This week Canada Post issued five commemorative stamps that celebrate Canadians and Canadian technology in the field of aviation. The Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa collaborated in the initiative.
Three Canadian aviation legends are being honoured. First World War ace and Victoria Cross recipient William George Barker, VC, remains the most decorated member of the military in the history of Canada and the British Empire.
Legendary bush pilot C.H. ‘Punch’ Dickens made the first reconnaissance flight across the Northwest Territories, which back then included all of present-day Nunavut. Dickens was also a First World War ace and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The first woman in Canada to receive an electrical engineering degree was Elizabeth ‘Elsie’ MacGill. She was also the first woman in the world to earn a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. As a professional aircraft designer, MacGill oversaw the production and design refinements of the Hawker Hurricane, for which she was dubbed ‘Queen of the Hurricanes’.
Also recognized are two aircraft that illustrate Canadian technical ingenuity. The Lazair is a family of twin-engine ultralight airplanes that were sold in kit form between the years of 1979 and 1985. Designed by Port Colborne, Ontario native Dale Kramer, the Lazair is considered one of the best airplanes in its class. Kramer was selected by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute to receive the Roméo Vachon Award in 1983 for his outstanding contribution to the development of aeronautics in Canada.
Lastly, the Avro C-105 Arrow is remembered for its technological achievements, considered by many to have been ahead of its time.
“As Canada’s storyteller, Canada Post is proud to share these stories of personal bravery and ingenuity, and to commemorate the aircraft that demonstrate Canadian technological innovation,” says Doug Ettinger, Canada Post president and CEO.