian Military Institute’s annual Massed Military Band Spectacular..He is a Director of the RCMI`s Heritage Fund which is intended to raise funds to ensure the continuation of the RCMI`s Library, Strategic Studies, and military heritage programs.
General Thomson is the Chair and organizer of the RCMI’s annual D-Day Dodgers Luncheon, which pays tribute to the Allied Forces engaged in the Italian Campaign.
A current interest is to take adult and student groups to Europe to tour WWI and WWII battlefields, which he has done several times, and will take a group of the Foresters regimental family to Northwest Europe in September of 2016.
He is currently on the Board of Directors of The Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda.
Gen Thomson is immediate Past Chair of The Royal Regiment of Canada Foundation, and current Chair of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Foundation and a Senate Member of both units. Both foundations are critical to the success of the two regiments.
General Thomson was an enthusiastic instrument-rated pilot and aircraft owner for many years.
He and his wife Sandra live in Mississauga, Ontario, and also enjoy ‘the lakehouse’ in Kincardine.