In Memory of George Norberg
Wed, December 17, 2014
It is with the deepest sadness that I write this letter on behalf of all CASARA members in Brandon Zone 2 and throughout Manitoba.
George joined CASARA in 1989 alongside a handful of founder members Roy Sobchuck, Tom Clubb and Ken Fox are still active members.
In the early days while the zone was getting organized, several members along with George and Ken attended a training course in leadership and teamwork now called
a Search Coordinators Course, they both passed the course and have been using their skills ever since to the benefit of all members. There are many stories to tell of exercises and training
in the early days and it always seems a shame not to document all of these stories, they would make good reading. Ken fox tells one such story of an International SAREX in Gimli with
participants from Canada and U.S and observers from China and Russia. Ken and George role-played injured passengers in a downed airliner, in extremely rugged terrain, a gravel pit somewhere north of Gimli.
There were U.S SAR aircraft and Canadian SARTECHS parachuted to attend to survivors as well as a ‘mash’ hospital kit via parachute, one large box contained medical equipment, insulated
tents along with diesel-powered heaters and inflators. These tents could be joined together to make rather sizable accommodation for more than a dozen persons in each unit. It was difficult to find a
comfortable resting place due to ruts and holes and at first light the ‘survivors’ were airlifted to a base hospital set up in Gimli. Stretchers were layered like bunk beds on the inside of the chopper, it was a rough
ride and the vibration would have been very painful for a person with a broken leg. Apart from being an amazing adventure this was an invaluable experience to pass on to other members and an insight
into an actual full scale Search and Rescue. Over the years, George and Ken developed their navigation skills and like all of us at the beginning of training were not very good but practice makes perfect
and we all learn from our mistakes. George was always reliable, punctual and pleasant in all activities. He tried to be available whenever needed – a trait we really appreciated. He loved flying but
participated in whatever activity was needed. He had the ability to make people feel at ease and the patience to explain all about CASARA to new recruits, to show them around and help with any training as needed.
George was always very professional in his work and his experience showed in every position he took on from Spotter, Navigator, Ground target and Search crew to Radio Officer, Secretary and Treasurer, always
without question and with a smile. On my first exercise at Zone 2, George and I were the injured ground target, he taught me so much about search and rescue on that first trip, he made me feel that I was doing
something important and his enthusiasm was catching so much so that I stayed with Zone 2. We have all been fortunate to count George as a trusted colleague and a very good friend. It will be very difficult for all
of us to adjust to his absence and although he leaves a void that will be impossible to fill, his memory will remain with us forever. He was a proud supporter of CASARA and we offer this prayer to his family on behalf
of all the members from Brandon Zone 2. “As we go aloft on search, we are constantly reminded of the value that is placed on each and every life. Unselfishly, we give so that others are able to return home to their loved ones.
We put our minds and bodies to the test so that their families can be hugged once again. Each time we serve, we are reminded of the risks and demands placed upon us. We show our love to all mankind.
If we must pay the ultimate sacrifice while doing this job, then we must trust that God will take us in with him. We know that each time we place our ‘Eyes in the skies’ there will be no glory, no bands, no personal gain.
We do it because it needed doing.”
With our deepest sympathy.
March 31, 2014 Newsletter
Wayne Gray Dedication by Bev Williams
Major Wayne Arthur Frederick Gray (Retired) passed away on Thursday, May
16, 2013 at the age of 68 years.
Wayne was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Jack and Gert Gray, and grew up on Banning Street with his sisters Earlis and Karen. After graduating from Daniel McIntyre High School in 1963, he joined the military as a pilot.
He was active in First Lutheran Youth Group, where he met Ruth, and they married in 1965. Son Scott was born in 1966 and daughter Lisa, in 1968.
Wayne was stationed in Portage la Prairie flying the Expeditor, then spent 5 years in Winnipeg in Training Command Headquarters. The following 10 years were spent in Trenton, Ontario, flying the Hercules and Boeing 707. He was then transferred to Germany, where he spent 4 years flying the AWACS. He was seconded to the UN as a military observer in Cairo, Egypt for 6 months, followed by 6 months in Jerusalem as a UN Liaison officer. He spent 3 years in National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa, before returning to Trenton to fly the 707 until the retirement of the plane. After his retirement, he worked on contract coordinating simulator flight training for the military. He fully retired in 2003. In 2004, Wayne and Ruth moved to Calgary, until finally settling in Brandon in 2006.
His career gave him the opportunity to travel the world, and he had many adventures, including flying many dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, the Queen Mother, and Governor-General Edward Schreyer.
Wayne was an avid curler, serving on the board for the Manitoba Curling Association and as President of the Curling Club when in Trenton Ontario. The family shared many fun days on Lake Ontario on the “Hellzapoppin”, at the family cottages in Gimli and West Hawk Lake, and camping at Lake Consecon, ON. He was involved in the administration of the Condo Board in Calgary and was President of his Condo Board in Brandon. In the last year, he joined the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association. He loved to work on the farm with Scott and will be greatly missed for his weather reporting, grain truck driving, and go-ferring services that he provided for the farmers.
He was predeceased by his parents, sister Earlis and her husband Doug Wright, and brother-in-law, Ed Zaleski.
He is survived by his wife Ruth; son Scott (Rebecca), grandchildren Matt and Emma; daughter Lisa Park, and grandsons Lucas and Isaac; sister Karen Zaleski. He will be missed by his large extended family and his dear friends in his military “family.”
A service to honour Wayne’s life was held at the Brockie Donovan Chapel, 332-8th Street, on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM