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International Context Game

Could you have been a bush pilot? Put yourself to the test...

Being a bush pilot meant far more than delivering mail to isolated outposts, mining camps and villages. It meant transporting supplies to areas accessible only by air, by foot or by water. It meant being the only link with the outside world for many to the people in those areas. Could you have been a bush pilot? Put yourself in the following situation and see if you have what it took...

In December 1928, a diphtheria epidemic broke out at Little Red River, a Hudson's Bay Company outpost approximately 420 miles (approximately 675 kilometres) north of Edmonton, Alberta. At that time, no regular transportation or communication systems existed and, because it was winter, it took almost two weeks to get the message to Edmonton that help was needed.

When, at the end of December, word finally reached Edmonton, volunteers were asked to fly the necessary medicine up to Fort Vermilion, a small settlement 50 miles (80 kilometres) west of Little Red River, where a dog sled team would then complete the journey. Only Wilfrid F. "Wop" May and Vic Horner agreed to go. Over a two-day period, May and Horner risked their lives making the dangerous flight from Edmonton to Fort Vermilion. They arrived - frozen and exhausted - on January 3 and successfully delivered the anti-toxin to the waiting dog sled team.



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Canadian Postal Museum