Diversity in Aviation: Air Cadet 699 Squadron


I was invited to speak at a fundraising dinner for 699 Squadron last month in Edmonton, and I was so impressed. These air cadets are leading the charge in diversity – ahead of the RCAF and airlines at this point – and are some of the nicest, most engaged citizens I’ve come across. And they are in terrific shape and can shoot straight thanks to their biathlon training and competitions, so I told them to save me a space in their bunker should a zombie apocalypse strike. Even if it doesn’t, I’m happy to have met them and hope to spend more time in their company in the future!






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Elinor Florence brings her WWII story to Edmonton


Wrestling with writing history and fiction

I’ve resisted imaginative leaps just as I resisted making anything up when I was writing my thesis. Except, I remind myself, you’re allowed to make stuff up in fiction. That’s the whole point.


Thanks so much to colleague Gail Anderson-Dargatz for giving me the chance to think a bit about my anxieties as I try my hand at writing historical fiction! You can read the whole post by clicking here. And if you have any good suggestions about wrestling with these particular demons (or great WWII-era historical fiction to recommend), please leave a note in the comments section below.

Old YEG Café: Historic Neighbourhoods and the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay

Are you interested in heritage preservation in Edmonton? Are you interested in learning more about the factors involved? The role of the City of Edmonton, developers, and citizens at large?

Heritage Forward! is pleased to announce the second in a series of public events designed to raise awareness of built heritage issues in the City of Edmonton. Our second event is a panel discussion that will discuss issues surrounding historic neighbourhoods, and the effects of the City of Edmonton’s Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO) policies. The event is free to attend, and open to all interested citizens. Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be served. A cash bar will also be available.

The event takes place on Monday March 2, 2015 from 6:00-8pm in the main auditorium at the historic 1930 Central Masonic Temple, 10318 100 Avenue NW. Doors will be open at 5:30pm. The panelists for this event are Ken Cantor, commercial manager for Qualico Developments, David Johnston of the City of Edmonton Heritage Planning Department, conservation architect David Murray, and Bev Zubot of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues.

I will be emceeing and I hope to see you there!

Polar Winds Sparks Memories for Pilot Dan Campbell

“I enjoyed Polar Winds very much – it brought back a lot of memories of various operations that I knew of, or was involved in, during my 30 years in the Air Force.

Most of my career was spent on Search and Rescue, initially with 123 Search and Rescue Flight at Sea Island, B.C. where I was posted after completing Pilot Training on the 5 March 1949.

There are two items in your book that I can show my friends and say I had an input. The first is the picture of the three Alberts [Grumman Albatrosses] on their steps on page 128. The photographer took the picture from an
H-21 that I was flying. We were attempting to duplicate a famous photograph taken during the war in the same location of three Cansos.

The second item is the mention on page 146 that an RCAF helicopter had flown Senator Kennedy to the base camp on Mount Kennedy. I was the pilot of that helicopter, CH113 10402. However, we had only gone into Whitehorse to refuel because Juneau Alaska, the closest airport to Trapper Lake, where we were recovering Para Rescue equipment that had been left there the previous fall, did not have JP 4.  We had refueled and were about to take off when the tower advised us that we had better wait because Senator Kennedy was trying to get permission from the Prime Minister to use our helicopter because the weather was below limits at the mountain for fixed wing aircraft. He did get permission and we ended up working for the National Geographic for the next week before we were able to return to Comox. Two months later we were tasked to return to Whitehorse and recover a Bell 47 helicopter that had been stranded at the 13000 level on Mount Kennedy. We completed that task on the 15 May 1965.

A rather flowery article in the local weekly covering some other operations I was involved in during my career can be seen in the May 6,2010 issue of www.islandclippings.com. Incidently the Norwegian Captain referred to in the Rumba incident in the article, along with his wife Sigrid, were surprise guests at our 60th wedding anniversay anniversary at which he gave a great speech from his perspective of the rescue of himself and his crew.

Once again thank you for your very informative book.

Dan Campbell”

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