CATP Museum President:
Training Plan Museum
CATP Museum Site ~ Victory Garden
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Updated March 2006
I am writing to introduce myself as the new President of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (CATPM), [Brandon Manitoba]
I feel a bit like the new “Wing Commander” promoted to a senior position by attrition of his “Senior Officers,” when he would rather be flying. I suppose however that this is a normal state of affairs. I do not come from an “armed services” background. My father and uncles served in WW11. I spent time as a young boy visiting military bases and have always had a love of aircraft – although some may call this an affliction. As I became aware of the needs of the CATPM, I began to volunteer whenever I had spare time. It was then that I realized the dedication of the people who started this organization is truly commendable.
I often wonder why so little is known about the “Plan.” During my youth as a “baby boomer,” WW11 was considered a recent event. Those who experienced the events of WW11, and survived, needed and wanted to get on with life and, as a result, the Plan has not been well covered in our current history texts. It seems that history does not become a matter of record until several generations have passed … by then the picture is dim. I have come to the conclusion hat we must record, preserve, and tell this story now.
History has always been the mirror in which we see ourselves reflected. The surface of the mirror gets cloudy with time. It is not an easy thing to stand here today looking at a past I did not experience, and use that mirror to shine light on the future.
It has often been said that history repeats itself. Let us pray that statement is not true.. I believe that by doing a good job of following our museums purpose, philosophy and mission we will be able to provide vantage point from which we can view the future.
Canada has a rich heritage in which the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) played a truly significant part. The Museum’s planning and fund raising committees have a vision of what the CATPM can become as a museum in which to display this portion of Canada’s Heritage. May our future, and that of the next generation, be brighter.
I feel very privileged to know some of you as veterans and as friends. May I ask the veterans, that you would tell your stories to any of the younger generations who ask? It may not be easy. You may feel your part was not important in the grand scheme of events, but I urge you to let us know what happened. The importance of each of your contributions to the whole is what made this country, and the so-called “Free World”, what it is. It is your first person accounts of the events that will ensure the accuracy of the history of tomorrow.
I am also very concerned that the staff of the CATPM is aging. Younger people are needed to help in many capacities. If you are a younger person with skills of any sort to offer, please make yourself known, we need your help. To those of you both young and old, who are doing the work of the museum … we thank you! Please contact me with your concerns, advice, offer to help, or what have you, and I will endeavour to respond. I am honoured to serve. We will remember them …
Passenger Reg Forbes in the Cornell on his way to the 2004 Virden Sno-Birds show.
Reg was in a Cornell on the same airfield 60 years ago!
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum.
Ex-Air Gunners Association
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