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Friday, August 14, 2015

Gary's Memorial

This blog post will be a recap of a solemn occasion; the memorial service for our friend and comrade, Gary Morical, who passed away in an aviation accident on May 8th.

David B and I were selected to play an important role in the service, as we would be spreading Gary's ashes over the sandbars of the Fraser River; a place Gary frequented in many of his flying adventures. His ashes would be released from David B's Titan Tornado, of which Gary had been the previous owner.

A small informal service was to be held at the Sandpiper Golf Club, or "Rowena's" as us aviators commonly call it.

Photo: Darryl Zimmerman and Sharron Toorenburgh

It was a favourite destination of Gary's and it seemed fitting to have his memorial there. Later in the day a more public memorial service was to be held at Delta Airpark, and would include members from the King George Airpark community, CASARA (Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association), The BC Pilots Association, and any anyone else who ever knew the man that was Gary Morical.

The morning of the memorial, David B picked me up from Delta Airpark in his Titan Tornado. We were still trying to figure out the best method for dispersing Gary's ashes, and we devised a plan to use a hose and funnel, run it out the air vent on the left side of the plane and use the suction that would be created, to pull the ashes out with ease, or so we thought.

Needing to keep to our timings, we loaded into the Tornado and blasted off towards Rowena's. As we passed King George Airpark we could see some of the others that would be joining us at the first memorial. They had their planes pulled out of their hangar bays and would be starting up soon and following our same flight path to Rowena's.

It was a beautiful day, and the weather cooperated to make it a very pleasant event. As expected David B and I were first to arrive, followed by James, Stumpy, Heidi, Darryl, and Sharon. 

A number of people drove to Rowena's including Len and his wife Kelly, Gary's daughter Meg, and Gary's girlfriend Ann and her daughter.

Once everyone arrived, we sat down for a wonderful lunch at the golf course restaurant and we chatted as we overlooked the golf course and the amazing view over Harrison Mills and the east end of the Fraser Valley.
Photo: Friendly Waitress

After this meet and greet we made our way to a spot on the golf course that was special to Gary and Ann. In the meadow behind the restaurant is a Lilac tree. It was special to Gary because it reminded him of his childhood and spending time on his grandparent's farm. It was only fitting that this Lilac tree would be the site of the formal portion of the memorial service. 

Beautiful words were spoken about Gary by those in attendance, and I started to feel bad that I had only met Gary a handful of times, and had never gotten the chance to know the wonderful man I was quickly learning he was. After everyone had spoken Ann and Meg took turns spreading some of Gary's ashes at the base of the Lilac tree.

Then, we headed to the airstrip, got in our planes and proceeded towards the Fraser River to release the remaining ashes.

The Tornado was the drop-plane, and Darryl and Sharon flew as the camera ship in their Eurofox, and James flew above us watching from a safe altitude in his S-6 Coyote.
Photo: Darryl Zimmerman and Sharron Toorenburgh

Initially the hose and funnel worked okay, but very slowly. Then, the hose became plugged up, so we switched to our backup plan, which was to open the back passenger door of the Tornado and release the ashes straight from the urn. This proved to work very well and once the job was complete, we wished Gary love and peace and continued westward, back to King George Airpark.

David B and I thought it would be a good idea to give the Tornado a good wash before heading to Delta Airpark for the second part of the memorial event. With the Tornado clean and shiny, we hopped in and ferried her to Delta and waited for everyone to arrive. All those that had driven to Rowena's needed a bit of extra time to get to Delta, but they all made it safely and in good time.

There was a BBQ held and more beautiful words were spoken about Gary, his military service, his humanitarian deeds, and about his passionate involvement in the local aviation community. A flypast was also put on by King George Aviation. Stephane, Marcus, and Arnold flew the school's Foxbat and Ikarus doing two close formation passes of the airfield in memory of Gary and his involvement in the King George Airpark community.

The evening went on and everyone shared stories of Gary and it was a very beautiful get-together of people that held Gary in such high regard. Gary, you will be missed and never forgotten.

By David McIntosh

Monday, August 10, 2015

Aero Club Of BC 100 Year Celebration.

The Aero Club of BC/COPA Flight 16 is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Aero Club of BC.   

The club was originally formed in 1915,  (Only six years after the first flight in the then British Empire, at Baddeck N.S. in 1909 in Alexander Graham Bell’s Silver Dart.)    This club lays claim to being the oldest flying club in Canada and possibly in the British Commonwealth!    Aero Club members were instrumental in the founding of YVR on Sea Island, and they also played a prominent role in the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP) during WW II. 

Please come out and celebrate this historic milestone with the Aero Club members, at the Pitt Meadows Airport on Saturday,  August 29th. 

A poster and list of the FREE all day activities is attached.      

The day time fly-in and events will be followed by a banquet in the beautiful new Sky Helicopters hangar and the entertainment will be provided by a 1940s swing type band.       In order to allow for the catering requirements it is necessary that the banquet tickets ($45.00) be purchased no later than Tuesday, August 18th.      Tickets can be purchased from Claudine Romani at :  claudine-romani@shaw.ca  or by calling her a 604-612-1774​ c or 604-425-1117​ h. 

For more information, see their web site at:  www.aeroclubofbc.ca/

Let’s all show our support for this historic BC Flying Club and make their day a resounding success.    You will enjoy the historic vignettes that will be presented in the club house throughout the day.     Many of you learned to fly at through the ACBC and is so their will be open microphone sessions to tell your stories.  

Aero Club of BC
Blue Skies
Phone 604-465-0446