Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tony Wheeler – patron saint of backpackers

Tony is someone who has made a career out of doing what he loves most – travelling.

When Tony and Maureen Wheeler arrived in Sydney the day after Christmas 1972 after a six month Asia overland trip from Europe they had 27 cents left between them. In late 1973 they started Lonely Planet Publications to publish Across Asia on the Cheap, the story of their trip from London to Australia. From that self-published guidebook Lonely Planet Publications has grown to become the world’s largest independent guidebook publisher.

In July this year, Tony traveled to Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with friends. His friends, the Cubit family, are sponsors at the School of St Jude, so he got to visit the school.

Tony Wheeler, Mark, Amy, Amanda, Leigh, Gemma, Ashleigh Rose, Karen and Cheryl

Like most visitors, Tony was very impressed by the School – it’s a fantastic project by another energetic Australian, Gemma Sisia. Gemma enjoyed showing her visitors the new school emerging at Usa River. It was an altogether uplifting visit, combining adventure travel and good companionship, along with a few bottles of wine.

So, if you are thinking of traveling to Africa, pick up a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide to Tanzania, and drop in on the School of St Jude where amazing things happen every day!

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