Veterans work to save antique planes
Some antique planes on display outside Summerside, P.E.I. are at risk of falling apart, unless they're restored.
A group of volunteers is lobbying the federal government to save several pieces of aviation history. The three planes — a 1958 Argus, a Voodoo and navy tracker from the same era — sit in a pile of snow in Slemon Park, the site of the former CFB Summerside, which closed in 1991.
The planes sit in the snow in memory of that base, but no one is taking care of them. The propeller on the Argus has been stripped of its paint. It hasn't had a fresh coat in nearly 30 years. "If they're not repaired and repainted, they will go away," air force veteran Al Poirer told CBC News Thursday.
"They will go to a junkyard."
Poirer is working with fellow air force veteran Bob Steele and about a dozen others to make sure that doesn't happen.
Steele said when the planes disappear, there will be nothing left to remind people of the 50-year history of CFB Summerside.
"I'm sure there's no university student that ever remembers the military flying out of here. We think it's important to preserve that history," he said.
The ad hoc committee's plans go beyond restoring the planes. They want to see a historical park built around them, complete with a walkway to honour veterans. The project will cost about half a million dollars.
Poirier said they've already approached local MP Gail Shea for funding.
"She's behind it; she's excited about it," he said.
Slemon Park Corporation has never done any restoration on the planes, but it would support a project funded by the community and Ottawa.
Steele and Poirer will be meeting with Gail Shea in the next couple of weeks to talk about that funding.