The NetLetter #947
Since Oct/95 Nov 4, 2006


Number 947

About us!

The Old Soldier

Nice to Know

Need to Know

Travel Report - Tuscany

Where are they now?

Remember when

Forgotten Airports - Part 3



NetLetter Archives

About us!

Since October 1995, Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker have been issuing an email newsletter for those ex Air Canada types who have provided us with their email addresses. The Newsletter was created by Vesta, who gave the name 'NetLetter' and added 'Between Ourselves' - a TCA periodical with which you are probably familiar with from the 50's and 60's. It was then changed to "Between Yourselves" to avoid confusion when "Horizons" resurrected the name. Then finally simplified to just "The NetLetter".

We believe that our NetLetter, which originates from Vancouver Island, was the FIRST to use this medium to disperse information for retirees of Air Canada.

The NetLetter contains airline related information such as anecdotes or stories supplied by some of the recipients, Internet tips, travel news, cheap... excuse me, "inexpensive" accommodations, tours, interline travel, and, in some small way, we help keep our Air Canada family together and in touch.

Our 'NetLetter' is NOT sponsored by any Pionair group, nor are we seeking any financial support, only the Internet email addresses of those who would like to receive our 'NetLetter'. Please forward this to other retirees who can then subscribe right from the forwarded link at the bottom of this email.

Dear NetLetter,

Welcome to the 947th issue of "NetLetter". We now estimate that the NetLetter is read by over 2734 retirees when counting our email distribution and those that print the NetLetter and give them out to their friends.

The "NetLetter" is written by Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker from Vancouver Island (see sidebar) and published courtesy of the ACFamily Network at

  • The Old Soldier
  • This was sent in by Trev Trower with the comment "written by myself but not about myself, just the way I feel".

    The Old Soldier
    The old man said to the smiling youth
    If you want to know I'll tell you the truth
    What it really was like when I went to war
    When millions died, not knowing what for
    Yes, we carried our flags, swelled with pride
    A smile on our face, and a tear inside
    The rough serge suits and those brave black boots
    We marched to the sounds of the drums and flutes.

    I was sixteen then, in my young life's prime
    I lived to curse that terrible time
    Not old enough to vote or drive a car
    Not yet old enough to go into a bar.
    But old enough to offer my country, my life's blood
    To do or die like anyone should.
    If things had been right I'd have stayed in school,
    Not to waste my youth like a bloody fool.

    It was late fall when in Halifax we took the boat
    And prayed to God that it would stay afloat
    Seven thousand boys and men, packed all together
    Crossed the Atlantic in the worst kind of weather
    Ten days it took to cross the ocean wide
    Until we came into Liverpool on the evening tide
    None was there to greet us or to help with our gear
    Not a sound of music or a single cheer
    It took most of the night to clear the ship
    And board the trains for the rest of the trip
    packed like sardines and off into the raining
    down to Aldershot for the rest of our training.

    We were told we would spend Christmas in France
    Backing those Frenchmen so they'd have a chance
    We were told we were doing a wonderful thing
    if we played our cards right we'd be home next spring
    But the Germans were well led, powerful and strong
    And those leading us were all terribly wrong
    Our efforts there in France were fierce, many thousands died
    We fell in the muck and mud, man and boy side by side
    Those of us that fled that hell in ten thousand little boats
    Were grateful that our saviours came with anything that floats
    We crossed the English Channel and landed on the shore
    And hung around and waited to fight the Hun once more.

    I was sent to Africa, and ate the dessert sand
    and with my mates fought the Italians that infested that land.
    But the Italians knew they could fight no more and
    By the hundred thousand gave up as prisoners of war.
    Rommel's men were quite a different story
    They were bent to fight and win with glory
    We still remember the Eighth Army with pride
    but conveniently forget the hundred thousand that died
    That my grandson, is where I lost my leg
    though often I wished I had died instead.
    Eventually Rommel's army were finally beat.
    And seemed to wither away in that awful heat.

    But once in November every year
    I stand in silence, wipe away my tear
    And I pray to God with all my might
    That my beautiful boy, wont have to fight.

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

  • Nice to Know
  • Vesta

    In April 2007, Air Canada plans to operate a seasonal non-stop service between St. John's to London, UK utilizing an A319 Airbus 3 times a week, increasing to 5 times a week in May 2007 and a daily operation from mid June until September 2007.

  • Need to Know
  • Carol Humphries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. sends us this item -

    The Sunday Times October 29, 2006

    Airline luggage curbs eased
    Dominic O'Connell
    BRITISH airports will take a step back towards normality this week when a relaxation of the ban on carrying liquids through security is announced.
    Passengers will be allowed to carry small bottles of toiletries as long as they are contained in a clear, re- sealable plastic bag. The rules are expected to apply from November 6.

    Tight restrictions on what can be carried on planes were introduced in August after an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic jets using liquid explosives in toiletries and drinks bottles was foiled.

    Since then the curbs have gradually been eased. Last month the permitted size of cabin bags was increased. But the ban on taking liquids and gels through security checks * apart from baby milk and food and small amounts of prescription medicine * has remained.

    Passengers have, however, been able to carry on board liquids or gels bought in airport shops after security screening.

    The new rules on liquids are the result of extensive negotiations between European Union transport officials, who are trying to ensure a co-ordinated approach to security between member states. They will bring Europe into line with America, which relaxed its restrictions last month.

    Airlines and airports are discussing with the Department for Transport the exact details of how the new rules will be applied in Britain.

    Passengers will be able to carry liquids, gels, pastes and aerosols. Bottles, jars and tubes should not exceed 100ml in size and will have to be carried in a re-sealable clear plastic bag not larger than 20cm by 20cm. Baby milk and food “necessary for the journey” will be allowed but passengers may be asked to taste it. Small amounts of prescription medicines will be permitted, but proof of prescription may be required. Other curbs, such as the ban on sharp instruments in cabin bags, the requirement for passengers to remove coats for screening, and the removal of laptop computers from cabin bags for separate screening, will remain in place. Passengers will still be encouraged to pack toiletries and other liquid items in hold baggage.

    (As these rules seem to be changing almost daily, you should check with the airline prior to packing - eds)

  • Travel Report - Tuscany
  • For anyone considering a visit to Tuscany, Italy, the following may be of interest:

    In late September my wife and I plus two family members spent a delightful week in a 'villa' in Tuscany, Italy. The location was just thirty kilometers southwest of Florence, right in the middle of the wonderful rolling hills of the Monte Fiorentino. The site was a fifteenth century renaissance castle, Castello di Montegufoni, originally built by a wealthy Florentine banker - a friend of the Medicis - Nicola Acciaoli, and now owned by the Poserelli family.

    The Castello and it's out-buildings have been greatly restored, with all modern conveniences, and there are various rooms and apartments, of different accommodation sizes, in both the ancient castello and the out buildings. Our two bed-room apartment was a former barn on the estate! The apartment was equipped with refrigerator, gas stove, and all necessary dishes and utensils for independent living. Very clean and comfortable.

    Castello Montegufoni is ideally located for field trips to Pisa, San Gimignano, Siena, Volterra, and of course Firenze itself. The chief town of the area is Montespertoli (with an excellent supermarket), and right on the edge of the Chianti producing area of Tuscany. Our visit coincided with the Vendemmia (grape harvest), and the vineyard slopes were filled with people harvesting grapes. The roads filled with tractors hauling loads of white and red grapes to the local wineries.

    A winery of the well-known brand, Frescobaldi, was located just two hundred meters up the road from the door or our villa, and the even better known brand, Antinori, had a large winery in San Casciano, just 12 kms away. The classic wine country of Gallo, Greve, etc is just a short drive to the south, and we spent one day touring the beautiful hills and tasting the even more incredible chianti-classico at places like Castello di Brolio.

    Our trip was organized by a former Airline colleague, Italo Zalloni, who now operates IMEZA Marketing inc. at located in Laval, QC Tel: 1-866-544-6392

    We have travelled to Italy on a number of occasions over the past thirty years, and we can truly say that this was one of the most pleasant experiences of that country we have ever had. Heartily recommended. We pre-arranged a car rental through IMEZA marketing - the Canada representative of MAGGIORE auto rentals in Italy. The vehicle for four persons was a Fiat Stilo station wagon, and the cost for one week worked out to about $60.00 per day - unlimited kms., and insurances. A comfortable vehicle, with lots of room for baggage.

    The cost of the Villa/apartment at Montegufoni was about $1000 cdn for the week, or about $75.00 per couple, per day. There are smaller units, and units which accommodate eight people.

    Our travel plans were based on using a Positive Space/Award pass - travelling with the two other family members on full revenue tickets. This presented some difficulties as we almost got off- loaded on departure from YYZ; with car rental and Villa rental arranged in my own name!

    We did all travel together, but on the way back from Italy we were again bumped at FCO, while our two family members travelled on the flight to YYZ/YYC.

    Fortunately, we had arranged alternate Z-fares, and my wife and I returned via Frankfurt (with an overnight at the airport Sheraton (156 Euro - airline rate). So, while it's nice to have the good feeling of having 'positive space' Award passes, it's really a mistake to assume that this means actually having confirmed space!

    Bill Cameron - retired since 1986 in Okotoks, AB. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Where are they now?
  • A319-111 fin 291 c/n 1718 C-GJVS Returned to lessor Mar 30/06 Now with Indian Airlines registered VT-SCE May 2006

  • Remember when
  • On December 2nd., 1947. a Trans-Canada Air Lines North Star left Montreal for Nassau, Kingston in Jamaica and Trinidad in Port Of Spain in the British West Indies to inaugurate scheduled service from Canada.

  • Forgotten Airports - Part 3
  • Following on the article in NetLetter nr 941, here are a couple more airports TCA operated to and from. Information supplied by Geoge Brien -

    Summerside PEI CYSU
    The route YQM/YSU/YYG was taken over from Canadian Airways on Apr15, 1941. It only lasted until Dec 8 1941 at which time Carl Burke’s new airline " Maritime Central Airways” was awarded the vacant route.

    Medicine Hat YXH/Swift Current YYN
    Both Airports were added to the YQR/YYC route on July 1 1947 And on Jun1 1948 Brandon YBR and Yorkton YYV also were added These four small Airports became part of the Prairie “Milk Run” With one DC3 flight leaving YWG at 1450 to YEG via YBR/YYN/YXH/YXL/YYC and another leaving YYC to YWG at 1300 via YXL/YYN//YXE/YQR/YYV
    This was likely the last route for the DC3’s and when they were discontinued on Apr12 1963, TCA closed these four stations.
    Pigott’s History of TCA and other resources does not mention any of these airports..
    The picture at owphoto.php?photo=716&cat=510 of Station Manager Brandon waiting for the DC3 milk run - 1953 is worth a thousand words.

    Jim Ames was the Manager in Swift Current in the 50’s until he moved to Yarmouth. In 1957 I recall him telling us that these stations were normally only staffed with a Manager and one or maybe two Operations Agents and the Manager usually ended up working the weekend shift! A boarding load of 5 people would be a big day.

    An email from a retired Capt recalls that as an 18 year old, he was earning money pumping gas in the daily DC3 that came through Brandon, and dreaming of being a pilot. Several years later, he was flying Co- pilot on the run.

    Kinross YAM Sault Ste Marie
    Jul 1 1947 TCA opened up the Great lakes Route YYZ/YAM/YQT/YWG. At the “Soo” they had a slight problem. There was no airport on the Canadian side and the nearest one was about 15 miles south across the border in the USA, at Kinross. The small airport was taken over by TCA who paid to pave the runways, bought the terminal building even sub leased space to Capitol Airlines . Passenger were taken by bonded limos across the border (via ferry) to Canada. Many were not even aware that they had landed in the US.
    By 1961, a new airport was opened on the Canadian side and TCA left Kinross airport, thus ending this unique operation.

    More in a later NetLetter.
    We would be pleased to receive any memories regarding these stations.

  • Sponsors
  • The hosting and mailing of the NetLetter as well as the conversion to HTML format is provided compliments of the ACFamily Network and Nerds On Site. Content is researched and submitted by Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker. Thank you for letting us into your homes!

    Please support the ACFamily Network
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  • Important reminder, for all new articles, submissions and or comments for the "The Netletter" please send to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Please add to your Address Books).

    This e-mail address has been set up so that both of us Terry & Vesta (exclusively) will get an automatic copy and so we can keep up with the continuity of news for the NetLetter.

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    Vesta, Terry and Alan thank you for your co- operation.

  • NetLetter Archives
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