WING OF THE YEAR. Although 101 (North Island) Squadron is not a Wing, it is a very active squadron of 888 Wing and should be recognized on its own merits. It serves to commemorate the achievements of the men and women ofthe Royal Canadian Air Force, to advocate for a proficient and well equipped Air Force, and to support the Air Cadets. The Squadron started in 1997 at the Sportsman’s Steakhouse in Port Hardy, BC. Nine former military personnel and one civil aviator made up the founding group. I 0 I (NI) Squadron received its charter to the Air Force Association of Canada on January I, 1998 with 14 charter members. They have a current membership of about 18 regular members plus a few associates. It was the first ever squadron of the AFAC, hence the “101 Squadron” designation. 101 Squadron’s mandate: To preserve the military and civilian aviation history of the North region of Vancouver Island, To erect cairns commemorating military aviation fatalities on the North Island, To support local Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons, and To provide scholarships for civic minded grade twelve students in the Port Hardy area. The Squadron members volunteer their time and enthusiasm to help increase awareness of the importance of Canada’s Air Force and civilian aviation in our lives. Their cairns and other projects are paid for through fund raising activities and donations. Over the years a few very dedicated members of 101 Squadron have done extensive research to recognize military aircrew that perished on the North Island since the beginning ofWWII. On the Squadron’s website they write about the Memorial Projects. “The events that took the lives of military personnel had a variety of causes, poor weather being a common one. Regardless of the cause of their death, each of those young men died serving Canada- patrolling our shores prepared to take on the enemy in whatever form it arrived. Their sacrifice might have been lost to time but their commitment to freedom makes them heroes in our eyes. For 101 Squadron it is truly an honour to leave a tribute to their courage for future gen~rations.” For the past number of years the squadron has placed 12 cairns, in the form of a stainless steel obelisk with an engraved plaque describing the aircraft, date, location and crew members lost. They have tried to place the cairn right at the crash site, no easy task given the rugged terrain of the North Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. They have had support from 19 Wing RCAF Comox and the Canadian Rangers and First Nations people in the Port Hardy area. They have also had family members of the deceased aircrew come to the dedication of the cairns, some from as far away as England. The Lieutenant Governor of BC, the 19 Wing Commander and other dignitaries have also attended the dedications. Every year, in addition to the cairn projects, I 0 I Squadron has made monetary donations to the Air Cadet Squadrons in Comox and Campbell River, the Military Family Resource Centre in Comox and bursaries to two high school students. The Squadron organizes a Battle of Britain Parade every year in Port Hardy and help with the Remembrance Day parades, sometimes attending in other communities, representing the Air Force Association of Canada. Three of their members received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and one received the Award of Merit from the AFAC.
Len Baldock Memorial Award – Member of the Year – Bert Lapointe (702). It is with distinct pleasure that we, the 702 Lethbridge Wing nominating committee; do hereby nominate Bert Lapointe for the 2012/2013 National RCA FA Member of the Year. It is without reservation that Bert Lapointe has gone above and beyond the realms of devotion to emphasize the “Aims and Purpose” of the RCAF Association of Canada. His practice of core values has readily connected the RCAF Association of Canada with the local community and other organizations. His visibility is well beyond assisting a variety of charities and supp01ting the #II Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Mr. Lapointe is a superb member of 702 Wing who has given freely of his time to support the organization. Whether, completing his duties as Wing Treasurer, assisting with snow clearance around the Wing building, doing building renovations, submitting various grants applications to support the Wing, working Casinos on behalf of the Wing, running the bar at Wing events, cooking at Wing events, no job is too big or too small for him. Beyond these, he also taken on responsibility as the 702 Wing representative to the Lethbridge Military Museum Committee. In that role, he ensures Air Force representation on the Committee and is responsible for the development of the Air Force related displays which will be constructed for the Museum. Overall, he has clearly been a tower of strength and leadership for the Wing. Further, Bert has involved the Mayor and Lethbridge City Council in authorizing and renewing the relationship of 429 (Bison) Squadron, located at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario. The renewal of this relationship goes back over sixtyfour years. In 1944, the 429 (Bison) Squadron had been adopted by the City of Lethbridge and the Council of 2008 was more than willing to resume this relationship and, indeed, grant it the “Freedom of the Sky’s of Lethbridge” .. Bert also dealt with many months of negotiation and logistics, with a variety of agencies, to formalize the 429 (Bison) Squadrons participation, including a C-17 fly pass, at the November 11, 2008, 2010, 2012 Remembrance Day ceremonies. This past year (20 12), through his efforts, the Commanding Officer of 429 Squadron was also obtained to be the City of Lethbridge’s keynote speaker at both the indoor and outdoor Remembrance Day Ceremonies. The participation of 429 Squadron at these events had a significant impact on entire community and its surrounding and gave a huge public profile to the RCAF and Canadian Forces. Mr. Lapointe’s efforts contributed in no small way to this occurring. We believe that through Bert’s continued efforts, his high degree of integrity, and his meticulous attention to detail; that the relationship between the City of Lethbridge and 429 Squadron will be nurtured in a most positive way for many years to come. We would be remiss not mentioning Bert’s abilities to acquire important and prestigious personalities, such as Members of Parliament, Senators, Canadian Air Force Generals and other respected individuals for Wing and Community events. As an example, Bert arranged for the Commander 1 Canadian Air Division to be the guest speaker for the 702 Lethbridge Wing 60th Anniversary (2009). His efforts in support of events invariably include various aviation affiliates in the area and these activities help bring an understanding between the Canadian Air Force, the RCAF Association of Canada, 702 Lethbridge Winget al and the public. In view of the above, it is our recommendation to the National RCAF A Member of the Year Committee that Bert Lapointe be selected as the recipient of the National Member of the Year A ward 2012/20 13. His effotts on an ongoing basis have clearly demonstrated that he embraces the highest standards of excellence and teamwork in support of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association.
Life (Honorary) Membership – Lou Lepine (888). Lou Lepine is Mr 101 Squadron. His deportment and demeanor are outstanding and reflect great credit on the RCAF Association. Lou joined the RCAFA as a member of 888 Wing on 10/01/92. When 101 Squadron was formed on I January 1998 Lou transferred over and was a charter member of I 0 I Squadron. He has had a long aviation career starting on Sabres at I CAG in North Luffenham and continuing on to bush flying in NW Ontario and to private flying on the West Coast. His energy and humor are infectious and he manages to get the Squadron motivated to do outstanding things. It is hard to believe he is eighty two years young. Lou is on the leading edge for thinking of projects to raise the Squadron’s profile and the profile of the Service. Lou conceived our obelisk program whereby, after ten years of work, all ten military crashes on the North Island are marked with one ofthese cairns. The fact that many of the locations are remote and the construction of these cairns was very difficult did not daunt him. Lou is a very active participant in all the Squadron’s external programs like our silent auction, Battle of Britain Parade and talking to town folks. Lou was instrumental in getting the Squadron formed and took on the membership role and has managed to keep our membership in the 20-24 range since the Squadron was formed. Lou shows up to all the work pmties and at our recent silent auction fundraiser he opened the storefront, often by himself, six days a week. He played Airforce videos and talked to the passersby and informed them of the Squadron and the RCAF and got thym interested in the auction to the point where we doubled our profit to $8,000 this year. It is safe to say that without Mr Lepine’s dedication and drive 101 Squadron would not be where it is now. Mr Lepine exemplifies the spirit of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association and he is a deserving candidate for the Life Membership Award.
Life (Honorary) Membership – Robert Roe (783). In May 1965 while serving as a regular member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), RJ was sworn in at 412 Wing Windsor Ontario by the Past National President (PNP) Len Baldock. Due to the requirement of his RCAF career, in 1972 Robert transferred to 441 (Huronia) Wing in Barrie Ontario, where he immediately became the Public Relations Director, and later serving in other Executive capacities to finally become the Wing President in 1980/81. During his service with that Wing, RJ was instrumental in the renovation project, recruiting new members, and fund raising, making that Wing a vibrant hub of social activities and support for the Association. He was then selected and accepted the position of Ontario Group Central Region Vice President (VP) serving in that capacity from 1981 to 1983. In 1983, the RCAF once again transferred RJ, this time to 4 Wing Cold Lake. Shortly after his arrival RJ saw the opportunity to start a new RCAFA Wing and set out to create 784 (Diamond Jubilee) Wing in recognition of the RCAF’s own Diamond Jubilee year. After recruiting enough members to meet requirements, RJ became the founding President and received the Wing Charter from PNP A.J. Bauer at the Charter Banquet November 1984 After serving as President of 784 Wing he became the Alberta Group VP North and served from 1985 to 1987. Retiring from military service and taking a job in Richmond BC, RJ transferred his membership to 806 (Gulf of Georgia) Wing. Upon arrival he immediately became VP to that Wing and followed shortly thereafter into the position of Wing President. In 1990 his occupation took RJ back to Alberta this time to Calgary, where he once again transferred his membership to 783 (Calgary) Wing. Ever since RJ has held many positions for that Wing’s organization such as membership, Wing Director, and President. In 2009 RJ returned to the Alberta Group as VP South and is now the current President of that Group. All throughout his time with the RCAFA, RJ never stopped promoting the Association. His support and involvement can be seen in the numerous awards he has earned, along with a vast wealth of knowledge. He can be counted on to provide sound advice as well as being a constant presence at cadet activities, functions, and fund raising drives for his own Wing.
Life (Honorary) Membership – Wayne Hines (102). Wayne Hines joined the 102 Wing in 1974 as an associate member, and became a regular member in 1982. Wayne attended several Atlantic Group meetings and conventions. Wayne has attended numerous Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic and Remembrance Day Parades and also served several years on the Colour Party. Wayne was heavily involved with the purchase and renovations of our former location and our present quarters. He is a dedicated member of the Wing and a local friend to the organization. Wayne served three terms as President of 102 Wing, has chaired and sat on many committees and still works hard for the Wing on House, Entertainment and other committees. Wayne was very involved with the purchase of property for permanent quarters for the 77 Arrowhead Air Cadet Squadron. Wayne has received several Wing awards including Member of the Year. Wayne still does building checks every day to ensure everything is working fine.
Life (Honorary) Membership – Ronald Morrison (102). Ron Morrison joined the 102 wing in 1974 as an associate member and became a regular member in 1982. Ronald held the position as Nova Scotia Vice-President in 1994 and continues on behalf of the Wing and Atlantic group. He served on the Atlantic group committee for the 1998 convention. Ronald attends and carries the wing banner in the Battle of Britain and Remembrance Day parades for the past 20 years. Ronald donated his time and energy doing the renovations to our wing and still does so when time permits. He is a dedicated member of the wing and a local friend to the organization. Ronald served on the executive as president 1991-1993, 1st vice-president, 2nd vice-president, Wing bar chairperson, wing housing chairperson, air cadet liaison officer and sub-committees and is currently serving as 2nd vice-president. Ronald has been wing delegate to two national meetings and several Atlantic group meetings. Ronald served as director of the Air Cadet league of Nova Scotia to 77 arrowhead air cadet squadron. Ronald received an award from the 102 wing executive in recognition and appreciation of valuable service on October 27, 2001. He received an award from wing executive for work done as liaison officer with 77 arrowhead air cadet squadron. The committee feels Ronald deserves this award for life membership award in appreciation of valuable service rendered to the association.
Distinguished Service Award – John Bowser (111). John Bowser joined the RCAF (Aux) 2405 Squadron in 1956 releasing at the rank of sergeant in 1961 when the unit closed. He belonged to AFAC 101 Atlantic Wing Halifax from 1961 until they closed in 1967. and 111 MicMac Wing Dartmouth from 1985 to present. He was 111 Wing member of the year in 2004. His Atlantic Group Executive position held included Nova Scotia Regional Vice-President from 1995 to 1997 and has been Group Treasurer for the past 16 years from 1997 to present. John always volunteers his services when 111 Wing hosts Atlantic Group AGMs and also was the resources chair for the National AGM held in Halifax in 1998. He is a committee member for the Battle of Britain Parades and member of the Wing Colour Party for Parades and Services and attends functions at 12 Wing Shearwater on behalf of 111 Wing. John is on the Board of Directors for the Shearwater Aviation Museum Foundation for the past 22 years from 1991 to present. He was instrumental for the Museum getting the Ships Bell for R.C.A.F. “Beaver” from the RCL Branch in Trenton, Ontario and 111 Wing paying for a replica
made and sent to them. His involvement in air cadets includes the following: 342 Air Cadet Squadron sponsoring committee- President 1986 -1987 – 1st Vice president 1988 -1990 – President 1990 – 1994 – Membership Chair 1992 – 2005 – Treasurer 2002 to 2005 – 615 Air Cadet Squadron member of sponsoring committee 2003 to present – Wing Liaison for 529 Air cadet squadron. John has been a Legion member since 1986 service as Sergeant-at-Arms and a member of their Colour Party since 2004. John Bower has built an impressive resume of service to 111 Wing and the community at large and is very worthy for the Distinguished Service Award .
Distinguished Service Award – Reginald Daws (879). Reg Daws was a member of the RCAF for 36 years retiring after serving as a Chief Warrant Officer for 16 years. He received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commander ADC; also a Commander’s Letter of Commendation, while serving with Maritime Command. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Military Merit in 1988. His leadership abilities, people skills, and his dedication to the aims and objectives of the AFAC have been of resounding benefit since joining in 1995. He has served continuously in an elected or appointed capacity since 2000, when he became President of 879 Wing. In 2005 he was elected RVP Pacific Group and last year became Group VP all the while serving in various capacities at 879 Wing as a member of the Wing Executive, Membership Chmr, and Special Projects Officer. As a member of the Pacific Group executive Reg is constantly on the go attending meetings and events at wings through the Lower Mainland of BC. Reg leads our wing’s dedication in carrying on the work started during World War II by the local Women’s RCAF Auxiliary to perpetuate the memory of our local airmen lost in World War II through the “Blue Hydrangea” project. This project brings together the members of our wing and the students and staff of the Chilliwack Middle School where blue hydrangeas are planted in memory of the lost. Over the past nine years or more Reg has been personally responsible for recruiting the majority of approximately 25 new members – no small accomplishment in an “army town” like Chilliwack. As President of the local branch of the FSNA Reg is enthusiastically dedicated to the welfare of federal military, RCMP, and civilian retirees. Reg consistently demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the aims and objectives of the Air Force Association of Canada and 879 (Earl MacLeod) RCAF Wing is proud to nominate him for the Distinguished Service Award.
Christina Handler Award – Jorgen Knudsen (111). Jorgen(John)Knudsen retired from the Regular Force as Wing Chief Warrant Officer of 12 Wing Shearwater. While in that position he provided outstanding support to 111 (MicMac) Wing helping to coordinate the Battle of Britain Parade for several years. John has been a member of 111 Wing for 19 years and continued to coordinate these parades with 12 Wing for many years. His checklist for the planning and execution of this parade is still being followed. He also developed a working agenda and completion timetable for two National and two Atlantic Group AGMs hosted by 111 Wing. This included the site selection, band participation and transportation for participants, which eliminated the need for the National Ceremonial Adviser to pre-evaluate. John always provides wise sought after counsel on all matters of protocol and administration. John has been a volunteer at the Shearwater Aviation Museum for several years and helped restore several aircraft to flying condition. These have included a Swordfish, and a Fairey FireFly that has been fully restored but is awaiting Transport Canada approval to fly. He has been the Vice-President of the Shearwater Aviation Museum Foundation for a number of years and is now the President. John is held in the highest regard by the staff and executive of the museum as he can always be counted on to perform his many tasks in a highly efiective and professional manner. John attends all Wing General Meetings and he and his wife attend all social functions. He also designs and produces wing Certificates of Appreciation for all occasions. With all these outstanding attributes he is most highly deserving of the Christina Handler Memorial Award.