British Columbia / B.C. Postal History / Courtesy Air Mail via “GINGER” COOTE AIRWAYS LTD – 23 May 1938 – ZEBALLOS, B.C. to Victoria, B.C. via Vancouver, B.C. – redirected back to Vancouver, B.C.

British Columbia / B.C. Postal History / Courtesy Air Mail via

British Columbia / B.C. Postal History / Courtesy Air Mail via

– sent by: A Allen / Zeballos / Vancouver Island / B.C.

A. Allen owned a dairy farm in Zeballos, B.C. during 1937 to 1938. In 1939 he was listed as a storekeeper.

Addressed to: The Indian Reserve Depot / Govt. Buildings / Victoria, B.C. redirected to: Box 8 / Vancouver, B.C.

The Coote airplane company carried this letter as courtesy airmail from Zeballos to Vancouver—a free service. Ginger Coote’s company performed this type of courtesy service from 1938 to 1940.

The following companies are known to have carried courtesy mail in British Columbia;
Air Speed —Associated Air Taxi Limited. (1950]
Ginger Coote Airways Limited [1938-1940]
B.C. Airlines Limited [1952-1955]
Pacific Western Airlines Limited [1954]
Canadian Airways Limited [1938-1940]
Queen Charlotte Airlines Limited [1947-1952]
Canadian Pacific Airlines (C.P.A.L.) [1950’s]

NIGHT CALL : BAYVIEW 6611 Y – 5 line boxed handstamp in red ink

Put in the mail system at Vancouver, B.C. – / VANCOUVER / MAY 23 / 11 PM / 1938 / B.C. / – machine cancel

Russell Leslie “Ginger” Coote and his father Andrew Leslie Coote (retired) were sole directors of the company, having bought out the other directors by mid-June 1935. Bridge River and Cariboo Airways Ltd.’s name was changed to Ginger Coote Airways Ltd. on April 16, 1938 and that name accepted by the B.C. registrar of companies on May 26, 1938. On April 20, 1938, George William Grant McConachie was appointed a director of Bridge River and Cariboo Airways Ltd.

BC Aviation Hall of Fame – Russell L. "Ginger" Coote earned his wings in the Royal Flying Corp. and upon returning to Chilliwack in 1920, he sold the farm to buy his first airplane and began a career pioneering commercial aviation in British Columbia. Over the next 20 years he pioneered air routes throughout the province, employing such fellow Hall of Famers as Margaret Fane Rutledge, Rus Baker and Sheldon Luck, and partnered with Grant McConachie. During the 1930s he initiated regular air service to the gold fields in Gold Bridge and later to Zeballos. Ginger Coote flew numerous mercy flights and at one point a newspaper stated that’ Ginger had saved more lives than had been lost in all B.C. aviation accidents up to that date.’ At the outbreak of World War II, he sold his airline business and volunteered his services to the Air Training Plan. In 50 years as a pilot flying in some of the most difficult terrain in the world he never bent an airplane and never lost a passenger. Written by Jack Schofield – LINK –

Russell Leslie “Ginger” Coote
(b. 17 June 1898 in Chilliwack, Fraser Valley Regional District, British Columbia, Canada – d. 10 January 1970 at age 71 in Essondale, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada)

LINK to his Personnel Records from the First World War –…

Obituary Clipped from – The Vancouver Sun newspaper – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – 14 January 1970 – Funeral Service Set For B.C. Air Pioneer: at Chilliwack today tor pioneer B.C. airman Russell Leslie (Ginger) Coote, who died Saturday at the age of 71. Mr. Coote was one of a small group of B.C. flyers who blazed the trails for today’s commercial air routes. He won fame for hair-raising escapes and mercy flights into remote areas of the province in the 1930s. Mr. Coote was born in Chilliwack and joined the Chilliwack Company of the 104th Regiment at the age of 14. At 15 he went to France as a sniper, won a commission in 1917 and was twice wounded at Vimy Ridge. Later he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and did patrol work. After the war he returned to Chilliwack and took up farming, but was lured back into flying and with one plane; pioneered the country between Chilliwack, Williams Lake, Quesnel and Barkerville, flying freight and passengers to the mines. Once, in 1938, he was forced down in Georgia Strait by engine trouble while flying four passengers from Zeballos to Vancouver. While tugs and aircraft searched for him, Ginger Coote paddled his plane seven miles to shore and tied up to a fishboat anchored off Point Grey. He said his passengers took the mishap calmly, but added. "I had to go down, so it didn’t much matter what they thought." He survived one crash and several other forced landings without serious injury but his fame was such that newspapers carried a full report when he fell and sprained his leg while loading his plane at Williams Lake, He operated airline companies, under;- several names, finally consolidating them into Ginger Coote Airways. He sold the firm to the Gibson Brothers in 1940 but continued to fly chartered flights into the Cariboo until eight years ago. Mr. Coote is survived by his wife, Molly, a daughter, Mrs. Jocelyn Parsons, and a brother, Col. Ian Coote in England.

LINK to his Find a Grave site –

His father – Lieut-Col. Andrew Leslie Coote
(b. 9 February 1869 in Tynemouth, Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England – d. 18 March 1965 at age 96 in Essondale, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada)

His obituary – Clipped from – The Province newspaper – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – 20 March 1965 – Prominent B.C. pioneer Andrew L. Coote dies – Funeral service for Lieut-Col. Andrew Leslie Coote, OBE, VD, prominent B.C. pioneer, veteran militiaman and founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in the Fraser Valley, will be held Monday. Col. Coote, who played a major role in formation of the Corps of Commissionaires, died in Shaughnessy Hospital at the age of 96. Corpsmen will serve as pall bearers. He came to B.C. in 1890 and settled in Chllllwack. He served as justice of the peace, school trustee and president of various sports organizations until the outbreak of the Second World War. He saw action in France in the First World War with the Westminster Regiment and on his return was active in forming militia groups in the province. During the depression of the thirties he organized the Warehouse at Terminal Avenue and helped up to 500 men in distressed circumstances with food and clothing. Col. Coote went to England, shortly after outbreak of the Second World War and joined the staff of the Observer Corps. He became a group commander. During the war, he returned to Canada and helped form the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers. He received the OBE in 1948. In 1948 he took charge of rehabilitation of all Red Cross cases in the Lulu Island flood disaster. He retired from active Red Cross affiliation in 1951. He was honorary president of Chllllwack Canadian Legion, past president of New Westminster Canadian Legion, honorary president of Imperial Veterans’ Corps of British Columbia and of the Westminster Regiment; a member of Prince of Wales Masonic Lodge. FAMILY: Two sons, Ian Coote, London, Eng.; Russell "Ginger" Vancouver; nine grandchildren ; 14 great grandchildren.

LINK to his – Personnel Records from the First World War –…

Posted by Treasures from the Past on 2022-02-22 19:25:00

Tagged: , Circular Date Stamp , Postal Way Office , Postmaster , post office , British Columbia , postal history , Brit Col. , B.C. , County , split ring , broken circle , split circle , postmark , cancel , cancellation , marking , SON , mail , letter , stamp , Canada , British Columbia Postal History , Canada Post , Courtesy Airmail , Ginger , Coote , Airways , R.L. Ginger Coote , Russell Leslie Coote , Andrew Leslie Coote , A. Allen , Zeballos , Vancouver , Victoria

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