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Who Am I?

Joe Elliott

I was born in 1944 in Goderich Ont.  My father worked for Shell Oil and my mother was a Bell Telephone operator.  I never knew my father because he was killed at Dunkirk shortley after I was born.  My mother moved back to St Thomas and I was raised by my grandmother until I was10 while my mother worked for Bell. My mother’s work took her to Tillsonburg in 1954 where she married in 1956. My step-father had a cottage at Long Point where

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I had rather idyllic teenage years.  I happened to go for an airplane ride from the beach at Long Point and this may have planted the seed for my future career.

In high school, army cadets were mandatory and I spent my summers at Army Cadet Camps at Ipperwash, Camp Borden and Banff.  In 1961, I went to the local airport for a trial flying lesson.  From then on there was much more emphasis on flying than schooling - to my parent’s chagrin.  I soloed in Feb. 1962 and completed my private pilot’s license.  After I finished high school in 1964 I was recruited by the RCAF and started boot camp at Centralia in Aug. 1964.  Additional training followed in Winnipeg and Moose Jaw and I received my wings in Dec. 1965.  This was followed by time in Portage La Prairie and Clinton and then back to Moose Jaw for 3 years.

I met my wife, Sylvia, in Moose Jaw and we were married in 1967.  During a very active career with the RCAF, our children were born – a daughter in 1969 and a son in 1973.

I remained with the RCAF until 1986 and had many interesting experiences including: flying

to many parts of the world including war zones, much training, and developing techniques to drop flares to allow night work, transporting VIP’s (Royalty, PM etc.)

In 1986, I became aware Wardair was hiring.  Upon inquiring, I was hired immediately.  I enjoyed my time at Wardair until it was bought out by Canadian Airlines.  I was seconded from Canadian Airlines to Airbus in the U.S from 1997 – 2000.  This assignment meant I had to travel all over the world as needed by Airbus.

When I returned to Canada I joined Air Canada as by then Canadian Airlines had merged with them.  I retired in 2004 but continued to some contract training for Air Canada until I fully retired last Dec.

This past winter we spent a couple of months in Florida.  I golf a little do some gardening – we are members of the KW Horticultural Society.  We enjoy our 4 ½ year old granddaughter.  I also plan on joining the St. Jacob’s Railway as a volunteer.


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