Five New Hall of Fame Members

Story and photos by John Chalmers
CAHS Membership Secretary

On May 16 at Bombardier’s splendid Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre at the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame installed five new Members, bringing to a total of 237 individuals who have been honoured at the Hall’s annual induction ceremonies. The 46th annual gala dinner event recognized outstanding achievement in military and civil aviation.

01a Inductees

Seen on the stage for the induction ceremonies, left to right are Master of Ceremonies, Denis Chagnon; Bill Paris, representing his late uncle, William Paris; Greg McDougall; Barry Lapointe; John Holding; and Tom Appleton, representing the late David Fairbanks.

David Fairbanks, a three-time recipient of the DFC, served with the RCAF during the Second World War, flying a Tempest with the Royal Air Force. He attained the rank of squadron leader as commander of 274 RAF Squadron and had a total of 15 victories to his credit. Post-war he worked for de Havilland Canada as a test pilot and promoter of the company’s Short Takeoff and Landing aircraft such as the Dash 7.

William Paris also served as an RCAF combat pilot during the Second World War, flying Spitfires in the North African Campaign. Discharged as a flight lieutenant, post-war he served as a flying instructor, then spent three decades as a manager and executive of the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association, for which he was installed as a member of the Order of Canada.

02 Meet and greet

The gala event celebrating accomplishment in Canadian aviation began with a meet-and-greet start to the evening. On display was a new Bombardier Global Express aircraft positioned at each end of the facility which served as a banquet hall for some 400 people attending the event.

John Holding was honoured by the Hall of Fame for his long service as an aeronautical engineer. Trained in England, he came to Canada in 1979, starting with Canadair, and retired as a vice president of Bombardier. Barry Lapointe has built KF Aerospace into a company with 1,000 employees at four locations in Canada in a company that provides maintenance, repair and overhaul service, as well as training Canadian military pilots. Greg McDougall has built his Harbour Air Services company into the world’s largest seaplane airline, operating on the west coast of Canada with some 50 aircraft in scheduled and charter service.

03 Procession

The Hall of Fame gala program traditionally begins with a piper bringing in Air Cadets, who escort inductees to their seats and participate in the induction ceremonies. Black Watch veteran and piper, Brian MacKenzie CD, leads the procession.

04 Dinner

At the Hall of Fame dinner prior to induction of new Members of the Hall, special recognition was given to two centenarian Members of the Hall. Russ Bannock DSO DFC and Bar, who will be 100 on November 1, was a Mosquito pilot during the war, commanding 418 RCAF Squadron with the rank of Wing Commander. Post-war he had a distinguished career with de Havilland Canada, eventually serving as president. Dick Richmond, who reached his 100th birthday on January 13, 2019, had a long and distinguished career as an aeronautical engineer, serving with Fairchild, Canadair, Pratt and Whitney, McDonnell Douglas and Spar Aerospace.

05 Barry Lapointe and Tyler Gandam

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame office and displays are located at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. ( A tradition of the Wetaskiwin city council has been to proclaim inductees to the Hall as Honorary Citizens of Wetaskiwin. At the induction gala, Mayor Tyler Gandam presented new Members of the Hall with their honorary citizenship and an engraved glass plaque. A certificate is also provided. Shown above is Barry Lapointe, left, receiving the presentation from Mayor Gandam.

06 Russ and Rod

Russell Bannock, DSO DFC*, shows the framed print given to him at the inductions, a copy of the original portrait by the late Irma Coucill, who made the drawing when Russ was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. Irma made sketches of all Hall of Fame Members until 2013. At right is Rod Sheridan, chairman of the Hall’s bard of directors. (Rick Radell photo)