A commemorative plaque honouring Canadian bush pilot and aviation pioneer, C.H. “Punch” Dickins now resides at Snye Point Park.
The Municipality, alongside Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), unveiled the plaque on Oct. 18, 2019.
Mayor Don Scott spoke about the man who had a significant impact on the geography and aviation history of this Canada.
“We have a neighbourhood named after him, which is Dickinsfield, and we have a school named after him. There’s a big history and connection Punch Dickins has to this region.”
Serving in both world wars, first as a pilot and in the second as an aircraft developer, Dickins charted one million miles while flying over Canada’s North.
Also among his notable achievements was flying across the Arctic coastline and helping to develop the de Havilland Beaver.
“In the 1940s,” said Susan Eaton of Parks Canada, “Dickins contributed to the design of the de Havilland Beaver, an airplane that became world famous for its short takeoff and landing capabilities.”
The ceremony at Snye Point Park began with a flyover, landing, and takeoff of a floatplane.
Everyone is quite excited pic.twitter.com/XGqWuZE0iA
— MyMcMurray (@MyMcMurray) October 18, 2019
Alberta’s representative from the HSMBC, Dr Joe Anderson said Dickins’ daring feats of flying over uncharted territory helped Canada take the lead in frontier aviation.
“On behalf of the government of Canada, and following the recommendation of the HSMBC, [I] present this plaque as a symbol of recognition and celebration of Punch Dickins’ role in Canada’s history.”
Mayor Don Scott spoke about the importance of involving schoolchildren from École Dickinsfield in the ceremony.
“They got to hear a speech about a Canadian legend. It helps inspire them in the future; certainly, reading about him inspired me.”
Kids from the school sang O Canada in both official languages.
École Dickinsfield’s motto is “Together, we fly higher.”