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This article was published 29/5/2011 (3715 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
George Elliott is being remembered as an icon in Manitoba's aviation history.
Elliott, who was general manager of Winnipeg International Airport and later the executive director of the Western Canada Aviation Museum, died suddenly on Thursday of a heart attack.
Christine Alongi, spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Airports Authority, said many people at the WAA will miss Elliott.
"Many of us at WAA knew George Elliott well -- he was a true gentleman," Alongi said on Friday.
"He not only served as airport general manager from 1978 to 1980 when Transport Canada was responsible for operating and managing airports, but served as a WAA board member.
"Our sympathies go to George's family on his passing. He was a friend, mentor and aviation history authority to many. He will be remembered for his contributions to the airport and aviation as a whole."
Bill Zuk, a local pilot, aviation writer and former executive director of the Manitoba Aviation Council, said Elliott's career spanned small regional airports to the largest airport in the province.
"He was interested in aviation history, so he went on to head the aviation museum," he said.
Zuk said Elliott's career began in transportation on ships before he moved to planes.
He said Elliott worked as a radio operator on ships with the RCMP's marine division in Halifax and then moved to the air industry as a radio operator. He then moved on to managing small airports in northern Canada.
"George had a lifelong love of nature that was shared by his wife, Joy, and their entire family," Zuk said.
"He recently fondly recalled his time in the Arctic and the North."
Elliott was also a founding member of the WAA, a director of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Aviation Council, past president of the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association and past chairman of Commissionaires Manitoba.
Elliott was named Manitoba's Transportation Person of the Year in 2001 and was the 2010 national nominee of the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association Heritage Award.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.