By Gord Mahaffy
Once the Oshawa Airport was established as a permanent fixture and was fully supported by the Oshawa City Council, it started to attract new businesses. It also attracted the Lions Service Club.
The Airport Lions Club’s first undertaking was sponsoring an Easter Egg hunt for the kids in Oshawa. It was at this point that COPA Flight 70 supplied several volunteers and other COPA 70 members parked their aircraft on the ramp and allowed the public a look inside a “real airplane.”
The 151 Lloyd Chadburn Air Cadets provided a large number of cadet volunteers to direct the public, provide information to the public and provide some security for the aircraft on display.
Manny Rosserio owner of Durham Flight Centre put his prize DC-3 and several other aircraft in the public display area.
With the full co-operation of city council and the airport management, this event was allowed to proceed in the ramp area on the north side of the airport.
The first Easter Egg hunt took place in 2010 and attracted about 1,000 people. This was far more than anticipated for a first-time effort and volunteers scrambled to keep up with the demand for hot dogs.
Another growing-pain for this event was the size of the Easter Bunny’s ears. Measuring over a foot long and standing straight up, these fluffy white appendages were a work of pure beauty. However the bunny was scheduled to arrive in a Diamond DA- 20 (Eclipse) and closing the canopy proved to be a challenge with the ears extending a foot above the windscreen. The job did get done when a badly hunched over Easter Bunny emerged from the Eclipse.
So with the second Easter Egg hunt scheduled for Easter Sunday 2011, extra hot dogs were ordered and the Easter Bunny underwent cosmetic surgery. The length of the ears were left the same, but they were allowed to hang. The Bunny fit the cockpit perfectly according to COPA 70 member, Lee Arsenault, who supplied and piloted the Eclipse.
April weather in 2011 was not good and Sunday, April 24 dawned cold and windy. But by noon there was sunshine and by 1:00 p.m. people were peeling off jackets, hats, and gloves. There were even several people in shorts. It got so hot that the chocolate Easter eggs the kids were collecting started melting. Fortunately this did not affect their flavour.
When it was all over, just under 2,000 people had their chocolate fix, including City Councillor Bruce Wood and Oshawa Mayor John Henry who graciously supported this event with their attendance.
The final observation came from a mother standing in a long line with her kids, waiting to get a picture with the Easter Bunny. And I quote, “If I was Santa Claus, I would be worried.”