Conair Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Apr 7, 2019

It was one heck of a hanger party Saturday – and that hanger has seen a lot during its 80 years.

An expected 800 guests celebrated Conair’s storied history: with a live link to crews currently working in Australia, great speeches by dignitaries, static display featuring the first of several new Q400 water bomber conversions for the French Government, real time history in motion air show featuring the workhorse DC6 and a bombing run, a DJ elevated high above the hanger floor… Conair did the show right.

However, what really struck me were the number of lifelong relationships gathered and rekindled in the room. It was BCAC Board member Tim Cole that highlighted this.

“I spent much of the evening with Axel Duch, who was Conair’s first DC6 Captain and trained their crews, including Barry Marsden. He also flew the TBM and A26 for Conair.

If you google Axel you will see he is the author of a couple of books (in Danish but the reviews are in English). A major player in the relief efforts in Biafra, also a journalist and pilot in the Vietnam era. Prior to that BC Airlines, CP and PWA and prior to that Danish Airforce (trained in Texas). Flew F80s, Spitfires and Mustangs among many others.

He was a former Transport Canada inspector. We worked together in the late 70’s.

A great celebration and met many old friends.”

That sums up well what made the day so special.