Canadian Popemobile Will Carry Pope John Paul II During His Visit to CubaFriday, December 05 1997
(CCCB–Ottawa)… During his visit to Cuba, January 21-25, Pope John Paul II, will travel on the same popemobile used on his visit to Canada in 1984.
Following a request by the Cuban Episcopal Conference, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) arrived at an agreement with the Canadian government and the Museum of Science and Technology of Ottawa to borrow the vehicle. The Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, on his visit to Ottawa yesterday, personally thanked Canadian government authorities for this gesture.
The popemobile, which can be seen at the Museum of Science and Technology, will be transported to the Havana airport in Cuba, by Canadian National Defence Hercules plane, December 19. Pope John Paul II will thus be able to travel among the Cuban population greeting the Holy Father on his first visit the the Carabean island. The vehicle will be returned to Canada February 8. Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal and President of the CCCB, as well as Father Émilius Goulet, French General Secretary of the CCCB, will travel to Cuba for Pope John Paul’s visit.
The vehicle which will carry the Holy Father on his Cuban visit is one of two popemobiles purchased by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Canada, September 1984. The vehicles, built to be transported by Hercules plane, were flown everywhere the pope travelled in the country. The popemobiles were built by Camions Pierre Thibault of Pierreville, Quebec. The vehicles – Sierra Classic – were offered by General Motors of Canada and Lexguard bullet proof plastic were donated by Canadian General Electric. Many other companies and organizations had worked together to guarantee the Pope’s safety and visibility in the heated and air conditioned vehicles.