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
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
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
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.
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!