Melady, John 1938-

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MELADY, John 1938-

PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced "muh-lay-dee"; born September 12, 1938, in Seaforth, Ontario, Canada; son of Maurice (a farmer) and Mary (a homemaker; maiden name, Flynn) Melady; married Mary Lemaire (a teacher), August 25, 1962; children: Paul, Mark, Tim. Education: University of Western Ontario, B.A., 1962; University of Toronto, M.Ed., 1973. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: International travel, photography, golf, and downhill skiing.

ADDRESSES: Home—50 William St., Box 190, Egmondville, Ontario N0K 1G0, Canada.

CAREER: Writer. Construction worker in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, 1958-59; elementary schoolteacher in Prescott, Ontario, Canada, 1959-60; high school teacher of English in Trenton, Ontario, Canada, 1962-69; Hastings County Board of Education, secondary school vice principal, 1969-94. Presents workshops at elementary and high schools, colleges and universities; guest on radio and television programs across Canada.

MEMBER: Writers' Union of Canada, Royal Canadian Military Institute, Pararescue Association of Canada, Seaforth (Ontario) Golf Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: Writing awards from Province of Ontario, Canada, for three books; Children's Choice Book Awards finalist.


Explosion, Mika Press (Belleville, Ontario, Canada), 1980.

Escape from Canada!: The Untold Story of GermanPOWs in Canada, 1939-1945, Macmillan (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981.

Korea: Canada's Forgotten War, Macmillan (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983.

Cross of Valour (juvenile), Scholastic (New York, NY), 1985.

The Little Princes (juvenile), Scholastic (New York, NY), 1988.

Overtime, Overdue: The Bill Barilko Story (sports), City Print, 1988.

Pilots: Canadian Stories from the Cockpit, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

Heartbreak and Heroism: Canadian Search andRescue Stories, Dundurn Group (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.

Acts of Courage, Scholastic (Markham, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

Search and Rescue, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

Star of Courage: Recognizing Canada's Heroes, Dundurn Group (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2001.

Columnist for the Catholic Register, 1980-87, and OSSTF Forum, 1979-84. Contributor of articles to newspapers and magazines.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Research for a book on the Suez Crisis of 1956.

SIDELIGHTS: John Melady once told CA: "The books I have written . . . were done because they filled a void in Canadian history. For example, I had been out of university for some time before I even knew we had incarcerated German prisoners of war here. The book resulting from this was Escape from Canada! It has been a great success, both in hardback and paperback.

"I wrote my book on Korea because Canada had a sizable contingent of troops in that war, and no one knew it. My research took me to Korea, where I walked the battlefields where our soldiers fought, prayed at their graves in Pusan, and enjoyed the same recreational outlets as they did in Japan. The book was both a Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild choice. It is still selling.

"My book Pilots was written because I have always been interested in planes, and the men and women who fly them. As part of my research here, I was able to fly in the cockpit of several commercial airliners. As well, I flew with the Brazilian Air Force aerobatic team, and as a rear-seat observer in the Canadian Air force fighter plane, the F-18. Being given the chance to take the stick and roll the plane over, and to experience an after-burner takeoff were thrills I will not soon forget.

"To me, researching nonfiction is almost as pleasant as writing it. Gathering the information involves travel, meeting interesting people, and seeing the world through the eyes of others. I have traveled on all the continents except Antarctica, but I hope my writing will take me there eventually.

"I also do a great deal of book reviewing because doing so helps me to keep up to date with what is current, not only in Canada, but in Britain, the United States, and elsewhere."

Melady's research has taken him around the world. His Heartbreak and Heroism: Canadian Search and Rescue Stories recounts a variety of true search-and-rescue operations, some involving ordinary citizens and others involving highly trained specialists. A reviewer for FedPubs called the book "popular history at its most exciting." The same reviewer praised Melady for his book, Star of Courage: Recognizing Canada's Heroes, a collection of capsule biographies of those who have received Canada's prestigious Star of Courage for brave acts under duress. The reviewer found Star of Courage to be "passionately told" and noted that the book "will inspire readers and prove to Canadians that there are great heroes in our midst."



FedPubs, (April 4, 2003), reviews of Star of Courage: Recognizing Canada's Heroes and Heartbreak and Heroism: Canadian Search and Rescue Stories.

Speakers Agency, (April 4, 2003), brief biography of Melady.