The Golden Centennaires was led by Clarence Lang in 1966. (Courtesy of Daniel V. Dempsey)

Creston pilot Clarence “CB” Lang remembered for incredible talent

In 1966, Lang was named squadron leader of the Golden Centennaires, which was formed to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday

Recently in the House of Commons, Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison paid tribute to the memory of a local pilot.

Clarence “CB” Lang, born in 1937, moved to the area in 1949 where he was raised on a farm in Lister.

Clarence “CB” Lang. (Courtesy of Daniel V. Dempsey)

Clarence “CB” Lang. (Courtesy of Daniel V. Dempsey)

After his high school graduation in 1955, he took on his first job at the J.H. Huscroft Ltd. sawmill in Creston.

By chance, Lang was invited on his first flight with owner of the mill Ken Huscroft, who trained in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during the Second World War.

It only took one trip into the skies to discover his passion for flight. The following year, Lang joined the RCAF to become a pilot.

“In 1962, Clarence was chosen to fly in the difficult slot position with the famed Golden Hawks,” said Morrison.

“In 1966, he was named squadron leader of the Golden Centennaires, formed to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday. They flew over 100 shows and were the only air force acrobatic unit to land and take off in formation. They were considered the best in the world.”

In fact, Neil Eddins, the commander of the American Thunderbirds, said in a letter that their demonstration at the Thunderbird Reunion in 1967 was “the finest exhibition of precision flying ever seen.”

In 1980, Lang retired as a colonel and moved back to Lister with his wife and three sons. He went into the dairy business with his brother, Alvin.

Sadly, he was soon diagnosed with cancer. Huscroft, who had given Lang his first airplane ride, also gave him his last, and flew him to the cancer clinic in Vancouver. Lang later died on April 22, 1984 at 47 years old.

His memory lives on, as he was well-loved by all who knew him. Huscroft’s son, John, said that Lang was a humble man who remembered everyone’s name and took the time to stop and ask about their day.

In tribute, Huscroft intends to bring a monument to Creston with one of the CT-114 Tutor planes used by the Golden Centennaires erected on a pedestal.

Huscroft purchased a Tutor from a private sale in Ontario. It has since been painted the iconic gold, red, and blue colours and is just waiting to be mounted.

On March 23, he presented his cause to the mayor and councillors at a town meeting. Council directed staff to explore locations within Creston for the monument. The options are to be brought forward at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting for Council’s consideration.

Huscroft wants to see the plane displayed in front of the Chamber of Commerce office with views of the valley engulfing it. He hopes to see it in place for when the Snowbirds fly over the beautiful Creston Valley one day.

READ MORE: Creston resident gains MP’s support on petition for high fuel prices

Creston Valley

 

Clarence “CB” Lang is pictured on the far left with his team. (Courtesy of Daniel V. Dempsey)

Clarence “CB” Lang is pictured on the far left with his team. (Courtesy of Daniel V. Dempsey)

Just Posted

Yoga with Goats instructor Samantha Richardson gets some attention from one of the goats while stretching on her mat June 15 at O’Keefe Ranch. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Yoga gone to the goats at North Okanagan ranch

Get your downward dog on with some four-legged friends at O’Keefe

The Rockets salute the crowd on the completion of the 2019-20 season. The team is hoping for billet families to get the 2021-22 season off the ground. (Claire Palmer photo)
Golden Rockets looking for billet families

The Rockets are looking for billet families for the 2021-22 KIJHL season

With high temperatures forecasted for the week and into the next, Interior Health is offering some tips on how to keep yourself safe from heat-related illness. (Pixabay)
Interior Health offers safety tips as temperatures soar

‘Too much heat can be harmful to your health’

Kurt Swanson’s dog Kona takes a break from the heat on the Summer Solstice near Cranbrook, B.C. (Kurt Swanson photo)
Very warm temperatures forecast across the Kootenays this weekend

Nelson, Castlegar forecast to hit 39, Cranbrook 37

Traffic will be diverted through Radium along highways 93 and 95 as a part of the closures. (Claire Palmer photo)
Extended closures to Trans-Canada Highway announced east of Golden this fall

It’s the second round of extended closures as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

Teenagers make their way to Truswell Road after a party is broken up by police at the end of Mission Creek (Lorraine Besner/Contributed).
Kelowna residents concerned about ongoing alleged underage beach parties

Public urination, property damage, drinking and drug usage have become weekly concerns

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s so easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton of Point Roberts, Wash.

Mayla Janzen and Ashley Hoppichler, with her daughters Lily and Sophia, are bringing a Friday evening market to Polson Park, starting July 2. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Entrepreneurs craft up Vernon night market

Friday evening Polson Park event to take place throughout the summer

Splatsin Chief Wayne Christian and Tina William lead the Every Child Matters March in Enderby Monday, June 21. (Lyndsey Leon photo)
Hundreds march with Splatsin in Enderby for #215

300 orange-shirt wearing people of all backgrounds turned out in support

Wade Cudmore, seen here with his mother Kathy Richardson, had his first court appearance in relation to first degree murder charges in the deaths of Erick and Carlo Fryer Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Kathy Richardson/Facebook)
Man charged in Naramata double homicide appears in Penticton court

Wade Cudmore appeared for the first time in relation to first degree murder charges

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

Most Read