Vesta's Jump Seat

Vesta StevensonWhy not allow the NetLetter be your platform, and opportunity, to relive your history while working for either TCA, AC, CPAir, CAIL, PWA, AirBC etal. and share your experiences with us!

luggageThose of you who viewed the web site I gave you for the "Lost luggage comedian" in NetLetter nr 1061, may appreciate this cartoon from "Between Ourselves" issued October 1964. It seems Dave Mathias was "ahead of his time!"

This and That

Nanaimo Airport, B.C. (YCD) had its beginning in 1942 as a war-time emergency airfield. Four years before it was recognized as a general-usage airport.

Transport Canada bought the 522 acre site from a local farmer named Thomas Cassidy, hence the original name Cassidy Airport. since renamed Collishaw Airport in memory of a local air ace from WWI.

ycd Here is a photo taken in 2009.

Air Canada - our first 70 years


viscountNew terminal at Uplands (YOW) airport officially opened end of June, but  TCA first utilized the terminal  June 15th when flight 303 CF-TI departed for YYZ and the first incoming flight was a chartered Viscount.

Dec 15
New overhaul base officially opened at YUL.

serviceThese three aircraft, photographed at YUL, will be the only types in service by the middle of 1961.

northstarfinalLast of the company's North Star being readied for delivery to World Wide Airways Inc of Montreal.

Nov 17th
DC-8 sets record in Atlantic Hop. From Prestwick to Winnipeg in 6 hours 54 minutes under the command of Capt.Roger Smith

Dec 4th Maintenance base at YVR opened.

TCA/AC People Gallery

Over the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier "Horizons", should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

The following is an extract from the U.K. Pionairs monthly newsletter issued for April 2009

Reminiscences: It's nice to have one from Scotland, and this recollection is from Marion McDonald, put together with the help of Gordie Aitchison. I was the first person in the UK to be hired by TCA, and was working in a lawyer's office in Ayr in 1943. While looking for a change, I discovered in July that year that the local labour exchange had notice of a shorthand/typist being required by Trans-Canada Air Lines at Prestwick aerodrome, which was then a very busy military airfield, being the UK end of the Trans Atlantic Ferry Service.

I was interviewed by C.S.(Stan) Hewett, the first TCA Station Manager, and got the job as his secretary. TCA began operating the transatlantic service using Lancastrian aircraft on behalf of the Canadian government on 22nd July, 1943, for the carriage of armed forces, mail and key passengers, mainly Government servants, and was known as the Canadian Government Trans Atlantic Air Service until at least 1945.

Already in position were Al Stewart, Chief Engineer, who had with, among others, Licensed Engineers Don McNaughton and Gus Campbell. Al also figured he required a secretary and engaged one Ellen Thom, who therefore would be the second UK employee to be hired, but she became redundant around or before 1950.

The only other UK person hired at this early stage was Jimmy Douglas, who was employed to look after the aircraft spares and the import and export of other company material. Other staff at that time, all Canadian, of course, included Ian Edwards, a cheery ginger-haired Newfie as Passenger Agent, and some Flight Dispatchers, probably headed by Doug Stewart.

In 1944, I was hospitalized for a spell and was away from the job for almost 12 months, but when I was fit enough to return, Stan Hewett took me on again in place of his temporary secretary.
I remained the Station Manager's secretary until I retired in 1986.


marionFrom the "Between Ourselves" magazine issued July 1986,
we have this photo.

Tom Wright has sent us this message and these two photos - I was going through photos on my computer and came across a couple of photos of  two time periods of the YYZ Metal Shop Personnel which I thought you might be able to use in an upcoming Newsletter.

Metal Shop1944The first one is a group of YYZ Metal Shop guys, I believe in 1944, with their names printed underneath.
I worked in the YYZ Metal Shop from 1974 to 1998 and Jack Thompson was my first Lead Hand, when Jack retired Frank Norris took over until he retired.

Metal Shop YYZThe other photo is a little later it was taken after I retired, so is after Sep 1998 and CP had joined AC. The guys are Back Row from left to right Mark Valla CP,Schafick Mohamed (Mo) AC, Ken Rowe AC, Andie Brodie AC, John Hobbs AC.
Front Row from left to right Tom Yen AC, Bobbie Lennox AC,  John Smith AC,  Wenson Yen AC (not related to Tom Yen), Robbie Ellis AC, and Joe Roberts AC. Hope you can use the photos, keep up the good work, the netletter's great.

Thanks, Be Good, Tom Wright AC Retired Nanaimo B.C.

"Musings from "Between Ourselves"
Issue dated July/August 1960
Due to bad weather, flights were diverted from YYZ to London, Ontario. A total of nine Viscounts, 2 North Stars and a Super Constellation were handled in one day.

londonHere we have this photo 

kiwanisKiwanis Club in Hamilton entertained this group of Stewardesses

Issue dated December 1960
TCA's "United Nations Group" meet in London, England to discuss future plans. Overseas Sales and  Operations managers from all stations in Europe met for a 5 day session during December.

unitednationsHere we have this photo.

Issue dated January 1961

lhrmobileThe smallest hangar workshop on the system is at Heathrow (LHR).

Issue dated February 1961

northstarFirst aircraft to arrive at the new terminal at YUL was North Star CF-TFF on December 1st 1960 under the command of Capt. Bick Neill, F/O Joe Guyles. Stewaredesses were Betty-Jean Rybka and Valerie Cleworth.

Alan's Honey Bucket

Alan Rust

What does a TRILLION dollars look like!
When I worked for Air Canada, I was always amazed at the cost of the aircraft, engines and components we changed. I remember the cargo pallet locks failed a lot on the early A320's and cost about $15,000 to replace until a sturdier lock was found. The new aircraft cost millions of dollars. I think the A320 was about $50 million, a 747-400 costs over 230 million dollars, a B777-300ER, over 257 Million dollars (and that's in US funds). Click here for a reference page.

So with all the talk about "stimulus packages and bailouts" in the billion dollar ranges, how much is a billion and how much (really) is a trillion?

A billion dollars...

A hundred billion dollars...

Eight hundred billion dollars...

One TRILLION dollars...

What does that look like? I mean, these various numbers are tossed around like so many doggie treats, so I found a site that shows how you can try to get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like. Here's what I found...

100 BillWe'll start with a $100 dollar bill. Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slighty fewer have owned them. Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go.

Packet of $100'sA packet of one hundred $100 bills is less than 1/2" thick and contains $10,000. Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for week or two of shamefully decadent fun.

Pile of $100 billsBelieve it or not, this next little pile is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

Pallet While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet...

Pallet X 10And $1 BILLION dollars... now we're really getting somewhere...

Next we'll look at ONE TRILLION dollars. This is that number we've been hearing so much about. What is a trillion dollars? Well, it's a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros.

You ready for this?

It's pretty surprising.

Ladies and gentlemen... I give you $1 trillion dollars...

1 Trllion dollars

Notice those pallets are double stacked.
...and remember those are $100 bills.

So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase "trillion dollars"... that's what they're talking about

Note: the small red dot in the left bottom corner is the man in the above images. Click on images to enlarge.

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

Over the past months we have been publishing various photographs from earlier in-house magazines, should any photos prompt a memory in seeing one of them, feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

Perusing the "INFO Canadi>n" magazine.
Issue dated November 10th 1988

dc10amsFour DC-10 aircraft sitting on the ramp at Amsterdam on July 28th, 1988.

Issue dated October 13th 1988

Pay Bar service reinstated in domestic economy effective October 1st includes bar service and headsets on scheduled North American routes.  Bar service in Business and First classes will still be complimentary.

New uniform launch has been rescheduled from October 31st to December 1st.

Issue dated October 20th 1988
First B-767 flight to Europe. On October 9th Aircraft fin nr 634 was pressed into service due to maintenance required on the DC-10. In command was Capt. Dave Geekie, and Capt. Al Eden. Cliff Beck Senior Airport Analyst was also present. Flight attendants were Kim Neufeld, Linda Chisholm, Dave Pacheco, Maureen McGuire, Goodie Hohenwarter, Elvyn Wittensleger, Linda Armstrong and Sherry Magark. The route was YVR-YYC-AMS.

Issue dated December 8th 1988

hkgstaffDuring the visit by the President of the airline, he met with these employees in Hong Kong.  

Issue dated March 21st 1989

1989 saw the 30th year of service to Italy.

italyHere we have photos of the Rome and Milan staff.

Issue dated April 10th 1989

Annual report for Pacific Western Airlines and Canadian Airlines International Ltd released.

Issue dated April 13th 1989
The location of the Pegasus reservations system was relocated from Vancouver to Winnipeg on April 8th.

Issue dated April 20th 1989
PWA Corporation given the green light for the acquisition of Wardair. Canadian Airlines and Japan Air Lines sign a commercial agreement to commence non stop service between Toronto and Tokyo effective May 1st.

Issue dated May 4th 1989
852 retirees from across the system attended the second annual Canadian Airlines luncheon.

Issue dated May 11th 1989
Eighty employees and family members attended the first-ever reunion of former employees of Fort St.John, B.C.

fortstjohnHere is a photo of 30 participants from Vancouver. 

First non-stop service between North America and Nagoya, Japan departed YVR on May 4th.

B-767 container cargo service commenced May 1st between LAX and YVR.

Issue dated June 15th 1989
Copenhagen B-767 operations began June 14th from YYZ via AMS.

copenhagenHere we have this photo of the Copenhagen staff and the Stockholm staff.


Issue dated June 29th 1989

Ever heard of a city called "No Name"?

nonameWell an article in this issue has these photos as proof. It's in Germany. The bottom photo shows a group of company employees and reps from cargo companies.

Readers Feedback

Dave Welham
sent us this information referring to the "YXY 2008 reunion" held at Parksville BC on September 26th 2008. We had a short write up in NetLetter nr 1037.

welcomeI'm finally getting around to sending these three photos off to you, with happy memories of last September. The two welcomers are Brian Walsh and Pat Besier. Among the display-table items are (Orange) a CPAir toque, popular in northern bases, (Yellow) an "OD10" sheet, for weight and balance before computer load plans existed. (Green) an OD10 qualification card, for which an exam had to be sat.

posters1Also there is a patch from a CPA parka, a promotional slogan from the mid-1970's, and clippings from the CPAir News. 


This from Douglas Ackerman

Dear Administrators,
I have been receiving The NetLetter for a long time and have really enjoyed it. I thought it was time that I donated a little money. Which I have just done via PayPal. At the same time I thought I would submit this interesting photo. Perhaps it has been sent in before by some else. The DC-3 looks large in the photo, but I'm sure that without it's wings it would fit in the cargo bay of the 747. The first highlight of my career with CPAL was the arrival of its first Boeing 747. It was acquired on November 13, 1973 and arrived two weeks later.

CF-CRBHere CF-CRB, which arrived Dec 3rd, is posed with CP's last DC-3, CF-CRX.

Douglas Akerman, Machinist, YVR  March 26, 1972 December 31, 2002

Dirty harryJohn White sent us this photo
I thought you may find this interesting.

This is a shot from the Movie "Dirty Harry" "Magnum Force" shot at SFO. I don't recall the date the movie was released, but that looks like a 737-200 on the gate. John
(Note: the year was 1973)

We received this email from Ed Hill and refers to the information by Bill Norberg in NetLetter nr 1059 and the Cat III - What Bill Norberg has failed to remember that a kid (17 years old) was also on those test flights (no criticism intended) sitting right behind Ron or Jack up there with Bill by the name of Ed "Teddy" Hill.

I remember as if it were yesterday as I was working as an office boy in Airways Engineering at the time and everytime Ron Baker and Jack went flying Ron would yell to me as he went by my desk "c'mon Teddy were going flying" and off I went. Bill may remember me if this story is printed . I remember one day when the weather at the airport was fogged in and off we went into the not so wild blue. We did some ILS approaches and finally landed braking out at what I can remember around 50 feet... What a thrill to have been unofficially involved in this great moment of Canadian Aviation history. A lot of stories about Capt Ron Baker have been told but not every one really knows what a great human being Trans-Canada Air Lines had in it's fold. I could go on and on, however this 17 year old kid ended up retiring from Air Canada after 43 years service as a 747 capt . Love everything about your Netletter..cheers....Ed Hill

Bill Norberg
responded - I regret to say that I cannot remember Ed Hill but I respectfully acknowledge his comments. What he said about Ron Baker was so right. He was a great friend to me and one of the most outstanding people I ever had the occasion to work with in the airline. Also congratulations to Ed Hill on his retirement  as a 747 Captain. That is a privilege limited to very few people. Also thank you for the comments on my item. It is very rare to ever get feedback. Take good care of yourself and be well.

Regards Bill Norberg

Bill Cameron has sent us this:
We often hear a lot about the high profile people in the airline business, but often the ones who really keep things going are just plain invisible. This short biography of one unassuming individual who made a difference. Hope you can publish it, as many former CPAL people knew Camille.

Bill Cameron

Camille Drolet - Air Engineer - Canadian Pacific Air Lines/CPAir In the course of a thirty-eight year career with CPAL it was my privilege to meet many people who had made significant contributions to the creation; the expansion; and the operation of that airline from 1942, to 1986 when it became part of Canadian Air Lines International. I met and interacted to a degree with all the Presidents of the Company from Grant McConachie to Don Carty. As a Radio Operator/Dispatcher/Station Manager I worked with a number of Pilots, Air Engineers, and Administrators, who are now Members of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame - people like McConachie, Capt. Bob Randall, and Rex Terpening, all of whom made great contributions to the life of the airline.

droletBut one of the most memorable people that I ever met during those thirty-eight years - was a small, slightly deformed, Air Engineer - whose name was Camille Drolet. Camille was born into a large Francophone family, in a small Quebec village - probably around 1927. As an adult he was about five feet five inches tall, and with a slight scoliosis (deformation of the spine), he probably never weighed more than 120 lbs all his life.

Sometime in 1944 he was employed as a 'learner' at No. 9 Air Observer School, of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, at Ancienne Lorette Airport, north of Quebec City, QC. The Base at No. 9 A.O.S. was operated during the war by CPAL, and the OIC of Maintenance was Frank Hartley, and the no. 2 Maintenance was Don Hendry, both of whom became significant employees of Canadian Pacific Air Lines, post-war.

At the end of the Second World War, Don Hendry made sure that Camille Drolet was employed by the scheduled Air Line - as an Air Engineer in the Quebec District. It was quite evident over the years that Hendry had a great respect for Camille's abilities, and acted as a real mentor to Camille for his whole career.
(We will continue this story in the next NetLetter - eds)

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker

Just a reminder for those golfers wishing to attend this years Pionairs National Golf Tournament in Victoria June 2/3.

To register just visit the Pionairs website at and click onto the golf ball in the right hand corner. You will then be guided through the registration form allowing you to pay by cheque or credit card.

Trevor Baron
Vancouver Island District Director



monteWe thought this cartoon, from "Between Ourselves" magazine issued October 1964 may be appropriate in view of the recent resignation of our CEO.
(We are not sure what alternate job was offered - eds)

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