Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff was among the delegates present for Col. Hadfield’s presentation. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Col. Hadfield encourages audacious ideas at CBT symposium

Col. Chris Hadfield addressed delegates at the Kimberley Conference Athlete Training Centre.

KIMBERLEY — The theme of the Columbia Basin Trust’s symposium this year was thriving in change, and who better to inspire Basin residents to meet future challenges with audacity and passion than the first Canadian ever to walk in space.

Col. Chris Hadfield — who on April 22, 2001, became the first Canadian to do just that — addressed delegates at the Kimberley Conference & Athlete Training Centre on Friday night in a keynote address that would inspire those who heard it throughout the weekend.

Hadfield began by talking about the people who inspired him to become an astronaut — Buck Rogers, Captain Kirk, Yuri Gagarin, who was the first man in space, and Neil Armstrong.

“It was Neil that really impressed the heck out of me. Because, I mean, look at him. He is not Captain Kirk. Look at him. He just looks like a guy, like if you needed to get your oil changed, Neil would be the guy in the garage there,” said Hadfield.

He went on to describe watching the lunar landing when he was nine and how Armstrong had to manually land the lunar module with a billion people watching him after it turned out that the designated landing site was unsuitable.

“Kennedy had announced that they were going to do this in May of ’61, had given his nation a national imperative and then had been assassinated. They had like an absolute Holy Grail kind of need to get this done by the end of the decade and the whole thing was bust, except Neil,” said Hadfield. “That guy grabbed control and realized he just had a very short amount of time to solve all these problems and no one could help him but he and Buzz [Aldrin].”

“That’s what inspired me. That you could turn yourself into somebody like that,” he added.

Beyond his own inspiration for becoming the kind of guy who could walk in space and become the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station (ISS), Hadfield also talked about the people whose audacious ideas had inspired and were inspiring others — from John F. Kennedy’s challenge to NASA in 1961 to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade to the Canadian Space Agency launching Allouette-I.

“If you give yourself a crazy challenge and then work and cooperate like we never had before suddenly this becomes part of the human experience. This it the reality of where we are,” he said in reference to being aboard the ISS when it passed through the Southern Lights.

He also spoke about those whose audacious ideas will lead the human race to future discoveries, citing the example of Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, which Wednesday, Oct. 11 successfully landed a reused rocket on the company’s “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship stationed in the Atlantic. The same rocket, Falcon 9, was successfully landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship in the Pacific on Monday, Oct. 9.

“He set an audacious goal to challenge his people, he enabled them, he demanded the best of them and he kept going,” Hadfield said of Musk. “And now when we go beyond the space station to the moon, it is going to be on that technology that we’re going to rely.”

Of course, Hadfield also works to inspire the next generation, just as Armstrong inspired him, and many young would-be astronauts were at Friday night’s presentation.

One of them was Austin Harris, age 12, who’s a big fan of Hadfield and has listened to the audio book of his memoir, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, three times.

“I’m kind of following in his tracks and being prepared for pretty much everything that the world throws at [me],” said Harris, who would like to one day be an astronaut.

 

Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore got a photo with Col. Hadfield following his presentation. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Just Posted

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

City of Terrace holds 39th annual Terry Fox Run

Almost $2K was raised towards cancer research

Former college trailers see new life with Kinsmen Club of Terrace

Eight trailers will be used to revive the organization’s youth camp at Lakelse Lake

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture visits Nass Valley

Nisga’a Nation has great potential for Indigenous tourism, says Minister Lisa Beare

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Most Read