CBN Museum reaches new heights with refurbished aviation room

By Mark Squibb/June 9, 2022

In celebration of the 90th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s solo transatlantic flight from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, to Derry, Northern Ireland, Conception Bay Museum’s beloved Aviation Room has received a facelift, with a little help from Newfoundland & Labrador’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation.
The revamped Aviation Room opened for a private viewing on Friday, May 20 (the 90th anniversary of the day Earhart took off from Harbour Grace on her transatlantic flight) attended by members of the Ninety-Nines —an international organization of female pilots — members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the Museum’s board of directors, and politicians, following a public celebration held in Earhart’s honor at the Harbour Grace Airstrip.

Members of the Ninety-Nines donated $1,400 to the exhibit, which focuses on Harbour Grace’s storied aviation history. That history began in 1919, when the Handley Page “Atlantic” airplane was shipped to the community packed in 105 gigantic crates. Later, in 1927, the community constructed the island’s first permanent airstrip, making Harbour Grace the launch point for many transatlantic aviators, like Earhart, flying across the Atlantic to Europe.
The Aviation Room also pays tribute to local aviators such as Lamont (“Lal”) Parsons and Claude Stevenson.
“We always try to highlight the local here, in everything we do,” said Conception Bay Museum chairman Patrick J. Collins. “Harbour Grace’s aviation story is an international showcase, certainly, but locals have done so much to preserve and promote our airstrip. The Parsons, the Stevensons, the Pikes, the Archibalds — without their contributions, this legacy might only be a footnote. It’s to their credit that it isn’t. We’re proud to showcase that side of the story as part of our new exhibit.”
The Conception Bay Museum opens for the season in late June.

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