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Mosquito Celebration Day at the Bomber Command Museum

mosquito celebration day

Saturday, June 29 is Mosquito Celebration Day at the Bomber Command Museum. Please click on the image for more information.

The day includes a tour of their restoration progress, new 'genuine Mosquito skin' key chains for sale, Lancaster engine runs, hot dog and hamburger lunch and free cake! Richard de Boer will be doing a 45 minute presentation on the #1 Allied bomber of WWII, F for Freddie, with some hot new, never been published material. That goes at 1 p.m. No Bristol Hercules engine runs, you say? Sorry, come and see what is left of it after it swallowed its supercharger a couple of weeks ago. And yourself a HUGE favour and check out their new Virtual Reality 'Lancaster to Berlin' experience. AMAZING!

Remember too the Wings Over Springbank airshow, July 27 & 28. For more information, visit:

Click here for a full list of special event days at the Bomber Command Museum.


2019 CAHS Merchandise

Although the CAHS Convention has passed, you are still able to order CAHS aviation art 2020 calendars and other CAHS merchandise (polo shirts, tee-shirts, tote bags, ball caps, and mouse pads).

We have one navy XL men's polo, one dark grey XL men's tee-shirt, and one maroon men's XL tee-shirt on hand, ready for immediate shipping. Check out the order form for all the other colours that are available. We can also create the shirts with the Montreal convention logo or a generic CAHS logo. Let us know which you prefer.

Click here to download the order form.

Please send your order forms by email to or by mail to CAHS National, PO Box 2700, Stn D, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W7.


Celebrating Women's Service in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)

rcaf logoFrom 7-9 June 2019, the RCAF Airwomen's group held their biennial reunion in Ottawa, Ontario. Approximately 150 women who had served in the RCAF in the Second World War, during the Cold War, and through to the 2000s, traveled from across Canada to enjoy three days of reunion events. During the course of two receptions, two banquets, a boat tour, a church service, and a brunch, the attendees were able to reconnect, reminisce, and make new friendships with women who shared the common bond of air force service for Canada.

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Second World War Veteran's Table: (L-R) Mirindy, Victoria, Joan, Beryl, Cecelia, Connie;
(standing) Rachel, Sally

Dr Rachel Lea Heide (CAHS National Director and Treasurer) was invited to attend the weekend's events and meet some of the remarkable women who had served in the RCAF. In addition to meeting ladies who had served on the DEW Line and others who had deployed to Afghanistan, Dr Heide had the privilege of sitting with five Second World War veterans during the two evening banquets, all of whom shared their service experience through conversation and photo albums. Mirindy's job was providing meteorological reports before pilots embarked on their flying missions. Victoria was a flight control officer who was involved in guiding aircrafts' landings. Cecelia was a timekeeper at a British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) base. Beryl was involved in administration at another BCATP base at #6 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mountain View, Ontario. She shared stories of serving with her twin sister and surviving flights flown by inexperienced pilots. Connie drove transport trucks and ran physical education programs for various RCAF stations. She spoke of her posting overseas to an operational base in England; she and her husband were also in the first group of Canadians to move to Colorado Springs as part of the newly established North American Air Defence Command (NORAD).

For each of the two evening banquets, there were inspiring guest speakers. On Friday night, Dr Andrew Burtch (Cold War historian at the Canadian War Museum) spoke about the RCAF's post-war recruiting of women between 1951 and 1967. While there were still limits on the trades women could join, there was an expansion of the roles they were asked to fill compared to the Second World War.

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Friday's Guest Speaker Dr Andrew Burtch

Saturday evening's guest speaker was the Honourable Karen McCrimmon (Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton) who had a 31-year career in the RCAF as a navigator, retiring as a lieutenant-colonel. She spoke poignantly to the former service women in the room, thanking them for the trails they blazed for women in Canada's military today; she called them her heroes. Ms McCrimmon then spoke about true leadership being about serving others, and she applied this definition to what the women in the room had done for their country, to leaders she had seen while working in the RCAF, to her decision to run as an MP, and to what Canada can offer the rest of the world.

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Saturday's Guest Speaker Honourable Karen McCrimmon

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Karen McCrimmon and Leah Mosher (reunion organizer, former RCAF C130 pilot from the 1980s-2000s)

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The Honourable Karen McCrimmon and Dr Rachel Lea Heide with a CAHS Journal

If any former or currently serving RCAF women wish to become a member of this group, receive their newsletter, and be informed about upcoming events and reunions, we invite you to visit and browse their pages. The CAHS thanks this year's organizers for the privilege of attending and being a part of a wonderful gathering of amazing women who contributed to Canada's defence and security and aviation history.

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RCMP Miserable Ride (charitable organization that mimics the RCMP Musical Ride) provided entertainment on
Friday evening

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RCAF Musicians provided entertainment on
Saturday evening

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RCAF Piper piped guests into the banquet on
Saturday evening

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Table honouring missing service personnel

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Uniform and photograph display table

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RCAF Airwomen Reunion swag


56th National Convention and AGM

A full report on our highly successful 56th National Convention and AGM in Montreal, 22-25 May, is posted on our new website. Please click here to view the article. The gathering featured exceptional speakers and a fascinating tour of the Montreal Aviation Museum, along with an impressive visit to St. Hubert Airport where we toured the Ecole Nationale Aeronautique (ENA), the new Quebec Aerospace Museum (QAM) and RCAF 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.


The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for June are:

Question: How many front-line airplanes and personnel did Britain enter WW I with? How many did they end the war with?

Answer: “England had entered the war with just 113 front-line airplanes. They were distributed between the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). Between them the two branches numbered about 2,000 crewmen. By war’s end, British air power included 291,000 crew members and 22,000 aircraft, of which over 3,000 were front-line machines. Modern air power was born during the First World War.”

Source: Dancing In The Sky – Page 26


Question: What were “second dickie” trips and what was their purpose?

Answer: “Almost immediately on his arrival, the squadron began converting to the Halifax Mark I, since no standardized heavy Conversion Unit (HCU” existed in those early days of operations. There was an apprenticeship program of sorts set up to ease the transition of new pilots into operations. The newcomers flew as second pilots to an experienced aircraft captain for a few operations, known as ‘second dickie” trips, in order to gain operational experience before taking an aircraft out on their own.”

Source: NO PROUDER PLACE – Page 63

Question: Which RCAF heavy bomber squadron was the first to form, what was it equipped with, where was it stationed , and was under the umbrella of which RAF bomber group?

Answer: “The first RCAF heavy bomber squadron to form was 405 squadron, equipped with Wellingtons, at Driffield in Yorkshire in 23 April 1941, under the umbrella of 4 group.”

Source: NO PROUDER PLACE – Page 47


Five New Hall of Fame Members

Story and photos by John Chalmers
CAHS Membership Secretary

On May 16 at Bombardier’s splendid Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre at the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame installed five new Members, bringing to a total of 237 individuals who have been honoured at the Hall’s annual induction ceremonies. The 46th annual gala dinner event recognized outstanding achievement in military and civil aviation.

01a Inductees

Seen on the stage for the induction ceremonies, left to right are Master of Ceremonies, Denis Chagnon; Bill Paris, representing his late uncle, William Paris; Greg McDougall; Barry Lapointe; John Holding; and Tom Appleton, representing the late David Fairbanks.

David Fairbanks, a three-time recipient of the DFC, served with the RCAF during the Second World War, flying a Tempest with the Royal Air Force. He attained the rank of squadron leader as commander of 274 RAF Squadron and had a total of 15 victories to his credit. Post-war he worked for de Havilland Canada as a test pilot and promoter of the company’s Short Takeoff and Landing aircraft such as the Dash 7.

William Paris also served as an RCAF combat pilot during the Second World War, flying Spitfires in the North African Campaign. Discharged as a flight lieutenant, post-war he served as a flying instructor, then spent three decades as a manager and executive of the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association, for which he was installed as a member of the Order of Canada.

02 Meet and greet

The gala event celebrating accomplishment in Canadian aviation began with a meet-and-greet start to the evening. On display was a new Bombardier Global Express aircraft positioned at each end of the facility which served as a banquet hall for some 400 people attending the event.

John Holding was honoured by the Hall of Fame for his long service as an aeronautical engineer. Trained in England, he came to Canada in 1979, starting with Canadair, and retired as a vice president of Bombardier. Barry Lapointe has built KF Aerospace into a company with 1,000 employees at four locations in Canada in a company that provides maintenance, repair and overhaul service, as well as training Canadian military pilots. Greg McDougall has built his Harbour Air Services company into the world’s largest seaplane airline, operating on the west coast of Canada with some 50 aircraft in scheduled and charter service.

03 Procession

The Hall of Fame gala program traditionally begins with a piper bringing in Air Cadets, who escort inductees to their seats and participate in the induction ceremonies. Black Watch veteran and piper, Brian MacKenzie CD, leads the procession.

04 Dinner

At the Hall of Fame dinner prior to induction of new Members of the Hall, special recognition was given to two centenarian Members of the Hall. Russ Bannock DSO DFC and Bar, who will be 100 on November 1, was a Mosquito pilot during the war, commanding 418 RCAF Squadron with the rank of Wing Commander. Post-war he had a distinguished career with de Havilland Canada, eventually serving as president. Dick Richmond, who reached his 100th birthday on January 13, 2019, had a long and distinguished career as an aeronautical engineer, serving with Fairchild, Canadair, Pratt and Whitney, McDonnell Douglas and Spar Aerospace.

05 Barry Lapointe and Tyler Gandam

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame office and displays are located at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. ( A tradition of the Wetaskiwin city council has been to proclaim inductees to the Hall as Honorary Citizens of Wetaskiwin. At the induction gala, Mayor Tyler Gandam presented new Members of the Hall with their honorary citizenship and an engraved glass plaque. A certificate is also provided. Shown above is Barry Lapointe, left, receiving the presentation from Mayor Gandam.

06 Russ and Rod

Russell Bannock, DSO DFC*, shows the framed print given to him at the inductions, a copy of the original portrait by the late Irma Coucill, who made the drawing when Russ was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. Irma made sketches of all Hall of Fame Members until 2013. At right is Rod Sheridan, chairman of the Hall’s bard of directors. (Rick Radell photo)


colin hineHINE, Colin Morland

EMBA (Concordia University)
1937 - 2019

Colin passed away peacefully on May 25, 2019 at Élisabeth Bruyère Palliative Care Centre in his 83rd year. Loved husband of Vicki Leightizer, married in 1991; and of Stephanie Johnson who died in 1982. He will be missed by his children and grandchildren: Deb Hine, Louise Hine-Schmidt, husband Brent Schmidt and children Emmett and Madeline; Allison Frodsham and children Sarah, Stephen, Marissa, and Gavin; Julian Hine, wife Vanessa Murphy and daughter Reya.

Born in Manchester, UK Colin began his career in the aerospace industry working for firms in the UK, the US, and Canada. Since he retired he volunteered at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. Colin excelled at many athletic pursuits: he was an avid rock climber in his youth and climbed many famous rock faces in Wales, France, and Italy; he ran in 11 marathons in Canada and the US; he was well known in orienteering, mapping courses in the Gatineau Hills; he bicycled, cross country skied, built a garden and worked alongside Vicki, walked when running risked injury. Colin instilled a love of sport and the outdoors in all of his children and they, in turn, passed this love to their children. He took great pride in the many accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. A celebration of life was held at the Barley Mow Pub, 1060 Bank Street, Ottawa on Monday, June 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Donations may be made to the Bruyère Foundation, 43 Bruyere St., Ottawa ON K1N 5C8, in memory of Colin Hine. To view the obituary, click here.



STERRY, Donald


Donald Sterry passed away peacefully at the Health Sciences Centre. Don Sterry was born on January 23, 1936. Don lived with his father, William A. Sterry and three sisters, Dorothy, Grace and Ruth while growing up at 607 Simcoe Street. His mother had passed away at the young age of 29. He attended Wellington School and General Wolf School before graduating from Daniel MacIntyre School. Don never married.

In 1967 he moved to River Heights and at some time lived at 1077 McMillan Avenue. In about 2009 he purchased 598 Prichard Avenue in the North End where he lived until his passing.

At the age of 18, he joined the air force reserves where he continued his involvement for the next 33 years, working mostly on weekends. For the first 10 years he worked in the medical unit and then spent the next 23 years as an instructor in the boot camp.

For his week day job, he was employed as a clerk, working for the provincial government for 25 years from about 1952 to 1977. He monitored construction projects undertaken by the government.

Don had earned his swimming bronze medallion. For 10 years he used this training to act as a lifeguard at Lipsic Hall.
After retirement Don, became an avid volunteer. He helped to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. Eventually he purchased 598 Prichard Avenue, his last home, a former habitat home, which he had helped to build years earlier.
Don also often volunteered at a local food kitchen. In addition, Don volunteered with the bear clan group, dedicated to keeping the North End safe.

Click here to view the obituary.


gerald turnerTURNER, Gerald A.


On May 26th, 2019, Gerald passed away in Markham, Ontario. He leaves his wife of 48 years, Mary Jo, sister Marilyn Woodward, brothers-in-law George Woodward and Dan McDonald, sister-in-law Norah Jane McDonald and nephews Steven, Kevin, Tod and Evan. Gerald grew up in Hamilton.

During the Cold War in the 1950s he served with the RCAF Auxiliary for two summers as a Fighter Control Operator. After completing his education he began working in the field of metallurgy. Lured to Toronto by a job at the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science, University of Toronto, he worked in that department for close to 40 years assisting the staff and students as a technician. His passion was aviation history and aircraft modelling. A life member of both Canadian Aviation Historical Society and the American Aviation Historical Society, Gerald was active in the Aerobuffs group of 1/72 scale aircraft modellers from the time he arrived in Toronto. Curious about the world, his interests included reading most of Isaac Asimov’s books; cooking; following Formula 1 races; traveling to England, the United States, other Canadian provinces and visiting small towns in Ontario; listening to the folk music of Peter, Paul and Mary and Pete Seeger; watching Tiger Cat football games and Jeopardy on television. Though living with Parkinson’s Disease for the last fifteen years, he kept up his backyard vegetable garden, adding a new variety each year, and made household improvements. He continued his reading and modelling interests during the past five years at Parkview Home in Stouffville where he especially enjoyed the activities of mental aerobics and the weekly quiz challenge. In the past year he presented two aviation programs at Parkview on Aviation and World War I.

Click here to view the obituary. Donations in Gerald’s memory may be made to Parkview Home, 123 Weldon Road, Stouffville, ON L4A 0G8 or your favourite charity.


Centennial College opens new Downsview Campus Centre for Aerospace and Aviation

Story and aircraft photos by Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President, with files from Centennial


Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Downsview Campus, which took place on April 25.

A remarkable achievement for aviation in Toronto was celebrated on April 25 with the official opening of Centennial College’s state-of-the-art Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview Campus. CAHS Toronto Chapter Sheldon Benner and I were among a large gathering of College officials and students, corporate executives, and politicians who attended the special occasion and toured the facility.

The $72-million, four-acre campus repurposes the historic de Havilland of Canada building with new construction and selective demolition to create 138,000 square feet of instruction space, including classrooms, labs and workshops, two aircraft hangars, offices, a library and food service under one roof.

In January of this year, 460 students relocated to the new Downsview Campus for studies in Centennial’s long-running Aviation Technician programs and its new Aviation Technology and Airplane Mechanics programs.

In December of 2018, several aircraft were flown in to Downsview from the college’s small hangar at Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough. They were joined by newer aircraft to replenish and diversify the fleet, including a Cessna Citation II corporate jet, a Cessna Conquest 425 twin-engine turboprop, two Piper Senecas, and no less than four Cessna 172s.

The new campus is three times as large as Ashtonbee and among the largest of its kind in North America. It will allow enrolment to grow to more than 900 students. Of these, 600 will be in aviation maintenance engineering programs, 300 in engineering technology and 100 in airframe assembly.

Focused on innovation and research, the leading-edge campus forms the first phase of Ontario’s Aerospace Hub that will centralize other facilities. It positions Centennial to anchor the Downsview Aerospace and Research (DAIR) consortium to help maintain Canada’s ranking among the world’s top aerospace suppliers.

Centennial President An Buller welcomed guests to the Downsview Campus with aircraft as a fitting backdrop

Centennial President An Buller welcomed guests to the Downsview Campus with aircraft as a fitting backdrop.

Centennial College President Ann Buller, in her remarks, commended the outstanding generosity of well-known aviator, technician, salesman and entrepreneur Bruce MacRitchie. He donated more than one million dollars’ worth of small aircraft, engines, equipment and funds. His gift was the largest donation by a private individual.


Bruce MacRitchie receiving an award for his $1+ million donation to Centennial College. He is in the new glass-walled board room named in his honour. The Board room is located over the centre portion of where TAM's main display area was and where there was no second floor before. (Sheldon Benner photo)

Bruce’s long-established Aviation Technician Scholarship is named in honour of his late brother, longtime CAHS Toronto Chapter stalwart Douglas MacRitchie. It was fitting that the new campus boardroom was named after Bruce during the ceremonies.

Bombardier Aerospace, which in 2012 designated Centennial as its trainer of choice, announced an outsized donation of its own: a beautiful CRJ200 regional jet airliner. This aircraft entered passenger service with SkyWest Airlines in 1994 and spent its entire career with SkyWest. It logged 46,219 hours in the air.

Fred Cromer, President of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, noted the CRJ200 was “part of a family that has proven to be the most successful regional aircraft program in history…we have and are continuously challenging the status quo.” He cited Bombardier’s spacious new CRJ Atmosphere cabin design and its innovative 50-seat CRJ550 aircraft, launched in February, as examples.

The CRJ200 will provide students with an opportunity to work on current technology at a time when aerospace graduates are in high demand across Canada and around the world.

Significant helicopter contributions were also among the many contributions. The Canadian Coast Guard gave Centennial a Messershmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo.105 twin-engined workhorse. Ontario’s ORNGE air ambulance service similarly gifted a retired Sikorsky S-76 turbo helicopter.

The Ontario government provided $25.8 million for the project, while Ottawa granted $18.4 million in Strategic Investment Funds. Centennial and its partners and donors funded the remainder.

The team could not have chosen a more famous location for this leading-edge project than Downsview, an indelible part of Canada’s aviation heritage.

As Allan McClelland, Dean of the School of Transportation observed: “For decades, Torontonians travelled around the periphery of Downsview Park with little knowledge of what the land encompasses. Viewed at night from space, it’s largely a dark field in the middle of an illuminated city.”

However, with the new Centre, Mr. McClelland noted: “I’m proud to say we are bringing a brilliant light to where there was little previously” on the hallowed ground of de Havilland Canada, the former RCAF Station Downsview and Bombardier Aerospace.

Mr. McClelland noted that it wasn’t easy to selectively demolish and renovate a building that first took root in 1929 with de Havilland and grew organically with additions and sheds built as needed.

“What we inherited was a hodge-podge of workshops, offices and storage facilities whose floors rarely lined up!,” he said. “As you can imagine, it was quite an ordeal just to create some continuity in this building, with the number of stairs and ramps minimized where we could. The old hangar was taken down, replaced by this bejeweled building large enough for today’s aircraft.”

Ann Buller also took pride in a hidden surprise on the campus: a unique green hangar roof with a massive Centennial College logo depicted in brown. “The brown is actually rich garden soil, which will support succulents, hardy green plants that will thrive atop the hangar. Once they grow, we will have a truly green roof, and one that aligns with our corporate identity,” she said. “Look for it the next time you are on the glide path to Pearson International Airport.”

DAIR partners include Centennial College; the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies; Ryerson University; York University; Bombardier; Pratt & Whitney Canada; Honeywell; Collins Aerospace; Safran Landing Systems; MDA Corp.; Siemens; Mitshubishi Heavy Industries Canada Aerospace; Canadensys Aerospace; and FlightSafety International.

The CAHS extends congratulations to Centennial College and the collaborative partnership that has produced such an impressive aerospace training facility.

The official brochure for the opening of the new campus highlights Downsviews history in Canadian aviation

The official brochure for the opening of the new campus highlights Downsview's history in Canadian aviation.

Transition from the old to the new at Downsview illustrated on the cover of a brochure for the opening of the new Downsview Campus

Transition from the old to the new at Downsview illustrated on the cover of a brochure for the opening of the new Downsview Campus.


The main entrance foyer to the college, which was basically the front entrance to the TAM. This photo was taken one week prior to the open house. (Sheldon Benner photo)


The new helicopter bay which was the south end of the main hall for TAM. (Sheldon Benner photo)


East end of the renovated facility looking at the enlarged hangar, now filled with many aircraft and engines as well as the fenced ramp in front of the hangar. (Sheldon Benner photo)


NW corner of the original DHC design and administration office in front of the original plant. The original yellow brick walls were preserved but the windows were replaced. (Sheldon Benner photo)

The CRJ200 donated to Centennial College by Bombardier spent its entire career with SkyWest Airlines Gord McNult

The CRJ200 donated to Centennial College by Bombardier spent its entire career with SkyWest Airlines.

Another view of the Bombardier CRJ200 donated to Centennial outside the large hangar on Apr 25 2019 Gord McNulty

Another view of the Bombardier CRJ200 donated to Centennial outside the large hangar on Apr 25 2019.

This attractive Cessna 180 has been part of Centennials aircraft fleet for 30 years. Gord McNulty

This attractive Cessna 180 has been part of Centennial's aircraft fleet for 30 years.

Centennial College Cessna Conquest 425 outside the hangar at Downsview Campus Gord McNulty

Centennial College Cessna Conquest 425 outside the hangar at Downsview Campus.

Cessna Citation II is among the newer aircraft that have joined Centennials fleet Gord McNulty

Cessna Citation II is among the newer  aircraft that have joined Centennial's fleet.




2019 CAHS Convention and AGM

On behalf of everyone that attended the 2019 CAHS Convention and AGM at John Abbott College May 22 to 25, 2019, I want to formally extend my congratulations and thanks for a job well done to Jim, James, Dick, and all the others on the organizing committee for our 2019 CAHS Convention and AGM.

The convention, AGM, tours, and all the associated plans and events that you put together went off without any problems. Any issues that arose were dealt with quickly and I have heard nothing but praises from everyone that attended.

I want to especially thank the Montreal members that provided rides for anyone that asked, to and from the hotel, and between the airport and the college. Please thank Wayne Houlzet for the many trips he took to the airport on Sunday, insisting on nothing in return for his time and expenses. Everyone of the Montreal Chapter members showed us true Canadian hospitality and it was greatly appreciated.

I hope our 2020 Convention (wherever it may be) will be just as successful as this year’s. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

Blue skies,
Gary Williams, National President

I too am pleased with the time spent by all our Montreal Chapter executives, led by Dick Pickering over the past few months, to help make the Convention a success.

It was nice to see Pat recognized for his tireless work with L’Avion over many years.

Many thanks to our registration volunteers, Jane, Gisela & Diana, as well as the book fair team of Wayland & Ralph and our Sunday driver Wayne.

A special kudo to Ron for his work with Pierre Gillard to get the ENA venue, and George taking time for his “Lakeside Air Pageant” display at the MAM.

Chef Christian again planned & prepared a tasty BBQ at the MAM venue, which was well planned by John & Jim despite the rain.

Gilles co-ordinated the income & expenses without a hitch, even with the numerous last-minute walk ins and required refunds.

I also must compliment National efforts, especially Jim Bell for his work co-ordinating the event, including the 2 planning trips made to Montreal, and let's not forget Rachel Lea Heide for keeping track and paying the bills!

I apologize in advance should I have omitted mentioning a volunteer.

I do think this convention showed how National and each Chapter can work together for the common mission of the CAHS.

James Mason, Montreal Chapter President

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