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Legendary war hero and aviation pioneer to be immortalized

IMAGE. A commemorative stamp honouring aviation pioneer C. H. "Punch" Dickins. A special ceremony to honour the war hero and bush pilot will take place Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, at Snye Point Park. Supplied by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Parks Canada will hold a plaque unveiling ceremony to commemorate war hero, bush pilot and aviator, C.H. Dickins on Oct. 18, 2019.

Born in Portage La Prairie, Man., in 1899, Clennell Haggerston Dickins and his family moved to Edmonton in 1909.

Nicknamed “Punch”, Dickins served in the First World War as a distinguished pilot.

Afterwards, he flew as a bush pilot throughout Canada’s North in the 1920s and 1930s.

Among his accomplishments, Dickins delivered the first airmail to the Northwest Territories, was first to fly along the Arctic coastline, and conducted a 10,000-mile air survey of northern Canada.

However, Punch Dickins’ exploits often encountered dangers in uncharted territory, such as poor weather conditions, few landing areas, and unreliable maps.

In the 1940s, Dickins helped design the de Havilland Beaver.

That aircraft became renown for its short take-off and landing capabilities.

Punch Dickins passed away in Toronto in 1995.

The Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) named École Dickinsfield School in his honour.

Commemorative Plaque

A public ceremony honouring Punch Dickins takes place on Oct. 18, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. at Snye Point Park.

A floatplane similar to Dickins flew during his bush pilot days will circle the site, land, and take off near the park.

Next, students from École Dickinsfield will sing O Canada in both official languages.

Finally, Parks Canada, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) shall unveil the special plaque.

The plaque will describe C.H. “Punch” Dickins as a person of national historic significance.

Since 1919, the HSMBC designated more than 2000 people, sites, and events as historically significant.