SKAL Tourism Icon Alison Patridge Passed

Alison Patridge
Alison Patridge

Alison M. Partridge, a good friend of eTurboNews since 2009, and a devoted SKAL member passed away on March 30 in Victoria, Canada, eTurboNews just learned.

Alison was 74 years old and died unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack. She lived in Victoria, Canada.

She was actively involved in SKAL and contributed her time greatly to the World Tourism Network during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alison was the President of Skal UK in 2014 and was mentioned by eTurboNews in her work protecting African wildlife.

She is survived by her daughter, Kate (Brin), granddaughter, Carys, and sister, Elizabeth (Robert).

Alison was predeceased by her husband, Alan, and her parents, Neville and Audrey Grant.

She was Skallegue of the Month in August 2021

 was born in southern England, UK. We immigrated to Canada when I was 8 years old, settling in Victoria, British Columbia after 18 months in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

After completing High School, I spent a year at a Canadian Junior College in Neuchatel, Switzerland and then on to completing a BA at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. My summer job through 2014 these years was at The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, and I developed a love of the hospitality industry and a fierce desire to see the world.

I spent 2 years in New Zealand, working for the New Zealand University Students Association, 5 years in Toronto at the Canadian equivalent and then moved to London, UK to run my own Airline & Tour Operators Representation Company at Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast, and Cardiff Airports. I married in 1985 and we had a daughter in 1988. In 1993, very sadly, my husband died, and I took the decision to return to Victoria.

I went back to Travel CUTS but, in 1999, was re-hired at The Butchart Gardens as their Director of PR and Marketing. I had been hearing about Skål International and its fantastic network through the years, and when I was invited to join in 2002, jumped at the chance. I have never looked back. I was honored to serve as President of Skål International Victoria in 2008 – 2009. In 2011 I hopped the Atlantic again and transferred my membership to the London UK club, becoming club President 2012-2013 and then President of Skål International UK for 2014 and 2015.

Returning (again) to Victoria in 2016, I took on the role of Executive Secretary of Skål International Victoria 2016. We started rebuilding the club, which had seen a fair amount of attrition.

I firmly believe that members need to understand the relevancy of their SKAL club on a local basis but also on a national and international basis. 

Alison Partridge

To understand that the network at their fingertips opens doors and offers opportunities unsurpassed on a global basis. But it must be fun too.

Victoria is encouraging members to bring guests to our meetings. Now that the categories have expanded, this is proving to be a very good source of new and interesting members, all of which, given the nature of the local economy, are very much members of a widened hospitality family.

A year ago, she commented on a post on the World Tourism Network about the passing of Queen Elizabeth: “A wonderful example to the world. RIP Queen Elizabeth”

Alison worked for many years in garden tourism and was involved with international travel and Skål. Alison was an active alumnus of Glenlyon-Norfolk School, Neuchatel Junior College, and Queen’s University. Alison had an extensive network of friends, especially in Victoria, but she will be missed worldwide.

“I am very saddened by this news, and my heart goes out to Alison’s family and friends,” said Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTurboNews.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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