My thoughts & prayers go out to the Adlair & Laserich family's.
R.I.P Paul, you were quite a guy and you will be missed by the Yellowknife aviation community.
I feel honoured that Paul always referred to me as "a friend of my dad's" or
"you're (part of our) family.
I will miss him - he has always been a huge part of Yellowknife to me.
R.I.P my friend,
Link to video about Willie Laserich and his induction into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame: http://youtu.be/pEuPBAID1dM
http://www.nnsl.com/frames/newspapers/2 ... _09av.html
Aviator could get Hall of Fame nod
Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 7, 2009
SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Legendary bush pilot Willy Laserich has been nominated for Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame by fellow pilot and Wardair founder Max Ward and former Wardair engineer Guenther Moellenbeck.
Paul Laserich stands next to a commemorative wall hanging celebrating Adlair Aviation's 25th anniversary. The airline was started by Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame nominee Willy Laserich - Paul's father. - Charlotte Hilling/NNSL photo
Laserich, who founded Adlair Aviation, was previously nominated for the hall of fame in 2003. He died in 2007 following heart bypass surgery. This time his son Paul Laserich has compiled an extensive and thorough submission package detailing his father's life and achievements, which he hopes will make the difference.
"There are a lot of people that came to the North, opened the North, and saved lives, but aren't recognized," said Paul Laserich.
He said the submission package took about six weeks to put together. Laserich had to collect and organize multiple letters of recommendation and gratitude, as well as articles and biographies from various publications. The submission includes letters of recommendation from a range of people, from MPs to fellow pilots and nurses who worked with Laserich during his many medevac operations.
One of the requirements for consideration to the hall of fame involves contributions to society and the community at large. Paul Laserich said this was a major focus of the submission, given that his father participated in some 5,000 medevac operations. In his letter of recommendation, fellow pilot D.J. Douglas wrote of the effect Willy Laserich had on those around him.
"Willy's contributions to the welfare of Northern aviation, Northern residents and Northern communities are numerous and have added continuing value to the welfare and quality of life of Canadians, particularly those in Northern communities," Douglas stated.
Despite having stopped recording his flight hours several years before he died, Willy Laserich managed to log some 44,000 hours of flying, as well as a long list of grateful survivors he medevaced to safety. The submission package includes several letters of gratitude from the people Willy Laserich and his team assisted over the years.
Two such survivors were John Coats and Robert Johnston, who wrote:
"Words cannot describe the gratitude we and our family feel toward you and your staff. After four long days stranded in an Arctic blizzard, your persistence prevented this misadventure from taking our lives. It's obvious why people of the North admire you guys so much."
Willy Laserich came to Canada from Germany at the age of 19, getting his pilot's licence in 1957 and flying for 50 years, right up to his death. His love of flying was ignited as a boy during the Second World War.
"My father's first recollection of wanting to be a pilot was when he saw a B-17 flying back to England," said Paul Laserich.
The hall of fame committee will meet at the end of summer or the start of fall to deliberate on the nominees, after which four to five people will be inducted. Paul Laserich is philosophical about the outcome.
"What will be will be, right," he said. "If it happens, it happens, but at least we've done it."
Blue skies, Paul - it was a pleasure to have met you.
- Amelia Earhart
I hope Adlair and that family continue on. They've been a well respected part of the North for a long time.
The memorial service for Paul and Margaret Laserich will be at the Adlair Hangar on Dec. 1st at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family said people can make donations to the Salvation Army, and the Yellowknife or Cambridge Bay food banks.
Margaret Rose, 74, married to the late aviation pioneer Willy Laserich — Paul’s father — for more than 50 years, passed away in September of this year. Her service had been postponed due to the negotiations/appeal over the loss GN contract.
Three years later, when he was deep into his fight to keep his contract, he'd called me to grab some lunch. He insisted on picking me up at my office and arrived in his classic convertible. We made our way downtown to the Red Apple slowly as everyone in town said hello to him. He was driving slowly, so he could say hello to everyone on the sidewalk. Our quick stop at the Post Office to pick up the mail was ten minutes long while he asked people if their mother was out of the hospital yet, how they were doing, etc. When we wandered in to the Red Apple, lunch was in full swing. As he said hello to everyone inside, and they to him, we gradually inched our way across the room to the corner. It would be quiet enough there to chat and the table was reserved for us. I'd always seen him as a charismatic character, chatting with everyone, but he actually knew about all of these folks, their kids names, and where they went to church... I was amazed at how much he knew about everyone we saw, and how he cared for them.
The conversation eventually started after a dozen more hello's and an order for two servings of curry. I got the impression he ate there a lot. Paul was never critical of the people or process that had resulted in the hurt look on his face, but it was clear that he could never have sold away his father's company to someone else. I told him that if there was ever anything I could do, to drop me a line. I never heard from Paul again, just followed the story of his appeal in the papers.
I got a text from a coworker with the horrible news and couldn't help but feel guilty for not dropping Paul a line over the past few weeks to see how he was doing, or ask him to lunch, but I guess we all get caught up in our everyday lives and forget to reach out and check on others. Paul didn't. Even if it took two hours to get some lunch. He felt a responsibility to the people the surrounded him. Like others, I'll make the trek out north this week to say goodbye to an amazing fellow. That won't shake the quilty feeling of not checking in with Paul, but I know he wouldn't have noticed anyhow with a life as full as his was.
I ask others to share their memories of Paul. Half of the people in the North should be able to post something.
IM IN SHOCK. have been on the road for days and chekin here to catch up, Rene/ your mom in Arizona
you have my heart felt condolences.
The first time I met the family 2001 they flew me to ycb to meet Willie in the Lear 25 stayed there 2days and really liked it . Paul was a genuine character full of life. he in 2007 he offered me a capt job on the king air but I was comfortable where I was ,in retrospect should have taken it .
His personal cell was on my speed dial, flew up to yzf in Jan 2010 Paul insisted that I stay at his house savin the hotel. so the best I could do was to return the kindness and generousity was to fill up the company van and bought him a good bottle of oban scotch . The last night I was there we talked for 4 hours over the perfect caribou steak dinner he cooked , about the company, the loss of his dad./where he wanted to go in the future and he said if there is an opening you are welcome . he said"
You are a pain in the butt, however your really care about your work and give alot to a boss, make lots of money for them too " true on all accounts Paul.
I will cherish the picture of you paul with 2 cell phones going, some one one line one ,and talkn to your mom on line 2. your family ran a first class company that put people equally important as profits and many more times people well ahead of profit and in doing so ,made AdlerAir a premier place to work. Many 703 companies mgt could learn volumes from Paul of how treat to people. Paul new that instinctively.
Now he can go where ever he wants on his time frame free// of the human restrictions. I will miss your humanity !! Fly On
Roger that - can likely get you a copy of the paper if you prefer. Scan sent, along with phone number if you will be here for the memorial. We met here once before with Paul - I believe he was working on an aviation display at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre at the time.canuck10 wrote:To Kirsten B.
Could you please send me a copy (scan) of the article in the 23Nov Yellownifer?