THE GIMLI GLIDER CONNECTION
2020 will certainly be recorded in world history as memorable for the challenges that the world has had to overcome. The pandemic is still ongoing and each of us in the Tourism sector have found the need to adapt and welcome our visitors in an atmosphere not encountered before.
We had an opportunity to meet many, many more of our Provincial “neighbors” in encouraging numbers, throughout our fourth summer of operation. The Travel Manitoba “staycation” promotion provided us with the opportunity to tell the history of the famous Gimli Glider story to Manitobans of all ages who were unfamiliar with the event.
The verbal and written feedback from many was spirit lifting as our 2020 will certainly be recorded in world history as memorable for the dedicated volunteers put in their hours behind masks and sanitizing constantly. It was impressive to hear how everyone was enjoying discovering their home Province and doing several “firsts” visiting other towns and villages.
When our borders were opened to Western Provinces and Western Ontario, we were delighted to hear from visitors how the first thing they wanted to do was to make the trip to see us.
It is likely during the winter months approaching we will continue to be in the midst of a different experience.
We have now closed the Exhibit until future notice. We will reopen when our increasing Covid-19 positive cases once again head back to the lower numbers. We enjoy our time with visitors and as hosts we want to provide the best experience within the smaller area of our simulator flight feature.
Giving Tuesday - December 1st 2020
A popular feature for Charities happens once a year in early December. We can now participate with the addition of Canada Helps. We provide Official CRA Tax receipts for any donation over $20.00. If you wish to support our continued operation please consider participating in this event, we value all donations of any size.
Many of you have seen our just released revamp and re-styling of our Gimli Glider website. It also has now been changed to the domain of www.gimliglider.org, reflecting our non-profit charitable status. We have responded to your request to make donations easier by installing a Canada Helps donation link with a button. We have secondly responded to requests to have our Gift Shop items on line for those that are seeking a Glider Exhibit keepsake.
We will be making changes to the site more frequently than in the past as our commitment to keeping it fresh and responsive to immediate needs. We hope you like the new styling and appearance.
Speaking of Gift Shop, one new item in very limited numbers is there. Many of you recall our limited numbers of fuselage tags, numbered and registered with Authenticity Certificates.
Each of those tags had cutout replicating the outline of 767 aircraft. The craftsmen that created these tags were asked to keep the metal from that cutout. Now, set within a resin dome we have only the best of those cutouts in a paperweight style keepsake. These will also sell out so, get your order in now. This is last of the metal from our fuselage 3 window panel; green paint on the underside of the white skin of the 604 plane accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and registered.
DID YOU KNOW?......................
Every Newsletter we will publish a lesser known fact about the world-famous history of the Gimli Glider event. Many of these “factual tidbits” are found within the Exhibit. This is one that most visitors are surprised to learn.
Air Canada AME’s (Mechanic Technicians) told us that there was an ovular patch on the front underside of Fin 604. The distinct patch was in the area of the collapsed front landing gear, destroyed as the aircraft impaled itself upon the metal strip dividing the racetrack. They commented that all they had to do was glance upward at the underbelly, if they saw this patch, they knew instantly it was the famous Gimli Glider. The repair to this area was made here at Gimli during the 4 days it was on the decommissioned runway and the repair remained on the aircraft for her 25 years of flying the skies.
One of the pilots that flew Fin 604 into Winnipeg for the additional months of repair recently sent us his photos of this repair area. Visitors are impressed to hear that the skill of those Air Canada technicians remained on the plane for the duration of her time in the air.
THE GIMLI GLIDER CONNECTION
A Brand New Year 2021 – going forward in continuing difficult times:Like most in
teractive venues our doors have been closed with the Provincial guideline restrictions since November 1st, 2020.
We were busy prior to Christmas with our successful Giving Tuesday event and pleased to receive orders for Gimli Glider merchandise through our online gift shop. Thank you to all of our website visitors that made our continuing operation successful with these ongoing purchases and donations.
We have also received some financial support through Government programs that will allow us to continue being a popular Manitoba tourism destination. We are grateful for the assistance.
With the reducing numbers of the Covid-19 cases within our Province, we are hopeful that more normal times will return especially once the vaccine will be made available to the residents. The staff misses meeting visitors from around the world and is looking forward to being back at the Exhibit.
2021 Events: The planning for 2021 activities are underway and once it becomes clear to what we can do and when, we will be sure to post all our news on the site and through this Newsletter.
LATEST GIMLI GLIDER ARTIFACT ACQUISITION:
We will be announcing shortly the arrival of another artifact from the Gimli Glider fuselage and access to 604 material that will allow us to provide some additional authentic souvenir items for our gift shop. Restoration of the item and design and prep of the items will take several months before all arrive in our Exhibit. We will keep you updated on this progress and we are excited to continue this development of our display.
Here is an example of Fuselage tags that were created from metals of the Gimli Glider, Fin 604.
These are currently sold out. A Certificate of Authenticity was included. The tags were serial numbered and a register of owner is kept.
WHAT’S COMING: SPRING!!! And the welcome opportunity to see the re-opening of our doors and announcing what we have in mind for the public activities through 2021….stay tuned!
DID YOU KNOW?......................
Every Newsletter we will publish a lesser known fact about the world famous Gimli Glider Event. Many of these “factual tidbits” are found within the Exhibit. This month we will take the opportunity to introduce our readers to more of our local colourful aviation history.
We have always intended to expand as we can manage, to tell the other two aviation stories of Gimli area that are of interest to history and aviation buffs. Both of these local histories played significant roles in our economic growth and character. Gimli’s colourful history is well covered in a coveted hard cover book called the “Gimli Saga”. As written “next to the arrival of the Icelanders in 1875, it is possible that no other event had a greater impact on this community than the establishment of an air base”. “For 28 years this based contributed much to Gimli”. Keeping in mind that the safe landing of the Glider was accomplished on the decommissioned airstrip.