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An impressive Golden Hawks monument

Sarnia, site of the 2018 Ontario Group RCAFA AGM hosted by 403 Wing May 18-20, proudly displays a Canadair Sabre in Golden Hawks colours at Germaine Park. Sabre Mark V, Serial #23164, is one of the original aircraft that flew with the famous demonstration team from 1959 to 1964.

The memorial Sabre was originally placed on display in 1973. It withstood 40 years of wear and tear until a group of dedicated volunteers led by COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) Flight 7 members and aviation enthusiasts, began a major restoration in 2012.

After two years and 4,800 hours of work, supported by 403 Wing along with generous donations from many businesses, industries and individuals, the Sabre was brought back to its full beauty in its place of honour. A rededication ceremony was held on May 31, 2015 at Germain Park. Colonel (Ret’d) Chris Hadfield, former Canadian astronaut and fighter pilot who hails from Sarnia, was among the notables in attendance along with former Golden Hawks team leaders LCol (Ret’d) Fern Villeneuve and LCol (Ret’d) Dan Dempsey.

The monument is dedicated to the memory of the Air Force colleagues of the Golden Hawks, past and present, and reflects a strong commitment to preserving history and keeping that memory alive. Solid materials that are meant to withstand the test of time were used in the restoration and Sarnia’s Sabre is a tribute to teamwork.

As Dan Dempsey said recently, “The Sarnia team did a magnificent job of restoring the aircraft.” Amen.

--- report and photos by Gord McNulty

Golden Hawks Sabre V 23164 at Germain Park in Sarnia May 18 2018

Golden Hawks Sabre V #23164 at Germain Park in Sarnia, May 18, 2018.

403 Wing Sarnia RCAFA members advocated and supported the restoration of Golden Hawks Sabre V 23164 at Germain Park

403 Wing Sarnia RCAFA members advocated and supported the restoration of Golden Hawks Sabre V #23164 at Germain Park.