The NetLetter #1285

The NetLetter

For Air Canada Retirees
(Part of the ACFamily Network)


December 17, 2013 - Issue 1285
First Issue published in October 1995!
(over 5,400 subscribers)
In This Issue
TCA/Air Canada Historical DVDs
Star Alliance News
Air Canada News
Reader Submitted...Photos
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds and Ends
Terry's Trivia
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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! 

Terry Baker and the NetLetter Team
TCA/Air Canada Historical DVDs
TCA/Air Canada Historical DVD's Just in time for Christmas!

A number of years ago Air Canada's visual film archives were donated to the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa for long-term safe-keeping.

Aviation historian Henry Tenby of Vancouver embarked on a two year process to digitize the collection, as a private preservation effort working in conjunction with Air Canada and the museum.

"Digitization allows us to now share these treasured films in DVD format with current day aviation fans, as well as future generations".

The digitization and DVD production process is now complete and we are pleased to present a total of 7 DVDs that span the history of Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada from the late 1930s through the 1970s.

Please click on the image above or follow this link if you are interested in finding out more about these DVD's and how to purchase them. There is presently a special offer for Air Canada employees and retirees.
Star Alliance News
Star AllianceLufthansa and its Group subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines will end their codeshare with Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines next year, saying the agreement no longer makes commercial sense.
US Airways to exit Star Alliance on March 30, 2014. Star Alliance member US Airways announced today that it will leave Star Alliance on March 30th, 2014, an expected result of its merger with American Airlines.

Air Canada News
Air CanadaNew branding for our Executive Cabin. Effective December 3, our Executive Class Cabins have been re-branded as Business Class.

Market research and customer feedback have indicated that customers identify more with "Business" than "Executive" in context of our Executive Class fare product. For this reason, Executive Class is now renamed "North America and Caribbean Business Class" and Executive First is now renamed "International Business Class".

Changes are restricted to the class name only; all benefits and allowances of the fare product itself remain unchanged/ (JSA pass holders please note!- eds)

FedEx employee discount ending
For those of you that were eligible for discounts on FedEx through Air Canada (employees/retirees), it has just been announced that as of January 1, 2014 these discounts will no longer be valid. This was a very good "perk" and it's sad that it will no longer be available.
Reader Submitted Photos - Compiled by Terry Baker

Readers PhotosReader Submitted Photos -  The photos and information below have been submitted to us by our faithful readers.  


Doris Servais has sent us this memory and photos -

I  finally got around to sorting through some old photos and came across this one taken at Cherry Beach, Toronto in 1973. We were the first group to take lessons in the newly formed ACRA Sailing Club. I don't remember any of the names now, but I believe the two young ladies on the left in the back row were Scottish and went back to Scotland soon after this photo was taken. I think one was named Hilary. My husband Cam and I are standing next to them.

Little did we know then that this would be the start of many wonderful years of sailing and racing on Lake Ontario and would take us into retirement sailing throughout the Caribbean on our Whitby 42 "Foxfire II". 
(Can anyone identify any of the others in the photo? - eds)
I also have two photos of the BA Concorde taken at Heathrow, possibly in 1975, the same year we saw an Air France Concorde in Tangier, but cannot be certain of the dates.

It only goes to show the importance of dating everything, especially photos, which of course I did not do. I suppose with today's digital photos one doesn't have to rely on the memory so much. Doris Servais
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.

Nancy McKay sent us this report - World Airlines Road Race - 2014.

On October 13, 2014 the 10K race with 118 participants and the 5k race with 378 participants, took place in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa. Sponsors were South Africa Airways. Part of the race route was at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre 5.6km, where Mr. Mandela spent most of his life.

Attended by 40 Employees of Air Canada and Jazz, among them were Roberta Gosse, Joan Stibbard, Robert Squires, Scott McCaul, Sharon McCaul, Barbara Legun, Joanne Smith, Judith Byrne, John Cannon, Karin Houston, Marguerite Silvain, Janice Brodeur, Ranee Raja, Nancy McKay, Yves Brodeur, David Houston, Parin Damji, Joan Stibbard, and Cliff Russell who once again burned up the event winning the 10k and 5k events for their age categories, Joanna Smith winning the 5k in her age Category. All Retirees from Air Canada, (Barbara Legan CSA YYZ) for her age category.

Congratulations everyone. Plus Air Canada won the overall Ladies for the 5k. Wow - way to go Air Canada! Join us running or walking for next year's annual event. A different destination each year. Next Years Event will be held in Dublin Ireland, Oct. 1-5, 2014. Visit their website at www.worldairlinesroadrace.org for all the latest news and up coming events.

Issue dated - Midsummer 1949
Some items gleaned from the "Between Ourselves" magazines.
Much better than a posh red carpet is the reception that awaited TCA's U.K. bound passengers when they deplaned at our English LHR terminal.

Vivacious Josephine Burwell-Smith greeted all visitors with a big smile and a cheery "Welcome to London, England". Jo was a Ground Hostess and knew both Princesses, Elizabeth, (now Queen) and Margaret.

She served with them in the Windsor Sea Rangers for six years.

TCA Introduced a brand new meal service to passengers on the Maple Leaf routes. The new meal service introduced precooked, quick-frozen meals to Canadian transportation. It was inaugurated on our overseas routes last winter in 1948 and on domestic North Star routes on June 20th, 1949.

This advanced technique brought new food standards to airline travelers. Meals have become more appetizing, more attractive in appearance and available in greater variety. TCA, incidentally, was the first domestic North American airline to be equiped for serving these improved meals.

For airborne appetites - Stewardess Betty Munro serves roast turkey with all the trimmings, which introduced TCA's new meal service on all North Star routes in 1949.

Issue dated - June 1978
Dug up from the "Horizons" magazine
A pre-inaugural Super Constellation flight is shown on arrival at Zurich from Montreal May 5,1958. The non-stop flight look just over 13 hours. Scheduled weekly service began May 18th, 1958 between Montreal and Zurich with an en-route stop at Paris.

Another case for the baggage staff.
Baggage Staff at London's Heathrow airport decided to move their office themselves as soon as new accommodations became available in the completed East wing of Terminal 3. The baking of a special cake was called for, so the Commissary & Catering came up with just the right thing - a suitcase cake for the occasion. The office, which is air conditioned and quiet, eventually housed the company's Aircraft Services section.

Waiting to demolish the cake are, from the left: Peter Baldry, Aircraft Services Manager; Derek Strevens, Baggage Agent; Station Attendants Peter Edwards and John Wilson; Baggage Agents Peter Harris and Owen David; Jenny Tozer, Secretary; Jack Morath, Baggage Services Supervisor and Brian Sygrove, Airport Customer Services Manager.

According to Skyport dated July 1978, a publication for all employees of London's Heathrow Airport, Air Canada's baggage handling system is so much better than other airlines that the British Airports Authority has removed the company from baggage statistics because they distort the overall picture. Air Canada is the only carrier to have a minimum connection time between terminals two and three of 75 minutes - all other airlines require 120 minutes.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan's Space
WestJet 2014 Christmas Video a hit!
In the video, which has surpassed 29 million views as of today (December 17, 2013), the airline hatches an elaborate holiday surprise for more than 250 travelers heading to Calgary on flights from Toronto and Hamilton.


WestJet customers are seen stumbling upon a video kiosk that connects them with a blue-suited Santa Claus, who asks what they'd like for Christmas. A family asks for a big TV, a boy wants a tablet, and one man asks for socks and underwear - which he'll come to regret.  


WestJet staff then scramble to buy the gifts to fill those requests, which are wrapped and delivered via a luggage carousel in Calgary. The shocked reaction of the passengers as they realize what WestJet has done is a feel-good tearjerker. (Source - Vancouver Sun) 

WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving 
WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving
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 - March 1990
Gleaned from the "Info Cargo" magazine -
The GAD Canadian Cargo held during late 1989 was a three month campaign. Presentations were made during January 1990.

The winning team was from Flin Flon, Manitoba. The winning team collected the silverware presented by Ian Bootle, V.P. Cargo as shown in this photo.

From the left: John Barnes, Manager Marketing, North America; Keith Argo, Customer Service, Head Agent; Lynn MacKnight, Connie Roberts, Customer Service Agents and Ian Bootle.

Various Regional winners were declared.
Here, the Dorval team were presented their plaque by Paul Pelletier, Regional V.P.

From the left: Steve Taggart, General Manager, Sales & Service East; Sam Scalia, Station Attendant; Renata Garbin, Agent; Danny Bertrand, Manager; Paul Pelletier.

Mel Crothers, Director Marketing & Support Services made the presentation of the plaque to the team representing Kuujjuarapik who were another Regional winning team.

Shown, from the left: Bernie Binette, Customer Service Manager; Bob McCabe, Agent; Elisah Shem, Ramp; Mike Shields, Ramp; Mel Crothers.

Mel Crothers, Director Marketing & Support Services travelled to Val D'Or to make the presentation to the GAD team pictured here

From the left: Mel Crothers, Mario Laurin, Counter Agent; Michel Gaudreault, Station Manager; Gaetan Higgins, Counter Agent and Marc Rodrique, Counter Agent.

The Regional winners at St. John's, NL were Derrick Monk, Supervisor; Sales & Service Agents Ruby Moores, Edna Wilson, Gary Randell, Marcel Harnett, Jim Mesh, Don Squires, Doreen Mahon, John Dunphy, Susan Parsons, Yvonne Stanley, Pam McGory and Janine Layman. Unfortunately no photo was available.

Neither was there a photo of the Regional winning team from Vancouver who were listed as Gus Gallahue, Manager, Sales and Service; Denis Lush, Cargo Sales Agent; Derek Wells, Sales & Service Agent; Dave Primmer, Station Attendant; Murray Roberts, Station Attendant.

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.
The conclusion of the My First Overseas Business Trip, by Norman Hogwood started in NetLetter nr 1284

- The moment I stepped out of the lift, I knew something was wrong. My room had two doors! I chose one and went in. I could hardly see across to the other side of the room, it was that big! I opened doors and found bedrooms, lounges, a couple of bathrooms and a kitchen with a huge fridge stocked to the brim with booze! I was now all of the above and dazed. And then I spotted a notice on the back of one of the two exit doors. When I read it, I was all of the above and scared stiff. The notice advised the room rate which was $C120 per night!

Remember this was 1975 and this was a very large sum of money in those days. The reason for my latest emotion was that NAC paid expenses on a daily rate depending upon which country one was in, and this room was eating up most of my allowances for the week! But I was too whacked to discuss this with anyone at that time of night so I quickly went to bed. But it was a total waste of time because I literally didn't sleep a wink all night and the next morning I hot-footed it down to Reception to explain my predicament. I was immediately told not to worry because as the hotel had erred, I would only be charged the tariff for a standard room, and not that for the penthouse suite, which they hoped I had enjoyed! (If only they knew!). I was obviously very green when it came to understanding how hotels got around their mistakes.

That trip was to become the first of many as well as the first of two for attending business meetings in Vancouver. Those trips also included stop offs in Vancouver en route to meetings in Toronto and Calgary as well, so I became quite well acquainted with that magnificent city.
I have often said that, had I'd seen Vancouver before emigrating to New Zealand from the UK in 1961, I could have easily chosen to live there. Norman Hogwood

Here we have extracted from "Horizons" magazine issued October 1986 an article originally by Linda Sutherland:
Twenty-seven years ago, Air Canada employees from Canada, Europe, the U.S. and the Caribbean got together to participate in a commemorative "flight" from Vancouver to Seattle. But the "fleet" of 99 which took off from the Air Canada EXPO 86 pavilion on Saturday, August 30th relied on leg power to get themselves to their destination. The "flight" was the brainchild of Duncan Rokahr of Montreal. "More than two years ago I came up with the idea of organizing an employee relay run as part of Air Canada's 50th anniversary celebrations".

The Vancouver-Seattle route was chosen as it was over this sector that Trans-Canada Air Lines' first scheduled flight operated on September 1st, 1937. Turning his idea into reality took a great deal of work. ''We had to gain approval from municipal and provincial authorities; arrange for police escorts and ensure cooperation from Canadian and U.S.
customs," explains Duncan, who relied on the support of a Vancouver- based "flight" planning team: Brian Hotel, Tony Walsh, Dennis Tarr, Duncan Bamforth, Susan Holgate and Bruce Jupp.

Despite the heavy loads on flights, employees "plussed" their way to Vancouver and got settled at the Fairview condominium units at the University of British Columbia. The following morning everyone, decked out in their red and white running attire - compliments of enRoute, attended a pre-flight briefing. Duncan welcomed everyone and reviewed the logistics of the event. All the runners traveled from the Expo site to YVR airport, from where the first "flight" departed. Subsequent "flights" had their departure slots for the remainder of the journey and all participants ran back to Expo from the YVR airport on Monday, September 1st. Duncan emphasized that the event was a team effort and that everyone had to strive for on-time performance. Bill Oliver of Montreal reviewed the "flight's" routing and explained that in order to stay on schedule the runners had to cover seven miles in an hour. Dr. Don MacKenzie of the UBC Sports Medicinc Clinic spoke about the importance of exercise.

rokahr On their way, Duncan Rokahr, Len Scarbach and Bruce Oliver.
Employees from across the system gather in Vancouver to participate in a 50th anniversary relay run to Seattle and return.
(We will continue this epic in NetLetter nr 1286 - 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!


Last Passenger DC-10 Makes Last Flight
Biman Bangledesh Airlines had two DC10-30s flying. As their fuel consumption is higher than other aircraft in the fleet, they were used sparingly. One of those DC10s came to the end of its economic life on 10th November, 2013, and will be scrapped locally. The last DC10 continued normal flying until 7th December, 2013, the start of the revised schedule for the fog period in Dhaka. Thereafter, it will only be used as a standby aircraft, in case another aircraft in our fleet become unserviceable for any reason. Biman will not be scheduling it on any route though. This last DC10 will continue as a standby aircraft until sometime in February, 2014. The last DC10 is being donated to a museum in the USA, a fitting end for an aircraft that has served Biman loyally and well over many years.  Accordingly, Biman will then offer for sale, as a last opportunity to travel on a passenger DC10, anywhere in the world:  

  • Seats on a last flight Dhaka to Birmingham (UK). Note this will need a technical stop somewhere. 
  • 2 (or more if demand requires it) one hour 'scenic tours' to/from Birmingham.
  • Biman are unsure if the US authorities will give them traffic rights on the Birmingham to USA sector. If they do, this will also be offered for sale.        
  • Biman are also discussing with the UK Post Office, about the carriage of 'Last day Covers' on the last sector Birmingham-USA, for sale at a later date.  

Tickets will only be sold via our website, hopefully from early January, so do not buy tickets elsewhere, we want these tickets to go to genuine aviation enthusiasts. If there is a demand for more 'scenic tour' flights at Birmingham, we can consider these too. (source Biman)  


Follow this link for more information. 


Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker

Terry BakerMemories from your chief pilot, Terry  

In the 1960's and 70's, many airlines offered Interline tours for airline employees. One of them was TAP Portuguese Airlines, and I took advantage of these over several years. 


The tours for Lisbon were three day/two night weekends. Starting at $49.00 the tour included accommodation, morning bus tour first day, afternoon tour of the environs the second day, 3 meals a day, transfers and, best of all, confirmed seats in Economy on their B707. A couple of years, a group of us played golf. My wife and I went several times in succeeding years, 5 in all, and the cost gradually climbed to $109.00, and then TAP introduced an airfare, at which time we dropped our annual trips.  


One year, a tour included a flight from Lisbon to Oporto return - on a Caravelle - and I took my wife. We enjoyed our visit to Oporto as the tourists had not really discovered the city, so found it quite naive. During one of our trips, we got talking to the Flight Attendant, who used to work for Canadian Airlines. Before deplaning, he gave my wife and I each a bag which contained several small bottles of wine, cheese and crackers, which we enjoyed as a picnic, in the castle overlooking the city of Lisbon. The castle, in those days, was a birds sanctuary but, in later years, when we revisited the city during a cruise, we noticed that the castle had been completely remodeled for the tourist trade and, to my mind, completely ruined.  


Several of my co-workers took the interline tour of Athens offered by Olympic Airlines, but I was unable to take advantage of it. Another interline trip taken was a theatre trip to London, England, offered by Lawson Travel in Toronto. We applied and received literally a handful of theatre ticket vouchers. The trip was just over a weekend. My wife and I went with another couple, standby, and we decided that, when we went to exchange our vouchers, we would pledge all of them for a show of our choice as we assumed the vouchers would be for shows we were not interested in, and we could only see one show a night i.e. 8 tickets, while we had 24 tickets all told. However, the clerk at the booking office only wanted 8 vouchers for any show, and so we saw "Singing in the Rain" at the Paladium theatre starring Tommy Steele. Our other show was the long running show by Agatha Christie, "The Mousetrap". In two subsequent return trips to the UK, our co-workers saw several other shows until the vouchers were used up.
Happy days   


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 Dave Mathias 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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