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The industry remembers Mrs. B
All of us here at Baxter Media have been deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support expressed by all of our friends in the industry since the passing of our one and only, Editor-In-Chief, Edith Baxter on Nov. 3, 2020.
For over 50 years, Mrs. B – as she was known throughout the industry, both in Canada and around the world – helmed the editorial operations of Baxter Media, while her husband, W.H. Baxter (better known as Mr. B) guided the company’s business-side activities.
She is irreplaceable.
But, she would be the first to tell all of us here at Canadian Travel Press that getting back to work will help to soften the blow and the kind thoughts of her friends and colleagues in the industry will allow us to forget the sadness that comes with her passing and helps us to fondly remember the joy that she brought to this world.
This week, we’d like to thank you for sharing your thoughts, and we’d like to share those memories and good wishes with everyone in the industry.
While Mrs. B would never admit to having a ‘favourite’ destination, Jamaica was a place where she found something that drew her back time and time and time again.
Be that as it may, Jamaica’s tourism industry has certainly taken note of not only her many visits, but also her support of the country’s tourism industry.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett observed:
“Under the leadership of Mrs. Baxter, Baxter Media has played an integral role in spotlighting Destination Jamaica in the Canadian market over the last five decades. In 2009, Mrs. Baxter was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in recognition of her contributions to the tourism industry and the important work she had done on behalf of Jamaica.”
Minister Bartlett continued:
“I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Baxter’s daughter Wendy McClung, along with her extended family and the entire Baxter Media management and staff during this difficult time,” Minister Bartlett said. “Mrs. Baxter was a powerful voice within the Canadian travel industry for more than five decades and her legacy will be remembered for years to come.
And John Lynch, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) wrote:
“She will be remembered fondly as a brilliant journalist, a savvy businesswoman and a true friend of Jamaica. Mrs. Baxter made dozens of trips to the island … and she developed strong friendships with former JTB Regional Directors Pat Samuels and Sandra Scott.”
Here in Canada, Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board, said:
“Edith Baxter was a true trailblazer who made an enormous impact on the travel community here in Canada and beyond. Whenever I had the pleasure of meeting with her, I always found myself in awe as she spoke about her career and shared stories of her travels to Jamaica. She had a true love affair with the island and will be dearly missed.”
MESSAGES FROM CUBA
Juan Carlos Garica Granda, Minister of Tourism of Cuba.
[Translated from the original]
With deep sympathy, we have heard the sad news of Mrs. Edith Baxter passing, founder and editor-in-chief of Baxter Media for more than 50 years, who earned the respect and friendship of the whole travel industry and who always showed her great affection for Cuba, with her unconditional and fair support for our country.
On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism of Cuba, the Cuban people and myself, I send the most heartfelt condolences to your family and colleagues.
Accept this as an expression of solidarity at this difficult time.
Eloy Govea, Former Director, Cuba Tourist Board Canada
“With a heavy heart, I am writing to express my sadness for the passing away of Mrs. Baxter. She has a very special place in my heart. Her warmth won me from the very instant I had the honour to meet her. Cuba owes her a lot for her unwavering support.”
Nieves Ricardo, Cuba Tourist Board
“I’m heartbroken with the sad news of Edith passing. I’m witness of her affection for Cuba and I can tell you the affection was mutual. She was to me more than a business associate. I loved her with the same kind of love you have for special friends or family.
I will always remember our lunches together at the Pub close to your office, her wit, funny and bright mind and specially I will always remember her on every December 30th.
She will be certainly missed.
My deepest sympathy and much love.
CONDOLENCES FROM THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS
Paul Strachan, Sr. Director, Sales and Marketing, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
“On behalf of the entire Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation; our deepest and sincere condolences to you and your family.
We all had a special love for Mrs. Baxter and fond memories of her numerous visits to The Bahamas. She was a pioneer in the Canadian travel industry and leaves a long-lasting legacy which positively impacts us all.
We’ll keep you and your family in our prayers and take solace in knowing that our Mrs. Baxter is resting in eternal peace.”
SO MANY GOOD FRIENDS
Wally Haupt, former Director, Austrian National Tourist Office
Mrs. B. and I had a very special relationship that started when we got to know each closer during numerous fam trips with travel agents to Austria. I was always amazed and very appreciative and proud that she accepted my or better the Austrian Tourist Office’s invitation when at any given time, the whole world was after her. Sometimes we added private extensions She liked meeting my family. When she had a few hours by herself, I was always amazed how much she could buy in a short time. Especially shoes, crazy shoes with the highest of heels.
But for years she fancied a fur lined Loden coat and never did. We went back to the same store in Salzburg several times.
So, what started as a business relationship seamlessly became a personal friendship. The big moment for me came when she gave me her private phone number and address, pointing out that this was very special.
Mrs. B. was following my after-retirement efforts in the travel industry and when my Christmas market tour to Austria did not sell she was disappointed because she wanted to go. So, we did, the 2 of us and my daughter Nicole. It was my daughter’s 30th birthday after all.
The two hit it off right away so ten years ago Mrs. B. accepted the invitation to her wedding in Vienna. I could not believe to see a wonderful write up about the wedding in the Canadian Travel Press with pictures and all. My whole neighbourhood new that Nicole got married as a travel agent lived nearby.
But more importantly, the wedding article and the photos in the Canadian Travel Press removed all doubts of a fake marriage with US authorities when she applied for the Green card.
After the wedding, with other Canadian wedding guests, we once more visited the prettiest sights of Austria with my husband as driver and me next to him. In the back, Mrs. B and our Canadian friends. The two ladies in the back found out in no time that they had a lot in common and the chatter and laughing, and yes, the singing got louder and louder as my husband got tenser and tenser driving on a narrow, winding alpine road in an oversized van. It was a wonderful trip though. Unfortunately, this was our last Austria trip together even though we tried again.
We were often invited to visit Mrs. B. in Toronto and Caledon. Everything was on the agenda and happenings in politics were an important reason to meet and debate. My husband and I enjoyed Mrs. B’s company for many years. Fine dining did not spoil her liking of basic central European, rural foods such as home-made Liptauer, and Grammelschmalz which were treats for her.
Dear Mrs. B, we miss you and your wit. Rest in Peace
Marianne Schaubeck, Owner, Reservations Africa
“Today, I read with great sadness that your wonderful Mom has passed. I am so sorry for your loss as it is not easy losing your Mom. She was a trail blazer and greatly admired by myself and many, many others. Her humour and zest for life was just the best. I can picture her in her Carmen Miranda hat on the farm. I was so fortunate to have spent many wonderful hours both visiting her and travelling to Namibia and South Africa together. Just saying her name makes me smile. I hope you are surrounded by your wonderful family during this sad time. I do know she made the world a much better and more fun place.”
Aliana Ho, Former Director of the Hong Kong Tourist Board in Canada
“To all my friends at CTP, I am very sad to hear the passing of Mrs Edith Baxter – may she Rest In Peace. She will be fondly remembered and my thoughts are with you during this difficult time. I really miss the times we spent together, treasure everything I’ve learned from her, and am most grateful for all the precious memories.”
Melanie Paul-hus, Director for Canada, Atout France
“On behalf of Atout France, I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences. We did not have the chance to meet Edith but she left a legacy – quality publications that we value and appreciate, as well as an amazing team and for that we are grateful. Our thoughts go to out to family and to all staff and collaborators in these difficult times.”
Firdosh Bulsara, General Manager, Product & Marketing, Victours International
My deepest condolences on the passing of Mrs. Baxter.
Edith was dear to my heart.
Back in the early 80’s and during my struggling days trying to get a foothold in the travel industry, it was Edith who was the first editor to allow us into the trade publications and always had a kind word.
It was a welcome ritual to meet with her up in the ‘tower’ and after our talks, climb down the stairs of 310 Dupont and walk to the neighbouring restaurant for an Italian treat.
She always found time.
She will always be fondly remembered.
May her soul rest in peace.
Wykeham McNeill, Former Minister of Tourism for Jamaica
I was truly sad to hear of the passing of your mother, Mrs. Baxter. I got to know her in her travels to our island and as a former Minister of Tourism worked very closely with her and recognized the positive contribution that she made to our tourism industry here in Jamaica. She was a wonderful person with a fabulous sense of humour and I will miss dearly. Our thoughts are with you and your family
Wolf Paunic, President, Trafalgar
Please accept my personal and my team’s condolences. I was fortunate and privileged to have dealt with both Mr. and Mrs. Baxter over my career. They were pioneers in shaping Canadian travel industry of today, and their monumental contribution to it will remain.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and co-workers.
May Mrs. B rest in peace.