On October 18, 28 Probusians and guests drove to the Comox and spent an hour and a half in the museum exhibit area which was rich with photos, artifacts and information on the squadrons that served (and still serve) at Comox, the planes that they flew and the history that they made or were a part of – right up to present day. When asked to go to the library, most left reluctantly – feeling another trip back was necessary to finish reading everything in the museum.
In the library, Col. Terry Chester gave us a thorough background on the Spitfire Restoration Project. He explained that what had started as a community project with one part-time engineer and $40,000/year was now a multi-million dollar project funded by the charitable foundation Vintage Wings of Canada. The Quebec foundation has spent $2.6 million (employing four full-time engineers and purchasing parts from all over the world) and they anticipate another $2 million to finish. The agreement included a caveat that the plane would be flown in Comox Valley in 2015 before it is flown to its new home in Calgary.
Thanks to the persistence of Bernie Podlubny (calling the museum staff many times the week before we arrived), we were given the privilege of going into the Spitfire workshop. Col. Chester even removed the barriers around the plane so that we could get an up-close look at the work that has been done to date.
After the tour we drove to the nearby Griffen Pub for lunch ending an excellent trip for all participants.