John Bogie – Bush pilot and entrepreneur

By John Chalmers, CAHS Membership Secretary

John BogieJohn Munroe Bogie, born September 6, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, died on April 5 in Ottawa. He is survived by his sons Iain and Craig (Alyson), his stepdaughter, Martha Lindsay (Brandon), and five grandchildren. A US Navy veteran who, because he was underage, could not fly at the time, he trained with the navy as an air gunner. The Second World War ended before John was deployed. Having earned his first pilot's licence at age 17, he then spent a lifetime in aviation.

In the early 1950's he flew extensively for Laurentian Air Services Ltd. and various mining exploration companies in Northern Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland, Labrador and elsewhere in Canada. In 1968 he purchased Laurentian Air Services from his uncle, Barnet Maclaren, a brother of John's mother, Florence. For the next 40 years John continued to operate Laurentian and its affiliates (Air Schefferville, B.M. Aviation, Air Laurentian) in charter and scheduled flights, Delay River Outfitters for fishing and hunting expeditions in Northern Quebec, aircraft maintenance and refurbishing many US military de Havilland Beaver aircraft in partnership with Colin McOuat of Lachute, Quebec.

Together with the late Marg Carson, John was a co-founder of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. The Spring 2009 issue of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal recorded John's love of flying in an article entitled "John Bogie: A Life in Aviation". The story of Laurentian Air Services Ltd. and John's involvement with the company is told in For the Love of Flying. Both the Journal article and the book were written by CAHS member, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail.

With his failing health, but still able to speak well about his long career as a pilot and entrepreneur, John was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame at a special ceremony for family and friends held in Ottawa on February 10. He will be represented by his son, Iain, at the Hall's annual induction ceremonies in Calgary on June 7.