On March 5, Ernest “Gus” Bacon, our loving father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, pilot, sailor and dear friend passed away peacefully following a short illness. Born in Canora, Saskatchewan in 1919 he led a distinguished and adventurous life as a pilot in the RAF in WWII, the RCAF, and commercially with International Air Bahamas. After thousands of hours, and tens of log books later, his final retirement found him settling in Parksville, Vancouver Island and sailing Demelza for many years throughout BC’s famous sailing grounds. We will all remember the family trips, catching salmon at the expense of many fishing weights, and navigating the narrows into Princess Louisa Inlet.
Constant reader, active golfer, ready intellect, and quick wit, Gus was always the instructor ever willing to share his knowledge and experience.
His last flight was 4 years ago, performing aerobatics above Schooner Cove in a WWII training aircraft. That was Dad, and this poem epitomizes his life.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee, No 412 squadron, RCAF
Unfortunately, owing to family constraints, a memorial service will be held at a future date.