Continuing the Time Travel: 75 Years in Events.

Started in NetLetter #1419.


tmb new yorkTorontonians take a bite out of the Big Apple in 1941. The first transborder service launches on May 10.

Overall, the number of passengers increases by 60 percent that year.

tmb tcaraThe real fun starts in 1941. TCA Winnipeg employees set up the Recreational Association, which organizes hockey tournaments, photo contests, picnics, parties and even, in the early days, beauty pageants.

It lives on today as the Air Canada Recreation Association (ACRA).


tmb female employeeSome 163 male employees are enlisted in the Armed Forces in 1942, presenting TCA with a serious manpower problem.

The company starts employing women as agents, chauffeurs, cargo handlers, radio operators, stock keepers and mechanics – a total of 464 women that year, or one-third of the workforce.


(More next NetLetter – eds)

1972 April 30 - Montreal - Toronto Rapidair service commenced.

horizons logoFound in the “Horizons” magazine.

Issue dated April 1987 (50th Anniversary)

New Egypt service planned.

Air Canada was planning to fly to Egypt as a result of a successful air trade agreement signed between the Canadian and Egyptian governments.

The day Murphy stayed at home.

On a bright cloudless day in the fall of 1986, two private jets carried identical loads of precious data from Toronto to Winnipeg.

The future travel plans of thousands of passengers were moving, in duplicate, to their new home on Portage Avenue. This was the start of the most complex technical feat ever attempted by the Computer & Systems Services Branch.

Reservec II was being moved from Toronto, where it was born 16 years ago, to Winnipeg, the site of C & SS's most recent and modern installation. Some have likened it to a heart transplant, others more accurately to changing an engine in mid-air.

While most of the travelling public was unaware of this major event, it took two years of planning and development to successfully make the transition.

Work began in mid-1984 when it became apparent that the Toronto computer did not have the capacity to handle the expected growth in the passenger reservations area.

After much research to find a computer large enough and compatible with existing programs, the Sperry 1190 series computer was chosen to replace the existing Univac 1146. The project defied Murphy's Law, being successful in the face of formidable odds.

Pictured below are the Montreal and Winnipeg teams involved in coordinating the move.

tmb 550 montreal team
tmb 550 winnipeg team

Air Canada was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1987. Below we have a photo of a group of original employees hired during 1937. 

From the left: Russ Bulger, Dick Leigh, Bruce Saunders, Rene Giguere, Herb Seagrim, Lindy Rood, Ches Rickard and George Lothian.
tmb class of 1937

The 1987 joint meeting of ACRA Presidents and System Events Chairmen took place in Montreal.

Main discussions centered around activities, past and planned, of each of the 22 ACRA  chapters across the system, the 13 recognized sports and cultural events and of course, the 50th anniversary celebrations. The first A.C.R.A. (aka T.C.A.R.A.) was formed in 1941 at Winnipeg.

(Note: Sadly the ACRA does not seem to be active - eds)

In the photo below, ACRA Presidents or their representatives and System Events Chairmen or their representatives.

In the front row are, from left to right: Brenda Williams, Montreal; Cory Smith, Los Angeles; Emy Amendola, Thunder Bay; Jim Whitelaw, Senior Vice President - Corporate & Human Resources; Brenda McCasin, Edmonton; Sheila Snow-Cline, Vancouver; Barbara Bernoth, Frankfurt.

In the second row are, in the same order: Bill Kent, Hockey; Michael McHenry, Art; Jim Batten, Ottawa; Yolande Bourque, Moncton; Noel Ebden, Saskatoon; Duncan Butchart, Calgary; Neil Stephenson, Regina; Deidra Roberts, San Francisco; Larry Lee, London, Ontario; Ron Corbin, Saint John, New Brunswick; Fred Bourdeau, Sydney; Wilfred Hackey, Quebec; Keith Windsor, St. John's, Newfoundland.; Ken Rodgers, London, England.; Gordon Graham, Halifax; Michael Hickey, Dusseldorf; Diana Duval, Winnipeg; Joe Holmes, Bowling; Jim Miller, Toronto; Warren Dunne, Ski; Ken Mackenzie, Darts.

In the back row are, from the left: Roy Keane, Tennis; Lucie Chabot-Gagnon, Softball; Linda Kellins, Golf; Jack Inouye, Curling; Evan Quick, Squash; Bernie Brennan, A.C.E. Fly-In; David Paxton, Soccer and Barry Drinkle, Photography

tmb 550 acra presidents and directors 1987

Soccer kick-off.

Back in 1980 the Air Canada Soccer Club (Montreal) organized the first invitational airline soccer tournament and Aeromexico (Mexico City) and Lufthansa (Frankfurt) were the only foreign carriers to participate.

This year's event on May 15 and 16, 1987, will be Canada's and possibly North America's largest airline tournament, attracting teams from as far away as Japan, Brazil, Sweden, Norway, France and England.

tmb north star painting 705North Star painting commissioned by the T.C.A. Alumni by artist Don Connolly and presented to Air Canada during the 50th anniversary of the airline in 1987.

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