Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
RCAF HALIFAX LW170 Recovery
LW170 Recovery Phase I
Halifax 57 Rescue
Progress Report No.29
June 29, 2009
Registered Charity 84586 5740 RR0001
Since I last reported to all of our supporters and members in Report No. 28, over 2 months ago, much effort and planning by all our Directors and colleagues has been focused on preparation for our historic sonar expedition to find Halifax LW170.
You may recall how I sent out an urgent appeal for funding assistance from our supporters because our accounts were getting low. This was directly related to the request of the POLAR PRINCE shipowners that Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) should pass on to them in mid-May into a special account the funds needed to cover the basic costs of our Halifax sonar survey.
Thanks to all of you who sent in funds over the past 2 months to our accounts to keep us going and cover contingencies as we proceed on our historic quest. Thank you one and all for your heart-warming response to our financial concerns.
I must make mention of the great support coming from our partners, the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum –Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial.
In addition, it should be pointed out that Vintage Wings of Canada in Gatineau, Quebec is a keen sponsor of the Halifax Project. This international aviation heritage group has made a great donation to our cause which helped us meet our financial goal in May for the services of the POLAR PRINCE.
Thanks to Mike Potter, Tim Leslie, Dave O’Malley, and all their talented team for all they are doing to preserve and share our aviation history with Canada and the world.
Special mention must go to 2 proud sons of 2 Canadian World War Two warriors, who have made very generous private donations in memory of their fathers to Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada). Thanks very much to Clint Cawsey and Peter Walker, both of Calgary, who made timely and very sizeable donations to strengthen our cause at just the right time as we built up the preparations for the sonar survey for LW170.
Although we were hoping we would be able to go out to do the Halifax sonar survey in early July 2009, after the present refit of the POLAR PRINCE, I must report to you now we have 2 problems that will delay our sonar survey.
The first one is technical in nature and concerns the diesel engine rebuild of the inner pair of diesels of the POLAR PRINCE (as an ice-breaker she has 4 diesel engines and the 2 outboard engines have been totally rebuilt to industry standard). It seems the component repairs to parts of the inner pair of diesels during the refit were not up to standard. These parts had to be redone and are now ready to go back on the diesels which are set to be completed by mid-July. Then the vessel will be fully ready for sea.
The bigger problem is that the commercial work that the shipowners had lined up for the POLAR PRINCE (sonar work to plan a path for underwater laying of communication cable) has fallen through. So we are another group wounded by the recession that seems to have hit at all sectors of the economy!
So we have a situation where we will (by mid-July) have a refitted deep sea sonar ship ready to go to work but without a commercial job. Remember, the commercial job will pay for the mobilization costs and transit costs of the ship (very expensive). All we at Halifax 57 Rescue should have to pay is the wholesale day costs of the ship and sonar.
If any of you out there has “half a million” we can go and do the Halifax sonar survey as soon as the diesels are ready. Also, let me know if any of you are lotto winners and I think we could solve this situation fairly quickly!
Seriously though, we have fulfilled our financial end as per our contract with Deep Ocean Research Ltd. and the POLAR PRINCE shipowners. The funds are waiting to pay for our portion of the sonar expeditions. I should point out that the contract states that if the Halifax sonar survey is not completed in 2009 that our payment to the shipowners will be refunded.
I apologize for this long winded explanation but because all of our members and supporters have been so dedicated and waited so long for our Halifax sonar expedition I felt you should know the details for our delay.
And if you think you are disappointed you should see it from my end! After all the Irish situation and problems in 2008 and then this – it is very disheartening to say the least.
But I have taken strength from something that happened this last weekend’s event at Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial, the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum, that makes me think of adversity and what we must do when we THINK times are hard.
Etched on “THE WALL” at Nanton, our Memorial wall with the names of the nearly 10,000 Canadians killed-in-action in Bomber Command, is a great photo of a young Halifax bomber crew smiling out at us from a time when all the civilized world was threatened and a time in their lives when they flew through hell to save our Freedoms.
The daughter of the British flight engineer in this Canadian Halifax crew photo, having traveled all the way from England to visit us at Nanton, was telling of her father and how he hardly spoke of his combat tour with his Canadians. When she spoke of how this crew in the photo was his SECOND crew and that his first crew, the ones with whom he would have totally identified with, had been shot down while he was off duty as sick, I understood why he never talked of this after the war. I tried to explain this to his daughter as I have seen this solitary-survivor anguish and guilt several times before in my years of bomber crew research.
It is a personal hardship of the highest order for a young man of probably, at the max 23 years old, who saw all his combat brothers fade away in one night and then lived with this tragedy for the next 50 to 60 years. My heart aches to think of this as I have a son of this age and I would never want him to experience or carry this burden for a life time. Yet he did carry it and went on to have, I believe his daughter said, 8 children in the family!
So we now have in front of our group, and after all our efforts, a hardship that is trivial compared to the personal hardship of our RCAF warrior above. We must take strength from these young mens’ example and “press on regardless…”.
I remember the pop song by ABBA “I have a Dream” (you should read the lyrics) and in there is a striking phrase, the words “Pushing through the darkness still another mile” and that is what we must do (literally) in the deep Irish waters if we are to succeed in our quest.
Do not worry about the unknown out there or the stumbling blocks in our progress, just keep going because we know this is the right thing to do and LW170 is our treasure waiting to be reclaimed. The sacrifice is too great and the prize too valuable so we must continue. We have our target and must not be deterred!
To this end Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada), after meeting with the shipowners in mid-June, has agreed to use all our resources and contacts in all political, corporate, and personal circles to assist the POLAR PRINCE company and owners find new business prospects in a timely manner (this summer season of 2009) so that none of our efforts are wasted.
Do you have business prospects for a sonar ship or icebreaker?? We have a full business proposal for the POLAR PRINCE ready. Our contacts are listed below and we await all enquiries.
There still is time for our Halifax expedition and so we, the shipowners and our group, are pursuing all possibilities to assist the shipowners to line up commercial opportunities for the ship.
We have already been able to send last week a complete proposal package to a major oil company and also to a point of contact in high level political circles. The POLAR PRINCE is the only civilian icebreaker in all of Canada and has many services to offer beyond sonar to the exploration and scientific world.
I should let you know that in all my international reconnaissance and enquiries looking for a sonar ship for the Halifax Project the POLAR PRINCE people have been the most sincere and enthusiastic to help us succeed. We can truly count them as our friends and allies in our cause and I hope you will also. We must stick with them as they are our best friends and most logical solution in our historic cause.
With regard to current events we would like to spotlight the special monthly events that are being presented at the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum.
The July 23rd special event at Nanton will be the next one (with a flyby of the Snowbirds and HAWK ONE) plus Lancaster Merlin runs - and the August 15th Annual Memorial Event promises to be a really special one as we are “Remembering Baz”, the dedication of Ian Bazalgette and his Victoria Cross award in Bomber Command.
Please consult the official website of our partners the Nanton Museum, Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial”, at www.lancastermuseum.ca for all the times and dates of all the special ceremonies and occasions between now and Sept. 2009.
As these are very formative times with many changing elements and possibilities for our Halifax Project I will be sending out another (Progress Report No. 30 at the end of July), or sooner if the situation warrants, so as to keep you fully informed. Thank you for sticking with us as we weather the storm.
“press on regardless…”
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
Registered Charity : 84586 5740 RR 0001
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
P.O. Box 606 Unit 31C – 174 Colonnade Road
Nanton, AB Ottawa, ON
T0L 1R0 K2E 7J5
Phone 403 - 603 - 8592 Phone 613 – 863 – 1942
Or 613 – 226 – 4884