DSC_0019The Comox Air Force Museum held it’s quarterly Information Session on Monday.

The Main Gallery has upgraded the Centennial WWI display to include the Breadner Helmet and reflect both sides of the conflict. It includes an explanation of the importance of how the creation of the RCAF helped change the balance of power in a ground conflict.

The Lee Enfield rifle rifle has been housed in a temporary case, to be added to the WWI exhibit along with recently donated trench maps, shell fragments and casings, a German helmet, Iron Cross and grenade. A panel will be created to explain context and impact on Canadian society.

The walls in the museum have been extended upward and displays added. Mike Forbes and Irv Fraser have begun to add trim to finish it off. The display for 443 Sqn will be finished off with the installation of a model of a Cyclone and a background panel.

The Great Escape exhibit is almost finished. Once installed, this upgrade will serve to enhance the Colwell Diary to become an anchor point of the World War Two section. An aluminum fork made for the Luftwaffe complete with Swastika and eagle markings, will also become part of the display.

For 2015, Don Smith upgrades will continue with a graphic panel outlining the role of Support Operations and includes;

Engineering

Administration

Finance

Security

Medical /Dental

Fire

Lynn then outlined the plans to renovate the hallway/magazine storage section into more display space with adjustable shelving. This space will be used mainly for Temporary Exhibits and will be rotated.

Jon then outlined the new Volunteer Training Program. New volunteers will begin there training by reading “War on Our Doorstep” and watch the “There Shall be Wings” DVD to familiarize themselves with the museums theme. Jon will continue writing a Cole’s notes type reference handbook for the volunteers to use to create their own versions of tours. There will be no need for memorization! Jon is available to talk with the volunteers to help “fill in the blanks” that come up.

Jon is also continuing with the Elder College as part of the Museum’s Outreach program. Volunteers are welcome to sit in on the lectures.

The Museum has been helping Lewis Bartholomew with his recently renamed HMCS Alberni Museum located in the Comox Mall.

Lynn came back to update the volunteers on the installation of new carpet in the Library. The books must be removed before installation so volunteers are asked to help out. Look for announcement of a date in January.

Lynn is also working on upgrading the cash register to a Point of Service (POS) system. This will improve inventory control and eliminate the need for reprogramming every time a new item is added to the Gift Shop. There will be training for the volunteers and a reference guide will be available in the Gift Shop.

The Heritage Aircraft maintenance will continue with the covering the Dak’s ailerons by the Heritage Air Craft Team in Building 268. The Tracker is next in line for refurbishment, and the Museum has been offered an Aurora for the Air Park. The Aurora will be #107 which is currently in use on the base.

There will be new signs for the Heritage Air Craft in the Air Park, based upon Dan Brennon’s Guide to the Heritage Air Park. This guide is available in the Library and online.

The former Spitfire Hangar will now be known as Building 268, and will house the new Heritage Vehicle Display. A Transitional Working Group was set up to facilitate the changes. Inspections have been done with minor changes noted. There will be a separate inspection of the mezzanine to make sure it is structurally sound enough to house the technical manuals and Magazine collection.

Tours of the Heritage Vehicles will be conducted in the same manner as Spitfire Tours. A sign has been created informing visitors of the need to come to the Museum if they wish to tour the site. There will be a guide book outlining rules for conducting the tours.

The back part of the building will be used as a carpentry workshop to create exhibit pieces in house and as space for the Heritage Air Craft Team to finish small jobs.

The Association will provide funds to create a coffee area and buy new stools and tools for the teams.

The Heritage Stone Ceremony was well attended. The ceremony itself, hosted by Jon, was very dignified and pleased the families of the donors. The new Wing Commander and his staff attended as well, a welcome show of support from the Wing.

After the session, the volunteers sat down to a potluck lunch. It was delicious!