Thursday, April 19, 2007


Well-Deserved "Late Accolades"................

Nunavut Honours Aviation Pioneers

The Nunavut Government has honoured a family of Manitoba pilots for decades of pioneering aviation in the North.

The four surviving pilots in the Lamb family — Conrad, Doug, Jack and Greg — received plaques and accolades from Community and Government Services Minister Levinia Brown during a reception in Rankin Inlet on Saturday.

The father, Tom Lamb, and sons Donald and Dennis are deceased.

Longtime residents of the eastern Arctic may recall airplanes with the red Lamb Air logo on the side during the 1950s to '70s. The family of pilots, comprising six sons and their father, spent those years flying passengers around the area that is now Nunavut.

Lamb Air, which was based in The Pas, Man., was in business from 1935 to 1981.

"They were the type of guys that would always allow someone to get on or off an airplane, depending on where they were, if they were in need," Shawn Maley, assistant deputy minister of Community and Government Services, said Saturday.

"That's the kind of work they did over many many years in the early part of the development of the territory."

With four sons in the family still living — the youngest being in his 70s — Maley said his department and the Department of Transportation felt it was time to extend their appreciation to the family.

"There was a number of us that saw that the Lambs were getting on in age and for whatever reason they haven't been properly recognized, either in Canada or Manitoba," he said. "We thought now would be a good time to recognize their efforts in helping develop the Nunavut territory."

The surviving brothers, who currently live in various communities across Manitoba, flew to Rankin Inlet for the weekend occasion. Jack Lamb said flying to Nunavut in his day was a lot different than it is now.

"It was pretty rough in those days," Lamb recalled. "There was no runways and no navigation, and the only beacons that were around were Churchill, Baker Lake [and] Coral Harbour."

The Lamb brothers said they were honoured and a little embarrassed by the attention. Jack Lamb said he appreciates the recognition for what was a very difficult job at times.

Good for the family, I can tell you, they were "real men". Flying Beavers, Otters, Norsemans, DC-3s, Bristol Freighters, and other aircraft types in the "far reaches" of the North and elsewhere took a "special breed", too bad it is basically "all over". As my first full-time "aviation employer", Reg Treacy, WWII veteran, and old Hudson's Bay employee always used to say..... "You could always find the 'Real Men' in the North"..................... "True words" from a "wise old sage"!


Lambair "Bristol Freighter" through the ice! The "boys" got "her" out...........

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