The NetLetter #1284

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


December 9, 2013 - Issue 1284
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
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

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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

TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
TCA/Air Canada  LogoBelow 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.

From the "Parts and Pieces" the magazine for stores personnel. Issue January 1988.   
December 21/22 1987, Supply & Services YUL conducted the first basic Stock Keepers training course since 1984. New Stock Keepers hired are from the top: Donald St. Laurent, Simon Wolf, Paul Murphy, Huy Tran, John Paterson, Mike Gagne, Sylvain Bourbeau and the only lady Stock Keeper - at that time - Irene Tsoukatos. Also included in the course was Suzanne Guerin, a newly hired clerical.

Two employees from Stores retired by the end of 1987. Here we have a photo of both. Fern Baillargeon and Bob Hay.

Employees of Qantas grew concerned when a box shipped from Melbourne arrived without the black cat that was supposed to be inside. So they made a quick visit to the local pound where they found a substitute. But, upon opening the cage, the owner declared that the cat was not hers ... her cat was dead when loaded and had been en route to Queensland for burial. (There was no information on the whereabouts of the corpse - eds)

For nostalgia buffs, here is the list of airplane types used by TCA/Air Canada through the propeller era, along with their manufacturers and years of service with the airline. The seating capacity of each type is between brackets.
  • from Stearrnan, the 4EM survey plane, 1937-39;  
  • from Lockheed, 1937-1949, the L-I0A (10), L-14 (10) and L-18 (14);  
  • from Avro, 1943-1947, the Lancastrian (10) operated for the government on transatlantic service;  
  • from Douglas, 1945-1963, the DC-3 (21);  
  • from Canadair, 1947-1961, the North Star (40 to 62), depending on cabin configuration);  
  • from Lockheed, 1954-1962, the Super Constellation (63-751);  
  • from Vickers, 1955-1974. The Viscount (48) and, 1961-1972, the Vanguard (108), the first Air Canada aircraft seating more than 100 passengers.  

Also in the fleet, from 1953 to 1955, were three Bristol freighter airplanes from Great Britain.

Issue dated - June 1978
Some items gleaned from the "Horizon" magazines.


In 1947, the staff at Heathrow numbered 15. By 1978 the staff swelled to 60.  


Many of the staff had migrated south from Scotland and included Controllers Dave Davidson and Bob Prentice. Commissary Handlers-in-charge Bob Park and Dave Kinnell, Store Keeper Tom Hodgson, Store Keeper Jim Galt and Station Clerk Jim Bone. Station Manager Jack Ross. Returning Ramp Agents George Weller and Jim Allen, Flight Dispatcher Al Gallagher who had been on-loan to Ian Edwards at Keflavik, Iceland. Crew chief Dave Tuttle and mechanic George Brodie. Store Keeper/Purchasing Agent Les (Beard) McDowell and Clerk-Stenographer Sheila Graham.  


Just the names of some of the employees at LHR in 1978.


off and running was the caption -
On April 30, 1978, Al Houston Project Manager, Systems Development, Computer & Systems Services, and John Ohlsson, Chief, Load Control, Engineering, officially turned over the computerized Automatic Weight & Balance System to Gene Burden, District Manager, St. John's Newfoundland, for system implementation on the first scheduled flights ex St. John's on May 1st, 1978.


Shown at the turnover ceremonies are from the left: Al Houston, John Ohlsson, Herb Angel, Station Agents;  John Bradbury, Agent; Phil Maddigan, Station Agent, and Gene Burden, Airport Customer Service Manager. The LPA program (Automated Load Planning) was turned-up on schedule with the first flight dispatched being Flight AC617, May 1st. ex Sydney, Nova Scotia. Few problems were experienced.

According to the news media and airline publicists of the day Canada gained its first trans-continental air service on April 1st, 1939. But strictly speaking, it was not until June 6, 1943, that the last piece or the geographical jigsaw fell into place - and it became possible to fly, literally, from coast to coast.  


It was on that date - exactly one year before D-day and the Normandy landings - that Trans-Canada Air Lines inaugurated scheduled service between Vancouver and Victoria making Victoria and St. John's, Nfld which, at that time, was the longest in North America at 3,911 miles. At the controls were Captain Don Brady and First Officer Norm Ramsay. In the passenger cabin, Stewardess Mina Wood.


Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space"Romancing The Wind" - Ray Bethell
The gentlemen flying the three kites is Ray Bethell, he's in his eighties, and from Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He used to be a gynecologist before he retired and started to fly kites. (There must be a joke in there somewhere)

He enters the Washington State International Kite Festival every year. His skin is like leather as he usually flies with his shirt off. He's deaf, so when he flies, we hold our hands up and wave them for applause. He flies two with his hands and the third is attached to his waist. His record is flying 39 Dyna kites 3 stacks of 13 kites each. In 1994 he flew 3 kites - 1 from each hand and one from his waist for 12 hours and 12 minutes!

Note that the first video was taken at English Bay, Vancouver, Canada. The second video is an interview with Ray in 2004 (I believe). There is more information on him on the Internet as well, just Google "Ray Bethell".

"Romancing The Wind" - Ray Bethell
Ray Bethell's Good Stuff 
Ray Bethell's Good Stuff
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.

Alan Evans in South Africa brought this to our attention with the following memory -

Old memories. PWA last flight from City Centre Airport in Edmonton. I was flying a DC6 & 6b out of this airport in 1967. It was also the jumping off field for the North West Territories and Arctic. Originally the home base for what became PWA and later WARDAIR. Very active airport near the centre of town.

The following was extracted from the article by GlobalNews:
A historic piece of Alberta's aviation history was realized when a Boeing B-737, in PWA colours, took off from Edmonton's City Centre Airport on November 29th, 2013, just one day prior to the airport's closure.

Click on image for full story and videos.
The Boeing 737 came into service at the City Centre Airport in 1979 with
Pacific Western Airlines, and was retired from Air Canada's service in 2005. The aircraft - which has been an exhibit at the Alberta Aviation Museum for the past eight years - took off for its new home at Villeneuve Airport. While the flight went smoothly, the process to get the 34-year-old plane ready to fly wasn't easy. It took dozens of volunteers months of hard work to get the aircraft into flying shape, after learning in July that the B-737 would not fit within the museum's new property lines.

The volunteer pilots, Mike Wilson and Tim Seehagel, were the only two people on-board the aircraft, as per Transport Canada regulations. Both men say the flight went really well. The jet was met by another crowd at Villeneuve, where it will become an exhibit at the new Alberta Flying Heritage Museum, which will eventually be built at the site.

Edmonton's City Centre Airport - which opened its doors in 1927 - officially closed Saturday November 30th, 2013, with a fly-past of two CF-18s. The ceremony marked the end of an era for many aviation enthusiasts. For a full description on the flight and some video of the event click on the image above.

  • February - Edmonton was included as a traffic stop on the Polar route.
  • April - Santa Maria was included as a stop on the Kid-Atlantic route.


The Canadian Airlines Air Cargo employee newsletter "Info Cargo" was originally launched with the first issue dated January/February 1989.

Issue dated - March/April 1989
Items from the "Info Cargo" magazine -
Here are San Francisco cargo agents Canna Yamamoto and Emma Schaumkel.

Issue dated - May 1990
In attendance in the photo of the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new St. John's NL (YYT) cargo facility.

From the left: Mike Ryan, Jim Wendall, Doreen Matton, Pam McGrory, Derrick Monk, Susan Parsons, Jim Mesh, Bryan MacFarlane, Marcel Harnett, Don Hussey, Ian Bootle and Stuart Marsden.

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.
In NetLetter nr 1281, we had Norman Hogwood from New Zealand tell us about his first flight. Now he has related his first business trip -

My first overseas business trip:
Many of us who worked for an airline had opportunities to make business trips and in 1975 I joined the NZ National Airways Corporation (NAC) Safety Department and that's when my international travel began. The company was a member of ARTEX, the Air Transport Section of the US National Safety Council based in Chicago. In fact, I joined the Department in March and found myself booked in for a meeting in Vancouver, hosted by Canadian Pacific, in June. What a terrific venue. Although I hadn't been there, I knew it was a beautiful city and furthermore, one of my old NAC colleagues had quite recently moved there so I made arrangements to catch up with him.

So it was that I nervously prepared for my very first overseas business trip. I use the term "nervously prepared" because it was to be the first time I would be away from home since I got married and I would really have liked to have had my wife with me. But she was working and also the company had a policy of no wives on business trips.
The big day came, a Saturday, and, lo and behold, the Wellington weather was atrocious. The airport was closed all day which meant I was unable to get to Auckland to get the flight to Los Angeles. My itinerary was amended and I was able to set off on the Sunday but it meant that I would have to fly straight on to Vancouver without the night stop in LA as planned.

Luckily the weather improved, the airport re-opened and I was on my way. I recall being excited at being upgraded to First Class on the Air New Zealand DC-10 and thought I could take a lot of this sort of travel! When I reached LA, I managed to find my way to the Canadian Pacific area and was soon on my way to Vancouver where I arrived sometime quite late, about 2230 from memory. I had made a booking at the Hotel Vancouver; easily the swishest hotel I had stayed in to that time but my heart sank when I got to the Reception desk.

They had no record of my booking! I was jet-lagged, tired, a long way from home, and all by myself! But the bright young thing behind the desk said not to worry, they would find a room for me for the night but I may have to change rooms the next day. Phew! What a relief! I was handed a key and told my room was on the top floor.
(We will conclude this tale in NetLetter nr 1285 - eds)

Doug Ross has sent us his comments and work history to share:
Hello, I sure enjoy reading the newsletter, however I have yet to see any reference or news telling me the whereabouts of some of those ex-employees of Canadian Airlines.

My first position was in YXD, October 1951 where I spent a few months under Ab Chambers and Harold Collie. Next stop was Grande Prairie, then to YXS, back to YQU then again to YXS. From there up to my favorite place Dawson City in the heart of the Goldfields 1956 and 1957. Did some relief work at YQH Mayo and permanent to Smithers for only 3 weeks and then back to good old YQU, my 12th year in totality. In 1965 back to the Yukon, but due to lack of medical facilities in YXY and, having a large family, requested a move to a more up to date city. This brought a move to Kelowna where I retired in 1990 after 39 years employment with CP, PW and CPAir. Doug Ross

Duncan Rokahr sent us these comments after reading NetLetter nr 1281: I just happened to come across the comments by Nick Boere and thought perhaps I should respond to it.

I was mainly responsible, I guess, for three Air Canada teams over a three year period in the then sponsored Canadian Airlines Jasper to Banff International relay road race. A 24 hour race in the form of relays covering the 180 odd miles course. Stages were from 10 to 17 miles. I don't think we ever beat the CP Air Team as they appeared to be a little less wrinkled than some of our team members (myself included) however we successfully completed all three events and had a great time doing so - an exercise necessitating absolute team work.

Like Nick, I regret that I have no pictorial memories of these events, however my long time friend Dan Murphy was a great supporter and even today in his 70's he is still running and competing in marathons and other major running events. Just an amazing athlete. Dennis Midgeley, John Wall, Sid Selver and many others also competed in all of these events. Regretfully I seem to have lost track of the other participant's details. I also planned and helped organize the running relay at the 50th Anniversary of Air Canada when we ran a relay event to the Boeing plant in Everett and back again to coincide with Air Canada Day at Expo 86, to celebrate TCA's first flight. This was quite an undertaking and brought together employees from all over the system.

Today I now race walk and road bike in Canada and Florida - about 6000+ miles annually.

My Very Best Wishes to all of the very many employees who participated in the above events. Wonderful memories for sure and some healthy life style changes too.
Sincerely,  Duncan Rokahr

(In NetLetter nr 1285, we have serialized the road race YVR-SEA-YVR that Duncan planned for the 50th anniversary - 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!

martin-mars.jpg Brian Walsh has sent us this article -
Last Martin Water Bomber Loses Contract
The last Martin Mars water bomber, the world's largest piston-powered prop plane, may have fought its last fire officials said recently. The British Columbia government has cancelled a standing contract to have the aircraft available to fight fires in the province. The airplane, which can skim a lake and pick up more than 7,000 gallons of water to help fight fires, will be replaced by "a more cost-effective, efficient option," said Steve Thomson, forests minister for British Columbia, where the aircraft has been operating for 53 years. The Mars hasn't been used in B.C. in two years but has fought fires in the U.S. and Mexico in that time. The province hasn't ruled out hiring the aircraft if it needs it in the future but Wayne Coulsen, who has owned two of the aircraft since 2007, told the Alberni Valley News he's looking for alternatives, including selling the aircraft. "We sent out e-mails... to some of the Red Bull folks and Virgin Air folks to see if there's any interest. We may advertise it for a time to see if we get some interest," Coulson said. Four of the aircraft were built for the U.S. Navy as transports by Martin in the 1940s.

Coulson, head of the Coulson Group told the Victoria Times Colonist the airplanes did their job effectively and economically. "The Mars became a tool that people depended on - they felt comfort," he said. "The Mars has been around a long time; it has stood the test of time as far as effectiveness goes." Coulson operated two of the airplanes, which were originally built for the U.S. Navy. The airplanes are able to land on the water, scoot along "on the step" at 70 knots, and scoop up water at the rate of one ton per second, according to Coulson's website. One of the airplanes, the Hawaii Mars, has been upgraded with a glass cockpit and the ability to stream live data from on-board systems. The sister ship, Philippine Mars, has been repainted in Navy colors in anticipation of it being sent to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL. That deal is in limbo, however. The airplanes require a crew of four -- a captain, first officer and two flight engineers. A Smithsonian Channel documentary about the airplanes can be watched online by visiting this link. Note: the video may be blocked depending on your connection.

Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry Baker

Some Air Canada memorabilia collected by your Chief Pilot.








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.

This cartoon by F.G. Freeland appeared in "Between Ourselves" issued October 1955.   

The NetLetter is an email newsletter published (usually) once a week and 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 
  • Stewardess - Lisa Ruck, Brooklin, Ontario 
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