Fred Legace doesn’t miss travelling for work.
As manager of Kamloops Airport for 15 years, he was required to do his share of flying. In his new career, Legace is perfectly happy to keep two feet planted firmly on the ground — in Kamloops.
“It loses its cache rather quickly,” Legace told KTW as he reminisced about the past.
Legace moved to Kamloops to take over operations of Kamloops Airport in the early 2000s, a job he held until 2017, when he retired after 35 years in the business. He retired, he said, because he accomplished everything he wanted to accomplish and, in taking a look around, he saw those around him were perfectly capable of handling duties without him.
These days, Legace worries less about governments and air carriers and deals with people on a more one-on-one basis. His retirement from airport manager was really more of a career change.
After he left the airport, Legace obtained a licence to sell insurance. Now, the insurance broker works primarily with small business owners and farmers. For Legace, it’s not only a nice change of pace, but also fits well within his expertise in risk management.
“What I found is that it’s actually really interesting line of work,” he said.
Though Legace swooped into Kamloops for his former gig at the airport, he had no plans to leave the city upon retiring from the very job that brought him here. Having lived from coast to coast in Canada, he said: “This place is absolute paradise.”
In his spare time, Legace continues to give back to the community, as a longtime Rotarian and in serving his second year as chair of the Kamloops Hospice Association.
“When I first went there, I thought this was going to be a dour bunch of people,” Legace said of the hospice association. “But completely the opposite. … Kamloops is better because of that facility.”
Meanwhile, planes continue to fly overhead daily, heading to Vancouver or Calgary or Toronto. Legace was happy to see the connection to Hogtown added in the past couple of years. Efforts to secure the route began five years ago, he said.
Legace also worked with the current airport manager Ed Ratuski in the past in Winnipeg.
He said Kamloops is well-served. He also touted community groups that have gotten behind the airport — Thompson Rivers University, Sun Peaks and Tourism Kamloops — work that also began under his tutelage.
Looking back at Legace’s legacy and all those times he hopped on board for work, the insurance broker admitted he does, in fact, miss days at Fulton Field.
“I had an absolute blast,” he said. “Best job I ever had.”