Kevin said, ” I think that for me the best aspect of the museum is being hands on with history. The displays in the main building as well as building 268 we as volunteers work on are all pieces of history, some big and some small. To handle something from a generation at war or when preserving peace, that physical connection is something you can’t get from a book. For some displays where you can touch a part of that history, whether the Argus engine on display or the torpedo in the main building, or a vehicle or aircraft in the Air Park, I hope that feeling of personal connection is something our visitors get too. ”
Steve mentioned that his favourite thing is that “our Museum is a social place.” This is very true ~ we take time to socialize, not only with one another, but also with our visitors. Come in and meet him on a Thursday or Saturday!
Allison’s favourite thing is Monday! “When Monday comes, I know I have three days ahead of me in the Museum. If I can think of a reason to come in Friday, I will do that too.” Allison is our Museum’s Librarian and she works Tuesday – Thursday. She is wonderful source of information if you’re working on a piece of research!
Len, who is in the Museum on Wednesdays, likes having the flight simulator in our Museum. He told me how it came to be… he had personally played with flight simulators for some time, and visitors to our Museum would ask if we had one, as most other air museums do. So Len proposed to our Museum Association that we have one of our own. The one we have in our Library is an updated version, and we find it’s very popular with our visitors, our volunteers, our Deputy Director, our Program Manager…
Len also likes the dioramas we have in the Main Gallery. He spent some time talking with me about the McPhee Memorial Diorama. He mentioned that when it was created, the runway was 5000 feet in length; now it’s 10,000. Len enjoys this diorama because it’s a hands-on exhibit.
When I asked Jed about his favourite, he answered, “Well that’s kind of a tough one, there are so many things to choose from, but being an ex army person in a sea of Air Force blue, I think I have a fondness for the vehicles that we keep down at the old Spitfire Hangar, and in particular the 1952 Dodge Ambulance and the 1953 Ford 1/4 ton Jeep. When I was with the 1 Battalion PPCLI, I personally drove an Ambulance of the same type during the Montreal Olympic games as the Battalion signals NCO; we used this type of vehicle for the battalion command post. I also drove the same style of Jeep when I was with the 1st Battalion PPCLI, Recce Platoon, and also on the Island of Cyprus during Green line patrols through Nicosia, and other parts of the Island. Both were great vehicles to drive, and they bring back some great memories!” Come in and meet Jed on a Tuesday!
Rodney can be found in the Museum on Fridays and is also a member of our Collections Management Committee. At our meetings, Rodney always likes handling the donated objects. It’s no surprise, then, that he chose an interactive exhibit as a favourite. “Within the context of many enjoyable and worthwhile activities for the museum, there is heavy competition to pick a ‘favourite’. The outreach events we participate in are particularly nice and my choice of those is the annual Cumberland Heritage Fair, hosted by the Cumberland Museum, for which CAFM produces varying thematic displays.
Conceiving how we will meet, or not, the heritage theme of each fair gets our Coordinator and a small volunteer group started and the fun begins. Attempting to dodge the display’s OPI position is, of course, hurdle #1 but once settled things get highly productive.
On Fair day, we make an early start, getting to know our neighbouring exhibitors during the set-up and then doors open at 10am. Some very interesting people from all walks of life come through that door, led be a strong curiosity for what makes Cumberland and the surrounding area tick. We explain our place within the heritage of the Comox Valley by making the display as interactive and informative as possible. As the day progresses, there is the opportunity to wander around to many other displays and performances learning of many features that of the area one seldom sees. The end of the day usually melds into a celebration of some sort by all, inside and/or out of the hall. That evening, all items go back to the museum and are tidied up the next day for Monday.”
Alex works in the Gift Shop on Fridays. He told me, “I enjoy the Comox Air Force Museum as a place of history. The Museum building was one of the first on the base and houses the artifacts of days gone by. But the best part is the stories that go along with the artifacts that make history come alive. I discover something new in reading adventurous tales of persons featured along with legends of aircraft and the crewmen that flew them.
As for the membership of the museum, most are retired service personnel or history and aircraft enthusiasts, each with their own stories and experiences. The common factor is history, the awe and fascination of days gone by, and seeing the relevance to actions of today and believing that history matters. (Plus sharing spirited opinions on matters of little relevance to stir the banter amongst the volunteers and staff.)
I’m Val, the volunteer who asked my fellow volunteers to share their Favourite Things over the past five weeks. I’ve been a volunteer for a little over two years now, having visited the Museum to “find my dad” who had been stationed at the Comox Base toward the end of WWII. That’s when I started to become acquainted with the incredible volunteers who work to save and tell the many important stories here at the Comox Air Force Museum. Each time I went into the Museum to work, they helped me with my research, and I grew to value the commitment and dedication that they bring to their work here. I continue to be amazed by this wonderful group of people and I’m hoping you’ve had an opportunity to come to know them a bit better. My Favourite Thing about our Museum? You might have guessed already ~ my fellow volunteers, the special folks who make the Museum what it is ~ a very special place!!
Deb, our Gift Shop Manager is sharing her favourite T-shirts this week. The Hawaiian shirts are very popular with our visitors; there are a few styles to choose from.
Deb has brought in some new shirts for the ladies on your Christmas list. She loves the colours and designs on these.
And with a nod to our SAR squadron, we also have a Cormorant T-shirt.