(February 8, 1929 – June 29, 2020)
With the stillness in our museum during the most recent pandemic closure, silence brought many moments of pause and reflection. To find yourself in an empty hangar with over 30 aircraft of sheer size and historical relevance, one can feel insignificant in their shadows. This is a true testament to the tireless work, efforts, and passion of our restoration volunteers over the years.
Many of our featured planes once had a bleak future, but they were restored to their former glory under the watchful eye of one such volunteer, Lindsay Deeprose.
For 25 years, Lindsay had key involvement in the restoration of every aircraft in our collection. Serving as the Restoration Manager, many volunteers admired his leadership skills and ability to empower his restoration teams to achieve distinctive quality in their work. He believed, “Restoring and displaying historic aircraft retains the history of aviation in this part of our world for the people of today and for future generations. A side benefit is keeping us doing something constructive that we enjoy!”
Lindsay said this during the unveiling of the museum’s Katherine Stinson Special – a true representative replica of a one-of-a-kind plane lost to history. As no blueprints to the Stinson Special existed, Lindsay’s restoration teams took on the arduous task of reconstructing the plane from photographs and referential drawings. The quality and care that was put into the project can still be seen in the exhibit today – a true legacy of Lindsay’s inspiring oversight.
Volunteer Roger Olynyk spoke of his experience working with Lindsay on the restoration of “Daisy Mae,” our resident B25 Bomber:
“When I first came to volunteer at the museum, we spoke at length with regards to the B25 and my metal fabrication skills. He put me straight to work making brackets and other items needed to complete the restoration of the forward fuselage. He was so excited to find out I was one of the few people that knew how to polish Perspex. He then gave me every Perspex panel on the B25. I proceeded to polish everything to be optically clear. I still remember how happy he was.”
“Lindsay was a true gentleman,” said volunteer Don Hitsman. “(He was) always polite, professional, friendly and approachable. He was a great planner: researching the restoration work that needed to be done; and establishing the sequence and scope of the projects.” In describing his leadership style, Don said, “He always had a clear plan, that made the restoration process coordinated and so much easier. All I had to do was open my toolbox and look at his templates, drawings or manual references […] I always felt productive when Lindsay was on deck.”
In 2017, Lindsay moved to Canmore, Alberta to live out the rest of his days, but the foundation of his work will continue to inspire future generations of visitors to the museum. Ensuring the continuing aviation legacy of Blatchford Field.
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.
– Jerry Crawford