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The RCAF Flight line dinner: a perfect blend of Tradition and Tribute

— Written by 2Lt Francois-Saint-Cyr

On Wednesday, June 12th more than 600 people gathered for a memorable evening as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) marked a significant milestone and celebrated its 100th anniversary. The celebration took place at 17 Wing Winnipeg, with a special Flight Line Dinner held within the 11 Hangar, one of the key events of the centennial festivities.

The evening began at 5:30 PM with a cocktail reception, attended by elected officials, honorary colonels, past Generals, the local Defense Team, CAF business partners and the civilian community. Highlights of the evening included several historical displays, vintage aircraft, a scrumptious dinner, and a performance by the prestigious RCAF Band. The evening was steeped in pride and history, with memorabilia that highlighted our incredible journey as an organization.


The speeches from the Provincial Premier, the Mayor, and the 1 CAD Commander were heartfelt and meaningful. 17 Wing Honorary Colonel Stuart Murray spoke eloquently about the members, emphasizing that the dinner was a gesture of gratitude and recognition for our service. A particularly touching moment occurred when 100-year-old veteran Mr. Richard Earl, one of the original members of the 435 Squadron, received a standing ovation.



“…. the evening reinforced my commitment to wearing the uniform and being part of something greater than myself. The sense of purpose and pride in our mission was palpable throughout the night…., the dinner reminded me of the strong support system that comes with being part of the military. Seeing my friends and co-workers, knowing the roles they've played in shaping who I am, and recognizing the part I've played in their lives filled me with immense joy. The sense of camaraderie and mutual support was a powerful reminder of why we do what we do” Major Jacklyn Zacher, Chair, Department of Air Operations Officers (DAOO), Barker College.


  “…. for me, the big take-away from the dinner is hope. Hope that despite the extreme challenges we face in terms of personnel, equipment, and other things, the RCAF will continue to thrive and grow. Hope that we will get through this tough time and come out flying. Everyone there saw it. The atmosphere was positive, fun, and engaging. “Major Mitch Leenders, History and Heritage Officer at 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters


This centennial celebration was more than an event; it was a celebration of our heritage, our community, and our shared future. It instilled a sense of optimism and resilience for the days ahead. What a fabulous evening that once again allowed all attendees to witness the solidarity, pride, and commitment of the people in our community towards our organization.

More images on DWAN, use address: \\res-wpg-pvimg01\imaging$\Image Share (User)\Images by Unit\17 Wing\Public Affairs\2024\17 Wing RCAF 100 Gala.

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