Annual 600 Wing Snowbird Dinner

GETTING SOCIAL … by Dorothy Rhead of 600 Wing

It was a Mark 2 night at the Royal Regina Golf Club on Nov 9th, 2018, when the Snowbirds landed along with the Air Cadets. This was 600 Wings’ annual turkey dinner to honour “The Birds” and invite cadets to share the experience. We were also joined by members of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. There were 81 in attendance, down a little from the previous year’s number due to another conflicting function. We can’t thank Norm and Cathy Swayze enough for pulling this evening together, along with Sherry Burgess and Gary Williams; Gary donated the awesome cakes you see in the pictures below, which, by the way, were part of the dessert that was cut and served to us at our tables by the Snowbirds!

During the evening several cadets helped Bill Peake sell raffle tickets. There were a good number of items supplied by Cabela’s, Norm Swayze and Dorothy Rhead. This raffle added a substantial amount to the Wing coffers.

After dinner, the cadets had time to pose questions to the Snowbirds. Then they had their pictures taken with the Birds, which made the cadets day. I’m sure they will have good stories to tell their fellow cadets.

We must also thank Colin Kunkle for providing us with an amazing picture display throughout the evening and Wayne Mantyka from CTV Regina. Wayne attended the function as a guest, but took some time to conduct and tape interviews with some of the Snowbirds and cadets. This was aired on the CTV Regina news on Nov 12th. If you did not get a chance to see it then, here’s a link to the story that aired:  https://regina.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1537443

A few of the cadets in attendance shared some thoughts with us.

My name is LAC Walton from 691 Hawk Squadron in Indian Head. On November 9th I went to the Snowbirds Supper. I thought it was good because I was able to hang out with Snowbird crew members and pilots. I also got to ask questions about their jobs and find out what it was like from their perspective, instead of reading about it in a news article. There was a Snowbird at every table and I was able to share conversations with them during the dinner. Dinner was turkey with all the fixings and it was delicious! We had a chance to take photos with the Snowbirds and it was a great opportunity to meet them and to hang out with them for one evening

FGt Peluolah wrote: Getting to experience going to that dinner was an honour that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Not only did I get to meet the new Snowbirds for the 2019 season, I also got to hear about their experiences growing up (in cadets) and how their training went. I also learned about the people who are in the background keeping the show running and veterans of their group. I got to learn about formations that they perform and the snowbird member’s attitudes towards flying and being a snowbird in general which I found very beneficial towards my planning for the future. The dinner itself was good as well. In all seriousness Ii would say that the dinner was something I was privileged to go to and I believe it is a good opportunity to keep providing to upcoming cadets.

FSgt Kunetzki wrote: The snowbirds dinner was a lot of fun. It exceeded my expectations, because they were so friendly and engaging. When I arrived everyone was talking to each other and I didn’t really know where to go, or what to do. A couple of the snowbirds approached me and introduced themselves. They were very friendly, and after the first conversation I was no longer nervous. I continued around the room and met so many incredible people. They were willing to talk to the cadets about all of their snowbird experiences, and share their knowledge. I had the privilege of sitting beside a pilot and a technician. They both talked about their jobs and I learned lots. They answered all of the questions I had. They were very encouraging and said to keep doing Air Cadets. After the dinner they stuck around so we could still talk to them and ask more questions. There were a lot more questions. This was one of the most fun and interesting nights ever. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I encourage all other cadets to attend it if they are given the opportunity. I would like to thank Air Cadets, the Snowbirds, and 600 Wing RCAFA, for giving me this amazing opportunity.