Great news in recent days was the non application of the 290% import duty by the US on the Bombardier C-series aircraft. I must admit I fully expected the surcharge to be applied in line with President Trump’s US protectionist policy. Whilst it is great news for the manufacturing company as a whole, it is particularly so for the hundreds of Bombardier employees here in Northern Ireland. Let’s hope we can look forward to a stable and secure future for the wing production not only here in Belfast but in the many subsidiary companies involved around the country.
I briefly mentioned the RAF’s 100th anniversary last month and whilst I cannot add much more detail at the moment I can tell you that we will have our Spitfire at the opening service at St. Anne’s Cathedral on Sunday
29 April, yes, the day after our Phantom unveiling! We have not taken on a Sunday event before simply because our transport guy has Sunday off – however having made the point that this event was of particular significance he has agreed to make an exception and for that we are truly grateful – thanks Alan. Other events that we are scheduled to appear at but for which we haven’t yet got firm details are a Royal Gun Salute at Lough Erne Yacht Club and the Newcastle Airshow. Whilst we would normally attend the latter I’m expecting our Spitfire will join a display of other notable RAF aircraft which may be positioned some distance apart from our usual display area. Time will tell.
As we journey through our own 50th year I can tell you that the relevant sub-committee members are working extremely hard on many fronts and I would ask every single member, if asked, to assist if at all possible. The first event is of course the Phantom unveiling on Saturday 28 April and at the moment we are pretty much on schedule, however, I stand corrected on my estimate of attendees as Stephen Riley tells me we could have 250 – 300!
So who’s counting? I can tell you that having been in on the initial planning process, if all goes according to plan it will be a phantastic afternoon! Recently, sadly, we lost Don Chisholm who very generously donated a brand new Aerosport Scamp microlight and the unmade Hapi Cygnet SF-2A. I attended Don’s cremation at Roselawn for the 12noon time I was given but I discovered the service was actually at 11.30am and I missed it! Our sympathy to Don’s wife Georgina and their family, also to Holding Trustee and dear friend ‘Paddy’ Crowther and his wife Edna who tragically lost their son Robin Neil on his 48th birthday. I’m positive I speak for every member when I say you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Add to all this the passing of yet another dear friend to the Society – Second World War veteran Alfie Martin, at whose funeral Paddy Crowther gave a moving tribute including a summary of his wartime service – need I say more?