OUR LIBRARY’S CENTREPIECE ~ THE TABLE!

OUR LIBRARY’S CENTREPIECE ~ THE TABLE!

The Library’s centrepiece is the table you see as you enter the room!  “The table is unique in that it was built for the Museum using beams salvaged from the deconstruction of Hangar #1. Larry Toovey kindly donated his time, tools and skill to construct this table to preserve a piece of 19 Wing’s Heritage. The story behind the beams makes the table even more unique. The beams were some of many hundreds used for the construction of hangars across Canada built in support of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The beams were cut in the early 1940s from old-growth Douglas Fir from British Columbia’s forests. The trees that provided the beams for Hangar #1 were at least 150 years old at the time. The Museum is proud to display such a beautiful and unique piece and is very grateful to Larry for building it for us.” (credit David Stinson and Allison Hetman).   Along the way, it gets some special loving care to keep it in good repair:             The table is a gathering place for Museum meetings, volunteer committee meetings, volunteer special events, school presentations, and tour groups. It is the gathering spot for our air cadet groups.  It is the work table for those of us who volunteer in the Library.  It is the work table for those who come to do some research.  It is indeed a special spot!     In my next post, I’ll introduce you to some of the volunteers who work in the...
WELCOME TO OUR MUSEUM LIBRARY!

WELCOME TO OUR MUSEUM LIBRARY!

Have you had the good fortune to spend time in our Museum Library?  It has quite the history: “The Air Force Indoctrination School (AFIS) opened at CFB Comox in 1982 to give CanadianForces (CF) officers and non-commissioned members serving their first tour on an air base a sound introduction to air force operations, history and heritage. Being a school, particularly in the time before the Internet, a library was a ne- cessity to provide students with appropriate reference material. When AFIS moved to Building 11 in 1986, the Library, still small, was located upstairs in the student lounge. The Comox Air Force Museum (CAFM), founded in 1982 as a small collection of artefacts in Building 22, also moved to Building 11 in 1986, developed greatly and was accredited as a CF Museum in September 1987. In October 1994, CAFM acquired a large collection of over 2500 books, thousands of photographs, hundreds of periodicals, dozens of aircraft models and many military artefacts from the estate of the late Geoffrey Rowe of Victoria. This magnificent gift became known as the Geoffrey Rowe Collection – the donation was recognized by the official naming of the room as the Geoffrey Rowe Memorial Library in June 1995. When AFIS closed in 1996, the library material not transferred to Winnipeg, and all of the Geoffrey Rowe Collection, became part of CAFM. The Library moved to its current location on the north side of the ground floor of Building 11 in October 2003 after the Totem Times, the 19 Wing newspaper, moved elsewhere. The Library is the “information arm” of the Museum. The book collection now...

“COMOX AIR FORCE MUSEUM ~ OUR STORY”

You might remember that our Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler wrote a book chronicling the first 30 years of our Museum’s history.  We quickly sold out and after a number of people requested a copy, we reordered another series.  Of those, we have just ten left! If you’d like a copy, they are available in our Gift Shop for a $30 donation.  We hope you’ll consider purchasing...
COMOX AIR FORCE MUSEUM CELEBRATED 30 YEARS!

COMOX AIR FORCE MUSEUM CELEBRATED 30 YEARS!

On September 12th, our Museum celebrated our 30th Anniversary!  Approximately 100 guests, including retired and serving 19 Wing members, community officials, long standing members of the Museum Association, along with former curators and board members, first gathered in the theatre for speeches and presentations.         Two teams of volunteers were honoured for their work.  First was the group who helped Museum Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jon Ambler with the publishing of his book Comox Air Force Museum, Our First 30 Years.  Jon Ambler, Carol Popkin, Allison Hetman, and Val Wilson were recipients of the Wing Commander’s commendations and coins.         The second group to be honoured with the Wing Commander’s commendations and coins included the team responsible for bringing a new display space to life.  It includes David Wilson, Mike Forbes, and Irv Fraser.  Irv’s wife, Karen, accepted his award.     Prior to this new display area, the space was a storage hallway; now with the creation of this new hallway display, the Museum is able to rotate displays in order to share some special items from our archives. As part of the celebration, a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiled this hallway display.     The cake cutting ceremony was done by Nancy Greene and Ted Gibbons.  At the time the Museum opened in 1987, Ted Gibbons was the Base Commander and Nancy was the Museum Curator.  We were happy they could do the honours once again!     Following the festivities, there was plenty of time for the guests to mingle as well as to spend time in the new hallway...
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE SCHNEIDER TROPHY RACES

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ THE SCHNEIDER TROPHY RACES

  The Schneider Trophy, the common name for the Coupe d’Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, was awarded annually to the winner of a race for seaplanes and flying boats.  The trophy itself is now found in the Science Museum in London. In 1912, Jacques Schneider, a French financier, balloonist, and aircraft enthusiast, offered a prize of about 1000 pounds for the competition.  The race was meant to encourage technical advances in civil aviation, but ultimately became a contest for pure speed, with laps over a normally triangular course of between 280 and 350 kilometres.  These contests were actually time trials, with aircraft setting out individually and at pre-agreed times, most often 15 minutes apart.  The contests were very popular and drew huge crowds.  The race was held twelve times between 1913 and 1931. If an aero club won three races in five years, they would retain the trophy and the winning pilot would receive 75,000 francs for each of the first three wins.  Each race was hosted by the previous winning country and was supervised by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, as well as the aero club in the hosting country.  Each club could enter up to three competitors with an equal number of alternatives. The races were important in terms of advancing aeroplane design, especially in the fields of aerodynamics and engine design; these would then show results in the best fighters of WWII.  The streamlined shape and the low drag, liquid-cooled engine pioneered by the Schneider Trophy designs were easy to see in the British Supermarine Spitfire, the American P-51 Mustang, as well as the Italian Macchi C.201 Folgore....
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ FEATURING LARRY MILBERRY’S BOOKS

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ FEATURING LARRY MILBERRY’S BOOKS

Larry Milberry is a lifelong aviation enthusiast who has authored, co-authored, or edited approximately 41 books on Canadian aviation history, including many of the best-known reference books on the subject. In 2004, Milberry was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.  As well, he’s an honorary Snowbird, a long-time member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, and last spring our Museum Association presented him with an Honourary Lifetime Membership.   It’s interesting to note that while Larry Milberry has come to our Museum to conduct his research for upcoming projects ~ many volunteers and visitors who come into the Library to get help with their personal research are often pointed in the direction of Milberry’s publications!  Let’s have a look at just a few of the titles on our shelves:   Aircom - Canada’s Air Force - Published in 1991, this is ” … a detailed look at the air force seen through the photographic viewfinder.  It shows all the aircraft operated by Air Command.  It also focuses upon the people who make the air force work, and on their many bases.  A special section deals with Canada’s Hornets in the Persian Gulf war.”           The Canadair Sabre - This book is considered “… the most detailed book ever about the famous F-86 Sabre… the book tells the story of the 1815 Sabres built under licence by Canadair in Montreal… The RCAF’s first Sabre squadrons were formed at St. Hubert, Uplands, North Bay and Bagotville, then moved to the U.K. at North Luffenham and finally to the Continent.  Their story is enlivened with details from the...

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