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

Body found near Port Edward identified as missing man

David Kim went missing April 7 between Prince Rupert and Terrace

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Pool opening further delayed

A deficiency in the tile works has setback its completion, city says

Terrace fire ban now includes Ferry Island

The ban will be in place until further notice

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Documentary filmed in B.C. nominated in ‘Wildlife Oscars’’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Most Read