Memorable Manitobans: John Charles “Jack” Bessey (1920-2003)
Born at Thorold, Ontario on 8 March 1920, he attended Prince of Wales School and Thorold High School then worked as an apprentice electrician on the Welland Canal until enlisting in the RCAF in August 1940. During the Second World War he served at several stations in Canada and Iceland. He chose the Air Force as his life career and served at Trenton, Downsview, Greenwood (Nova Scotia), Cold Lake (Alberta), France, and Germany, retiring at Gimli, Manitoba in September 1970.
In retirement he moved to Winnipeg where, in 1985, he joined the Air Force Association of Canada and began refurbishing vintage aircraft. He contributed to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan “Garden of Memories” at the Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park. He volunteered for the Progressive Conservative Party, Cancer Society, Salvation Army, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Canadian Diabetes Society. In February 2003, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his exemplary volunteer work.
He died at Winnipeg on 17 March 2003.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 2003.
“They will never be forgotten”, Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2003, pages A6-7.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 September 2011
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