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Father MacGillivray to Be Honoured at Canadian Breakfast

By Ian Brown, Editor

July 2018 - If, like most EAA members, you can’t claim to have been “in there from the start,” you may not have heard of Father John MacGillivray unless you recall the article we wrote about him in the February edition of Bits and Pieces last year. He’s quite a legend in the annals of the history of Canadians associated with EAA. He flew a Tiger Moth from Nova Scotia to the EAA fly-in and was interviewed about his travels. You may be interested to watch this video in which he was interviewed for a local TV station. Father John was a Roman Catholic chaplain with the Royal Canadian Air Force, and he loved to fly.

Father MacGillivray to Be Honoured at Canadian Breakfast

Father John MacGillvray

The reason we brought him up again is that we are honouring his lifelong contribution to EAA at our Canadian breakfast on Wednesday, July 25. Our own board member, Jack Neima, is John’s nephew, and he will talk briefly about John and accept the award plaque on his behalf.

Father John was also the honourary chaplain for EAA and led a service of dedication of the EAA Air Museum in Oshkosh, in July 1983. Since he was quite a prolific poet he also wrote this prayer for the occasion.

A Prayer of Dedication

By Father John W. MacGillivray

O’ God, in your own image,

You fashioned man from dust,

You shared with him your power,

To know, to love, to trust.


You shared with him a vision,

Of cloud, and wind and sky,

And challenged man to use your gifts,

To teach himself to fly.


Man dreamed that dream, a vision bright,

Through countless ages gone

Yet only at this present time,

The age of flight has dawned.


O’ God of storm, yet gentle breeze,

Accept from humble hands,

This monument to say our thanks,

We, airmen, of all lands.


Unite our scattered languages,

In the common tongue of flight,

That we, united here below

Be pleasing in your sight.


Today these walls bespeak our praise

We, dust, endowed with flight.

Under the shadow of your wings

Lead us to eternal light.


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