On the low overcast morning of Saturday, April 28th, 4 members of Canada Company’s British Columbia chapter made their way through the front gate of 19 Wing Comox in anticipation of a day with Canada’s ambassadors of the air, the men and women of 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron also known as the Snowbirds.
At the invitation of Lieutenant Trevor Reid, the Public Affairs Officer for the base in Comox, and Captain Thomas Edelson, the Snowbirds’ new Public Affairs Officer, Don Hewson, Marcello De Cotiis, Bob Thompson and Dan Whittle had the honour and pleasure of visiting with the Snowbirds during their annual work-ups in Comox prior the upcoming air show season. This year’s air show schedule is dedicated to the citizens and territories of Canada’s North with the team flying over 50 performances in almost 40 different locations throughout North America.
After the 1 hour practice session, Don invited members of the Snowbirds to attend dinner at his home which just happened to be located at the end of 19 Wing’s main runway. At 6:30pm precisely, 6 members of the Snowbirds, including team leader Major Wayne Mott, appeared at the front door of the house with hefty appetites for what would be a grand feast. Also in attendance for dinner that night was 19 Wing’s Commander, Colonel Jim Benninger as well at the Wing’s Chief Warrant Officer, David Bolster along with Captain Erik O’connor and Captain Holly Brown of the CF-18 demonstration flight.
The hilight of the evening was a presentation by Major Mott of a Snowbirds Challenge Coin to Don Hewson in recognition of Canada Company’s support of 431 Squadron. Earlier in the day, a Canada Company plaque was presented to Major Mott which will now be proudly displayed at the Snowbirds’ home base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
In 2009, a Canada Company scholarship was awarded to Scott Senecal, Son of Sergeant Charles (Chuck) Senecal who was killed in the crash of a Snowbirds’ Tutor jet in Moose Jaw on October 9th, 2008. An additional scholarship was awarded in 2011 to Milann Mitchell who’s Father, Captain Bryan (Mav) Mitchell was also killed in the same accident.