Jun 21, 2010

Living Aviaton History

Trans Canada Airline's first stewardess, Lucile Garner Grant, celebrated her one hundredth birthday on Sunday, June 13, 2010. (Note: TCA eventually became Air Canada.)

Lucile Garner was born in Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan in 1910 and trained as a nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal before moving to Vancouver. A pilot friend of hers had suggested Trans-Canada Airlines was looking for someone to set up a stewardess department and encouraged her to apply.

She was hired in June 1938, and was the first female employee, taking two trips from Vancouver to Seattle with United Airlines to learn how things were done. After that, she and Pat Ecclestone (the second TCA stewardess) learned on the job and from the pilots, with challenges ranging from designing uniforms to learning about weather patterns and aircraft design, operations and radio communication, and anything else that a passenger might want to know about, in addition to food services on a trans-continental flight, and how to stock a flight satchel. Lucile was in charge of all of this and more in her role of Canadian flight pioneer.

Of her most challenging IROP, Lucile recounts, "During a weather delay at Fort Nelson, I rode by dogsled to the radio station - bumping along on the frozen ice, the wolves howling in the distance. I thought, "This is great!"

More of Lucile's story is featured in a pamphlet found at this website....


ATC Happenings said...

Nice little piece of history - WOW 100 Years!

JetAviator7 said...

Amazing story and wonderful that she has told it to us. Glad to see that the pilots helped her get started on what turned out to be a great career!


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