Friday, November 27, 2009

Highway Book Shop owner remembered as interesting entrepreneur

Chat Noir Books would like to send our condolences over to the staff at the Highway Bookshop and to Mrs. Pollard.

Highway Book Shop owner remembered as interesting entrepreneur
Posted By John R. Hunt
North Bay Nugget

COBALT — Northern Ontario lost one of its most interesting and unusual citizens when Douglas Charles Pollard died in Wednesday in Temiskaming Hospital in New Liskeard. He was 84.

For more than 50 years he owned and operated the Highway Book Shop in Coleman Township just south of Cobalt.

A big sprawling enterprise with at times up to many hundreds of thousands of books, Pollard was also a publisher who specialized in publishing Northern writers and poets.

An entrepreneur he quickly recognized the importance of the Internet. He had a large building dedicated to Internet sales around the world, but he told The Nugget later the business had been crippled by high postal rates.

He was a familiar sight in Cobalt. Always impeccably dressed, he was greeted by high and low as "Doctor Pollard" as a tribute to the honorary degree he received from Nipissing University in recognition of his contribution to Northern literature.

In December 2008, he won national recognition when he became a Member of the Order of Canada.

He got into book selling and publishing almost by accident. In 1957 he acquired an old printing press and some type from a defunct Haileybury newspaper and started a tiny print shop. He was offered a basket of paperback books in exchange for a small printing order. He sold the paperbacks for 25 cents each and began the business that often employed more than a dozen people and attracted hundreds of tourists every year.

Pollard was born March 18, 1925 at Alliston, Ont., to the late James Gordon Pollard and the Mary Frances Brown.

He served during the Second World War with the RCAF as an armourer.

Pollard fad a BA in psychology from McGill University, a PhD in psychology from Bernadean University in Nevada.

Predeceased by his first wife Jean [nee Hope] Bogart-Pollard; and siblings Byron Pollard and Isobel Bloomer. He is survived by his wife Lois [nee Williams].

Funeral services will be held at the Buffam Leveille Funeral Home on Saturday at 2 pm.

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