Community Featured

PICTOU – A recent open house has helped 144 Construction Engineering Flight Pictou raise its community profile and encourage people to join the flight.

Captain M.A. Lukaszczyk-Thérien, officer commanding, 144 Construction Engineering Flight of the Canadian Armed Forces, welcomed the opportunity and hopes it will help the CEF’s future success.

The CEF is a construction arm of the air force that encourages people to join it as military reserves to learn trades for training on community and military projects. Trades include carpentry, water, fuel and environment, electrical, electrical generator and plumbing.

Flight 144 is located in a former school on Welsford Street.

“I think it was good,” he said. “We’re trying to get five more people in, and that is why we’re hoping to attract more attention. We had 50 to 75 people come through, five applied and three did the force test.”

Jonathan Hay, a former amateur boxer who remains in good physical condition, was one of the three who did the force test with Warrant Officer Corey Chisholm. The test consisted of a running drill from a prone start, stopping and lying prone and starting again along a straight return course.

The flight has numerous projects scheduled that include building a gazebo for a quiet place beside Pictou United Church, renovations at the Pictou West Food Bank and erecting a heritage building on Pictou Island.

Members of the flight recently completed a job at the monument for the HMCS Bonaventure aircraft carrier at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. Their task was to secure the ship’s anchor that was saved before it was sold for scrap.

The “Bonnie” was originally a British carrier launched in 1945 and became part of the Royal Canadian Navy from January 1957 until it was decommissioned in July 1970. The ship’s monument was dedicated in 1973 and consists of a large anchor and chain along with a small chain connected to the monument and runs directly into the water to make the connection of the monument to the sea complete.

Years of enduring the elements caused the anchor mounts to fail, so Captain Lukaszczyk-Therien led the exercise to dismantle the monument and fabricate a new medal stand with a hidden concrete base for the anchor.

Plans called for the work to be done before the annual Battle of the Atlantic ceremonies at the site in May. It’s similar to the ceremonies that take place each year at the Admiral Murray cairn in Pictou Landing.

From left, Aviator Marcus Whittingham and Aviator Travis Decker view a panel of past CEF projects during a recent open house.  (Goodwin photo)