||October 23, 2009
Amelia Earhart Flies Again
Amelia Earhart the American feminist
icon, record breaking pilot, author, lecturer, beauty, celebrity died in July
1937 as a pilot while circumnavigating the world in a plane. Now after many
books, movies and conspiracy theories about her death a major motion picture
will premier October 23. Featuring 2 time Academy Award actress Hilary Swank as
the legendary Earhart and Richard Gere as her husband (George Putnam) it looks
like a fascinating movie. There is lots of information on Amelia’s life and the
movie called “Amelia” online. Two authors of well known books on Earhart –Mary
S Lovell and Susan Butler were consultants on the movie. There are several books
on Earhart in the North Bay Public Library There are several Ontario connections
In 1917 20-year-old Amelia took a brief
vacation from school to visit her sister Muriel who was going to school in
Toronto. She was saddened by the condition of service men wounded in WWI and
became a war nurse and stayed a year. Amelia and her sister spent a lot of time
on their interest in airplanes and Toronto is credited with getting Amelia
started on a career in flight. Toronto was the centre for the Royal Flying
Corps and there were hundreds of pilots and planes at 2 airfields in Toronto.
She also got the Spanish Flu and suffered after affects throughout her life.
||Amelia Earhart as a nurse in
Toronto when she was in her twenties. Submitted photo
She returned to Toronto as a hero in
1932 to speak at the Eaton Auditorium and was interviewed and visited old
In the spring of 2008 the Amelia movie
was shot over several months in Toronto which is Manhattan in the film.
The Movie Plane in S.S. Marie
The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Museum
has the remarkable good luck of acquiring the Fokker Tri-engine plane used in
the movie. It is not a real plane but an excellent full size mockup from the
movie. They are celebrating the event on October 28th. There will
be speakers and a re-enactment and people can sit in the cockpit where Hilary
Swank sat in the movie. October 23 is the day the movie will be released. The
plane will be displayed October 19-23. Watch your local listings for details on
the movie in your area
A Northern Ontario Connection
The Nipissing Museum has a display of
material about Amelia Earhart visiting Lake Nipissing on several occasions.
Bill Moloska, a Texas millionaire, owned oil wells and a plantation in Texas and
built a lodge on Lake Nipissing in the 1920s. He was a friend and supporter of
Amelia and she visited him several times at his lodge
Joe Steele, Curator of the Nipissing
Township Museum, with Amelia Earhart photo with her technical advisor and
trainer Paul Mantz on left D. Mackey photo
The Nipissing Bowman family worked for
Mr. Moloska at the lodge and he was caretaker in the offseason. The Bowmans had
a chance to go to Texas to work but declined. Mr. Moloska gave the Bowmans a
piano on one occasion. The Bowman family had a photo of Amelia in their living
room which they donated to the Nipissing Museum. The photo shows Joe Steele,
the Curator, with the photo. The lodge became Tom-Rae Lodge and operates to the
Earhart died just short of her 40th
birthday but lives on in numerous books, museums, scholarships, streets, schools
and airports named after her. She was married to a well known publisher. The
movie is the biggest recognition even though it comes 72 years after her death.
At her peak she wrote books, was an editor at Cosmopolitan, had her own line of
clothes, gave lectures, and became a model for young women to reach out and have
the courage to take a chance and do something remarkable.
||North Bay Nugget July 3,
1937 erroneous report on Earhart crash. Photo shows her with her husband
before taking off on her world trip.
This article does not touch on the many
conspiracy theories about her death including one where she didn’t die but went
under hidden protection for life for the U.S. government with crash used as an
excuse for a huge presence in the area to look at Japanese activity prior to the
war. Nothing proven of course. Maybe the movie will help.
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