Thomas Froese met his wife, Jean Chamberlain, on Victoria Day, 2000, not long before Jean left Canada to bring her skills as an obstetrician to the impoverished Arab nation of Yemen. The couple were married on July 29, 2001.
In the wake of the terror attacks on Sept 11, 2001, and just before war erupted in Afghanistan and Iraq, the couple returned together to Yemen in early 2002.
While in Yemen, Dr. Jean worked with needy women in the field of maternal health, while Thomas worked as an editor and columnist at the Yemen Times, an independent English newspaper in Yemen’s capital Sana’a.
In 2005, now with two children – Elizabeth and Jonathan – the family moved to the East African nation of Uganda. Based at Uganda Christian University in Mukono, Uganda, this is where Jean began her work as the founding director of the Canadian-Ugandan charity Save the Mothers.
This dedication to mothers and children in East Africa would eventually lead to Dr. Jean being awarded the Order of Canada.
In 2009, a third child, Ugandan-born Hannah Laura joined the family.
The family lived in Uganda’s capital district of Kampala from 2005 to 2017.
Since making their home full-time in Hamilton, Canada, the family Sheepadoodle, named Grace, has joined the family.
A Postscript on Family and Journalism
While the story of Thomas and Jean and their family has found its way to various newspapers, so has the story of the Froese family of a generation ago when the former Toronto Telegram chronicled the saga of the custody battle that involved the Froese Family.
Thomas would grow up in the Niagara Region where he helped in the family business. After studying journalism in nearby Kitchener, Ontario, his first newspaper job was at the Times-Journal, in St. Thomas. There Thomas developed skills he’d later use overseas.
In a coming-full-circle, Thomas had found himself employed by the Times-Journal’s owners, Sun Media, the newspaper chain that had been birthed out of the ashes of the former Toronto Telegram.