Breaking New Ground—Stories from Defence Construction Breaking_new_ground - Page 53

Keeping busy Along with projects such as Expo 67 (discussed in more detail later on), DCL was in the mid- to late 1960s handling major runway improvements at Canadian Forces bases that included Gimli, Summerside, Greenwood, Chatham, Moose Jaw and Namao. Lighting and landing aids were also installed at a number of bases. Stranded on the roof… Summerside, 1965—Don Turney We were doing a simple roofing job at CFB Summerside, PEI, in 1965. The BCEO, Flight Lieutenant John Woods, had obtained a ladder and we both went up onto the roof to inspect it. During this time, someone decided that he needed a ladder and took ours, not realizing that we were still on the roof. It took us some time to get someone’s attention so that we could be helped down. The Flight Lieutenant, however, continued to climb the “ladder” of success to become Chief, Construction and Properties at the rank of Major-General. During my approximately 35 years with DCL, I remember the many fine people I worked with, and I appreciate the help they provided. This comment applies to both DCL and military personnel. Between the two, there was always a good working relationship and a strong sense of the teamwork necessary to get the jobs done. Don Turney joined DCL in 1953, working at Head Office, on five different military bases and on loan to the Department of Transport for two years during runway construction at Pearson International Airport. He was Project Engineer at CFB Borden when he retired in 1988. As the 1960s drew to a close, new defence priorities from the Trudeau government led to a reduction of Canada’s NATO commitment and of DND’s need for new facilities. Defence spending cuts through the late 1960s, and continuing on into the early 1970s, meant that DND focused on maintenance work, or “patch and fix” jobs such as painting, roofing, renovations and window replacement. If the contract for these was estimated at $30,000 or more, DCL was involved. It set the tone as DCL entered the 1970s. BREAKING NEW GROUND DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA 43