What COVID-19 has taught us about long-term care
Building an equal future for women in Atlantic Canada
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
SPECIAL REPORT: Facets of family violence
Have you tried the SaltWire News app?
UPDATED: COVID-19 news and numbers
A year later: Remembering Nova Scotia's mass shooting
What's working for businesses in 2021?
Proposal before council to use names of those who have contributed to aviation and community's history, not just pilots
Gander’s history with the aviation industry is long and well-documented — from the Gander International Airport to the early days of the Concord aircraft, the central Newfoundland town has long prided itself on its aviation connection.
That includes the naming of its streets. Almost all of the streets in the town are named after famous aviators.
“It is one of those things that is very unique to the town,” said Gander Mayor Percy Farwell. “It is because of our connection to aviation.”
- Gander airport continues revamp of its iconic international lounge
- Remembering Unga, one of the most unique visitors to Newfoundland during 9-11
- Gander hit hard by pandemic-related aviation losses
A stroll around town will take people to roads named after aviation luminaries Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh. There are also streets named after Rex Tilley, the first officer-in-charge of air traffic control in Gander, and Douglas Fraser, a Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame member.
Other street names are named after Canadian astronauts Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar and Chris Hadfield.
Each step can bring you closer to a prominent figure in history.
“It's kind of cool,” said Farwell. “It is a reminder of all those who have come before us.”
During a recent council meeting, the process of how Gander names new streets was on the agenda.
Currently, the street policy dictates that streets must be named after aviators.
The new proposal would expand upon that idea to include others who have contributed to aviation and the community's history, but who may not have been pilots.
The idea is to diversify who the town honours by naming streets after them and not detract from any of the town’s aviation history.
Looking at the policy isn’t anything new for the town council. Farwell said the topic of changing things periodically comes up for discussion.
“We are trying to find a balance,” he said.
The issue was moved to the town’s next management meeting for feedback.
If there is a change to the naming policy, it would be welcomed by the Gander Airport Historical Society.
“I’m quite in favour of going this new route,” said society president Jack Pinsent.
He points at the case of John Murphy and the contributions he made to North Atlantic travel and the town as something that should be honoured.
“We are trying to find a balance." — Percy Farwell
Murphy moved to Gander in 1941 and went to work as a clerk with the Canadian Pacific Air Service, which became the Royal Air Force Ferry Command. After the war, Murphy went to work with Trans-World Airlines in Gander.
He eventually was moved to New York, where he took the position of manager of passenger and cargo service at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Murphy worked his way up to ramp manager before leaving for LaGuardia Airport to become the manager there.
In 1975, he was made the director of the Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, along with Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Murphy ended his career with TWA in Phoenix, Ariz., before retiring in 1986.
Murphy also made contributions elsewhere in Gander. He was a member of the Gander Flyers senior hockey team and was instrumental in getting an artificial ice plant installed in the community.
“These are the kind of people who should be considered,” said Pinsent.