Da Bash - 2010 Reunion Barbeque

BACKGROUND


This is the tale of how “da bash” came to be.


My wife and I (Garry Alexander), after our two daughters had left the nest to begin their own families, started to return to Ontario each summer to visit with family. We are both from Ontario. We would stay with Judy, my sister-in-law in Milton Ontario.


On one of our visits, August 2009,  we were invited to a meet a new friend of Judy’s, Linda. Both my sister-in-law, and Linda had become widows within a couple of years of each other. They both live in the same condo complex. Their back yards back onto the same common walkway and if you stand up on their respective decks, you can converse face to face in a normal voice.


So, now, we are having our visit and Linda informs us that she will be attending the Oshkosh Air Show next week-end and this leads me to tell her about my 400 squadron connection. She informs me that her late husband, Gerry McIntosh, had been in the squadron, she even brought out a beer mug imprinted with the 400 logo. I could not remember Gerry, so I asked Linda if she had a picture of Gerry during his time in 400.


GarryGerryBill_2.jpg

The picture she produced showed three guys fighting over a basket ball.  The one on the left is me, the middle Gerry and the one on the right, Bill Bishop. I was floored!


Now,  I sure remembered Gerry, but with great sadness. I had been visiting Judy for a number of years and just 50 feet away was Gerry’s backyard. Judy had talked to Gerry only on condo business, so there was no socializing, in which maybe a connection could have come about re the squadron.


A classic example of “6 degrees of separation” eh! (Look it up).


Now I am curious as to the whereabouts of Bill Bishop. The next day I went internet searching re 400 Squadron and came across Freddy Kuzak’s site. I emailed requesting any info re Bill Bishop, now here is where fate comes a calling, I sent the request from Judy’s email and included my email address to reply to, except I typed my email with one letter missing (Age?).


So if course, I would not receive an answer to my mail.


But here is the fate thing, Fred answered via reply, which went to Judy’s mail. Now Judy, thinking that I would also receive was about to delete Freddy’s reply, but didn't. She felt that she needed to wait.


Every Saturday morning Sue, my wife, calls Judy to talk to her and their Mother who lived with Judy. During one of their calls, Judy asked Sue if I had gotten any info re Bill. To make a long story a little shorter, the info was forwarded to me and I saw my email error, but most importantly I had contact info for Bill.


I then connected with Bill, living in Halifax.


One of the first things we discovered was that we both visited family around the same time (August) each year in Ontario. We discussed getting together during our next visit. I had suggested that we meet for lunch somewhere and catch up. Well from a lunch of two we expanded to “da bash”.


Preparation


What started out as a luncheon get together for Garry and Bill, morphed into including some old school chums of theirs, and expanded  to include Air Force comrades. To accommodate the anticipated ‘hoards’, they decided to make it a barbeque and christened it "Da Bash". It was held at Bill's daughter's home in Richmond Hill On August 10, 2010.


In preparation for this momentous occasion, Bill and Garry prepared an invitation which was emailed to all ex members of 400 squadron for whom they had email addresses.


Gerry McIntosh's son, James, Marketing Manager for Scotsburn Meats, arranged a deal to provide "range fed" beef. He agreed to attend the BBQ to carve, spice, and cook the steaks. Bill Bishop prepared his BBQ'ed potatoes and vegetables. For appetizers had shrimp kebobs. Liquid refreshments were BYOB. The cost for all this gourmet fare was $30 per person.

  
Bill Wenham, an artist friend of Bill's, donated an original painting of a Stearman Trainer he painted as a door prize which was won by Jame McIntosh.  He also provided 20 smaller reproductions of his aircraft art work which were used as supplementary door prizes.

Bill Bishop and Garry produced a DVD, called "400 Memories", that was handed out to all who attended. This maybe viewed by clicking HERE.  

We are deeply grateful to Fred Kuzyk for bringing along his video camera and his excellent work in producing a video of the event.