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The Zura Park Dedication in Barry's Bay

Zurakowski Park Dedication pg2

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    Janusz spoke and mentioned that he was "very sick" and that his speech would thus, necessarily be very short.
In this speech he said (this is paraphrasing because it was difficult to hear him perfectly):

    "I would like to thank all of the organizers and attendees for putting on this incredible event an honouring me. I would also like to say 'THAT I DON'T DESERVE THIS' and wish to dedicate this park to the thousands of wonderful Canadians who built this excellent aircraft [looking up at the near-perfect 1/4th scale model of the Arrow on display]and helped make Canada a world-leader in aviation technology."

    Some whispers were heard about how refreshing such modesty is and that such is the mark of a true hero.

About two-thirds of the way through the event, just before it began to rain, something amazing emerged from the mist as though it was coming from the mists of time: a Supermarine Spitfire with all 12 cylinders of its Rolls-Royce Merlin engine singing their spine-tingling song. This beautiful aircraft flew overhead, turned and did another flypast before returning to Ottawa. The pilot (Michael Potter) must have really sweet-talked air traffic control to be allowed to fly that day considering the low ceiling and poor visibility, especially since this million-dollar aircraft is the only Spitfire flying in Canada... a priceless artifact. And, despite being a very sick man as he said, Zura showed what he is made of and stuck out the entire ceremony despite it pouring rain for the last portion. Luckily a number of umbrellas converged on him, Anna and his sons.

    Mr. Hildebrandt held a reception at his home for many of the dignitaries and reports indicate it was very well done considering the status of many of the guests.

 

O.P.P. Squad.
Air Cadets.
   
Legion
Military Dignitaries
   
Janusz
 Arrives.
 
Crowd Listens.
Spitfire Fly Past.
 
 
Photo Credits to Scott McArthur and Brian Cuthbertson.
 
 

© By Scott McArthur and RL Whitcomb 2006

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