Considered by many as a pioneer in early Canadian aviation, C. H. “Punch” Dickins played an important role in the development of Canada’s air transportation capabilities in the North.
Today, Dr. Joe Anderson, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada Representative for Alberta, commemorated the national historic significance of C. H. “Punch” Dickins with a plaque unveiling ceremony in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Dickins was a distinguished pilot of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, and a pioneering bush pilot in the 1920s and 1930s. Flying over great distances in Canada’s North, Dickins demonstrated the feasibility of flight in the coldest weather and under extremely difficult take-off and landing conditions. His explorations produced invaluable maps of these remote parts of Canada.
Later in his career, Dickins joined de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, contributing to the design of the de Havilland Beaver aircraft, a small airplane known as the “workhorse of the North” that became world-famous for its short take-off and landing capabilities.
The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, commemorates the significant people, places, and events that shaped our country as one way of helping Canadians and youth connect with their past. The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations. To date, more than 2,000 designations have been made.