May 8, 2023
It is with immense sadness to announce that we have lost a founding legacy member of the museum. Terry Champion peacefully passed away on May 2, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. He was 89.
When the newly formed Edmonton Aviation Heritage Society (EAHS) met in December 1990, Terry was there. Having been asked to temporarily replace the President representing 418 Squadron Association, the meeting aimed to discuss raising funds towards the restoration and preservation of the Building #14 at Edmonton’s Municipal Airport. This was the future and now permanent home of the Alberta Aviation Museum – the last remaining double-wide, double-long hangar built for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the Second World War.
At a time when public fundraising priorities looked down on expenses such as building and renovation costs, Terry helped the committee to raise an astonishing $250,000 towards the cause.
A life-long member of 418 ‘City of Edmonton’ Squadron, and pilot for both Pacific Western Airlines and Canadian Airlines, Terry’s skill at building an extensive network of businesses, civic leaders, and community members laid the very foundations towards the City of Edmonton’s approval of the Aviation Museum Project in 1990-91.
Terry’s tireless fundraising efforts throughout the years are evident throughout the museum, everything from our revitalized story-island displays, the 700 Wing Aviation Memorial Walkway, to the restoration of the very roof that houses our priceless aviation artifacts. In December 2019, 418 Squadron Association dedicated their history gallery in honour of his continuing efforts to carry the legacy of Blatchford Field onward. In the span of over 30 years, it is estimated that he has raised over 3 Million dollars in the name preservation and reclamation of Alberta’s rich aviation history.
We offer our sincere condolences to Terry’s family and friends.
At his request, no service will be held, but a memorial gathering will be held by his family at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the Alberta Aviation Museum. Many thanks to the kind and caring staff at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans.