Vesta's Corner
Vesta Stevenson

From my postcard collection  The enchanted Caribbean..

Postcard 1003
Hi Vesta . I used to fly and layover in BGI in the 50's Not too much has changed.

for our new readers, I have been collecting postcards from our travelling NetLetter "family" for many years. If you are away and have a minute, I'd be delighted to get one from you as well. You can obtain my address by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (it's automated and will respond right away)
Star Alliance News

Star AllianceA380 to make March 18 debut at Heathrow - The A380 will make its revenue debut in Europe on March 18 when it completes Singapore Airlines Flight 308 from Changi to London Heathrow.

SIA plans to take delivery of its third A380 in mid-March and put it into service soon thereafter. Its second arrived three weeks ago. "The arrival of the first commercial A380 flight to London will be a proud moment not only for Singapore Airlines but also for British aviation, with the magnificent wings of the aircraft made in Broughton and Filton and the [aircraft] powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines," SIA GM-UK and Ireland Marvin Tan said.

The aircraft will return to Singapore the same day as SQ319. The route then will be operated daily as SQ322 to LHR and SQ317 to SIN. Seats for the route, including the inaugural flight, are on sale.
Air Canada - our first 70 years

1964 - Jan 11 - Winnipeg's new terminal facilities officially opened for business.

1996 - May 1 - Scheduled passenger service at Edmonton Municipal Airport ceased.

From John Rogers This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
John came across some postcards of early TCA scenes, and sends us these - 

Dorval AirportDorval in the '40's

YWG HangerWinnipeg Hanger in the '40's

Air Canada Expo 67Air Canada pavilion at Expo 67

Dorval Airport InteriorInterior shot of terminal at Dorval.

Malton AirportThis postcard shows Malton Airport. It was sent to Mr and Mrs Ross Smyth you probably know Ross from his book writings. It is dated July 22 1949 has a 4 cent Canadian stamp celebrating 200 yrs of Halifax 1749-1949.
When home is a Cruise Ship

Alan RustA few years ago I came across a story that I thought may be an Urban Legend regarding a retired lady that went on back to back cruises year round instead of opting for a retirement home. Seems that it's a true story...

For only slightly more than the average cost of a year in an assisted living residence, older people can live aboard a luxury liner with many of the same services, including meals, housekeeping and medical care at all hours - not to mention entertainment.

Here's how the story goes (this was found on the Internet, and is not my personal story)

QE2About 2 years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room.

I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters, busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady. I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told she owned the line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back to back.

As we left the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, "I understand you've been on this ship for the last four cruises." She replied, "Yes, that's true." I stated, "I don't understand" and she replied, without a pause, "It's cheaper than a nursing home."

So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

  1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.
  2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day (of fantastic food, not institutional food) if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week).
  3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.
  4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.
  5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.
  6. I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days!
  7. TV broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.
  8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for them.
  9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.
  10. There is always a doctor on board.
Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don't look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.

PS: And don't forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge.

And the real story of the lady that actually did this? -
Bea MullerBea Muller, an 86-year-old retiree, has been a permanent resident on Cunard's 'Queen Elizabeth 2' since 5 January 2000. Her husband had passed away while the couple was on a world cruise eleven months earlier, and rather than opt for a retirement home, Mrs. Muller sold her house and possessions and booked herself onto the ship.

Click here for full story...

TCA/AC Events & People Gallery

Ray Iverson has sent us these four photos - .

Engine Shop YWGPicture of the men in the engine shop, YWG. I can remember most of their names, but not all. I am in the picture but you will have to figure that one out.

Engine Sop Foremen YWGThe pic with the superintendent, Forman and lead hands, I will name. Back row starting left to right Harry Pickering, Mike Serada, (the boss Henry Prud`home) Bert MorrisonWally Orchison Front row. Fred Wilson,Ron Williaws, Ernie Hebert, Andy Frey and Roy McGregor.

Engine Shop Sup and girlsThe pic with Henry Prud`home and his Stenographers - standing Marie (Forgotten her last name) left of Henry is Dorris Fini and right is June King.(facing pic)

Women of the Engine Shop YWGPicture of the women of the engine shop

The spelling of some of the names might not be exactly right but will be close. Hope these pictures come to you o.k. They are over 60 years old.It`s sad but i can`t remember any of the girls names.
Hope these pictures are of some interest.

Bye for now.   Ray Iverson

Musings from "Between Ourselves"- donated by Tom Sparkes, nr 260 April 1965

YEG 1945Pictured are the Edmonton staff taken in 1945

nr 264 February 1964
YYZ Terminal openingJan 11th, 1964 the new Toronto International terminal was operational. we have this collage of photos.

YWG Terminal openingJan 17th 1964 - Winnipeg's new terminal officially opened, we have these photos.

A340Where are they now?
A340 Airbus C-GKOL FIN#951 c/n 445 returned to lessor and now with TAM Linhas Aereas reregistered PT-MSN

More photos in AC livery here...

Canadi>n/CPAir/PWA, Wardair, etc. Events & People

Canada's first jet era hanger was the "Britannia" Hanger opened in Vancouver airport on February 22nd 1958.

BrittaniaPictured is a Britannia CF-CZX at YVR.

P.W.A. first scheduled service at Edmonton was a DC-3 in 1957
On November 13th 1963 P.W.A. started the Airbus service between Calgary - Edmonton.

HerculesPictured is the first Hercules freighter in 1967

Employees 1992and some employees from 1992

June 1st  1966
- Inaugural service Toronto to Milan, Italy.
October 26th 1966 - Canadia>n was the first international carrier to operate out of Beijing's new terminal.

We have a selection of Canadi>n employees from the "Contact" magazine 1991/2 loaned by Bill Wood.


Canadi>n 1992

Readers Feedback
From: Ron Lingwood
Subject: Tetraphobia NetLetter 1007
Hi Guys,
I was very interested in your article on Tetra phobia and would like to thank you for bringing this item up.  During my time with CAIL we introduced the B747 to the Orient.

This was mainly, China and Hong Kong at that time.  Prior to introduction the aircraft were to have tail numbers in the 400 series.  Someone with some cultural knowledge however told the powers that be, that the Chinese would not fly with that designation, as it was considered extremely bad luck to do so.

Apparently the Chinese symbol for 4 has a similarity with the symbol for death. Consequently the series number was quickly changed to the 800 series. 8 being a completed figure with much more Feng Shui (I hope I spelled it correctly). Talk about superstition... but then who knows?
Keep up the good work
Regards Ron Lingwood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

From DK Powick
Subject: NetLetter nr 1007 - TCA/AC people gallery.
Ah the good old days...re Tourist Class Photo of 1954. Looks like there was a shortage of seat belts...check out the suitcase on top of the blanket in the Left Hand side of the photo and back then people really dressed up to go for a flight. Probably the only thing that has not changed is the meal !!!!  The again, probably a "posed" picture. Enjoy the Netletter...thanks.
DK "Kip" Powick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

From Brian Dunn,
Subject:  issue #1007 CPAir, Canadia>n, Wardair etal events and people.
The picture of the three Wardair 747s is not at London-Gatwick, but taken from the parking garage at the old Terminal 1 at Toronto airport.

Brian Dunn This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

George Mills responds to the information in  Netletter 1007 under CPAir, Canadia>n, Wardair etal events and people.

Although a long time TCA/Air Canada person,(1957/96) I did spend some time with CPA and find any of the stories such as Dawn Shannon's really interesting.  Don Saunders accounting of CF-TOB is really interesting too.
When Guinness Peat Aviation bought that aircraft from Air Canada it required an acceptance flight test, exactly like the test done at the factory when receiving a new airplane. Since the aircraft was still 'owned' by AC it had to be flown by AC Supervisory pilot's. Don Stinson and I, along with a Supervisory S/O, conducted this flight in the presence of GPA people and pilots from Iberia.  This 14 year old performed as if she had just come off the assembly line!  There was not one system that didn't do exactly what the specifications called for.  The aircraft went on to perform yeoman service for many other operators. Thanks to Don Saunders for that bit of history.

Dawn Shannon's story of the Convair operation and the crew's that operated it brought back memories.  In 1955 I was an apprentice AME with CPA in Edmonton and spent many hours servicing Convairs, along with the other aircraft in the fleet.

It was common practice that an Engineer would go along on many of the flights (not all) that were operated out YXD. At the height of the DEW line operations we were sometimes short of Engineers so apprentices were sent as crew on some flights.  I flew on DC-3 trips on many occasions and to this day, almost 53 years later, still have a 'crew tag' on my old tool box. We did wear company issued 'starched white' coveralls, as she mentioned. Thanks Dawn for those memories too.

George Mills This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From: George Brien sends us this information -
Subject: Wagaming
I missed your query for info on Wagaming so I guess I cant claim the prize! However,  here is some  added  information on this  early TCA  station.

Wagaming/Armstrong YYW
A TCA schedule dated Nov 1,1939 listed a strange sounding airport
WAGAMING, that most people wouldn't have heard of. Yet it was a stop on the Trans Continental route
There is it - about halfway between Winnipeg and Kapuskasing on the CNR rail line.
First staffed with TCA employees in 1939 as it became an essential
fuel stop on the trans Canada Route of TCA.
By 1940, the airport name was changed to Armstrong, the little
railroad town 8 miles west of the airport. It was not shown on later
timetables so passengers were always surprised when they had to buckle up for a landing on this route. Flight #1 westbound dep at 0320 and Flight #2 Eastbound dep at 0641. I guess it was all midnight shifts for the staff. By 1945 the staff had increased to 12 but by Ju1 1947, with the newer aircraft, the station was closed down.

Route Map Pictured is the route map for Sept. 1943.

Peter Piggott's "National Treasure The History of TCA"
pages 74, 80-81, 197-198 has some interesting stories from Armstrong, as related by Al Took..
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gretchen Aird This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. sends this information -

Enola Gay Now completely reassembled and staged at the new Udvar-Hazy Museum at Dulles International Airport , Enola Gay is externally complete. She still needs much avionics restoration work inside. That work will continue over the next few years. Happily for the thousands of folks who began to tour the new museum when it opened on 15 December, NASM is planning an interactive virtual tour of the interior of this aircraft - and it will also be accessible from the web.
Enola Gay (In the picture note the tail of the Air France Concorde - eds)
Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker Nudists get their own flight - German holiday makers will be able to indulge in their love of naturism by
taking to the skies nude on a special flight being launched this year. All the passengers will fly naked, but they are only allowed to undress once they are airborne, but they will be able to enjoy the one hour flight.

Naked!The pilot and flight attendants will, however, keep their clothes on.
(My application for a flight attendant position was rejected as the applicants were oversubscribed - eds)

Interline Specials

New 10 day tour offers on China Land Tours. We have some new offers from SeaDream Yacht Club and assorted cruises with price reductions. You will even find a 16 night Antarctic cruise with Celebrity's Azamara Line that starts as low as $799 for 18 nights plus their new releases.

Check out our great selection of Mexican and Caribbean all-inclusive resorts.  We also introduce great land tour packages exploring the wonders of China. You can select a short Beijing holiday or a more extensive land tour and cruise on the Yangtze which starts in Beijing and ends in Shanghai.  We have plenty of great options for cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii and through the Panama Canal. Now is the time to plan your next interline vacation.
Interline World Vacations - www.interlineworld.com
Smiley At the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?"
To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?"
He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask."
Happened at Uplands in Ottawa.

Now, with Valentines Day, Easter or that birthday approaching, follow this guy had the right idea for a present - an aircraft of your favourite choice. India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani has bought his wife an Airbus A319C corporate jet with VIP interior of game console, music system, satellite TV, bar and mood lighting. Only a cool us$60 million - but you may be able to get a senior discount.

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