By Avery Wagg
This photo of past presidents shows from left, Dr. Don Delahaye - president in the early '70's, Gord Brown – serving in the 90’s, Dave Minaker– serving early in the new millennium; crouching down is our current president Dave Barton, next is Darren Rich – serving 2005 – 2007, and to the right is Rolland Binnington – serving as president in the late 50’s.
The Kingston Flying Club celebrated its 80th anniversary on June 4, with 50 Flying Club members (past and present). What a great time!
Dave Barton, our president, made a point of inviting many of the older former Club members to this event - many of whom made a special effort to come.
However, the event had some bittersweet aspects as well. Spence McKendry, the husband of one of Canada’s pioneer women in aviation (Felicity McKendry), passed away about a week prior to the party. Spence and Felicity were both heavily involved in Canada’s aviation heritage and the Kingston Flying Club from the 1950’s through to the 1990’s.
Felicity McKendry and her daughter Sandra.
But despite her recent loss, Felicity attended the party and helped cut the Club’s 80th birthday cake.
Making the anniversary diner a little more poignant were a series of articles printed in Kingston’s daily newspaper (The Whig Standard), about the Flying Club and the development of Kingston’s airport over the last 80 years. One article appeared each day for three days in a row.
Barton supplied much of the historical information to the newspaper folks including a series of notes by Doug Wagner – made back when Doug was the Club’s manager in the 50’s and 60’s. Doug later went on to manage his own airline company.
Doug’s point in his notes still ring true today. Aviation is all about relationships. Any successful aviation community reaches out to its local politicians to ensure aviation’s voice is heard alongside the concerns of daily community life. This relationship has to be nurtured, continuously in order for aviation to be taken seriously by the public.