Plaque Commemorates Punch Dickins

One of Canada’s most influential pioneer bush pilots has been commemorated with a plaque in one of the areas he helped to open up for aviation. C.H. “Punch” Dickins is remembered on the plaque at Snye Point Park in Fort McMurray, Alberta. It was installed by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board. A nearby school is also named for him. Snye Point was one the many places Dickins used to moor his floatplane in his cargo and passenger flights across the North in the 1920s and 1930s. He went to places where there were no landing strips over and over and over again,” said Fort McMurray Mayor Don Scott. “His life has been celebrated in Fort McMurray in more ways than one.”

Dickins stayed in what became the Royal Canadian Air Force until 1927 when he joined Western Canadian Airways. He logged more than a million miles in the North before leaving that work to help the RCAF set up the Ferry Command and run several British Commonwealth Air Training Plan schools on the Prairies. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1968 and inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974. He died in 1995.