Friday, April 23, 2010

Shark Diver - What's in Your Clan?

Recently I was speaking with a reporter in Scotland about our company Shark Diver.

The reporter wanted a "Scottish connection" for a shark diving story she was working on. I found myself smiling, she was unaware of the Black Douglas, our clan.

The Douglas clan has a long history of adventure seekers going back to the late 1600's. From the discovery of the mummy of Ramses, to early whaling adventures (as the vessels doctor), to the discovery and development of the largest copper mine in the west and Douglas Arizona.

The Black Douglas has clan members who seek adventure, and always look to the horizon.

We're a unique bunch and Shark Diver is the embodiment of the Black Douglas. While our clans motto is "Jamais arrière" which means "Never behind," I decided to tag Shark Diver with "Discover Real Adventure."


Because over 500+ years of Black Douglas adventures and history demanded it. For more reading about the Douglas clan here's a page from Wikipedia:

James S. Douglas (4 November 1837 - 30 June 1918) was a Canadian mining engineer and businessman who introduced a number of metallurgical innovations in copper mining.

Douglas's Scottish-born father, Dr. James Douglas, was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He had earned the reputation of being the fastest surgeon in town, capable of performing an amputation in less than one minute. Dr. Douglas transmitted his thirst for adventure to his son, taking him on numerous expeditions to Egypt and the Middle East in the mid-19th century. He brought back several mummies from these journeys, selling them to museums in North America. One of these, sold in Niagara Falls, was recently discovered to be the corpse of Ramses I.

James S. Douglas initially chose a different career from his father, studying to become a minister in the Presbyterian Church. He studied at Queen’s College, Kingston from 1856-1858, and later at the University of Edinburgh. By the end of his studies, however, Douglas had second thoughts: “When therefore I was licensed to teach, my faith in Christ was stronger but my faith in denominational Christianity was so weak that I could not sign the Confession of Faith and therefore was never ordained.” He was granted a license to preach, but never became an ordained minister. This secularism remained with Douglas all his life. He was primarily responsible for making Queen’s into a non-denominational University when he served as Chancellor in 1912.

In the 1860s, Douglas helped his father at the Beauport Asylum while studying towards a career in medicine. He worked as a librarian at the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, and later became the youngest president in the history of the Society. There, he presented numerous lectures to the Society’s members, the first on Egyptian hieroglyphics and mummies, and later ones on mining and geological issues.

This interest in mining and geology eventually supplanted his interest in medicine and Douglas embarked on a third career. In 1869, Douglas’ scientific experiments with the assistance of Dr. Thomas Sterry Hunt at Université Laval led him to a discovery that was to change his life. Together, they elaborated a patent for the “Hunt and Douglas” process of extracting copper from its ore. Although Douglas had no formal education in chemistry, he was considered competent enough to fill the Chair of Chemistry at his hometown's Morrin College affiliated with McGill University, from 1871 to 1874. His evening lectures were among the most popular in the history of the College.

Douglas’s patents attracted attention in the United States, and in 1875 he quit his teaching post to work as superintendent for the Chemical Copper Company. In 1880, Douglas was recruited by the trading company Phelps Dodge, which sent him to Arizona Territory to investigate mining opportunities. This eventually led to the creation of the Copper Queen Mine, which became one of the top copper-producing mines in the world. Offered the choice of a flat fee or a ten percent interest in the property for his services, he chose the latter, a decision that subsequently made him a fortune.[1] James Douglas also founded the copper smelting Mexican border town of Douglas, Arizona. He eventually became president of Phelps Dodge, and helped transform it into the Fortune 500 company it subsequently became.

James S. Douglas was always known as Dr. Douglas. His son, James Douglas, Jr., or "Rawhide Jimmy" (1867-1949), followed in his father's footsteps, and built a major fortune with the United Verde Extension mine in Jerome, Arizona. His Jerome mansion is open to the public as the Jerome State Historic Park.

Throughout this time, Douglas maintained an interest in Canadian history and heritage. He wrote several books on the subject in his lifetime, namely Canadian Independence, Old France in the New World, and New England and New France—Contrasts and Parallels in Colonial History. In addition to bailing Queen’s University out of a financial crisis with approximately a million dollars from his own pocket, Douglas also established the first chair in Canadian and Colonial History there in 1910. He also financed many libraries, such as the library of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, where interest from his donations is still used to purchase books.

Douglas also donated to several medical causes, most notably the Douglas Hospital in Montreal, Quebec. This institution pursued the cause which had been taken up by his father, a pioneer in the treatment of mental health in Quebec. Douglas’ donations helped keep the hospital alive in the institution’s early years. Originally called the “Protestant Hospital for the Insane”, the institution took on the name of Douglas Hospital in 1965 as a tribute to James Douglas, Jr. and his father.

Since 1922, the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers annually awards the James Douglas Gold Medal in his memory. The Douglas Library at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, is named in his honor, as is Douglas Hall at McGill University.

Patric Douglas CEO


Big Dawg Divers said...

Cool patrick that explains a lot about you!

John said...

"That's pretty good stuff Chief"