Green's Fly-in Camps
To All of Our Valued Friends & Guests of Green’s Fly-In Camps:
The families of Jack and Bob Green wish to inform you of an important milestone in the history of our Camp and Airline business. Effective April 1, 2016 Green’s Fly-In Camps will transition to Jack Green’s Fly-In Camps and Bob Green’s Fishing Camps. Guests will still be able to enjoy their favorite locations and are able to book their fishing/hunting trips as follows:
As many of you are aware both Jack and Bob have passed on and their legacies will continue on through their spouses, children and grandchildren.
In the early 1950’s Jack and Bob’s father, George, started a commercial fishing business which evolved to become the business it is today. The ability to provide a value added fishing and hunting experience has been passed through the generations. Our commitment to good fishing, good service, good accommodations and good equipment will continue to be the basis of your experience to your favorite destination.
Both families look forward to welcoming returning guests and new ones alike to one of the best hunting and fishing experiences Northwest Ontario has to offer!
Green’s Fly-In Camps History
Green Airways and Green’s Fly-In Camps were officially incorporated in 1956 by the late G.H. (George) Green. George first came to the Red Lake area in 1947 and being the product of a commercial fishing family from the Manitoulin Island he quickly recognized the potential of the local area. In 1948 George set up a commercial fishing venture, Green’s Fisheries, and obtained licences to fish many lakes in the Red Lake area; some of those lakes became the basis of Green’s Fly-In camps including Birch Lake and Mamakwash Lake.
George moved his family of six children to the Red Lake area through 1949 and 1950. George’s commercial fishing business grew very quickly and at one point held up to 47 different fishing licences. As George was in the position of paying aircraft operators to fly his fish it only made sense that he purchase his own airplane. In 1950 he purchased a Stinson SR-9 Gullwing from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. That actual aircraft exits today in the Bushplane Heritage Museum in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario- painted in the Yellow and Green livery which has come to be known so well in the Red Lake area.
While owning an airplane made business sense to haul his own fish, it made sense to also utilize the aircraft to haul other operator’s fish and passengers. In 1956, George was able to obtain an Air Charter licence from the federal government (we think he may have done a few trips before he actually received the licence…). This was no easy feat in those days- George was able to leverage some of his political affiliations including John Diefenbaker, who was well on his path to becoming Prime Minister.
George’s family consisted of 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls. All the children were expected to contribute to the family and business in one way or another. Through those early days the family lived above the business and had running water- by running to the lake to fill buckets!
As the children grew up they all went on to be very successful in their careers. The oldest, Bill, worked with his father for a brief time and pursued a career in flying taking him all over Northwest Ontario and Northern Manitoba. Eventually he became the Manager of all the northern airports in Manitoba. Howard, an avid hockey player, obtained a Doctorate of Kinesiology and became a well-respected Professor at the University of Waterloo. The girls, Velma and Betty, identical twins, both became nurses and initially settled in Winnipeg. The second oldest- Jack, and the youngest- Bob, chose to stay in the Red Lake area and through various events both ended up working with and taking over the business from their father.
Through the 1950’s and 1960’s George continued to grow the business through the acquisition of more aircraft. Following the purchase of the Stinson SR-9 the fleet was grown by adding a PA-12, two Cessna 180’s and two Norseman aircraft. As the business evolved into the 1970’s a Beech 18 was purchased in 1970. At one point two DC-3 aircraft were purchased but the deal fell through when the aircraft failed their purchase inspection.
In 1970 George took ill and needed help running the business. Jack and Bob both returned to Green Airways to help their father.
They assumed roles in the company which played to their individual strengths; Jack as the entrepreneurial drive behind the business and Bob as an already highly regarded pilot with a sound understanding of operations and a talent for logistics. Together they poured their heart and soul into the company both contributing in their own way to form a successful team.
In 1976, they purchased 3 DeHavilland Beavers from the US Army bringing the aircraft to Canada and putting them on floats and skis. They actually paid more for the floats than they did for the aircraft! Needing a larger size aircraft they purchased the first Single Otter to be operated in Howey Bay in 1978. The Otter became the mainstay of the Green Airways fleet for years to come.
In 1986 Jack and Bob were successful in purchasing Ontario Central Airlines, one of their fiercest competitors. That summer they ran two bases with a combined fleet of 14 aircraft.
Through the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s deregulation in the airline industry made it tougher and tougher to remain profitable in the airline business with many camp operators in the Red Lake area following Jack and Bob’s successful business model of owning their own aircraft to service their camps. The focus was shifted from an airline which owned camps to a camp business which owned aircraft.
Through the 1990’s and into the first decade of the 2000’s Jack and Bob continued to operate the airways and camps eventually reduced the aircraft fleet to 5 aircraft to serve their 7 camps.
Over the years many people worked with Jack and Bob. Many, many pilots started their careers or made a stop at Green Airways at some point along the way. Both Jack and Bob worked hard, played hard, and were dedicated to their company and their families. Both were well respected by employees and those in the community. With their tough lifestyles came many health challenges. Bob passed away in 2011 and Jack in 2015.
As their spouses, children and grandchildren we have concluded a chapter not quite finished by Jack and Bob. We know they both had their own ideas, were each their own men and undoubtedly would both have comment for all which has transpired. However, they would both be happy and take solace in seeing their families moving forward and opening a new chapter. The new chapter bears their names and legacies in the form of Jack Green’s Fly-In Camps and Bob Green’s Fishing Camps.
We as families will be forever grateful to both of them and will always have fond memories.