NEWSLETTER   

MAY 2021


THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.  William James (Philosopher and Psychologist)


MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:

We are absolutely thrilled to share this news with you. We recently heard from the niece of Shirley Duff. Shirley is currently in hospice care, doing well and sends greetings to everyone. She also gave us a generous donation of money from a previous RCAF Airwomen's Reunion account to the current RCAF Airwomen's Reunion account. Thank you so much, Shirley, for your generosity, and for starting our Reunions back in 1990! All the best to you!

For those of you who have a pension K number, this may interest you. Dental Brands is offering a veteran's bundle of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which Blue Cross will cover. Their website says, “we at Dental Brands appreciate the sacrifice Canadian Forces make every day for us. A percentage of all sales will be donated to a Veterans Charity.“ The Veteran's Bundle consists of gloves, masks and hand sanitizer, and costs $199.95.  The cost of the bundle, taxes and shipping will be billed directly to Blue Cross with your K number. You are able to do this once per calendar year. If you want more info, click here.


WINNIPEG REUNION:

The Reunion will take place in Winnipeg at the Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites, May 24-26, 2022.


If you live in Manitoba, the members of the Winnipeg Reunion 15 Committee are still looking to gather stories, memorabilia, and names for any new members interested in participating in the reunion. 
If you have any questions, stories, would be available to volunteer and know anyone who qualifies and would like to become a member, please contact Pat Brennan


COMMENTS AND REQUESTS

Janet Hayes writes: Hello All. My name Janet Hayes (45823W) with a history of many good times with the RCAF. I joined Jul 1951 until 1953. Off to course basic training in St. Jean Que, followed by FCO Clinton. Then on to St. Hubert for the real thing. Now the move starts - Lac St. Dennis not yet running (kitchen work with wonderful apple pie). Off to Edgar where I wrote the exam for LAW. I think I was one of the first to receive  the LAW title. Then I sailed over to Metz  France. Then temp duty to Ziewibruken Germany (I have forgotten how to spell  that name). There I was married, had a baby, discharged. Lived in beautiful married quarters. We returned to Canada in 1954. The only time my picture was in the  Kirkland Lake paper was of my being  married and a note that my Mother had come to Germany for my wedding. All of this is a long time ago. I am now in my 90th year, in good health and still enjoy life and my monthly email from you hard working ladies.
Cheers
Janet Hayes (nee Tottman)

Ilene Terry sent in an article on the history of the RCAF Tartan. April 6 was Tartan day. The Royal Canadian Air Force tartan is one of the most popular tartans in Canada. It was officially registered on August 15, 1942, by the Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland. To read more about one of Canada's most famous tartans,click here. Aleane Johnson sported a lovely RCAF Tartan outfit at the Whitehorse Reunion.

STAMP COLLECTING FOR CHARITY:  

Flo Reid writes:  Just a reminder to keep collecting and sending your postage stamps.  I have been getting lots of stamps in the mail and have had some wonderful conversations with some of our ex-airwomen from coast to coast. Also, it gives me something to do in these COVID times.  
If you have any questions, please phone Flo at 403-990-1556 or e-mail flobobreid@shaw.ca

To see details about the preparation of the stamps, click here

We donate these stamps to Oxfam Canada. To find out more about Oxfam click here

WOMEN IN THE NEWS:

100 Birthday – Agnes “Bunny” Hall
 
Agnes Hall was born on May 2, 1921.  She is also known as “Bunny” as this was her first word so it became her nickname.  Bunny served in the RCAF from July 1942 to December 1946.  She took her basic training in Rockcliffe, Ontario.  She was a Clerk Admin and spent her first year in Mont Joli, Quebec.  She was then stationed in Ottawa from 1943 to 1946.  She was posted overseas from April 1946 to October 1946.  Her services were no longer required after the war so she to leave the forces.
 
Bunny then settled in Calgary in 1947 and has lived there ever since.  She is presently residing at Amica Aspen Woods in an assisted-living care facility.  She is very active and exercises and walks every day.  She has a son in Niagara-on-the Lake and a daughter in Calgary and two grandchildren.   
 
Bunny is a member of the ex-Military Women’s Club of Calgary.  She rarely misses our monthly luncheons at the Legion.  She is on the Contact Committee calling members to remind them of our luncheons.  She is an amazing person and is always cheerful and pleasant in her dealings with others.  
 
On behalf of the Calgary members and all our ex-airwomen, we wish Bunny a wonderful 100th Birthday.  Let’s hope she can celebrate this birthday in a special way in spite of our COVID restrictions.

100 Birthday – Connie Mooney

Connie Mooney turned 100 on April 6, 2021. Connie joined the RCAF in 1942. She was sent to Guelph for training and began work as a driver. She eventually got posted overseas to the headquarters of No. 6 Group, the Canadian contingent of Bomber Command.

"Mooney was assigned to drive a “spook van” — a truck so big she had to sit on a box to reach the gas pedal. It was filled with radio gear and Mooney and her partner, a female radio operator, would be sent in secret before each bombing mission to park near an airfield. Hiding under trees or behind hedges as the bombers lumbered overhead toward their targets, the women would listen to the radio chatter between the pilots and the ground, transcribing what was said for the official record. They’d stay in place until the bombers returned hours later.

Sometimes they could hear the pilots reporting German aircraft that had snuck into the stream of returning bombers, waiting for a chance for a strafing attack. The spook van would relay that crucial warning to the air bases."

Listen to an audio tape of some of her story here.


The Winnipeg RCAF Band produced a video in honour of International Women's Day. The song, Girl on Fire, was originally recorded by Alicia Keys. The Winnipeg RCAF Band has done a remarkable job in pairing the music and lyrics to pictures of military women in numerous roles and theatres. Click here to view.

When I (Leah Mosher) watched the video,  I was so proud of the achievements women have made in the military. Once again, I want to remind you that it was your excellent service as pioneers that enabled me and countless other women to have the careers that we enjoyed.

It was also interesting to see the gear that women wear and the environments in which they serve. It’s become second nature, or “no surprise“.  It made me remember when I and another woman first arrived at CFB Trenton in 1981 as brand new pilots. Heads swivelled so fast to look at us that we were afraid they would all get whiplash. :-) I’m wondering if any of you experienced the same thing back in the 50s and 60s, when you first appeared in uniform somewhere new. Or maybe you have stories of what family or friends said when they first saw you in uniform. We'd love to hear.

We are interested in your stories! If you (or any of the ladies you know) have had articles written about you, no matter how minor, please let us know. Maybe you have an experience that you believe should have been published. Reply here

LAST POST:

As the members of the committee update the nominal roll, we are discovering that some of our members have been with the angels for several years. They are included in our monthly newsletters as we find them.  

 Last Name  First Name  Maiden Name     Date of Death   Age  Location Prov 
 Forsythe  Pamela Sylvia      Watson  18 Sep 2020     87  Newmarket   ON
 Landry     Ann Marie  MacNeil  20 Feb 2021     84  Cape Breton       NS
 Phibbs  Shirley Ann "Shan"     Phibbs  25 Feb 2020  83  Forest  ON
 Waugh  Mary Elizabeth  Buttler  10 Dec 2020  81  Edmonton  AB

If you have a notification of a member who has died, please let us know here so that we can add their name to our Last Post. Thank you. 
 
BIRTHDAYS:
A “Very Happy Birthday” to our May Birthday ladies. Click here for the listing. 
If your birthday is missing from this list it is because we don't have it. Please click on the Change Information form to add something or make corrections. 
 
YOUR COMMITTEE:
Note: When you contact us via any of the links below, the email goes to a common address. To help us reply in a more timely manner, please put the name of  who you wish to contact in the subject line. Thank you. 
Tracey Everett- Chair
Leah Mosher- Vice-Chair/Liaison/Newsletter - 613-316-2205
Claire Williams- Treasurer - 902-391-0035
Pat Brennan - Chair, Winnipeg Committee