After reading the article by Aron Charad in NetLetter #1437 about the earlier distribution of the "WACA News", we asked Aron if there really were 1000's of newsletters issued and this was Aron's response:
"Yes, back then, there were thousands of WACA members around the world. I got involved in 1976 or 77. My first trip was to a bowling tournament in Hamburg, Germany.
At that time, there were (if memory serves me correctly) 27 clubs just in the US and Canada, including Jamaica. Montreal alone had over 1500 members (I was the membership chairman).
I think only Vancouver was larger in the North American region. The smallest club we had was Ottawa. I met some great people from around the world who I am still close with today. Couldn’t tell you how many clubs around the world back then, but they were everywhere.
I always said you could walk into any airport in the world and mention the name Gerry Philbrook (Air Canada's Bureau Director and President of WACA at the time) and you would get the warmest welcome ever; everyone knew Gerry.
The Montreal club had a 'Sugaring Off' event in 1980 and 1981. I think it was the 81 event that drew members from 54 clubs around the world. There was a broomball game between Israel and Egypt!!!
It is a much smaller organization now, mostly retirees. So yes, thousands of members around the world. And everyone, somehow, got an edition of WACA News. I never knew a number. At least 100 clubs".
(Editors Note: Serving 100 member clubs and 70,000 Interline members on 6 continents.)
Aron sent this information and photo –
(Editors Note: Published in "Horizons" magazine issue dated August 17, 1981).
The WACA Headquarters at the IATA offices in Montreal was opened in 1981.
Pictured above is the opening of the WACA Headquarters Office of the World Airlines Clubs Association.
Kneeling from left to right are:
Gordon Young, Manager, Production Office Services; George Uhrin, WACA President's Working Committee, (AC); Joseph Ledwos Manager, WACA Headquarters Office; Aron Charad, WACA President's Working Comittee, (AC); Peter Gabbert, Secretary General - WACA (JL) - Detroit); Ian Tomlinson, Regional Vice President, Near East Africa - WACA (RG - Durban).
Standing from left to right are:
Blake Sheldrake, Director, Personnel Administration, IATA; Jean Lavers, Manager, Personnel, IATA; Ron Blake, IATA; Guy Perillard, Regional Vice President, Europe - WACA (SK - Geneva);
Aron P. Charad