Irwin, Joseph William

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Irwin, Joseph William

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Joseph Irwin, born in 1907 in Eburne, B.C., was one of seven children born to Robert and Marion Irwin. In 1908 the Irwin's moved to Nanton, AB. and homesteaded NW 34-16-26-W4. Great Western Airways of Calgary started a satellite school in Vulcan in 1929, and Joe and his school friend, Phil Lucas, were among the first students. In 1930 and 1931 Joe earned his private and commercial licences, and in 1933 he qualified as an aircraft maintenance engineer. He began his flying adventures by barnstorming but in 1936 started Calling Lake Air Service, together with James McIntosh, flying fresh fish from Calling Lake, AB. to market. In 1937 he married Jeannette McIntosh and they had two children : John and Kelly. They divorced in 1965. In 1939 Joe joined Canadian Airways Ltd. as a pilot-engineer ; it later became Canadian Pacific Airways. He flew all over the north until 1947 when he started the Grande Prairie Flying Service. In 1950 Joe joined Sun Oil Company (now Suncor). When he retired in 1966 he had almost completed his second one million miles of safe flying. He moved to Rochester, AB and in 1982 married Antonina Prohonig. Joseph died in Jan., 1999.


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Athabasca Archives

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