Local veteran fulfills goal to meet Prince

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

With determination and pluck, Hamilton resident John David managed to shake hands with royalty.

David, originally from Dundas, and a 20-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, and his daughter Rachelle, 12, were among of the first Hamiltonians to find a spot by the barrier fence at Dundurn Castle early on Nov. 5 to view The Royal Couple’s visit to the Duchess’ ancestral home.

In his hand was a photo of another Dundas resident, Captain Tim Woods, piloting a CF-18. The photograph was taken last summer at the International Airshow in Toronto. David said he had known Capt. Woods’ father.

“I’ve never seen Prince Charles,” said David. “I just want to see if I can give him this photo. If I could do it, that would be something.”

He also pointed out it’s the 100th Anniversary of Flight in Canada, made by the Silver Dart.

David, 54, who served as a peacekeeper in Germany, and in the Golan Heights in Israel, was one of about 2,000 people who turned out on a typically English day, cool, overcast, with pockets of sunshine and drizzle, as they waited for the appointed hour.

Still, there was no guarantee that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, would meet the crowd. This was Prince Charles’s 15th visit to Canada, but his first to Hamilton since 1996 when he toured the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The Duchess has never visited Canada before. So getting a chance to see the Prince in Hamilton was lucky, but to shake hands with him, the odds were astronomical.

When the Royals’ black sedan, sporting a crown on its licence plate rolled up and parked in front of Dundurn Castle, the Royal couple gave the crowd some excitement. Instead of following protocol, they exited the vehicle and dove headlong into the anxious crowd shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries, receiving flowers and other gifts. Surrounded by burly security, Prince Charles soon split off from the Duchess, each meeting a different section of the crowd. Fortunately for David, the Prince had chosen the most important area of the gathering.

When the Prince came near David, the Canadian veteran offered the photo to the Prince.

“He looked at it, said ‘oh’, and took it,” said David, still giddy moments after the experience. We chatted, then he shook my hand. “It was exciting.”

Robin McKee, a Hamilton historian, and heritage activist, was beside David when Prince Charles received the photo.

“It really was something,” said McKee, who took photos of the encounter. “I just found John’s story of what he was trying to do great.”

Capt. Woods flew a CF-18 fighter jet over the Dundas area on Remembrance Day in 2005, hoping to give something back to local veterans with a special treat.

He had been named a pilot of the Canadian Air Force’s prestigious CF-18 Hornet demonstration jet.

Capt. Woods received his pilot licence with the Air Cadets in 1991. After receiving a B. A. in science from McMaster University, Capt. Woods enrolled in the Canadian Forces.

He completed the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (Canada’s Top Gun) in 2005.

Local veteran fulfills goal to meet Prince

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

With determination and pluck, Hamilton resident John David managed to shake hands with royalty.

David, originally from Dundas, and a 20-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, and his daughter Rachelle, 12, were among of the first Hamiltonians to find a spot by the barrier fence at Dundurn Castle early on Nov. 5 to view The Royal Couple’s visit to the Duchess’ ancestral home.

In his hand was a photo of another Dundas resident, Captain Tim Woods, piloting a CF-18. The photograph was taken last summer at the International Airshow in Toronto. David said he had known Capt. Woods’ father.

“I’ve never seen Prince Charles,” said David. “I just want to see if I can give him this photo. If I could do it, that would be something.”

He also pointed out it’s the 100th Anniversary of Flight in Canada, made by the Silver Dart.

David, 54, who served as a peacekeeper in Germany, and in the Golan Heights in Israel, was one of about 2,000 people who turned out on a typically English day, cool, overcast, with pockets of sunshine and drizzle, as they waited for the appointed hour.

Still, there was no guarantee that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, would meet the crowd. This was Prince Charles’s 15th visit to Canada, but his first to Hamilton since 1996 when he toured the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The Duchess has never visited Canada before. So getting a chance to see the Prince in Hamilton was lucky, but to shake hands with him, the odds were astronomical.

When the Royals’ black sedan, sporting a crown on its licence plate rolled up and parked in front of Dundurn Castle, the Royal couple gave the crowd some excitement. Instead of following protocol, they exited the vehicle and dove headlong into the anxious crowd shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries, receiving flowers and other gifts. Surrounded by burly security, Prince Charles soon split off from the Duchess, each meeting a different section of the crowd. Fortunately for David, the Prince had chosen the most important area of the gathering.

When the Prince came near David, the Canadian veteran offered the photo to the Prince.

“He looked at it, said ‘oh’, and took it,” said David, still giddy moments after the experience. We chatted, then he shook my hand. “It was exciting.”

Robin McKee, a Hamilton historian, and heritage activist, was beside David when Prince Charles received the photo.

“It really was something,” said McKee, who took photos of the encounter. “I just found John’s story of what he was trying to do great.”

Capt. Woods flew a CF-18 fighter jet over the Dundas area on Remembrance Day in 2005, hoping to give something back to local veterans with a special treat.

He had been named a pilot of the Canadian Air Force’s prestigious CF-18 Hornet demonstration jet.

Capt. Woods received his pilot licence with the Air Cadets in 1991. After receiving a B. A. in science from McMaster University, Capt. Woods enrolled in the Canadian Forces.

He completed the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (Canada’s Top Gun) in 2005.

Local veteran fulfills goal to meet Prince

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

With determination and pluck, Hamilton resident John David managed to shake hands with royalty.

David, originally from Dundas, and a 20-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, and his daughter Rachelle, 12, were among of the first Hamiltonians to find a spot by the barrier fence at Dundurn Castle early on Nov. 5 to view The Royal Couple’s visit to the Duchess’ ancestral home.

In his hand was a photo of another Dundas resident, Captain Tim Woods, piloting a CF-18. The photograph was taken last summer at the International Airshow in Toronto. David said he had known Capt. Woods’ father.

“I’ve never seen Prince Charles,” said David. “I just want to see if I can give him this photo. If I could do it, that would be something.”

He also pointed out it’s the 100th Anniversary of Flight in Canada, made by the Silver Dart.

David, 54, who served as a peacekeeper in Germany, and in the Golan Heights in Israel, was one of about 2,000 people who turned out on a typically English day, cool, overcast, with pockets of sunshine and drizzle, as they waited for the appointed hour.

Still, there was no guarantee that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, would meet the crowd. This was Prince Charles’s 15th visit to Canada, but his first to Hamilton since 1996 when he toured the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The Duchess has never visited Canada before. So getting a chance to see the Prince in Hamilton was lucky, but to shake hands with him, the odds were astronomical.

When the Royals’ black sedan, sporting a crown on its licence plate rolled up and parked in front of Dundurn Castle, the Royal couple gave the crowd some excitement. Instead of following protocol, they exited the vehicle and dove headlong into the anxious crowd shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries, receiving flowers and other gifts. Surrounded by burly security, Prince Charles soon split off from the Duchess, each meeting a different section of the crowd. Fortunately for David, the Prince had chosen the most important area of the gathering.

When the Prince came near David, the Canadian veteran offered the photo to the Prince.

“He looked at it, said ‘oh’, and took it,” said David, still giddy moments after the experience. We chatted, then he shook my hand. “It was exciting.”

Robin McKee, a Hamilton historian, and heritage activist, was beside David when Prince Charles received the photo.

“It really was something,” said McKee, who took photos of the encounter. “I just found John’s story of what he was trying to do great.”

Capt. Woods flew a CF-18 fighter jet over the Dundas area on Remembrance Day in 2005, hoping to give something back to local veterans with a special treat.

He had been named a pilot of the Canadian Air Force’s prestigious CF-18 Hornet demonstration jet.

Capt. Woods received his pilot licence with the Air Cadets in 1991. After receiving a B. A. in science from McMaster University, Capt. Woods enrolled in the Canadian Forces.

He completed the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (Canada’s Top Gun) in 2005.