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Alberta's Aviation Heritage Images


"The Beginning"


A framed dissertation about "The Beginning" by Ray Munro. Inscription in the left lower corner is "To Cliff with Happy Memories of 280 Squadron - Sam Luberman - Edmonton March 8, 1983." On the back of the dissertation is an explanation concerning the inscription. In the lower right hand corner is the signature of Ray Munro who wrote the dissertation. The Beginning The fragile aircraft Silver Dart shook loose the frozen bonds of Nova Scotia's Bras d'Or Lake in nineteen hundred nine to usher in this fledgling nation's age of flight. And five years later Britain's need called forth a pride of young Canadians to serve as airmen ... all so brave and many fallen dead from alien skies. They served until the "war to end all wars" was won and then a few employed their airborne skills to probe a land that time forgot, which lay beyond the furthest cloud. In puny, flying craft they snarled above a million miles of awesome, brooding loneliness ... and vaulted battlements of wind-swept mountain ranges yet unnamed ... tracked faultlessly the twisting turns of brawling waterways that fed the Arctic sea ... enroute to which some stayed in unmarked graves. As to the south our patchworked, friendly land was being linked more personally by leather-suited , goggled men who strode the earth below in flying mail vans (day and night) and slept beneath a wing to ward off sun or dew ... while passengers were being coaxed by other airborne crews (in classy uniforms) to arch with them across the sky and beat the train. And when this nation's way of life was challenged yet again in nineteen thirty-nine, a thousand score and more Canadians donned airforce blue and served within an angry world to weave a legacy of valor... laurel wreaths for those who sleep in foreign graves. To honor those who gave the best they had, unselfishly improving flight throughout our land, a token group of aviation veterans was chosen by their peers to represent that whole community. All had drunk deep at adventure's well, their valiant efforts having stood the test of time... but knowing others to have given more, reserved the hallowed ground for those as yet unnamed.