Canada Post issued five new stamps this week to celebrate Canadian icons that soared above and beyond in the fields of civilian and military aviation.
These heroes include First World War pilot William George Barker. Barker is the most decorated military member ever in both Canadian and British military history. He fell more than 900 combat hours in just two years, between 1916 and 1918, and is credited with 50 victories over enemy aircraft.
The first woman in Canada to receive a degree in electrical engineering and the first in the world to hold a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering, Elizabeth “Elsie” MacGill is also recognized in the new stamp collection. MacGill, who worked as a professional aircraft designer, was dubbed “Queen of the Hurricanes” in a wartime comic book for her work in overseeing design refinements and the production of Hawker Hurricanes, a fighter plane employed in the Second World War.
Also hailed on the new stamp collection is aviation pioneer and bush pilot C.H. “Punch” Dickens. Dickens logged more than 1.6 million kilometres flying over northern Canada. Dickens, who was a pilot during the First World War, received the Distinguished Flying Cross recipient and made the pioneering journey across the unmapped Barren Lands of the Northwest Territories.
Additionally, the stamps also recognize two trailblazing aircraft: the Lazair, a twin-engine, high-wing ultralight monoplane considered one of the best light aircraft ever made; and the Avro CF-105 Arrow, a twin-engine supersonic aircraft considered one of the greatest technological achievements in Canadian aviation history.
“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,” said Doug Ettinger, Canada Post President and CEO.
The stamps were developed through the support of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, one of three museums under the Ingenium brand.
“Ingenium is thrilled that our collection has helped to bring these ground-breaking moments in Canadian aviation to life. We hope that by sharing stories of those who dared to think differently, we inspire ingenuity, creativity, and innovation in all Canadians,” said Christina Tessier, President and CEO of Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.
Designed by Ivan Novotny of Taylor|Sprules and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group, the stamp issue is available in a booklet of ten and a gummed mini-pane of five. Five Official First Day Covers are also available as a set or separately.
The stamps are available at canadapost.ca or postal outlets across the country.