Sunday, 9 March 2014

We Did It!

I woke up this morning feeling like the luckiest girl in the world – AGAIN!  This seems to be a reoccurring theme for me.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than in the company of so many interesting, inspiring and empowered women; and the men who support and celebrate them.

We officially have a new Vancouver Island Chapter of Women In Aviation International!  All of our volunteers really rocked it!  Everyone really went the extra mile.

Our event was held jointly with the amazing Victoria Flying Club ( who provided free familiarization flights and flights in the Red Bird SIM for women and girls interested in flying.  The staff and instructors were phenomenal and took such good care of all of our attendees.  Also thank you to Bill McAllister and Fly Southwest BC for taking 6 women flying for free on as part of our Women In Aviation event.

We were joined by our friends from CASARA and COPA 4 Kids.  What I love about the aviation community is how different groups always come together to support one another.  I was reminded this weekend that you never know who you are going to meet; or what a positive impact they will have on your life.  Airplane people are so cool!

I must send a special thank you to my fellow founding VI WAI members Bonnie, Lynn, Christie, Hannah and Jessica J.  Keep your eye on these women.  I expect that we will be seeing great things from them.

Kathy, Marie, Phyllis & Ramona
We have been blessed to meet a very special 88 year old pilot named Phyllis Gaul who was the first female pilot in her home Province of Newfoundland (and the only female pilot in Nfld for quite some time).  She received her PPL in 1947 and at that time, where she lived, there were no other women pilots so it was a very challenging time for Phyllis. She is a bright light for all of us.

Here's Phyllis' story.

This weekend Phyllis went up in one of the Club's Cessna 172's and she tried out the RedBird.  There was also a story about Phyllis at our event on CTV News tonight and Phyllis' grandson was sweet enough to provide us a link to the CTV Interview.

Phyllis surprised us this morning with this Times Colonist Letter to the Editor.  She is such a vibrant lovely woman.  We are so lucky to know her.
Phyllis & VFC Instructor Sean Tyrrell

We were supported by other businesses in our community who provided door prizes for our new WAI members and other attendees including: Catalina Grill, Contrails Aviation, Dakota Cafe, Dish Cookhouse, Mary's Bleue Moon Cafe, Melinda's Biscotti, Ooh La La Cupcakes, Red Boot Lady, Red Brick Cafe, Spitfire Grill, Stonehouse Restaurant, Sweet Memory Art, Theo's Restaurant, The Roost Farm Bakery, Thai Corner Restaurant, and Toast Cafe.  Thank you to our friends at Island Blue Print for their last minute save and doing all of our printing for us.

With Brave Wings She Flies
Our friend and artist, Christine Roome, ( has designed a pendant using an original 6 x 6 collage created in honour of International Women's Day and in support of Women in Aviation, Vancouver Island Chapter called "Brave Wings".  The photo on the pendant was taken in 1947 and the woman in it is Mae Frame, a member of the Victoria Flying Club.  She is standing beside a Fleet Canuck, one of the club's first airplanes.

50% of the proceeds from the sale of this necklace will go back to the Women in Aviation, Vancouver Island Chapter.  The pendant comes in a 1.5 round antique copper setting covered with glass with a matching 24-inch chain and comes adorned with a set of matching wings.  It can be ordered online at the above link.

We had a ton of press with respect to our event including:

Times Colonist Letter to the Editor

CTV News

You can find some fantastic photos by Jo-Ann Way of Nuttycake Photography of our event at: Women In Flight

Or right here!  Thank you to everyone who joined us!  Onward and Upward!

Shooting Go! Island SHAW TV at VFC

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