On July 26, 2003, the town of Barry’s Bay, Ontario, (pop. 1,100) honored its most famous resident, Janusz “Zura” Zurakowski, the first test pilot to fly the Arrow, by dedicating a park and future museum to him.
The arrow-shaped park, located across from the town’s railroad station, contains a large-scale replica of the Avro Arrow and a statue of the humble test pilot in his flight uniform. A tourist pavilion with artifacts relating to the Arrow and this famous test pilot, along with interactive displays, will be built in the near future.
The opening ceremonies were attended by a crowd of 1,000 supporters, including members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and the armed forces of the Republic of Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and elsewhere. The Polish Ambassador also was there.
Zurakowski made history when he became the first to fly the Arrow on March 25, 1958. He was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 1973. A commemorative $20 silver coin minted with his likeness was issued in 1996.
Prior to his death in 2004, Zurakowski operated a lakefront lodge with his wife Anna in Barry’s Bay, known as the Polish Capital of Canada, for more than 40 years.
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