When he was a boy, Tom Morimoto saved up a dollar and ordered a book called How to Box so he could defend himself against the kids who called him "Jap." In fact, Morimoto has always been a fighter who
When he was a boy, Tom Morimoto saved up a dollar and ordered a book called How to Box
so he could defend himself against the kids who called him "Jap." In fact, Morimoto has always been a fighter who went from working in his father's market garden to working with sheikhs in Dubai. If anyone should write a memoir it is Tom Morimoto, and he has done it grandly with Breaking Trail
Morimoto lived through a historic period before the modern age changed the North forever. He describes his childhood growing up in Depression-era Fort McMurray and the town's characters: old-timer trappers, German barons, and bush pilots like Wop May, and R. B. Bennett's dipsomaniac brother, George.
As a young man, Morimoto worked on an Athabasca River scow and as a radio operator for Canadian Airways before travelling to Yellowknife to stake gold claims and work in the Negus gold mine. His next adventure found him serving as a signalman during the Second World War, and surviving Juno Beach on D-Day. Later, Morimoto became a chemical engineer, a pioneer in the burgeoning gas industry in Alberta. He eventually managed a gas plant in Dubai.
Breaking Trail is a rich memoir from a man who has experienced much of what the twentieth century offered northern and western Canada. It is not only the story of a life well-lived but also a wonderful tale with the characters and places common to the most opulent of novels.
View Biographical note
is retired with homes in Kelowna, BC, and Green Valley, Arizona. He continues to enjoy life and is an avid golfer. Looking back over almost nine decades, he recalls fondly the many friendships he made and the unique characters he met during a life bookended by the sled dogs of the North and the camels of the Arabian peninsula.
In September, 2015, The University of Alberta Alumni Association will be awarding Mr. Morimoto with an Alumni Honour Award for his pioneering work in the local and international energy industry.