AAM founder makes special appearance at museum volunteer Christmas lunch

AAM founder Bill Cottrell.

Museum volunteers attending our annual Christmas Lunch were treated to a special guest this week.

Bill Cottrell, was president of the Alberta Aviation Museum almost 30 years ago, before it occupied Hangar 14. He was a leader of the movement to convince Edmonton City Council to turn the historic hangar over to a group of aviation enthusiasts, including the museum.

“We were driving over to the Edmonton Flying Club for lunch one day and we glanced over at the hangar, and it was an empty shell,” Cottrell recounted. And so began the job of convincing the city to lease them the hangar.

“After seeing the pictures of what we did on (Fairchild) ATZ and what we wanted to do with the (City of Edmonton) Mosquito, we got a lease and here we are 30 years later. It’s unbelievable what is here now. I have to congratulate you on the magnificent job you have done.”

AAM Executive Director making a toast to museum volunteers.

AAM Executive Director Jean Lauzon also thanks volunteers for their work. She noted the on-going changes with new dioramas, an upgraded education area and the many other improvements both inside and outside the hangar.

“This is purely the result of over 12,000 work hours and the efforts of over 70 volunteers this past year. This also due to a determined staff that regularly goes above and beyond. It’s these factors that have made this museum what it is today.”

About 50 people enjoyed Christmas dinner with all the fixings courtesy of 418 (City of Edmonton) Squadron Assocation. Special thanks to Linda Forbes and her team who prepared the annual meal.

We want to thank all our volunteers and wish them and all our supporters a very happy and peaceful holiday season.