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Former Bahamasair pilot tribute to Edward Franklin Albury Sr

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016
by bimjim ... ry_Sr.html

Former Bahamasair pilot pays tribute to aviation pioneer Edward Franklin Albury Sr.
RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter
March 31, 2016

AVIATION pioneer, Edward Franklin Albury Sr, has been described as “the man that started it all” by long-time friend Thomas Bethel Sr.

In a recent interview with The Tribune, Mr. Bethel, a senior pilot at Bahamasair from 1973 to 1999 under Mr. Albury, described the aviation technician as a blessing to work with. He said Mr. Albury, through his hard work and tenacity inspired scores of young Bahamians to aspire to careers within the local flight services industry.

Surrounded by his family at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Mr. Albury passed away peacefully on February 24.

“He could only be described as father to me,” said Mr. Bethel. “My introduction to this business was given by Edward, his words to me from that point to today has held true. I am devastated by this entire ordeal.”

In 1949, Mr. Albury began his extensive aviation career with Bahamas Airways as an aircraft engineer. In 1954 he moved on to Skyways to take up the post of chief engineer.

Subsequently, in 1958, with partner Gil Hensler, Mr. Albury managed and operated Bahamas Air Traders/Island Flying Services. Described as a venture started with very little beyond a beat up old Widgeon amphibian aircraft, a prayer, tenacity, guts and $8,000 in pocket, the service, which later became Out Island Airways, lasted some 15 years.

In June 1973, that join-venture was taken over by the government and within weeks became the national flag carrier – Bahamasair. At the time of the takeover, the company boasted around 150 employees, 80 per cent of whom were Bahamian. The fleet had 15 aircraft, including a 40-passenger jet prop Fairchild F-27.

Mr. Albury remained with Bahamasair until 1976.

“The achievements enjoyed by Edward over the course of his life were all well deserved. Everything he got he worked for. Even more amazing was his attitude towards the things he craved but couldn’t get, those were the things that pushed him even more,” said Mr. Bethel.

In March 1976, he resigned his position as assistant managing director and moved to Grand Bahama, where he started his own company - Lucaya Beach Air Services. Then in 1977 he was asked by the Grand Bahama Airport Company to take over the position of airport manager where he remained until 1985.

Later that year, he started up another venture, an aviation and marine consulting service under the name Bahamas Aero-Marine Limited. He was the company’s general sales agent and represented Pan American Holdings Inc, handling airline reservations, presentations, sales and marketing in the Bahamas and Grand Cayman.

In 1986 Mr. Albury relocated to Mill Bay, British Columbia in Canada where he owned, operated and upgraded a full-service marine sales and repair facility called Mill Bay Marina, offering the area its first search and rescue service.

As luck would have it, when the first rescue alert was raised, Mr. Albury’s sons were at the helm of the first search and rescue boat in the area. Once word got out, the demand was embraced by the community, and the needed service was recognised. Today this service is officially recognised in the community as the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue Station 34 Mill Bay.

During his life Mr. Albury was an active member of the Airline Association of the Bahamas, serving as president; a member of the Airline Operators Committee; Tourist Advisory Committee; Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and other associations.

Mr. Albury is survived by his wife Lois; his two sons, Edward Jr and Christopher Albury; his daughters, Lorraine Irvin, Adelle Ryland, Lily Sawyer and Marlene Guillory; and scores of other relatives.