THE TILLEY HAT FOR ROTARIANS
By Alex Tilley phf
Wouldn’t it be great if fellow Rotarians could identify each other? Last October I got the idea of providing Tilley Hats with a Rotary label. Half a year later, the Hats were a huge success at the Toronto Convention, and we were sold-out for most of the summer.
In 1980, I made a good hat as a hobby. In time, I learned it was the best-made, most practical ‘outdoor’ hat in the world. My ‘Alex Tilley and Family’s Nautical Gear’ became Tilley Endurables, Inc. (later: USA:Corp., UK: Ltd.) in 1984 and I retired in 2015.
My former company provides Hats and travel clothing to over 4000 stores in 18 countries. Hilary and I live all year on Lake Muskoka, among its glacier-carved multitude of lakes, its trees and the ancient rock of the Canadian Shield.
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CLICK ON A HAT
Here’s Why You’ll Enjoy it ---
- You’ll look good and feel great in it!
- You’ll make new friends.
- Guaranteed for life not to wear out. Take a peek at the nearby Guardian (UK) article.
- Lightweight (4 oz.) and crushable.
- Won’t shrink. If it ever ‘contracts’ simply put it over your knee and pull.
- Repels rain: Quite well. The brim stays stiff and won’t collapse when wet.
- Blocks the sun; certified 50+ sun protection. (The highest.)
- The olive underbrim prevents glare.
- Machine washable. However, doesn’t the best ‘outdoor’ hat in the world deserve hand washing?
- It floats: there’s a 1/8-inch thickness of closed-cell foam located in the secret pocket in the crown. The Hat will float longer than I can! This foam has also protected many a head.
- It’s packable and later looks neat: To remove wrinkles in the crown, simply apply hot water inside and out. It’ll look beautiful in the morning. (The wind cord dries slowly.)
- Velcro-sealed secret pocket: It’s not really secret, but it’s a handy one: hotel key, license, spare $10 …
- The material is our special laminated nylon (Nylamtium – I made up the word). The mesh is strong polyester.
- Handcrafted in Canada where I would keep a watchful eye.
- Unless requested otherwise, I’ll autograph the inside of your Hat -– just for fun.
ENJOY YOUR TILLEY HAT; MAY YOU OUTLIVE IT
Our Tilley Hats for Rotarians come in 10 sizes (6 7/8 through 8).
If you don’t know your size (or a friend’s size, for a surprise) measure the circumference of a comfortable-fitting hat in inches or centimetres, then tell us that number. (FYI: head circumference in inches divided by pi [3.14] gives us the head size. In the UK, it’s off by one size…)
The Hats I have selected come in three styles, the R6, the R5, and the R3 with its snap-up brim.
The only noticeable difference among the three is the brim size: the R3 is about ¼ inch (1 cm) wider than the R5; the R6 is about the same amount bigger than the R3.
IF YOU PLAN TO ORDER ONE, CONSIDER DOING IT NOW, BECAUSE WE WERE SOLD OUT LAST SUMMER!
DID YOU KNOW?
Interestingly, (and quite wonderfully!) strangers sporting Tilley Hats nearly always chat with each other, or at least tip their Hats, especially in foreign countries. I don’t know of any other item that creates this kind of instant fellowship.
“It’s a terrific hat.” Sir Edmund Hillary
"A Tilley Hat rests more easily than a crown."
I'm delighted that strangers, wearing Tilleys, usually stop and chat with one another especially in foreign lands. Friendships are created, and I think that's the Hat's greatest benefit of all.
"Hey Duke, where'd you get your Tilley?"
The Waltons: Roving Rotarians
It took months to get the Hats exactly as I wanted them for you. Ron (R6) and Margaret Walton (R5) of my club purchased the first Hats, and the last of the prototypes, for their Rotary trip to Africa. Here they are near the Blue Nile in March.
"Tilley Hats are the quintessential hat for the experienced traveller. Originally designed for sailors, they quickly became the hat of choice for adventurers. Having a unique, Rotary branded, Tilley Hat will enhance Rotary's image and in my opinion, capture the adventuresome spirit of Rotarians and promote out international focus."
Past District Governor
The T3 Hat saw action with 5000 Canadian troops in the First Gulf War. It became the first prototype for the Hats with the Rotary logo. We went through a lot of prototypes, starting our testing in Guatemala.
¿Esta muchacha? ¿Una dia la presidente de Guatemala?
For your enjoyment
While Hilary spent a week in November with her daughter and her new grandson in Toronto, I flew to Guatemala for the 10th time, “to test the Hat.” I learned the logo idea, and even the type of Tilley Hat, needed improvement.
Guatemala is my favourite country to visit. Away from its cities, it’s the land of the Maya. They speak about 18 languages plus Spanish as a second language.
It’s very foreign, it’s safe and friendly, not expensive, and easy to get to. I usually rent a car at the airport, then drive for an hour to Antigua, the former capital of Central America. And from there, anywhere! Read about Chichicastenango’s market, Lake Atitlan, their several active volcanoes -- and Tikal!
Travel agent with Evaneos, Mary Vasquez of Antigua (305 395 3935) was a delight to work with, arranging a guide and driver for me.
When I visit some countries, I bring along photos of Canada, especially winter ones. As you can see, young people, enjoy them.
In the 1970s, I found that wearing a large, fake nose got people laughing and delighted to meet you. And the gift of a Polaroid worked wonders.
Young once, immature forever!
what the rabbits around Almolonga look like! (See Google.)
By the way, my clothes are old Tilleys. They’ll last longer than I will (80, going for 105). That’s why I called my company Tilley Endurables, Inc. which I sold in 2015 and for whom I now work as an ‘authorized dealer.’
A propos de nada: One of the world’s most beautiful places is Bryce Canyon in Utah. Discover it!
If you have a favourite destination, email me (email@example.com).