“Wop” May plane replica dedication on Canada Day

A former Kimiwan Birdwalk and Northern Alberta Historical and Railway Museum Canada Celebration.

Kimiwan Birdwalk and Railway Museum begin season

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

The Kimiwan Birdwalk Interpretive Centre and the Northern Alberta Historical and Railway Museum, located on Highway 2 in McLennan are tentatively scheduled to open towards the end of June.

However, the Canada Day Celebrations on July 1 mark the official opening of the season for both the Birdwalk and Railway Museum.

McLennan’s Canada Day Celebration 2019 begins with the Raising of the Flag and a rendition of O Canada at the Museum and interpretative centre, 11 am, Monday July 1.

Following the raising of the flag, at approximately 11:20 am, the McLennan Leisure and Recreation Society will dedicate a replica of the plane flown by Wilfrid Reid “Wop” May that stands on the hospital grounds across the highway from the Birdwalk.

Julian Gervais, President of the Railway Museum Society, built the true replica to scale and Wop May’s grandson may travel to McLennan for the dedication but his visit has yet to be confirmed.

“Wop” May was a renowned First World War Canadian flyer and a renowned post-war aviator.

He was a member of the Order of the British Empire and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He landed on Kimiwan Lake during a medical emergency “mercy flight” to deliver diphtheria inoculations to Peace River on January 22, 1929.

From noon to 3 pm, cake, hotdogs and refreshments will be served and a variety of activities are planned for kids, including face painting by Hillary Reid.

Trin & Arianne, a well-established local duet comprised of Trin Potratz and Ariane Cote will provide the “Music on the Hill,” at the Canada Day celebrations.

Those planning to attend the celebrations are encourage to come prepared with their lawn chairs, sun hats, bug spray etc. so they can relax and enjoy the refreshments, the excellent music and fun activities.

The McLennan Canada Day celebration is a free event but donations are accepted. If the weather proves unfavorable for the outdoor occasion, the event will move to McLennan’s Elks Hall.

The replica of the plane flown by Wop May on the “mercy flight,” that landed on Kimiwan Lake, January 22, 1929, on its way to Peace River to deliver diphtheria inoculations. The replica is on display in the McLennan Hospital grounds.

Share this post