Dr. Roberta Bondar, a Sault native and the Canada’s first woman in space, was at the Bushplane Centre Wednesday evening as part of their 30th Anniversary Celebration.
While there, she had a meet and greet, followed by a multimedia presentation – entitled Stars and Flights – speaking about the importance of flight and space and the impacts humans are having on the planet.
Dan Ingram, Executive Director, Bushplane Museum, told SaultOnline they arranged this as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations because of Dr. Bondar’s relationship with both the Sault and the Bushplane Centre.
“We have an honourary display in our hall of fame, a display for her, and it’s just a great opportunity and a great honour for us to be able to bring her back to the community to be able to share some of the experiences that she’s had with the community,” he said.
“The local community is amazing when you think about it. Think of the size of the Sault and the history of Canada and the history of world and this city and this hanger, it’s unbelievable,” she said. “By having this museum, it’s not only just looking at the planes, it’s actually involving people into why the planes are here – it’s an interactive museum and I have my space stuff here in the corridor and that means a lot to me.”
She said she hopes people walk away from her presentation feeling inspired and motivated to be creative and learn new things to help combat climate change and plastic waste pollution – two subjects in her presentation.
“Especially people who are in a position to develop new products or new things or kids going through school, and just being inspired to think differently, be curious and learn, because that’s the first step in becoming innovative,” she said.
Ingram said this event was “a great opportunity for us to give back to the community who’s supported us for 30 years and who has helped us grow to what it is today and it’s just a great opportunity to celebrate.”
“It’s interesting because often when people are coming through for tours, they stop and look at the Roberta Bondar display that we have here, and most people don’t realize that she was from Sault Ste. Marie and its a great tribute to our museum that she’s donated artifacts from her excursion in space. And to bring her back to talk about some of those experiences and other experiences she’s had dealing with aviation, persay, and with our cadet program here tonight, it’s a great honour to have her here for this event.”
For more information on Dr. Bondar, visit her website here.