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45th Rollout Anniversary at Boeing Toronto


    This past Friday October 4, 2002, marked the forty-fifth anniversary of the rollout of the Avro Arrow. This momentous event was celebrated on the original spot where the Avro Arrow was first presented to the Canadian public. Boeing Canada Toronto Ltd. and its President, Mr. Stephen Fisher, P.Eng. made this celebration possible.
   Mr. Fisher, with the aid of Ms. Lesley Bruce, Ms .Caroline Wilkinson, and several other Boeing employees, did something that had never been done before; they made possible a gathering of Avroites, Boeing employees and related Canadian AVRO Heritage groups in the plant and on the exact spot of the rollout ceremony.
   The function started at 3.30 pm with the gathering of old friends at the main employee gate, then the crowd of over 300 was shuttled to the main bay reception area. Several artifacts and new displays awaited the guests; the nose section of the Toronto Aerospace Museum full size replica; also Aviation authors Randall Whitcomb, Bill Zuk and others were present with their books and artwork. Many pieces of the aircraft were shown and many more photos and stories were passed on.
   Stephen acted as master of ceremonies, host and welcomed the crowd. In his speech Stephen talked of the Avro achievements, the C102 Jetliner, CF100 and the Arrow project itself, "From initial design to rollout in four years is an amazing feat of engineering, one that even in this age, has not been repeated." He then continued and introduced Jim Floyd, Vice President Avro Aircraft (Engineering), as the keynote speaker.
   It was an emotional speech Jim gave, "Returning to this spot has awakened a lot of ghosts and memories," Jim then continued with a short history of the Jetliner, CF100 and Arrow projects. He concluded by thanking his Avro colleagues for their efforts so long ago, and Boeing for their gracious hospitality.
   Stephen then introduced Ron Pearsons, Canadian Air Force Historian. Ron told us of how he remembered the Arrow and passed on congratulations from CAF staff. He also told us of some of the Canadian plans for the "100th Year of Manned Flight" celebrations that will take place next year.
    The crowd then went outside for the photographs on the full size mural painted on the exact spot of the rollout by the Boeing team.
    After the photographs the crowd relaxed with some light refreshments, many stories and closed the function several hours later.

     Hats Off to Stephen and his Boeing Team, for their foresight and hospitality. This was an important anniversary of Canadian Aviation Heritage and it wouldn't have been possible with out their support!

  CELEBRATION IMAGES
Main Avro Offices.
Guests waiting at the Main Plant Entrance.
View of Main Bay 1.
Celebration Crowd.
Mr. Stephen Fisher welcoming the guests.
Jim Floyd reminiscing.


Photo Credit: Scott McArthur

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