Francis R. (Frank) Phillips was born in 1926 in Saint John, his father of Irish-Catholic lineage, a salesman, and his mother, a descendant of Loyalist-Protestant stock, her family arriving in Saint John in 1783 as one of the original Gorham settlers who founded the city. His early schooling was All Saints: St. Peter’s Boys School, St. Vincent’s, St. Mary’s, (St. Ignatius) Loyola, St. Michael’s, St. John. He performed on the radio early in life as The Junior Strolling Vagabond.
In 1947, he graduated from Teachers’ College, Fredericton and taught in St. Andrew’s, Escuminac, Leonardville and Minto where his Cross Country teams won seven provincial titles and in 1955 a Canadian Championship. In Track and Field his athletes set a number of provincial records. He was later inducted into the Minto Sports Wall of Fame.
Earlier, he had been a member of Sports College and the Toronto Red Devils under Lloyd Percival, and still later a member of the Saint John Big Four, which won the Maritime Track and Field Championship in 1953.
Frank played trombone in the Saint John City Cornet Band, the sousaphone at U.N.B, and the clarinet at Camp Aldershot. He held the rank of Lieutenant in the Cadet Corps. At Minto Memorial High School, he directed the Big Band. Frank has always played piano and has composed many original works, some of which were included in his latest novel.
He holds degrees from U.N.B. (B.A.), and from the University of London, England, M.A. and Ph.D. In addition he gained the Academic Diploma and completed a course on English Educational Thought and Practice thanks to a Lord Beaverbrook Overseas Teachers Scholarship in 1960.
In 1961, he was in Moscow when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space and wrote a series of articles for the Saint John Telegraph-Journal.
In 1965 he joined Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education rising to the rank of Full Professor. He was known by his students, many of whom teach throughout Canada and beyond, as having a wonderful sense of humour and great skill with the English language, both of which are amply represented throughout his latest work.
Over the years, he wrote many articles and two books: Bishop Beck And English Education, and Creating An Educational System For England And Wales. In 1992, he was awarded the University Medal for Excellence in Teaching. He was a member of the Board of Governors from 1989-1992, as well as Acting Dean of Education on two occasions.
He is married to Adeline Lee, his Editor-in-Chief, and has two daughters, Catherine, Ph.D., and Frances (Daniel Wise) M.S.W. and has one granddaughter, Isabelle Wise.
Although he has written extensively throughout his lifetime, the release of Like the Whistling of the Wind is his first fictional work and trade publication. It was a decade or more years in the making: research, writing, refinement, editing and publication.