The CAHS is in the final stages of developing a new website.

We invite you to Click Here to visit now to view the new site and take advantage of the new features.

Once all relevant material from the old website has been transfered to the new website,
typing will automatically bring you to the new website.

Also visit the Newsflash page at to read about the latest developments.

Thanks for your patience, support, and interest!



Note from the Treasurer:

CAHS is Experiencing Shortage of Funds

While the shutdowns to decrease the spread of COVID-19 have sadly affected many jobs across Canada (and the world), the CAHS has been able to continue at 100% operations since our work on the Journal and the website can be done entirely through electronic communications, Although our volunteers’ workload has not decreased, we have seen an alarming decrease in funding since the start of the pandemic: the income sent to the CAHS for renewals and donations between March and June 2020 has been less than 50% of what was received by the CAHS in 2019 over the same period of time. Also, with the cancellation of our annual convention, we lost the opportunity to run the silent auction and sell convention merchandise. Unfortunately, this decrease in income over our first and second quarters is affecting our ability to carry out our operations over the rest of the year. Specifically, we do not have the cash in our bank account to pay for the printing and mailing of the next two Journals which our editor and editorial committee have been working on over the past weeks.

As mentioned in the May 2020 newsletter, the CAHS is not-for-profit, so our membership and donation income is very important for maintaining enough money in the bank to keep up with our monthly and quarterly bills. We need our members who still need to renew for 2018, 2019, and 2020 to do so as soon as possible. Even when people are behind in renewing for a year or more, the CAHS has had 100% of its operating costs for 2018 and 2019, and even now in 2020. Perpetual costs include maintaining and expanding our website; producing, printing, and mailing out the CAHS Journal; mandatory insurance policies; website domain and maintenance; and fees for the preparation of our annual audit and CRA submissions. Not having your renewal money means we had to dip into the cash float we try to keep as a cushion in our bank account, and now we find we simply do not have enough money in the bank to pay bills we know will be coming shortly.

You can renew online (paying with your credit card or PayPal) at the following link: If you would prefer to mail a cheque or credit card number for your renewal or donation, you could can download the PDF version of the membership form here or the donation form here. If you choose to mail your renewal, we ask that you email our treasurer (Rachel Heide) for her home address, which will ensure quicker processing of your renewal. You may also email her to inquire as to your membership status. 

Donations are also an important part of our funding streams. We would greatly appreciate it if you could consider donating to the CAHS to help us with our current funding shortage so that we can maintain our bills, website, and Journal production. You can donate online at our website (paying with your credit card or PayPal) at the following link:


button join button donate


Cordially Yours,
~Dr Rachel Lea Heide
CAHS National Treasurer


Ninety-Nines Stamps Honour
Canadian Women Pilots

ARC 2019 stampThe Ninety-Nines is an international organization of licensed women pilots with over 6000 members in 44 countries, about 350 in Canada. Our members include a variety of professional pilots flying for airlines, private companies, instructors, and women who fly for pleasure. Our goals include supporting and encouraging women in their flying and to stimulate interest in aviation among girls. Please see for more details about the Canadian Ninety-Nines.

In 2008, the East Canada Section of the Ninety-Nines initiated a stamp project in order to celebrate Canadian women pilots representing various flying careers. Each year, through Canada Post’s Picture Postage program, we produce a stamp which can be used as regular letter postage throughout Canada. All stamp purchasers receive a one page bio which they are encouraged to copy and insert in mail when they use the stamps.

Stamp users may purchase sheets of 50 or booklets of 12, depending upon how many you use. Souvenir seekers may prefer a keepsake sheet (for framing) or commemorative envelopes (first day covers).

Please note that these stamps cannot be purchased at Canada Postal outlets but are available at For further information, contact Marilyn Dickson at


The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for July are:

QUESTION: What RCAF Station, although only operational for four years, had the most diverse sets of operations in both the civil and military aviation realms for the period?

ANSWER: “Lost in time and history is a small but significant RCAF station in the Ottawa area. Shirley’s Bay was only operational for four years, from 1925 to 1928, but these were important years for the RCAF in which much was learned of the new capabilities of nascent air force. Added to the youth of the air force was the fact that the station had the most diverse sets of operations in both the civil and military aviation realms for the period.”

SOURCE: RCAF Station Shirley’s Bay, by Mathias Joost, CAHS Journal, Summer 2012, Page 66

Question: What was, other than a few makeshift farmers field-type landing strips, Canada’s first airfield?

Answer: “Correctly anticipating that Canadians would be lining up to join the RNAS., McCurdy established a school at Long Branch, on the shores of Lake Ontario, eight miles west of Toronto. The site covered 100 acres and included three hangars, a landing strip, and three Curtiss F flying-boats. Other than a few makeshift, farmers’ field-type landing strips, Long Branch was Canada’s first airfield.”

Source: Dancing In The Sky – Page 28

QUESTION: Who was the first Canadian to score the first aerial victory during WWI. Where was he from, which Air Force was he with (RAF, RFC, RNAS), and when was the first Canadian aerial victory scored.

ANSWER: C - “On 14 December, 1915, a two-seater Nieuport, No.3971, of No.1 wing, R.N.A.S., Dunkirk, was patrolling over the sea between Nieuport and Dixmude, hunting for enemy aircraft which had been trying to bomb a British ship stranded on a sandbank off La Panne.” “Thus concluded the air battle in which the first aerial victory was scored by a Canadian.” “Flight Sub-lieutenant Arthur Strachan Ince was born at Toronto, Ontario in 1892. He joined the Royal Naval air service in 1915 and trained as a pilot at the Curtiss Aviation School, Long branch, Ontario, being the first to graduate on July 11, 1915.”

SOURCE: The First Canadian Aerial Victory, by H. Creagen, Journal of what is now called the Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal, Jan. ’63, Page 4-5


This Was Our Valley

Shirlee Smith Matheson & (the late) Earl K. Pollon

ThisWasOurValley COVER


Pilot Pen Powell 300Private pilot Pen Powell's observations for the air during construction of the WAC Bennett dam and the treacherous Lake Williston Reservoir, reveal more about the changes wrought to the Peace River valley than could ever be seen by earth-trekkers.

The stories in the new edition of This Was Our Valley encapsulate numerous achievements, as well as more somber accounts, of British Columbia's record of development. It's a truly amazing history.

This Was Our Valley was a phenomenal success when first released in 1989, winning the Alberta Culture Nonfiction prize as well as the Silver medal for the Roderick-Haig Brown BC Books award.

Construction of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam commenced in 1963, and went online in 1967. The resulting 640-square mile [1660 square kilometre] reservoir backing the dam was named for Ray Williston, then-BC Minister of Minister of Lands, Forests and Water Resources. The gargantuan lake swallowed up the land and all that had dwelt within the valley.

This Was Our Valley brought to light the environmental and social changes wrought by the project, from fluctuating water flow-levels to continued erosion of the banks, to loss of forestry, fish and wildlife habitats, homes and businesses —effects that continue to be experienced downstream to the Peace-Athabasca Delta.

A second dam, Peace Canyon, built 16 miles downstream of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, went on-line in 1980. A 2003 edition of This Was Our Valley detailed this dam’s construction, and sold all printings.

And then came the announcement that a third dam, called Site C, would be built on the Peace River near Fort St. John, 90 km (56 miles) downstream from Peace Canyon. Long planned by BC Hydro, and twice scuttled, the project shook the senses of people province-wide and sounded the death knell for what remained of the BC sector of the Peace River.

The new edition of This Was Our Valley registers the voices that demand to be heard. Some are for the project: those of project-owner BC Hydro; contractors and workers who expect employment building Site C dam; and a population that believes the power will be needed in future. It also chronicles the opinions of those in protest: Treaty 8 First Nations members; farmers, fishers, and wildlife experts; environmentalists, naturalists, and specialists advocating new technologies such as solar and wind-power, or run of the river dams that are less destructive to agricultural and wildlife environments.

This Was Our Valley records facts, figures and fables to bring readers into the heart of the Valley, and allows them to evaluate the reasoning behind Site C dam and its reservoir, and further displacements for realignments to Highway 29.

While the Peace River will never again flow in a natural state, perhaps when the tallies are all in, and all pros and cons accounted for, answers to these timely questions might provide solace.

Pen Powells 1965 Cessna 180 sinking into debris in Finlay Bay

Book review:

Background on the book:

Buy the book: order through any bookstore and some museums, Amazon, or directly from the distributor, Alpine Book Peddlers of Canmore -


  1. About the authors: (authentic voices; present before, during and after construction of first 2 dams on the Peace River (WAC Bennett and Peace Canyon).
  • Earl Pollon lived in Hudson’s Hope from the 1930s until his death in 1992, and as President of the local Board of Trade was the escort for Premier WAC Bennett to view the canyon and anticipate the power dam that would come to bear his name. pp. 130 & 410

  • Shirlee Smith Matheson moved to Hudson’s Hope in 1965 and was employed by the District of Hudson’s Hope during construction of the WAC Bennett Dam. Her husband Bill was employed on the WAC Bennett Dam, and both Shirlee and Bill were later employed on Peace Canyon Dam.


RCAF veteran honoured with 100th birthday
Canada Day flyover

Files by Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

A surprise birthday Harvard flyover provided an unforgettable Canada Day celebration for RCAF veteran Armour Hanna at Oshawa, ON, Executive Airport.

Mr. Hanna, who turned 100 on July 1, was delighted when he saw two Harvards from the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association arrive from their home base in Tillsonburg for the special occasion in Oshawa.

Mr. Hanna joined the RCAF in 1941. He trained on Harvards at RCAF Station Aylmer, ON and was commissioned a pilot officer in 1942. He served as an instructor on Harvards at No. 6 Service Flying Training School in Dunnville as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Mr. Hanna was then sent overseas in 1944 and stationed in England for the duration of the Second World War.

Mr. Hanna and his wife Florence lived in Oshawa after the war. He worked as an accountant and in 1981 was named manager of Oshawa Airport, until 1986. Mr. Hanna volunteered for numerous organizations and has received multiple awards for his dedication.

Jenn Maddigan, a close friend of Mr. Hanna, arranged the celebration as an imaginative way for family, friends and dignitaries to overcome the limitations of the CVOVID-19 pandemic. It proved to be a big success, with coverage by Toronto’s CITY-TV.

“What do you give to a guy who is one hundred?,” said Maddigan. “You give him a little piece of the past. His favourite memories are flying the Harvard.”

Mr. Hanna wasn’t expecting the party, which began with a ride in a classic car.

“He thought we were just going for a drive and then we ended up at the airport. When he saw the planes coming, there were tears in his eyes.”

Mr. Hanna, who recalled 1,700 hours on flying the Harvard, described the famous trainer as “a beautiful aircraft.”

Maddigan said she couldn’t say thank you enough to the pilots and volunteers of the CHAA for their efforts. Pilots Dave Martin and Scott McMaster brought over a box of about 40 birthday cards from members of a nursing home in London and enjoyed meeting Mr. Hanna, an exceptional citizen.

For coverage, check out and click on website updates.

 July1 5 545

Two CHAA Harvards in an impressive flypast to celebrate Armour Hanna's 100th birthday party at Oshawa Executive Airport. (Gus Corujo)

July1 14 545

RCAF veteran Armour Hanna remembered his time as a BCATP instructor on the Harvard at his 100th birthday celebration on Canada Day. (Gus Corujo)

July1 49 545

Armour Hanna exchanged greetings with CHAA pilots Dave Martin, left, and Scott McMaster, right. (Gus Corujo)


Air Cadet League of Canada
re-elects National President

We received great news about our friend, Jim Hunter. Jim was the CO at 15 Wing in the mid-1990s as well as the CEO of the Regina Airport Authority from 2008 to 2015. We enjoyed several presentations that he made over the decades to the Regina Chapter during his time in Saskatchewan.

OTTAWA, ON (June 22, 2020) - The Air Cadet League of Canada (ACL) has recently re-elected Mr. James (Jim) Hunter of St-Albert, Alberta, as National President at the 79th Annual General Meeting held June 13, 2020. The President and all the existing members of the Council have has been re-elected. Two new governors, John Nolan of Ontario and Mark Brickwood of Manitoba. Note that for the first time in its history, the Annual General Assembly took place virtual due to the COVID-19.

In his presidential message to members and guests of the League, Jim thanked the members of the National Executive, Board of Governors, provincial / territorial presidents, the Advisory Board and the 8000 volunteers (see even a little more) who generously offers their time and talents to support the 28 Air Cadets from across Canada.

Jim's first term of office as president saw a number of important initiatives taking shape and coming to reality. A new MOU has been negotiated with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Army and Navy leagues that redefine support to the Cadets program by leagues. The League played a key role in setting up the participation of six of our senior cadets at the American Civil Air Patrol Cadets School at Maxwell Air Force Base, a course that the CAF approved and took committed to supporting in 2021. Also note, the League supported the assessment of the cadets program by the Department of Review Services and continued its efforts to better understand the League's financial pressure and explore possible solutions.

Originally from Winnipeg, Jim graduated from the University of Manitoba as a Bachelor of Arts of History. After graduation, he had a successful career in the Canadian Air Forces for forty-two years, serving several functions including honorary Colonel of Wing 15 Moose Jaw. As a pilot, he trained on single-engine aircraft and then flew almost every "rotary wing" aircraft in the inventory. He has been an Operations Training Unit instructor and qualified flight instructor, staff and training officer, and commander of 408 tactical helicopter squad. He also served as Commander of 15 Wing at Canadian Armed Forces Base in Moose Jaw. After serving eight years in North America's aerospace defence command (NORAD), Jim retired as a brigadier general in September 2006. Between 2008 and 2015, he was the CEO of the Regina Airport Authority. He is proud to be an honorary member of the Snowbird.

The ACL is a non-profit civil organization dedicated to supporting the goals of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Program. This world-class youth program aims to develop the attributes of good citizenship, leadership, fitness, and stimulate interest in aviation and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Contact: Lauren Necklace
T: (613) 722-5891


From the home office of the president

Our June 20, 2020 AGM was done via ZOOM for the first time ever. Although I missed seeing everyone in person, it was great to at least see the faces of everyone who was able to sign in, as well as to hear from those who had to call in via telephone.

Several items were discussed and agreed upon during the meeting. I am thrilled to report that we now have a new chapter in our Society. We had full agreement to welcome the CAAA (Canadian Aviation Artists Association) as our first virtual chapter. I know this new relationship will be mutually beneficial to both organizations, and I hope this will be the beginning for other Canadian aviation minded groups to make the move to join with us and ensure we all are able to grow and prosper.

I was also happy to announce the winners of the 2018 Journal Awards for our Volume 56 Journals. Clark Seaborn won the C. Don Long Best Article Award for his Wooden Wings Over the Wilderness multi-part articles. Bill Upton won the Mac MacIntyre Research Award for his Canadair CL-84 – A Canadian Design Odyssey multi-part articles. What a pleasure it was to call Clark and Bill and let them know of their success.

We also agreed to increase the Douglas MacRitchie Award presented to the top graduating student in the highly regarded Aircraft Maintenance Technician’s Course of Centennial College, from $500 to $1,000. The scholarships have been presented at the college for over 15 years, and this is the first time the amount has been increased. We are working on ensuring the continued longevity of the award with efforts to obtain the necessary donations to the scholarship account.

Following the Board of Directors meeting, also held via ZOOM, on June 13, 2020, the four Chapter President Directors were selected from the Chapter Presidents in attendance. I am happy to announce that Jerry Vernon, Vancouver Chapter President; Kyle Huth, Ottawa Chapter President; Jim Bell, Winnipeg Chapter President; and myself, Regina Chapter President; were all acclaimed for another year. The Directors acclaimed at the AGM were, Dr. Rachel Lea Heide, Gord McNulty, John Chalmers, Dr. Richard Mayne, Mathias Joost, Bert Furlong, and Bill Zuk. Following the AGM, the board members elected the five executive members: myself as National President, Gord McNulty as National Vice-President, Dr. Rachel Lea Heide as National Treasurer, Jim Bell as National Secretary, and John Chalmers as National Membership Secretary. Congratulations to all the 2020-2021 National Board of Directors.

None of your national or chapter officers receive any remuneration for their time and dedication to the CAHS. We are still in a challenging financial situation because many of our members have yet to renew their national memberships. Please take the time to ensure your membership is current. If not, please send in your renewal as soon as possible. Please also consider a donation to the CAHS to assist us through this difficult period. Any amount over $10 is issued a receipt for income tax purposes and is much appreciated.

We continue work to bring the Journals back on schedule as well as make enhancements to our new website.
Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement for your society.

Blue skies,
Gary Williams
National President