Crossroads of the World recounts tales of heroic airmen and moments of historic importance surrounding the airport town of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador. Since 1936, when Gander’s airport was built, Newfoundland has welcomed countless great men and women to her shores. Long before the events of 9/11, Gander resident Roderick B. Goff was employed as an airline flight dispatcher in the airport town and met many of those celebrated people between touchdown and takeoff. His personal experiences during his aviation career are contained here, stories which include the famous flight of the seven Hudson aircraft, the tragedy of Dr. Frederick Banting’s fatal crash landing, Joseph R. Smallwood’s work in Gander during World War II, and even a visit from British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
Roderick B. Goff was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1916, the second son of John J. Goff and Annie (McNeil) Goff. He received his early education from the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame and was an honours high-school graduate from the now defunct St. Patrick’s Academy in Carbonear, Newfoundland.
His more than forty years in aviation operations at Gander Airport began in 1940 in the Gander office of the Meteorological Service of Canada. After he entered the employ of Pan American Airway in 1946, he received training at the company’s aviation school at LaGuardia Airport in New York and received his Federal Aeronautics Authority Flight Dispatcher’s licence on November 9, 1946. After fifteen years with Pan Am, he was employed by Eastern Provincial Airlines until his retirement in August 1981.
After his retirement from a technical career in aviation, Goff chose to return to university studies in the Humanities at Memorial University, St. Paul University, and the University of Ottawa, from which he received an honours cum laude degree in June 1991—his third university degree.
He was married to the late Alice (Curtis) Goff, RN and has two sons and eight grandchildren. He lives in the airport town of Gander, Newfoundland.
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