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Written by Lisa Ruck on 24 July 2018.

2018 CAHS National Convention and AGM in Calgary highly successful

By Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

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Calgary came through with flying colours as host of the 55th Annual CAHS National Convention and AGM May 30-June 3. About 80 CAHS members and supporters thoroughly enjoyed an outstanding program featuring superb presentations, rewarding tours and traditional events such as the awards banquet, book sales, raffles and much more. Glowing reviews are exemplified by National Treasurer Rachel Lea Heide, who rightly described the conference as “a home run,” and Bill Zuk, of the Winnipeg Mantioba Chapter, who ranked the Calgary convention with the “best of the bunch.”

All of the attendees appreciated Calgary’s traditional hospitality and the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel, an ideal choice that offered excellent value in service, facilities and staff. Full credit is due to hard-working Convention Chair Bert Furlong and his Convention Committee. Choosing the theme of “Aviation Then and Now,” they achieved a remarkable success with the full support of the National Executive. br />

After a National CAHS Board meeting on May 30, the Convention opened with a fascinating ‘Ice Breaker’ session, featuring Paul Gies, president of the Avro Museum. Paul outlined the museum’s long-standing and ambitious project to build a flying 60% scale replica of the Avro Arrow, known as the Arrow II. The aircraft is currently under construction at the Springbank Airport. It is hoped that it will be flying five years from now.

In-depth presentations moved to full gear on May 31. What a lineup of speakers! Will Chabun of the Regina Chapter covered the history of RCAF Station Saskatoon. The story of F/L Herb Briggs, DFC, based on his dramatic and moving war diaries, was told by lifelong aviator Fred Petrie. Vancouver Chapter President Jerry Vernon explored “The Mystery of TCA Flight 3,” the loss of Lodestar CF-TDF with 15 fatalities north of Vancouver in 1947.

The history of the Saskatchewan Government Air Services smoke jumpers was covered by James Winkel of Saskatoon. Robert Galway of Toronto then presented on the “Places, Planes & Pilots of the Red Lake Gold Rush.” Aeroballistic testing of the Avro Arrow was reviewed with expertise by David Waechter. (www.innerscale.com) Next, in “That Lucky Old Son,” Mark Cote discussed a book of that title about the courageous Bomber Command service of his father, F/O Leonard E.J. Cote. The day concluded with another successful AGM, including announcement of a new chapter in Medicine Hat, led by Roger Beebe. Everyone savoured renewed opportunities to connect with old and new friends throughout the convention.

On June 1, we enjoyed a tour of the Viking Air hangar at Calgary International Airport where final assembly of the Twin Otter Series 400 is completed. Plant manager Cody Reinbold and staff gave a much-appreciated overview of Viking’s impressive accomplishments in delivering Twin Otters to customers around the world. Cody outlined Viking’s proven record of meeting the challenges presented by operators seeking different versions of the Twin Otter ranging from a Chevy to a Cadillac. We were also updated on Viking’s recently announced plans to rebuild 11 Canadair CL-215 waterbombers to CL-215T standard. We viewed two CL-215s that served with the Northwest Territories awaiting conversion at Viking.

The nearby Hangar Flight Museum was our next tour. The museum offers a rich exhibit of military and civil aircraft, including a Lancaster Mk X, FM136; a Barkley-Grow T8P-1; a DC-3; a North American F-86 Sabre; a Vampire Mk III; an Anson Mk II, a Sopwith Triplane and more. An Avro Canada CF-100 Mk 3 and a McDonnell CF-101B Voodoo are displayed outdoors.

Presentations resumed that afternoon with Bill Zuk’s colourful “Finding Amelia Earhart in Canada,” and “Canadian Fighter Pilots in the Korean War,” outlined by 400 Squadron historian Carl Mills. The story of the Norwegian Flying Training Schools in Canada was covered by Bill Cameron, “now 89 years old and holding.” National Secretary Jim Bell wrapped up with a complete overview of 403 “City of Calgary” Squadron.

On June 2, we were thrilled to visit the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton. Highlights included two run-ups of all four engines of Lancaster Mk X FM159, the museum’s showcase. One ground run was done specifically for the CAHS. Museum Co-ordinator Karl Kjarsgaard discussed plans to recover, rebuild and display RCAF Halifax HR871 that crashed off the coast of Sweden in 1943. Karl then fired up one of the museum’s eight Bristol Hercules engines for the CAHS. He almost disappeared at one point in clouds of smoke. He did a second run-up later.

Richard de Boer, Calgary Chapter President, outlined ongoing restoration of the City of Calgary’s de Havilland Mosquito that was flown by Spartan Air Services. Andy Warrell discussed the project in detail. Nanton’s CF-100 Mk 3 made an especially distinctive outdoor display. A CT-133 Silver Star is displayed outdoors as well. We then returned to Calgary for the traditional banquet.

CAHS President Gary Williams presented two longtime CAHS stalwarts, Hugh Halliday and Jerry Vernon, with the Bill Wheeler Volunteer Service Award for their many significant contributions. The dual presentation was very well-received and we thank Jerry and Hugh for their dedication. The dinner presentation, the story of Calgary’s Fred McCall, a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, was given by keynote speaker Shirlee Smith Matheson, author of Maverick in the Sky: The Aerial Adventures of WWI Flying Ace Freddie McCall, and several other aviation books.

The convention concluded with two presentations on June 3. Richard Goette discussed Air Defence Co-Operation during the Cold War. Allan Snowie told of his “A Nation Soars” adventures leading a 38-member contingent with 7/8th- scale Nieuport 11 replicas in a five-month flying circus that brought the Vimy story home to Canada. Allan was the team leader of the biplanes that flew over Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017. (vimyflight.ca). Allan’s inspiring presentation ended a memorable convention on a suitably high note.

We are already fastening our seat belts for the 2019 Convention to be held in Montreal, organized by the National CAHS with support from the Montreal Chapter.

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All sessions of a wide range of topics were well attended at the 2018 CAHS convention in Calgary. (Chalmers photo)

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A visit to the Viking hangar where final assembly takes place for Twin Otters provided the opportunity to see aircraft under construction and the finished product. (Chalmers photo)

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Conventioneers at the Viking assembly hangar with a newly-completed Twin Otter. (Chalmers photo)

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A Silver Dart replica flies overhead at the Hangar Flight Museum in Calgary. (Chalmers photo)

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A convention tour included a visit to the Hangar Flight Museum with an opportunity to speak to volunteer guides about the collection. (Chalmers photo)

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A Waco biplane is among the fine aircraft on display in the Hangar Flight Museum. (Chalmers photo)

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A Dakota DC-3 with skis and wheels is one of the aircraft housed in the tent hangar at the Hangar Flight Museum. (Chalmers photo)

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The tent hangar accommodates the Museum’s Lancaster bomber, one of two in Alberta. The other is at the Bomber Command Museum at Nanton. (Chalmers photo)

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At every engine run-up of the Lancaster at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, volunteer fire fighters from Nanton are on duty. (Chalmers photo)

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Karl Kjarsgaard, a director of the Bomber Command Museum, addresses the conventioneers before the Hercules engine of a Halifax bomber is started up on its mobile engine stand. (Chalmers photo)

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With an RCAF T-33 Silver Star in the background, CAHS conventioneers and museum visitors gather around for the noisy run of the mighty Hercules engine. (Chalmers photo)

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The workshop of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada provided an appropriate setting for presentations about aircraft preservation and restoration. (Chalmers photo)

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A re-enactor in authentic kit added authenticity to the Lancaster at Nanton, now with Dambuster call letters for the summer in honour of the 75th anniversary of the famous Dambuster raid of the Second World War. (Chalmers photo)

 

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Conventioneers and other visitors to the museum lined up to tour the historic Lancaster bomber. (Chalmers photo)

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Paul Gies, President of the Avro Museum, spoke about a planned 60 per cent scale flyable replica of the Avro Arrow, called the Arrow II. Following the convention on the closing day, Paul hosted a tour of the museum's shop, as seen here, at the Springbank Airport, where the project is under construction.

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Cody Reinbold at the Viking Air facility in Calgary points out details of the company’s newest Twin Otter. (J. Bell photo)

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Complete and painted is a Twin Otter at the Viking Air facility. (J. Bell photo)

Karl Kjarsgaard fires up a 1650 hp Bristol Hercules engine Bomber Command Museum for convention attendees

Karl Kjarsgaard fires up a 1,650 hp Bristol Hercules engine at the Bomber Command Museum for convention attendees. (G. McNulty photo)

Holy smoke Karl Kjarsgaard practically dissapears in a cloud of smoke g mcnulty photo

Holy smoke! Karl Kjarsgaard practically disappears in a burst of smoke as the noisy Bristol Hercules engine roars to life at the Bomber Command Museum. (G. McNulty photo)

CF 100 Mk 3 18152 makes an impressive display at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada G McNulty

CF-100 Mk 3 #18152 makes an impressive display at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada. (G. McNulty photo)

Bolingbroke 9987 painted as a Blenheim Mk IV of No 18 Sqdn in memory of Barrt Davidson Calgary pilot shot down on July 6 1940 McNulty photo

Bolingbroke 9987 painted as a Blenheim Mk IV of No. 18 Sqdn. in memory of Barry Davidson, a Calgary pilot shot down on July 6, 1940. (G. McNulty photo)

Bolingbroke 9987 of the Whereatt collection restored as a Blenheim IV in memory of Barry Davidson a Calgary pilot downed in a No 18 Sqdn Bleinheim Jully 6 1940 G McNulty photo

Bolingbroke 9987 of the Whereatt collection restored as a Blenheim IV in memory of Barry Davidson, a Calgary pilot downed in a No. 18 Sqdn. Bleinheim Jully 6, 1940. (G. McNulty photo)

Convention attendees inspected a Canadair CL 215 slated for conversion to CL 215T standard at Viking Air G McNulty photo

Convention attendees inspected a Canadair CL-215 slated for conversion to CL-215T standard at Viking Air. (G. McNulty photo)

Canadair CL 215 C GBYU in Northwest Territories colours at Viking Air awaiting upgrade to a CL 215 G McNulty photo

Canadair CL-215 C-GBYU, in Northwest Territories colours at Viking Air awaiting upgrade. (G. McNulty photo)

Hangar Flight Museum Barkley Grow 8 CF BQM G McNulty photo

Hangar Flight Museum Barkley-Grow #8, CF-BQM, has a long and colourful history. Roy Staniland, a Museum founding member, donated it for restoration and preservation. (G . McNulty photo)

CF 100 Mk 3 18126 at the Hangar Flight Museum G McNulty photo

CF-100 Mk 3 # 18126, at the Hangar Flight Museum, flew with 440 Squadron at Bagotville.  Converted to a Mk 3 dual control trainer in 1955, it was assigned to No. 3 OTU at North Bay. (G. McNulty photo)

On loan from DND Hangar Flight Museum CF 101B Voodoo served with 416 G McNulty photo

On loan from DND, Hangar Flight Museum CF-101B Voodoo served with 416 (Lynx) Squadron in Chatham NB. (G. McNulty photo)

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James Winkel, speaking on his presentation about Saskatchewan smoke jumpers. (Chalmers photo)

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David Waechter gave a presentation about aeroballistic testing of the legendary Avro Arrow. (Chalmers photo)

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Convention chairman Bert Furlong makes a point from the podium while keeping the proceeding on time. (Chalmers photo)

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Bill Zuk gave a presentation about Amelia Earhart, which enlightened his audience about her many accomplishments, connections to Canada, and place in aviation history. (Chalmers photo)

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Vancouver CAHS chapter president Jerry Vernon speaks to the convention. (Chalmers photo)

Andy Woerle

Andy Woerle was one of the presenters in sessions held at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, speaking about the Mosquito being restored at the Museum. (Chalmers photo)

bill cameron

Bill Cameron spoke about the Little Norway training facility in Ontario during the Second World War. He has donated his huge collection of warbird models that he built to The Military Museums in Calgary. (Chalmers photo)

carl mills

Carl Mills spoke of “Canadian Fighter Pilots in the Korean War” as his session in the program. (Chalmers photo)

Fred Petrie

Fred Petrie based his session on the wartime diaries of F/L Herb Biggs DFC. (Chalmers photo)

Gary Williams

National president Gary Williams serves also as president of the CAHS Regina chapter. (Chalmers photo)

jerry vernon

Jerry Vernon spoke about the 1947 crash of TCA Flight 3, a Lodestar aircraft lost with 15 on board, and not found for half a century. (Chalmers photo)

Jim Bell

Jim Bell presented a session on the history of RCAF 403 City of Calgary Squadron. (Chalmers photo)

mark cote

Mark Cote speaks to the convention about the wartime service of his father, recounted in Mark’s book, That Lucky Old Son. (Chalmers photo)

Rachel Lea Heide

National treasurer, Rachel Lea Heide, presents her treasurer’s report at the AGM. (Chalmers photo)

Richard de Boer

Richard de Boer, CAHS Calgary chapter president and president of the Calgary Mosquito Society, speaking at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, about how the Society was formed to save and restore a Mosquito and a Hurricane. (Chalmers photo)

Richard Goette

Richard Goette presented his session on air defence cooperation between Canada and the United States during the Cold War. (Chalmers photo)

Robert Galway

Robert Galway delivered a session about the “Places, Planes and Pilots of the Red Lake Gold Rush.” (Chalmers photo)

Shirlee Smith Matheson

Shirlee Smith of Calgary was the banquet speaker. Author of several books of aviation history, she spoke about famed Calgarian pilot, Capt. Freddie McCall. (Chalmers photo)

 gary williams will chaburn

President Gary Williams, left, with Will Chabun, who spoke about RCAF Station Saskatoon, and is seen receiving the award for the C. Don Long Best Article Award in the CAHS Journal. (J. Bell photo)

hugh halliday gary wheeler jerry vernon

Hugh Halliday, left, president Gary Williams, and Jerry Vernon. Hugh and Jerry were recipients of the Bill Wheeler Volunteer Service Award for their long-standing support and contribution to the CAHS. (J. Bell photo)

CAHS National Executive wraps up at 2018 Convention

After being "white hatted" by the 2018 convention committee at the dinner banquet, and re-elected by acclamation, the CAHS executive members are shown left to right: Jim Bell, secretary; Rachel Lea Heide, treasurer; John Chalmers, membership secretary; Gord McNulty, vice-president, and Gary Williams, president. (Angie McNulty photo)

Allan Snowie

Allan Snowie, giving the last formal presentation of the convention, provided a stirring account of the Vimy Flight project, for which he was team leader, to do a flypast over Vimy Ridge in France on the 100th anniversary of the great battle of the First World War. (Chalmers photo)

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An overview look at a convention session at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel. (J. Bell photo)