Portfolio manager Canso Investment Counsel has signed on as the “presenting sponsor” for the Air Commodore Leonard Birchall Leadership Award and gala, taking place in Hamilton, Ont., on Oct. 28, 2017. The Richmond Hill, Ont.-based private company specializes in the fundamental valuation of financial securities and the management of investment portfolios.
“We see this as a natural fit for Canso Investment Counsel,” said company vice-president Joe Morin. “Canso supports the people who protect Canada and promoting Canadian heritage is something we see as important, as our own name and history reflect. We’re extremely honoured and proud to be part of the Birchall Leadership Award in support of the Royal Military Colleges Foundation and Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.”
The 2017 Birchall Leadership Award will be presented to world-renowned Canadian astronaut and retired Royal Canadian Air Force Colonel Chris Hadfield, for his exemplary leadership as commander of the International Space Station and his second career as author and inspirational speaker since retirement from active space flight.
The Birchall Leadership Award is Canada’s only national leadership award.
Internationally-known Canadian tenor John McDermott will be performing during the gala, along with the talented military band of The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
The sponsorship from Canso Investment Counsel is particularly poignant from an historical perspective. Air Commodore Birchall, known as “The Saviour of Ceylon”, was flying a PBY-5A Canso patrol aircraft in the Second World War when he spotted a Japanese attack fleet approaching Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He was able to warn the British forces, but Birchall and his crew were shot down and spent years as Japanese POWs under brutal conditions.
Birchall was the senior allied POW and showed his bravery and leadership qualities in the face of grave personal danger and deprivation.
Canso Investment Counsel uses the Canso aircraft as their corporate symbol as it was reliable, versatile and had incredible endurance. The father of the firm’s founder, Squadron Leader Andy Carswell AFC CD, flew the Canso as a search and rescue pilot, winning the Air Force Cross for valour in several rescue missions.
The Royal Military Colleges Foundation enhances the excellence of the colleges by providing the officer cadets with opportunities to broaden their academic, bilingualism, athletic, and military leadership prowess. These opportunities are outside of government-funded education and can only be provided through private philanthropic support.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum started 44 years ago and is Canada’s “largest flying museum,” with a mandate to acquire, document, preserve, maintain, and demonstrate a collection of military aircraft flown by the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadians in the service of our country. A Canso aircraft is part of their flying collection and will be prominently displayed at the gala.