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Some Words to Remember Joe Gulyes


Pete at a squadron reunion

Some Words to Remember Joe – from Pete DeSmedt


Greetings from Winnipeg.


I regret missing this occasion as Joe and I had two great years together – 1957 to 1959. I would like to thank Lloyd and Pat for honouring Joe through this event. As well, I extend my appreciation to Mr Botting for responding so generously to Joe's dream.


Joe came from farm country in SW Ontario, joined the RCMP for several years, and then the RCAF in 1953. He and his navigator Bert Legg were originally with 425 Squadron, and became part of the first cohort of 416 Squadron in February 1957. We paired up in March to be the squadron simulator crew.       


Joe was a consummate professional; he kept me on my toes (and out of trouble), and was my best man at our wedding in 1959. Joe's transition to airline work in ‘59 was not without challenges. After two years with TCA, many were terminated as the industry transitioned to Jet aircraft. He went to the RAF and then to Quantas before returning to Air Canada in late ‘65. Where he happily gained the stability he deserved and completed a career in the industry. What an exhausting adventure to support your career and family. 


You can characterize Joe as a craftsman and a dreamer. I say this as a kindly reflection on his dedication to improve his craft, to share with others his professional insights, and most importantly his dreams. He bought airplanes, taught his son (now with Air Canada) to fly, and as many of you know voraciously perused the "NET". His initiative to link up with Mr. Botting is typical Joe. Commemorating 416 Squadron, the aircraft, and the people through artwork was Joe's dream – and what a wonderful success it is. 


My thanks to Mr. Botting for this artwork and for completing Joe's dream, an exceptional tribute to the Squadron and all who served. 


Best wishes to all. 

Pete DeSmedt.