Vesta's Corner
Vesta Stevenson
July 2, 1937, was the last time anyone heard from Amelia Earhart, and 70 years later the mystery of her disappearance still fascinates people. The official search for the aviator and her navigator, Fred Noonan, ended just a few weeks after they vanished over the Pacific Ocean while en route to tiny Howland Island on a trip around the world. But searchers have never given up in their quest to determine the facts of what happened after her last radio call. Next week, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will mount an expedition to a tiny Pacific island where they believe Earhart and Noonan might have been stranded. The TIGHAR team will fly to Fiji and then embark on a five-day journey by sea to the island of Nikumaroro. There they will excavate a site where they say they have found evidence in the past of a castaways' camp site.

Every year about this time, we hear about the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Was she taken prisoner by the Japanese only to die or be executed in captivity? Or did she, her navigator Fred Noonan, and their specially-outfitted Lockheed Electra simply vanish into the vastness of the South Pacific?

David Billings, an aircraft engineer in Brisbane, Australia, says he has hard evidence that strongly suggests that Electra, and the 70-year-old mystery it contains, is under a mat of jungle on New Britain Island, off New Guinea. AVweb's Russ Niles asked Billings about the evidence, why it's important that we put the Earhart story to rest, and the relatively modest effort that would achieve that goal.

Here is another postcard received


This card is from R.O.Kieley who lives in Manuels, NF undertitle reads "These giant icebergs are a common scene around Newfoundland/Labrador in June and July.  They break free from the glaciers in Greenland and drift South in the Labrador current, sometimes taking years to get here.
Air Canada News

Air CanadaIt is reported that agreement has been reached with WestLB's Transportation Group to finance two E190 aircraft for delivery 2007.

Air Canada Jazz will write off CRJ100 fin 104 c/n 7051 C-FRIL damaged at YYZ in May.

Also reported that Air Canada Jazz has purchased Dash-8 fin 186 c/n 174 C-GMTA and fin 187 c/n 182 C-GSTA off lease from the Magellan Group NC. Both aircraft are ex Canadi>n.
Need to know
New positive space blackouts on some domestic routes: In order to meet our premium customers' demand on peak flights, a number of blackouts will apply to some domestic travel. The restrictions, effective July 10, apply year round to all Positive Space travel, such as personal, business and consultant travel as well as incentive and Awards passes. The list of blackouts can be found on the Employee Travel Site, under 'News & Policies', Click 'Policies' then 'News'. Standby travel will not be affected.

CARA is in negotiations with its Vancouver union. Air Canada's catering provider, Cara, and its Vancouver union representatives are currently in negotiations. Air Canada hopes that Cara and its Vancouver employees will achieve a settlement by the July 31 contract deadline. However, as part of standard business planning, they are ready with a detailed, comprehensive contingency plan (similar to the plan they activated in Montreal two years ago) which will minimize disruption to cabin crew and  flights from Vancouver.
Our 70 Years

70 year Anniversary

First passengers on Trans-Canada Air Lines across the Dominion that took off from Montreal were Miss Elizabeth Boehm, H.R. Varcoe, Hon. C.D. Howe (Minister of Transport), Miss Margaret Mutch, Miss Mary Cullen, T.B. King, Donald Manson, W.H. Johnson jr., William Carswell 1 Apr. 1939.
- Miss D.E.Reid was the stewardess on the first T.C.A. flight into Gander on May 1st., 1942.
-T.C.A. Lockheed L10A CF-TCB made the first airmail delivery Lethbridge-Edmonton in 1937.
- T.C.A. L18-08 CF-TCY which belly landed at Gander was commanded by Capt. Gill McLaren,
- Nov 3rd YYZ-LHR direct introduced.
- Dec 17th Montego Bay, Jamaica added to the system.
- Dec 31st Bristol freighter introduced all-cargo Montreal-Toronto-Lakehead, Winnipeg and Montreal - Toronto - New York service.

- Jan 16th Mexico City as an extension to the Tampa service. This service was cancelled Nov 1st 1955.
- Feb 1st Sudbury and North Bay service introduced.
- May 14th Constellation introduced to LHY and Paris.
- Sept 26th Constellation introduced on the YUL-YYZ-YWG-YVR route.
- Nov 7th Constellation service to Bermuda.
- Dec 8th the first Vickers Viscount CF-TGI delivered.

Following the picture of a TCA uniform in NetLetter nr 981, we thought this cheesecake picture would be of interest. (Anyone know any names here?)

Cheesecake photo from the 40's

Readers Feedback

More on the Shearwater saga!
An exchange of emails between George Brien and Fred Coyle has the following information to share

Hi  Fred,
Thanks for the feedback and -yes-   Of course you're right about YXF being the designator that TCA used. A little "senior moment" on my part. In those days even the Y wasn't  used if I remember  telys  addresses would be  brief like XFA  XFR etc.
I remember most of these names after you listed them.  I worked with Ken Grant & Ron Cassidy when I was briefly at YHZRR in 1977 and then Chuck Allision was CSM at YHZ when I moved out there. We were lucky to work for Airlines when it was still fun!!
Question about MCA . After reading the book about Carl Burke/MCA, it showed a proposed schedule around 1945 flying  YQM  Greenwood NS (YZX)  YQI and return.  I haven't been able to track down if indeed they did and for how long?

I meant to  ask Lloyd "Gibby" Gibbons  about  it before he passed on.
Cheers George

Hi George
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.

Shearwater GroupI found this old picture (attached) 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 Morris 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
and from Paul Cormier;

Hello NetLetter and George,
How are you, and nice to hear from you.  I remember George, you have a brother and I believe the two of you made relief in Sept-Iles, Seven Island at the time as Station Agent !!.
I started in TCA Jan. 1954 as a Radio-Agent in Halifax, at the same time as Roger Gallant.  I remember all the persons you mentioned in NetLetter 978, and we were brought to Halifax by Austie McMahon from Moncton. I do not see Don White's name, but you covered all the others well.  Events that I remember is the old hangar we worked in, a modified operations room, and how often we  would hear and feel the Avengers pass over the building, and wonder if it was going to make it.  Another factor to remember is the evening cloud that formed  and suddenly moved in and closed Shearwater and the operation transferred to Clearwater(?) affecting employee crews and passengers. You must remember Alfred Leblanc and Armand Leblanc, both from Moncton.  I initiated the move from Halifax to the Quebec region as Station Agent 11, Then Roger, Alfred and Armand went to YBG, the Bilingual Acadians from YQM.  Roger is now in YUL, so is Armand(very sick with cancer), and Alfred is in YQM.
Your history of Shearwater of the 40s to 60s is very good and interesting. In the same time, I would like to congratulate all you people at NetLetter for your wonderful work.  Keep up the good work.  Paul Cormier and Marie Anne. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

and Ted White sends us this;
Greetings to good people,
I have been waiting for the penny to drop, waiting for another ex
naval aviator to correct the reference to Shearwater as an Air Force establishment. On 1st December 1948 - Shearwater became HMCS Shearwater Naval Air Station. A very good Aviation Museum is now on site with volunteers rebuilding ancient flying warriors. I was a former fighter pilot based at Shearwater, having served in VF 870 Squadron. regards Captain (retd) F.A.W. (Ted) White

(We are sure that the "Shearwater saga" we have been running for the past few issues brings back memories. And anyone with  similar memories of other stations in the early days, their articles will be welcomed - eds)
AC People Gallery
Kay Head 1983 Jannet Tricarico sends this-

Kay Head
It is such a pleasure to receive your NetLetter and when I saw an old picture in one of your previous NetLetters, asking do you recognize any of these people? I realized that it was a picture of Kay Head. I used to work with her years ago at YVR Airport.

She worked there as a passenger agent and had been there for quite some years before I joined.

Kay decided after many years of check-in and other duties, she no longer wanted to deal directly with the public, so she became our 'OFFICIAL STOCKER'. It would be the first time such a position was created - and with her seniority - bid on it and got it.

She was a very tidy and meticulous person to start with and she made it her goal to have all our counters display organized - every counter had to be and look the same- meaning that all the baggage tags were in order of cities from West to East, - late tags placed in a specific slot, - the sticky over lay tags in another slot and so on it went. God help anyone who messed it up.

She worked 4 days on and 4 days off and as a 'Stocker' could even set her own hours of start time.

She was the first person to organize the Air Canada check-in counters and all agents who later took over her job after her retirement did not dare to change her method nor change anything in her well-organized stock room.

Norm Holt as Kay HeadShe retired in Feb. 3rd, 1983 and we did a skit for her then - I even found myself laughing in the background on one of the pictures.

To Kay's surprise, passenger agent, Norm Holt, who later himself took over the' Stocking' position, dressed up as Kay  and came rolling out with Kay's trolley, to everybody's great amusement.

Respectfully submitted,

Jannet Tricarico

Norm and KayKay Head being presented by Norm Holt in 1983.





YVR Airport 1983View of the check in desks at YVR 1983

(As these passengers look so well dressed, they must all be cons - eds)
CPA Events and People

- C.P.A.L. DC-3 inaugurated YVR-Penticton Sept 8th., 1947.
- C.P.A.L. proving flight YVR-Japan-China was made by North Star CF-TEP on loan from R.C.A.F. on Apr 19th., 1974
- North Star CF-CPR of C.P.A.L. made a proving flight YVR-Australia May 28th., 1949 and the Pre-inaugural flight YVR-Sydney was on Jul 10th., 1949.

From the Canadi>n Flyer dated April  1998

CSA's at YYZ

CoachingCarol Lennon CSA receives coaching from Anne Wilson CSLeader at Calgary Reservations.

From the Contact newsletter Oct 11., 1996

Spence Mikituk, Manager Tech. Training.

Andy WhitmoreAndy Whitmore selecting surplus rotables for disposal.

(We would welcome any copies of the house magazine for CPA etal in order to carry on this section - eds)

A recovery project is in progress.

CF-CPA CrashThe CF-CPA Project aims to recover the former Canadian Pacific Air Lines Lodestar CF-CPA from northern Quebec where it has lain for the past 47 years. The model C-60/18-56A c/n 2177 flew with CPAL between 1943-1950 and then with Hollinger Ungava Transport of Sept-Iles, Quebec. In 1955 the aircraft was sold to F.D.Bourque Aerial Photography of Ottawa. On Aug 20th 1960 the aircraft ran out of fuel and belly landed north of Schefferville, with no injuries. In the summer of 2004 the site was discovered and now recovery and restoration plans are in the preliminary stage.

CF-CPA Crash

Check web site www.cf-cpa.ca for full details.

Vancouver Island Golf - August 15
A Vancouver Island happening

Location: Arrowsmith Golf Course, Qualicum Beach
Date: August 15, 2007
Time: First Tee Off - 10:15AM
Cost: $30.00 per person (No planned meal)
Trophy for Low Net:
District Directors Annual Award (VI/GI Members)
Other Prizes:
- Men's and Ladies Low Gross
- Men's and Ladies Longest Drive
- Men's and Ladies Closest to the Pin
- Men's and Ladies Fewest Putts
(Ensure to keep a record of your putts)

Golf Registration: Make cheque payable to Bill Wood. Send to Bill Wood, Box 1879, 1113 Sharp Place, Ladysmith, B. C.  V9G 1B4   no later than August 2, 2007.
Summer Picnic
News from a district.


The Summer Picnic will be held on Thursday July 26, 2007 at the Heritage Acres Site in Central Saanich. Gather at the schoolhouse around 11:00am.

There are picnic tables around but do bring a chair. Don't forget to bring your lunch and have it with your friends around noon. Cost is $3.00 per person

After lunch tour the grounds and see all the old buildings and antiques. Take a tour of the grounds on the Heritage express or walk on the many trails.

Directions: The site is located at 7321 Lochside Drive and visible from the Pat Bay Highway (Highway 17) between Victoria and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Turn on to Island View Road (right if coming from Victoria, or left if coming from the ferry or airport), go one block and turn left on Lochside Drive following it to the entrance of Heritage Acres.
Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker

To obtain a Family Affair, it is necessary to call reservations  1-888-247-2262. Although to message, in part, states that there is a $20.00 service charge for a reservation, which is waived if the reservation is made via the internet.
However, Family Affair MUST be made via the call centre but, For Family Affair, this service charge is waived.
I recently inquired for a fare from Terrace to Calgary. The basic fare is $199.00 plus $40,00 each way for NavCan and surcharges, plus $9.34 security charge, Calgary Airport improvement charge $20.00 and GST $18.50 total $326.84

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