Sea King

A Strategic Review of the RCAF Association (1969)





1. During the past two years events have occurred in Canada that have had and are having a direct bearing on our Association. We have now reached the stage that demands we should acknowledge it in time to seriously examine ourselves and decide how we may continue and more important how to better our organization in order that we may fulfill the aims and objects of our Association.


2. To review the current status of the RCAF Association and make recommendations, and to encourage expressions of opinions. It is assumed that all our members agree that the aims and objects of the RCAF Association are valid. No changes are recommended and none have been suggested.


3. In all the studies conducted by a number of people concerning our organiz’ation at the National level all agree that the structure is sound. One particular point has been brought to our attention, namely, the General Manager should, if possible, receive more direction from the National Executive Council (NEC) in the generation of studies and ideas for the furtherance of our aims and objects. In addition, he should have the authority to action items that are known to be Assoc­iation policy. The NEC accepts this recommendation and action has been taken to implement the views expressed by including the requirement in the duty analysis for the General Manager.

4. In the field it is the recommendation of the NEC that a more detailed study be conducted of the duties and function of Groups within the Association. A committee will be established to examine the current situation, taking into account geographic location of Wings, numbers of members in areas and representation at the National level, in addition to financial factors.

5. At the Wing level nothing has come to the attention of the NEC that suggests any change is necessary or desirable.

6. With the foregoing in mind it is considered that the present organization is sound.


7. During the past year the Association has been well served by Mr. S. Sayle, Membership Chairman, N.E.C. All members interested in knowing the present status and what action was taken to increase our membership strength had reports from the NEC Membership Chairman available to them.

8. Some ideas and thoughts on how we might achieve an increase in members were presented, others were received from the floor of the Convention.


9. Having discussed the membership problems the NEC considered it desirable to review the present status of the Association. Briefly it may be summed up as follows:

a. We have the support of the Department of National Defence;

b. The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes us;

c. The Air Cadet League of Canada thinks well of us;

d. There is an excellent understanding between ourselves and the Royal Canadian Legion;

e. There is a good working relationship with the RCAF Benevolent Fund;

f. We enjoy a happy rapport with the Royal Air Forces Association and the Air Force Association of the United States of America.

To recapitulate: We have the status of a national body that is recognized internationally.

10. At the local level the reputation of the RCAF Association is first class, thanks to excellent work being done by Wings in their communities. Furthermore, thanks to a mutual understanding at localities where there are regular force units, Wings and local Air Force COs and staff work together, whenever the
opportunity affords.

11. There is no doubt in the opinion of the NEC that the RCAF Association has a sound base upon which to build its future.

12. In the various studies conducted, the NEC recognized there is a need to prove that the Association is modern and concerned about the important issues of today’s world, In discussions with members we learned that our members are:

a. Anxious to retain our close liaison with Regular Force Airmen;

b. Prepared to learn more about what we can do to help regular force airmen;

c. Keen to do what they can in spreading information about the need for a sound and efficient well equipped Canadian Air Force;

d. Ready to take on any national project that appeals to them (by no means could the NEC establish
unanimity or even a general type of project);

e. Happy to work with the Air Cadet League of Canada whenever and wherever possible;

f. Seeking more guidance and help from National HQ;

g. Glad to receive “Wings at Home” and would like it to appear more often.

13. The foregoing is not an exhaustive account of all the factors brought to our attention, but it covers the main points.



14. Recognizing that our current problems become minor incidents of no consequence should it happen that Canada does not maintain a strong and efficient air force, the NEC considered it essential that our Association prove by word and deed that Canada must have an air force equipped with modern aircraft. There. is, therefore, the need for all members to do their best to be well informed on modern air fighting requirements. This means talking to regular force airmen, inviting them to informal discussions, panel discussions etc. And looking about to see what can be done in local areas that will indicate to the
regular force man that we are interested in him and ready to assist, if necessary.


15. Concerning the matter of a National project, the NEC decided that it is in the best interests of our Association to do all we can to raise funds for the RCAF Memorial complex at CFB Trenton. We learned in discussions with many people that there are objections to this as a National project. However, no one was able to offer an alternative. We believe that even the strongest objectors, even though lukewarm, had to.concede they could offer nothing to compare with this imaginative project.

16. The NEC thought much, as stated by the President in his Opening Address, briefly – “It is our duty to do our best to raise funds for the RCAF Memorial”. It was agreed we would learn much from tackling the project. Upon completion of the RCAF Memorial, provided our Association did contribute substantially, we .could say with pride “We agreed to support, we did support, and regular force airmen and their dependants now know we not only talk support we have acted in support”.

17. Everyone attending the Convention had the pleasure of hearing a briefing on the RCAF Memorial and all present were brought up to date.


18. The NEC considered this important part of any discussion on the future at some length. The work of Mr. Fred Way as Information Services Chairman of the NEC was acknowledged. The subject of material for “Wings at Home” and what should be done about this publication was examined. We concluded that no organization can possibly continue into the future if it is not aware of its accomplishments and what it is doing now.

19. It is necessary, therefore, that all members be impressed with the need to send to the National Office photos and information about their activities for publication in “Wings at Home”. It was also accepted that somehow or other we develop within our organization an awareness of the need to communicate.


20. The need for a yearly programme, even a “skeleton” listing of the plans for the year outlining a Wing’s hopes and aspirations is necessary. The NEC agreed that if it were possible to present to a member of a Wing an idea of what the Wing expected to do in social events, information and projects to be undertaken, he might feel more inclined to assist in the work of the Wing.

21. One other important factor our Association should strive for is to be able to publish, say once a year, a document to be available to all members that would show the activities planned by each Wing of the Association.


22. It was agreed by the NEC that our Association can become stronger only through the efforts of Wings. They expressed the opinion that Wings may not be using the experience avail:,ble to them through the National Headquarters,and the Wing Executive Officers should be encouraged to address their thoughts, ideas, plans and schemes to the President or a member of the National Executive Council through Headquarters at 424 Metcalfe Street.

23. With foregoing outline accepted the NEC agreed we should have no fears about our future. if the following action is taken:

a. Continue to prove by every means possible that we are interested in, and determined to do our best to ensure a strong and efficient regular air force in Canada;
b. Accept the responsibility to contribute all we can towards financing the RCAF Memorial complex at CFB Trenton, and to continue doing so until its completion;

c. By all the means at our disposal support the official magazine “Wings at Home” with particular emphasis on telling ourselves and others about the work being accomplished by Members, Wings, Groups and HQs;

d. Within Wings organize to publish, for the information of members and all others interested, a yearly programme of activities which would include at least:

(i) Time, date and place of regular meetings;

(ii) Time, date and place of socials;

(iii) Time, date and place of information sessions;

(iv) A statement of the projects being supported and any plans of supporting particular projects during the ensuing year.

24. There is, in the opinion of the NEC, no apparent or specific action that can be taken as a clear-cut plan for the future. As Canadians living in all parts of Canada our members face varying circumstances and situations which make the adoption of a particular project difficult to achieve. However, under no circumstances should the readers of this report conclude that ideas and suggestions are not welcome. On
the contrary, we look forward to reaction and thoughts about the future.

25. Of the many things we have experienced in making this study one fact emerges above all others and that is our RCAF Association has many dedicated members. Their devotion to our common cause has laid a firm base. Our duty is to work as hard as they, and in doing so look to the future with great confidence.


This Appendix records most of the statements offered, not in order of speaking, nor in any order of priority:
1. NEC should now be working on next project;
2. Objective guidance is needed – youth work.
3. Aviation in Canada – seek ways and means of encouraging all aviators to join.
4. AFA does not restrict membership to ex-airmen, but invites all who subscribe to aims to join – should we?
5. The most successful Wing is the Wing that gets the most publicity.
6. RCAF Association should offer something. Assist ex-airmen to get jobs – establish Credit Unions perhaps.
7. Local Wings should look at DOT land that might be available for building on.
8. Booth in local fair jointly manned by Cadets and Wing members. Free 1 year membership offered.
9. Public Image – perhaps because RCAF is dead being tagged RCAF Association means we are dead. Change our name to Aerospace Aviation Association (or words to that effect).
10. Consider ways and means of encouraging members of organ­ izations like, India Burma Squadron; RAF Escaping Society to join the RCAFA. Perhaps lists could be made available.
11. Establish a Wing on a permanent basis in the community by building and accepting the risk of going into debt.
12. Try to ensure people know we are not only “RCAF Vets” fighting the last war over mugs of beer – but a body of people interested in helping in Community activities.
13. Consider a plan to find out what it is the regular force airmen would like us to do which would encourage him to join our Association.
14. Can we not do better for “Wings at Home” if we tell all our members about advertising in the publication?