Max Ward - Remembering a True Canadian Aviation Pioneer
While watching the CBC news during the coverage of the American election, I was surprised to see a scrolling message advising that Max Ward had passed away a few weeks short of his 99th birthday.
It seems to me that the life of this remarkable pioneer in Canadian aviation deserves much more than just a footnote quickly passing by.
When I joined Air Canada in the early 1980's, Wardair rented hangar space from Air Canada in Toronto's '747 Hangar' for overnight 'A' checks. At that time, the relationships between employees of Air Canada, CP Air and Wardair were very cordial and exchange of aircraft parts led to frequent interaction between 'Stores' staff.
The professionalism of Wardair people always impressed me. Mr. Ward's integrity was filtered down through the ranks and Wardair had a well deserved reputation for excellent customer service.
The events of the years that followed have been well documented and Mr. Ward was certainly a dominant figure in the headlines.
Always an innovator and never afraid to challenge the status quo, there is absolutely no doubt that Max Ward was a factor in the evolution of aviation in Canada for several decades.
The National Film Board of Canada produced an excellent documentary (click the image below) back in 1984 focusing on Mr. Ward's fight for de-regulation of airline operations in Canada.