Ed was born on April, 1935 to Malcolm ‘Chappy’ McIvor and Mary Sinclair. Mary spoke Cree to her children on day one. Still, it was tough growing up in Cross Lake for young pale faced, fair haired McIvor. Ed began living with his paternal grandmother at age seven, doing chores and helping on her hobby farm.
“When 13 years old, living in Cross Lake, I dreamed of becoming a pilot. In the North there are no roads. I thought, ‘flying is easier than walking.’” By October, 1953, Ed was in Winnipeg training at Graffo Flying Services. Several months later he left with his Private License.
Ed’s career started with Taylor Airways and by late 1956, he had his Commercial License. “I had my pilot’s license before my driving license.” After marrying Suzette, from Cumberland House, in 1957 Ed began flying for Fred Chupka, operating out of Lynn Lake. Later, operating out of La Ronge, Saskatchewan, Ed began piloting a Twin Engine Otter. “It was a career highlight. Turbine powered, I could get airborne and reach a safe altitude quickly. For the next 20 years Ed flew for numerous organizations in several provinces and territories.
Ed McIvor finished his career with Skyward Aviation in 2011; he’d been flying 57 years. “I knew many pilots that died, especially when they began flying helicopters. I stayed flying fixed wing planes my entire career.” When I queried if, indeed, there were any ‘old and bold pilots,’ Ed modestly replied, “If to be bold, is to be adventuresome, then, perhaps there are exceptions to the rule.”