For decades the Canadian Military Flight Engineers Association (CMFEA) has been holding biannual reunions across the country. However, that tradition will sadly come to a close when the association holds its last reunion at CFB Trenton on Sept. 9 through Sept. 11.
Several flight engineers who served in the Second World War came together in the 1980s to form the CMFEA. Primarily a social organization, the CMFEA held its first reunion in 1988.
“In those days bases like Greenwood, Summerside, Trenton, Edmonton and Comox had large groups of flight of engineers just because of the type of aircrafts flown on the bases. Of course, over the years tech has caught up with flight engineer trade. There’s probably more flight engineers in Petawawa now than Trenton. The dynamics have changed a little bit,” noted Mac MacGregor, President of the CMFEA.
Over the years, however, it’s become increasingly difficult to gather people together for the reunions as the original CMFEA members get older and it’s been difficult to attract the younger generation.
“I think sometimes the younger guys get the perception that it’s just all the old guys. And the biggest thing I find is the old guys are interested in hearing what the younger guys are doing. “A lot of the older guys are interested in knowing what, the younger guys are doing today,” observed MacGregor.
The last CMFEA reunion will commence on Friday, Sept. 9 with a meet and greet, typically the highlight of the weekend for many.
“Everybody enjoys getting caught up with old friends. It’s very relaxed, everybody just socializes. We do a couple of draws, and we have food, but it’s really all about just catching up with old friends,” said MacGregor.
The weekend will continue on Saturday with tours of flight simulators and a dinner Saturday night with the 1 Wing Chief Officer as a guest speaker.
The weekend winds up on Sunday with breakfast to say goodbye and part with friends.
Going forward MacGregor hopes the new generation of flight engineers picks up the mantle to carry on tradition.
“Hopefully they’re going to carry it on. Maybe we’ll see a reunion in Petawawa one of these days down the line,” said MacGregor.