The NetLetter
 For Air Canada Retirees

June 26, 2010 - Issue 1126
5429 Subscribers
First published in October, 1995
  • Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson, Victoria, B.C.
  • Co-pilot - Terry Baker, Nanaimo, B.C.
  • Flight Engineer - Alan Rust, Surrey, B.C.
  • Ground Technician - Bill Rowsell, Londesboro, Ontario
To contact us, send an email to

In This Issue
Women in Aviation
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery
Alan's Space
Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc
Reader's Feedback
Odds & Ends
Terry's Trivia
About us
Terry, Vesta & Alan Pionair's AGM 2007

Terry, Vesta & Alan
The NetLetter Web Site
The NetLetter Web Site

ACFamily Network
ACFamily Links
Air Canada Pionairs

Project North Star

ACFamily Obituaries
Vesta Stevenson
Vesta Stevenson

We welcome you to allow the NetLetter to 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!

The NetLetter is an email newsletter published every weekend and contains a mixture of nostalgia, current news and travel tips. We encourage our readers to submit their stories, photos and/or comments from either days gone by or from present day experiences and  trips. If we think that the rest of our readers will enjoy it, we will publish it here

We also welcome your feedback in regard to anything we post here. Many readers have commented with additional information names and personal memories from the photos and articles presented here.
The NetLetter, which is free, is open to anyone that wishes to subscribe but is targeted to retired employees from Air Canada, Canadian Airlines and all the other companies that were part of what Air Canada is today. Thanks for joining us!

Vesta & your NetLetter Team
Women in Aviation - Compiled by Terry Baker

TCA's first stewardess, Lucile Garner Grant, celebrated her one hundredth birthday on Sunday, June 13, 2010.  Lucile Garner was born in Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan in 1910 and trained as a nurse at the Royal Vic in Montreal before moving to Vancouver. A pilot friend of hers had suggested Trans-Canada Air Lines was looking for someone to set up a stewardess department and encouraged her to apply.  She was hired in June 1938, and was the first female employee, taking two trips from Vancouver to Seattle with United Airlines to learn how things were done. After that, she and Pat Ecclestone (the second TCA stewardess) learned on the job and from the pilots, with challenges ranging from designing an Air Canada uniform to learning about weather patterns and aircraft design, operations and radio communication, and anything else that a passenger might want to know about, in addition to food services on a trans-continental flight, and how to stock a flight satchel. Lucile was in charge of all of this and more in her role of Canadian flight pioneer.

Of her most challenging IROP, Lucile recounts, "During a weather delay at Fort Nelson, I rode by dogsled to the radio station - bumping along on the frozen ice, the wolves howling in the distance. I thought, 'This is great!'"

Congratulations to Lucile for pioneering the stewardess profession at Air Canada, and for tackling all of her duties with joy and aplomb, living to be one hundred years and sharing her experiences!  

Happy 100th from all of us at Air Canada!

In the summer edition for Horizons,  another wonderful episode from Lucile's life will be featured.

(source "Daily" June 15th 2010)
TCA/Air Canada People Gallery - Compiled by Terry Baker
TCA/Air Canada LogoMusings from the "Between Ourselves" magazine an Air Canada publication from years gone by.

Dave Dickie of Winnipeg sent us an email -
I am a retired AC person and left the company in 2001 after 35+ years. I came across this edition of Horizons (July 1975) in my files and I am attaching a page that may be of interest to you for your great newsletter. Keep up the great job. Dave
L1011 Groomers
The L1011 gets a grooming by left to right: Wally Steiner, Don Hamm, Don Lawrence
Paula & Sheldon
Terminal Control Agent Paula DeGroot provides information to Sheldon Howe.
Departure time
Standing by for another on-time departure are Kelvin Francis and Jim Curran.
Ed and Gaytanne
Passing passenger information is Ed Tarapasky to Flight Attendant Gaytanne Mercier.
Tire change?
Discussing the possibility of a tire change are left to right: Brian Cox, Capt. Fred Mewredith, Les Jansen.
Load Calculation
But working on final calculations for the load from the left are Herb Britton, Dave Dickie (who sent us the photos), Lou Wiggington, Brian Cox.

Issue dated - April 1954
Musings from "Between Ourselves" magazine
"Fiddling" around in the cockpit
A TCA Captain who found a 50 year old fiddle in his grandmothers attic is winning prizes in old-time fiddling.

Here is Capt. Roy Renwick of Toronto in his "office", probably a DC-3 as there is another one CF-TED outside.
TCA office, Toronto
A new TCA ticket office was opened in the lobby of the King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto.
Here are the staff on opening day.
Left to right: J. C. Campbell, Lloyd Miller, J. C. Finloy,  V. H. Fulcher,
Garner Hovers, General Manager of the King Edward Hotel, G.Dempsey.

Alan's Space - by Alan Rust
Alan Rust
Alan's Space
B-24 Liberator Willow Run Assembly Plant
Last week in issue #1125 we had a video link to the Ford Assembly Plant showing automobiles on an assembly line from 100 years ago.

We do lean to airline and aircraft related content in the NetLetter and I promised a "segue" into this weeks article. (I had to look up segue as well).

The link below shows how Ford used the same technology process that they used on automobiles applied to the manufacturing and construction of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber 30 years later.

The video is about the Ford Motor Company production plant at Willow Run for B-24's before and during World War II. Ford Motor Company manufactured and built B-24 Liberators under license from Consolidated Aircraft Company. Production rates were so great at the Ford Willow Run plant, that a new B-24 rolled off the production line every 55 minutes.

Ford Aircraft Assembly Plant
Ford Aircraft Assembly Plant

Canadi>n/CP Air/PWA, Wardair, etc. People & Events
- Compiled by Terry Baker
CAIL TailsNews and articles from days gone by gleaned from various publications from C.A.I.L. and it's "ancestry" of contributing airlines.

Mike Garrett has sent us this information -
My name is Mike and I previously let you know about my CP Air tribute site (  I just wanted to update you that the site has gone under some renovations and I'm adding more content every month including a huge archive of timetables. What i wanted to really let your readers know about though is that from many visitor suggestions we have created a Facebook fan page for ex CP Air employees. On this page they can interact, share stories, photos and more.  Currently we are nearing nearly 600 members and invite your interested readers to join. The page can be found by following this link.

 All the best,
CP Air Webmaster

Bill Campbell
Ken Bjorge has sent us these two photos -
PWA Captain Bill Campbell in the Cockpit of a Convair -  March 1967 at Campbell River.
PWA Flight Ops
PWA Flight Operations: Jack Miles, Jack Crosby, Kees Fransbergen.
Reader's Feedback - Compiled by Terry Baker
Reader's Feedback
More stories from the June edition of the monthly UK Pionairs newsletter - Anniversary of the " Cabbage Patch Incident"  - 6th November 1963

Trev Trower, a former Flight Service Director, sent in his comments as follows:- I sure enjoyed reading the newsletter. The cabbage patch tales brought back memories long forgotten. As I recall, that airplane was number 813;  it took a while to fix it up and I worked on it from YYZ to LHR, full load (always a full load in those days) of passengers, even though when we noticed that it flew with a slight swaying motion, we were told not to be ridiculous, it was in our imagination. On that trip the little blonde stew kept saying to me that if the Captain didn't keep his hand off the autopilot she would tell him off. Finally, feeling nauseous, she went up to the cockpit and slapped his hand and told him to stop swaying as it was making her sick.

A few months ago Loretta Blencowe started forwarding me your newsletters and I have been enjoying them. It was always so much fun for me to go into the LHR traffic office before departures and pick up the passenger info. The gang were always so pleasant.  I took an enormous watermelon to the airport check-in office once.  It must have weighed thirty pounds. I remember a lady supervisor whose name was Frost, and there was a young man named Chris always so friendly. If I was in the UK, I sure would be going on that bus trip with you.  Those were wonderful days ... TTFN

Many thanks for that.

Since retirement, I am busy with poetry these days. I seem to have found some sort of niche for myself in the art world. I wish I had started this hobby years ago, but better late than never. I have a book of one hundred poems which I self-published, it's called   " POETRY FOR EVERYDAY USE. " Trev.

AND YET MORE ...........
Bob Flanagan also contacted us with the following memories:-
I was on duty at the Buckingham Palace Road Terminal, (although BA did the check-in, we had a Passenger Agent on duty also). I have a very vivid memory of a very unreasonable male passenger who continued to argue with the BA agent and I tried to cool the situation without success. (Perhaps a Glasgow Kiss would have worked on this guy). Anyway, I finished my shift and returned to my bedsit in Shepherds Bush just as the news came on with the report. Who was one of the passengers being interviewed? As they say in Ireland, "It was your man". 

He was absolutely delighted and full of praise for Air Canada crew etc. But he could not hide that look of terror in his eyes, something I always remember about him. True or not, there was a rumour that all the women on that flight had mink coats and all the men had Rolex watches!! 
Odds & Ends - Compiled by Terry Baker
Odds & Ends
Air France to use A380 on one day only flight to mark 60 years in Canada.  Air France says it will use one of its new Airbus A380s on a one-day-only flight to Montreal on Oct. 7 to mark the airline's 60 years in Canada. The Air France anniversary event is planned for the flight from Paris to Montreal-Trudeau airport, followed by the outbound flight from Montreal.  Seats for the flights will be sold online at and through travel agencies, the airline says. As well, some 60 seats will be reserved for various contests surrounding the 60th anniversary, including a photography contest the airline has launched on its website.

Air France dates its presence in Canada to Oct. 2, 1950, when it flew a Lockheed Constellation 749 to Dorval, after stopovers in Shannon and Gander. The first Air France Montreal-to-Paris flight left for Orly on Oct. 5 with 40 passengers.  (Source:  The Daily)

Jack Morath in the UK came across this listing as a result of surveys -

The annual awards by Skytrax are based on surveys of 17.9 million passengers of 100 different nationalities over the 10 months to April. Passengers rated airlines on customer service, comfort of seating, quality of food, lounges and cabin crew. The final top 10 ranking in the awards were:
1. Asiana Airlines 2. Singapore Airlines 3. Qatar Airways 4. Cathay Pacific 5. Air New Zealand 6. Etihad Airways 7. Qantas Airways 8. Emirates 9. Thai Airways 10. Malaysia Airlines
Other awards announced included:
  • Best Low-Cost Airline - Worldwide Air Asia,
  • Most Improved Airline - Garuda Indonesia
  • Best Cabin Staff - Singapore Airlines
  • Best Inflight Entertainment - Emirates
  • Best Airport Services - Thai Airways
  • Best Economy Class - Malaysia Airlines
  • Premium Economy Class - Qantas
  • Business Class - Qatar Airways
  • First Class - Etihad Airways
Best Airline:
  • Transatlantic - Virgin Atlantic
  • Transpacific - Cathay Pacific
  • Australia/Pacific - Air New Zealand
  • Europe - Lufthansa
  • India/Central Asia - Kingfisher Airlines
  • Middle East - Qatar Airways
  • North America - Air Canada
  • South East Asia - Singapore Airlines
Best Airline Lounge
  • Business Class - Virgin Atlantic
  • First Class - Thai Airways
Best Airline Seat
  • Business Class - Singapore Airlines
  • Economy Class - Kingfisher Airlines
  • First Class - Etihad Airways
  • Premium Economy Class - Qantas Airways
Best Low-Cost Airline - Australia/Pacific - Virgin Blue

Best Onboard Catering
  • Business Class - Qatar Airways
  • Economy Class - Turkish Airlines
  • First Class - Etihad Airways
Terry's Trivia and Travel Tips - by Terry Baker
Terry Baker
Terry Baker
After 54 years in operation, Terminal #2 at Heathrow (LHR) closed down to make way for a new building due to open to the public in 2014 at a cost of gbp1 billion.

Construction on Terminal #2, also known as "Europa", was started in 1951. It was inaugurated by HRH the Queen1955 along with the adjacent Queen's building, latterly used as an office block and closed in 2009, and the old control tower.

Europa was originally designed to accommodate 1.2 passengers annually, but the last few years saw an increase to around 8 million. In total it has handled 31 million, with its busiest day being July 19th 2003 when 35,918 passed through.
Terminal #2
Here is what the interior looked like in the 1980's.
Smileys - Compiled by Terry Baker
As we surf the internet and back issues of airline magazines we regularly find airline related jokes and cartoons. Below is our latest discovery.
cartoonFrom the "Between Ourselves" issued April 1954, the cartoon shown originally appeared in the "Utility System" of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's Super Constellation pocket handbook 
Ryanair is planning to charge one pound sterling for the use of the toilets, AND they plan to get rid of two of the four on board and add 12 extra seats - their slogan - "bums on seats not pots". Whatever is the world coming to?

Jack Stephens sent us this comment -
One final thought....Terry do you think we could make a million with a new product? How about "Adult Sky Pampers" for the confident air traveler. Avoid stress in cabin line-ups, relax and enjoy the flight. Easy carry-on pouch, with disposable bags. Don't leave home with out them. 10% seniors discount. Approved by NASA. Recommended by Space Station astronauts."

Jack - a Concerned Senior In Alberta
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the NetLetter, see you next week!

Your NetLetter Team