Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

Letter from a cargo worker.

tmb first flighter"In 1959, I took my first flight ever from Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where my grandmother was from and where my relatives lived. Flying was exciting then.

Everyone dressed up and all the family came to the airport to see me off. Although I was a kid, I remember it well. As we walked out to the tarmac, my uncle was taking pictures.

My mother told me not to talk to anyone, so I didn't. I sat there and was amazed that they served eggs with ketchup. I remember flying over Nova Scotia and seeing all the beautiful trees. For a young girl of 12, it was as exciting as anything I could think of. I still get a thrill flying Air Canada, after all these years."

Pat Karakashian, retired Air Canada Cargo worker. 

(Source: moments.aircanada.com/timeline)

(Anyone care to share their first flight experiences – eds)

The joys of standby travel by Terry Baker.

On Monday, during the Easter break in 1975, my wife and son and myself were planning on standby travel from London (LHR)  to New York (JFK) via Montreal (YUL) and had listed for the YUL flight.

Being Easter 1975, naturally, the flights were tight, in fact in Paris and Prestwick there were over 50 cons on standby at each airport. It was suggested that we return during the coming weekend when the loads were eased.

As we were leaving to return home, a friend of ours from the check-in desk who had transferred to Toronto and was trying to return to Toronto spotted me and told me that TWA had a B-707 deadheading to New York and they were happy to take any of the standby staff who wanted to travel provided we would write the tickets. We let as many of the standby staff know about the offer by TWA and that we would set up on the 3rd of April when we would write the tickets for them.  About 30 cons boarded the TWA flight.

When we arrived at New York we went over to the Air Canada check-in and, although we had sent a telex to our pass bureau, they hadn't listed anyone, so we got ourselves listed. Actually, my boss Edgar Farthing was also on standby and told me he had listed me while he was waiting. Myself and family made the last flight to YUL, while my boss was one of those who had to wait until the next morning to get a flight.

Shirlee Schacter received this from Ruth Carhart Burton -

"Hi Shirley, we go way back but not as far as Front Street; how about Church Street?

I joined TCA December 7, 1959 as a temp in Payload Control sixty years ago. Where has the time gone.

Some of the names are familiar ones in the NetLetter #1428. So nice that you still are in contact with so many from that era. I went to 'Res' and YYZ. Then, in September '67, a position opened up at LAX.  I went back to Res in 1970, as a new bride, then customer relations and, later, Airport Supervisor.

I retired in 1985 with 25 years; have been retired longer than l worked and continue to use and enjoy my passes if l pick and choose the right flights.

My husband worked on the ramp; he passed away in 2016. My maiden name was Carhart and my married name is Burton.

All the best for 2020.

Ruth Carhart Burton

Peter Brown sends us this memory -

Your article in ‘Remember When’ in the last NetLetter #1430 jogged a few grey cells.

Here are some more names to add to the list which I remember from my ‘brief’, 10 year service with LHR Cargo (Building 107, Northside) and, prior to that, 6 months as a temp, in Purchasing  & Supply driving aircraft parts to the 'Cabbage Patch' project at BOAC/TBA where CF-TJM (fin #813) was being rebuilt as well as running spares to the recently arrived DC-8's on the ramp, among other duties (1964 ~1974)!

Peter is on the right hand side at the back in this photo of the TCA/AC employees.

Les Barrett (Cargo Supervisor), Cecil (Ben) Benfold (Cargo Biller/Agent - Exports), Ken Fletcher (Cargo Biller/Agent - Exports), Dennis White (Cargo Biller/Agent - Exports), Brian Burge (Cargo Biller/Agent - Exports), John Mansey (Cargo Biller/Agent - Exports), Jack Armstrong (Supervisor - Imports), Ray West (Accounts Supervisor), Barbra Walters (Secretary - Imports), Ken Banks (Sales Rep - Dover Street).

 tmb 550 cabbage patch tca personnel

There were many more names whom, frustratingly, I cannot recall.

I seem to remember that the “Air Hostess” was a pub (rather than hotel) and they served huge, delicious juicy rump steak and chips for 10/6d. Reg and Day were the licensees of said establishment.

Was the double-decker Air France plane you recall a Bréguet 763 rather than a Languedoc? An ugly looking thing, it usually parked on the ramp just across the Northern Perimeter road from Building 107.

I started life at TCA in April 1964 and I did appear in a photograph with the Canadian and US rebuilding team. I am the young chap standing in the back row on the right against the aircraft. I was rather proud that I transported most (if not all) of the parts from P & S to TBA in the Stores' Commer van or the larger Panel Van, which were built into that aircraft by the technicians from Douglas Aircraft Corp’n of Long Beach CA. Part of my daily trip whilst working for ’P & S’ was delivering/collecting 'COMAIL' from your office in the Queen’s Building…and delivering various supplies to the First Class lounge in T3. Lots of happy memories. 

I ‘expanded’ my career in the ensuing years, retiring at 46 years, having sold my company and living the next 27 years in retirement both in Florida and the Bahamas. Now living back in the UK.

Air Canada’s training did me no harm at all! Happy days!

Regards Peter.