Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995


The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


January 5, 2015 - Issue 1313
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
Star Alliance News
Air Canada News
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds and Ends
Terry's Trivia
NetLetter Past Issues

Past Issues
Web Site Information

The NetLetter Web Site
Donation Information

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Terry Baker
Welcome to the NetLetter!

We welcome you to allow the NetLetter to be your platform, and opportunity, to relive your history while working for either TCA, AC, CPAir, CAIL, PWA, AirBC, Wardair, etal and share your experiences with us!

The Netletter

Terry Baker and the NetLetter Team

Star Alliance News
Star AllianceStar Alliance member SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways are set to begin codeshare operations between Scandinavia and the United Arab Emirates.

Air Canada News
Air CanadaAir Canada said that it will begin non-stop service from Toronto to Delhi beginning in November 2015. The new route, the first to be dedicated for Air Canada's Boeing 787-9 series aircraft, will open new opportunities in the Indian subcontinent, currently the largest international market not served by Air Canada.

Air Canada has won multiple awards in reader surveys conducted by the world's leading
travel magazines, including being named for the tenth consecutive year "Best Airline in North America" by Global Traveler magazine and for the seventh consecutive year "Best North American Airline for International Travel" by Business Traveler magazine.

TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
TCA/Air Canada  Logo

Below we have musings from the "Between Ourselves" and "Horizons" magazine, Air Canada publications from years gone by, as well as various in-house publications.

The NetLetter has been fortunate enough to have our readers donate vintage Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada publications from as far back as 1941 to share with you. These have been scanned and are being prepared for presenting in a special area of the ACFamily Network for archival and genealogy research.

Barbados service turned 65 on December 2nd, 2014
On December 2, 1949, a 44 seat Trans Canada Airlines propeller aircraft, the Canadair DC-4M "North Star", departed Canada bound for Barbados. The 15 hour flight made stops in the Bahamas and Jamaica before touching down on the on the coral surfaced runway at Grantley Adams International Airport in the early hours on December 3.

During the first year of operation, we carried about 1,500 passengers and 5,681 kilos of cargo.

(Source "The Daily") (note we believe the airline was, in fact, Trans-Canada Air Lines - eds)

1979 - April 29 - Inaugural service between Toronto and San Francisco


Mike Sowsun sent us this information -

My father Pat Sowsun is 91 years old and gave a little talk about his 39 year Air Canada career at the Burloak Pionairs meeting on Nov 19, 2014.

He started at Canadian Pacific Airlines in 1943 and moved to Trans Canada Airlines (aka Trans-Canada Air Lines) in 1944. He retired in 1983 and is still active with the Pionairs.

Click on the image below to view a 14 minute video

Pat Sowsun Air Canada Pionairs Burloak
Pat Sowsun Air Canada Pionairs Burloak

Video: Pat Sowsun and son Steve Sowsun talk about Pat's 39 year career at Air Canada.
  • son Steve Sowsun also worked at Air Canada for 25 years
  • son Mike Sowsun currently at Air Canada as B777 First Officer
  • niece Meghan Sowsun currently Air Canada Rouge Flight Attendant

The YUL Stores Retirees have a monthly gathering at the Bar 12 le Manoir Lachine Quebec talking over old times and have had as many as 25 people attending.

Here we have some of the group at the December 2nd 2014 meeting - Frank Bomersback retired +30 years YWG-YUL Expeditor, Gary Porter YUL, Denis Leduc retired Stockkeeper YUL, Joe Dilollo retired Stockkeeper YUL, John Gauthier retired Lead Stockkeeper YUL and Real Dufort Stockkeeper retired as Trainer. Missing from this photo op was Wally Evans Manager. Photograph by Frank Pedder.

Jim Griffith sends this picture and invites us to follow this link showing photos of Viscount CF-TGL fin 604 which was destroyed at Idlewild airport after being struck by another aircraft on the 10th of November, 1958.

Tony Walsh points us to Pages 30-31 of the Canadian Aviator Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2014 edition for an interesting article on TCA's North Stars as they flew over Vancouver neighbourhoods and a bit about TCA's parts & maintenance ops at YVR written by ex-TCA stores employee & pilot.

See: www.canadianaviator.com/nov-dec-2014/html5/

Issue dated - April 1951
Some items gleaned from the "Between Ourselves" magazines.
TWICE A YEAR there is a conference for TCA Reservations Managers and in April, these members of the airline gathered in Montreal for an important meeting.

Standing, from left: W.T.Scrivener, Montreal; T.B. Sandilands, Toronto; R. W. Miller, Vancouver; G. E. Hooper, Winnipeg; E. T. Duffield, Toronto;  R. J. Alain, Moncton; J. B. Goddard, Toronto.

Seated: Miss Lucie Grace, Secretary, Montréal; W. G. Rafhborne, General Supervisor, Reservations; J. A. Deymon, Montreal, and G. A, MacMillan, Montreal.

A class of stewardesses to graduate from the training school at Montreal in March 1951.

Shown are: Joyce Campbell, Alison Cuthbertson, Janet Cummings, lnez Dodge, Lois Beck, Hazel Wharram, Betty Grant, Joan Wrigley, Peggy Lazelle, Florence Grey, Evelyn Lahey and Gloria Clark.

Issue dated - June 1979
Some items gleaned from the "Horizon" magazines.
The inaugural flight to San Francisco, flight 757, departed from Toronto on April 29th 1979. Seen at San Francisco airport are, from the left: Jack Callen; Hon. Thomas L. Wells, Ontario Minister of inter-governmental Affairs; Vic Leonard, District Manager, San Francisco; John McMurtry, Captain Frank Chowhan and Dave Young, Area Manager, Western U.S.A.

The front end crew of the inaugural flight from Toronto is, from the left: Captain Frank Chowhan; Captain Jack Chambers (in command); Second Officer Len Van den Driesen; and Captain Larry Graham.

President Claude Taylor and the company were the collective recipients of the "Omond Solandt" plaque, presented by the Canadian Operational Research Society. Each year the Society honours an executive and a
company for their support, innovation and integration of operational research practices into the management process. The ceremony took place during a banquet of CORS' annual conference held at the Chateau Montebello late May 1979.

Employees at the conference are shown, from the left: Pierre Jeanniot. Rejean Gouin, Bridgit Cormier, Gilbert Rivard, Lise Fournel, Guy Morin, Syed Wazuriddin, Jack Fearnley, Ed Archer, Vic Wosniuk, Gilles Gagnon, Ivan Elce, Jackie Irvine and Michel Lasalle.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space
We are working on a new interface and mailing system upgrade for the NetLetter, so if things go as planned, you should see a big difference in the next issue due out on January 17th or 18th, 2015. The NetLetter will eventually be more interconnected with both the NetLetter and ACFamily Network web site as well.

In conjunction with this upgrade, we will soon be asking all NetLetter subscribers to provide us with "Express Consent" to keep on sending the NetLetter to you. This is required as part of the CASL (Canadian Anti Spam Laws) that went into effect on July 1, 2014 and will be strictly enforced in 2017. We presently have over 5,000 subscribers and expect to initially lose over 40% of you, but expect to build up the list again to its present strength (and more) over the next year.

To defray the costs of creating the NetLetter, we will also be asking for donations again this year. We haven't had a donation campaign since 2010 and our funds are depleted. Terry and myself do not draw any income from the NetLetter and are happy that it is so well received by our subscribers. For those of you who have donated recently or in the past, many thanks for your contributions. We especially like the personal notes we receive with some donations and it is what keeps us going.

We hope you watched the video above starring Pat Sowsun and his son Steve Sowsun (videotaped by Mike Sowsun) in our "People Gallery". What a shining example of an "AC" Family in real life. There must be hundreds of families that carried on this aviation tradition, whether it be TCA, CPAir, Wardair or other long gone airlines, the tradition seems to be handed down from generation to generation.

In the video above, Pat mentions that his granddaughter had recently joined the airline as well. Below is a touching video of Meghan Sowsun telling her grandfather that she "Got the job!.

Got the job! 
Got the job!
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc. People & Events
- Compiled by Terry Baker
CAIL TailsNews and articles from days gone by gleaned from various publications from C.A.I.L. and its "ancestry" of contributing airlines.
Issue dated - January 1990
Items from the "Info Canadi>n" magazine -
The final touch on Canadian North

Barry Hades, aircraft painter, Calgary, puts the finishing touches on the first aircraft to receive the Canadian North livery. The "'Spirit of Resolute", aircraft 162, is dedicated to the community of Resolute Bay, Canadian's northern-most-most scheduled destination. The "Spirit of Resolute" returned to service Jan. 20th, 1990 after maintenance and painting.

Issue dated - April 1990
Canadian Team Skis International
A group of Canadian employees participated in the recent International Airline Ski Federation races in Park City, Utah.

While the team did not place in the medals, team, Captain Lars Sjoblom noted proudly that they did beat Qantas.

Team members included, from left: Lars Sjoblom, Wendy McRae, Wayne Tomchick, Heather MacDonald, Dean King, Danielle Brown, and Howie Cook.

Vern Swerdfeger shares this information -

"What the devil is a CAIRE Bear?" most of you are asking. Let me explain. For those of you outside the OK Valley, our local Global TV station, CHBC, in Kelowna has been sponsoring a Christmas collection to feed the unfortunate throughout the Valley.

They've been doing it every Christmas for many years and our CAIRE retiree group had been purchasing and donating bears for many years.

For our group, (for the non-CP Air types, CAIRE means Canadian Pacific International Retired Employees), this years bear is called "Vern". Yes, I'm the subject. Every year our bear has been named after an employee of CPAir and has included pilots, mechanics, stews, and this year a radio operator. (which I was for about 3 years, an Operator-agent we were called).

Our Okanagan group has been around since about 1991. I was one of the founders. I've held every office except secretary since we started and I think we've purchased a bear darn near every year since the drive started. However this is the final year CHBC is sponsoring the event for reasons unknown to me, but I suspect it's because the guy who ran the program (the CHBC weather guy, Mike Roberts), retired last year. Fellow hams will see my ham call sign is sewn on his left sleeve shoulder. Any questions? The photo is of "vern, the CAIRE bear", with the real Vern.

Reader's Feedback - Compiled by Terry Baker
Reader's Feedback
Every week we ask our readers for their stories or feedback on what they have read here in previous issues. Below is the feedback we have received recently.

Continuing the letters sent to George Brien by the late Fred Coyle started in NetLetter nr 1312 -

I also grew up in YYG and Alan McLeod's father preceded my father as District Director of Postal Services for PEI. My father succeeded Leith McLeod when Mr McLeod had a stroke. That would have been circa 1944 or 1946, something like that. I did not know Alan growing up. We attended different schools, but our fathers were close friends, and Alan and I knew all the same people! Probably in the beginning through the Post Office where our fathers had large mail contracts with MCA. Read your piece on Shearwater with interest because I was there from 1954 until the move to Kelly Lake in 1960. I spent a year or two at Kelly Lake then transferred to HQ in Montreal, where I spent the rest of my career. I retired in 1990 after 36 years and one month of service.

Some names I remember from my Shearwater days are: (besides the names you listed) Jim Turner, Rod MacAdam, John Rankin, Bob Lennox, Chuck Allison, Oscar Cormier, Bob Browne (he didn't like his name to be spelled without the "e'), Buddy Ettinger, Dave Lynch, Ken Grant, Charlie Waterhouse, Jack West, Jim Houlihan and George Reeves. I'm sure others will come to mind.

Flight Ops was headed by Eric Jokinen. My sister Frances was his secretary. District Traffic and Sales Manager was Al Sutherland. City Traffic and Sales Manager was Don McLean. Ron Cassidy was Cashier in the Nova Scotian Hotel and Ralph Wilcox was the Manager, Dave Murdoch was Airport Sales Manager. Dave was my first boss in TCA. I came over from MCA. John Ohlsson was in charge of cargo, I think.
I do not remember the designation YAW for Shearwater and I wonder whether that is a military designation. The designation I seem to remember was YXF, before it changed later on to YHZ, probably coincident with the move to Kelly Lake, although I am not sure of that.

I added some more names, those of Roger Berry and Pete McCarthy. I sent them to you and The Netletter, but unfortunately I left the "N" out of your address and it bounced. Terry got them though and said he would add them to the list I sent and put it in the next NetLetter. It was fun thinking about the old days and you are right, it was XF, not YFX. I kind of thought that but wasn't sure whether I was right or not. You confirmed it.

To answer your question about MCA, I do not believe that MCA ever flew that route. I am quite sure they never operated to Yarmouth or Greenwood. Halifax, New Glasgow and Sydney were the NS destinations they operated into as best I can remember. When you say Lloyd Gibbons, I assume you mean Gibson. Anna is still living, to the best of my knowledge (possibly in Windsor). She used to live down the road from the YYG airport. She was Anna McRae then, if I remember correctly and she worked in the accounting office at MCA, where she met Lloyd.

(Fred sent a photo to George but it is not included here, however we make a note of the names - eds)

I found an old picture  in one of my albums, taken in the office behind the counter at Shearwater. Left to right, Jim Houlihan (Lead Agent), Jim Turner, Rod MacAdam and Fred Coyle, Passenger Agents. I photographed the old picture with my digital camera. I don't have a scanner, unfortunately, so that's the best I could do. It is a little indistinct, but not too bad. You may remember those young people. We were in our twenties then, except maybe for Jimmy Turner, who may have been in his early thirties. You can see the blackboard in the background, where we listed the flights.

And yes, it was more fun back then. We used to play table tennis in the hangar on the midnight shift when nothing was going on. There was always a DC-3 overnighting in the hangar while the maintenance guys did their station stop check. I think it went to YUL at 0700 as flight 421. I believe Gerry Wolfe and Tony Bruneau were in charge of Maintenance.

One very cold winter day my little Morrris Minor would not start when it was time to go home, so the ramp guys towed it into the hangar (even the wheels were frozen and wouldn't move). They opened the hood and put the Herman Nelson Heater duct on the engine. After a short while the car started like it was summer time again!! Bet they don't do that nowadays.

Cheers, Fred
(That concludes the letters sent to us by George. We hope they will prompt any memories which you may care to share - eds)

Odds and Ends.

Image Blank 200pxSometimes we receive articles and information that just doesn't fit in our other areas. This is where it goes!

225Brian Dunn editor of Canadian Aviation News sent us this information   -

The worlds largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya (Dream) had its first ever appearance at Toronto Lester B. Pearson (YYZ) airport, arriving on November 17, 2014 from Doncaster, UK via Keflavik and Goose Bay and departing on November 19th, 2014. This photo, one of a sequence of 38 by David Brook, shows an Air Canada aircraft landing.

A Power Point slide show of pictures taken of the AN-225 on the ground at YYZ on a sunny day (Nov 18th) and then pictures taken during its departure on Nov 19th, 2014 is available by request. Send an e-mail to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. requesting copy with your own name and e-mail address clearly shown.
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

February 19-24. 2015

The Interline Club of Israel is pleased to invite all Interline Club Members to visit Israel in the winter time. Stay in Jerusalem & Tel Aviv. Visit Jerusalem Old & New City, Masada, Dead Sea, Caesarea & many other sights.

All Rates in US$
Per person in a double: $767.00         
Single Supplement: $300.00
3rd person in the room: $676.00
Extra night in Tel Aviv: $70.00, Single Room $120.00 both on BB basis.
WACA fee per person: $20.00


Tel/fax: ++ 972 3 9218019  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Deadline to book is January 19th, 2015
Grand Circle tour of Western Canada.
Hosted by the Vancouver Interline Club who invite you to experience the ultimate BC tour. From July 3rd thru July 13th, 2015. Total cost ca$2,295 includes 10 nights accommodations based on double occupancy, coach, guide, ferry fees, 21 meals.
Deadline to book January 15th, 2015. Full details at www.waca.org
48th AGM will be held at Ho Chi Minh (former Saigon) October 18th thru 23rd, 2015. Check www.waca.org for full details.


Smileys - Compiled by Terry Baker
As we surf the internet and back issues of airline magazines we regularly find airline related jokes and cartoons. Below is our latest discovery.

Our cartoon is by Dave Mathias which appeared in the "Between Ourselves" issue dated May 1956. 











The NetLetter is an email newsletter published (usually) every two weeks. It contains a mixture of nostalgia, current news and travel tips.

We encourage our readers to submit their stories, photos and/or comments from either days gone by or from present day experiences and trips. If we think that the rest of our readers will enjoy it, we will publish it here. 

We also welcome your feedback in regard to anything we post here. Many readers have commented with additional information, names and personal memories from the photos and articles presented here.

The NetLetter, which is free, is open to anyone that wishes to subscribe but is targeted to retired employees from Air Canada, Canadian Airlines and all the other companies that were part of what Air Canada is today. Thanks for joining us!

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the NetLetter, see you next week!  
Your NetLetter Team

Disclaimer: Please note, that neither the NetLetter or the ACFamily Network necessarily endorse any of the airline related or other "deals" that we provide for our readers. We would be interested in any feedback (good or bad) when using these companies though and will report the results here. We do not (normally) receive any compensation from any companies that we post in our newsletters. If we do receive a donation or other compensation, it will be indicated as a sponsored article or link.


E&OE - (errors and omissions excepted) - The historical information as well as any other information provided here is subject to correction and may have changed over time. We do publish corrections when they are brought to our attention.
First published in October, 1995
  • Chief Pilot - Terry Baker, Nanaimo, B.C.
  • Co-pilot - Alan Rust, Surrey, B.C.
  • Flight Engineer - Bill Rowsell, Londesboro, Ontario  
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