Thursday, 22 November 2012

William Wallace Gibson ~ First Flight of a Canadian Airplane

Shadow Dancing - Explore

William Wallace (Billy) GIBSON (March 28, 1876 - November 25, 1965)

Nothing ever built arose to touch the skies unless some man dreamed that it should, some man believed that it could, and some man willed that it must.

~Charles Kettering

William Wallace (Billy) GIBSON was born March 28, 1876 in Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland to William GIBSON and Margaret LEES. W.W. Gibson or Billy arrived in Canada on June 20, 1883 when he was just seven years old. His kites flew across the prairies as GIBSON learned the basic principals of aerodynamics succeeding at launching a craft heavier than air into flight ~ detailed crafts carried aloft behind a galloping pony ridden by a young boy with a dream.

These kites, powered by wind were instrumental in the research and development of airplane design. The GIBSON Twin Plane and GIBSON Multi Plane pioneer aircraft to come utilized both motor and propellor for their propulsion system. Without formal schooling, without a team of engineers, Gibson mastered lift, aspect ratio, stability and construction flying his gopher piloted kites - his initial tethered aircrafts before launching the first successful all Canadian airplane.
"Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives,"

~ Socrates.


“Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough.You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

James Matthew Barrie

His father, William Gibson born February 14, 1847 in Auchinleck, Ayrshire, Scotland, was one of three stonemasons who arrived in the Moffat area of Saskatchewan June 1, 1883, and erected a fine stone house over the years 1884 to 1885, naming it Loganston, the very first stone house of the district. This stone mason, noticed the limestone and granite stones across his field, and decided to erect a kiln, and as Haensel wrote in Western People, Loganston house is still standing. The family followed these two years of hard labour with more, constructing as well a fine barn. Moffat, Assiniboia, North West Territories is reminiscent of the historic romance movie Brigadoon according to author Kay Parley of They cast a long shadow: the story of Moffat, Saskatchewan.

Forty families left from the shores of the Bonnie Doon river, and re-located near Wolseley on the banks of Wolf Creek. As William Gibson said of the Canadian North West, "Strawberry, raspberry, brambleberry, gooseberry, black currant, cherry, cranberry, saskatoon berry, and others. Mrs. Gibson has made over 100 lbs of jelly this summer from wild fruit" He also spoke of fertilizers, "I have used manure to a few potatoes to try the effect it had along with others planted without manure, and they did no better with it." in the book "What settlers say of the Canadian North-West a plain document of the experiences of farmers residing in the country; The Canadian Pacific Railway Manitoba, the Canadian north-west testimony of actual settlers. GIBSON's father also wrote a journal, which was published in the Ayrshire post from which the early experiences of these hardworking Scottish pioneer families is recorded and known.


"Pale Face Jumping Deer"

Oh, oh, oh!
Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Let's go fly a kite!

— from “Mary Poppins” Written by Robert B. Sherman

Kites were always a passion, and gophers were his first pilots as they flew above the prairie fields. Known as the "Bird Man of Balgonie" GIBSON spent years on his hobby experimenting with flight. His power plant propelling his kites from the spring end of the window blinds encouraged to go further. One of his kites measured in at seven feet (2.1 meters) and carried a basket packed full of nine gophers. Just imagine GIBSON galloping across the Saskatchewan prairies on his little pony flying his elaborately designed kite in his wake, learning and studying the principals of aerodynamics.

In 1883, a small seven year old is often found playing with the grandson of the great Chief Piapot, the Cree Indian Reserve of Piapot being 25 miles northwest of Regina was near the Loganston Farm of Moffat. The book Silver Cloud by GIBSON reminisces about the friendship that had developed amongst these friends. Little Billy Gibson soon became friends with the children of Grey Eagle, and Billy received the name "Pale Face Jumping Deer" as he could outjump his playmates from page 22 of Canada's flying heritage by Frank Henry Ellis (1896-1979.

GIBSON attended the Abbotsford School as a child, and the first school classes were held in the attic of Loganston house for the first month which began approximately the spring of 1886 under Andrew T. Fotheringham. The classes then took place in the abandoned Robert Yule log home under Mr. Argue, a University student. By December 18, 1885, the Abbotsford Protestant School District #37 was organized. The school building was erected in 1888, and classes began May 6, 1889. At the age of 13, (1889) he left school to assist the family on the farm located at the SE quarter of section 4 township 16 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian. The family adopted one of the many British Home Children, Johnny Vipond another 13 year old arriving in Canada from the Dr. Bernardo Home in the spring of 1889.


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

~Leonardo Da Vinci.

It was in 1900, when he set out on his own starting up a blacksmith in Wolseley. Purchasing hardware dry goods in Regina, he re-located to Balgonie and started a hardware venture there about a year later which had become quite prosperous. The very first automobile in Saskatchewan was owned by GIBSON IN 1902. Around 1903, at the age of 27, GIBSON blossomed. He invested in a railway construction venture. He accepts a contract to construct 42 miles of right-of-way; 20 miles north of Wolseley, and another 22 miles west of the Touchwood Hills. As a railway contractor, he completed 40 miles of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.[4]

GIBSON also founded a hardware business in Craven, Saskatchewan with a partner, Olin Abner Beach (1882-1966) in 1904, Beach and Gibson Hardware Store. Business warranted another hardware and implement business in Cupar, Saskatchewan.[1][2]

News of the Wright brother's success in 1903 spurred GIBSON onward. During these years GIBSON had switched from flying kites to experimenting with model airplanes. The spring in a Venetian blind roller powered his model airplanes. He launched a large paper glider from the roof top of his hardware store in Balgonie using it as a prototype model for a man carrying aeroplane with engine.

Privacy was a determining Scottish trait inherited by the young inventor. He tested out aviation engines in the early hours of daybreak to avoid scepticism and mockery as well thus protecting his credit rating. It was in this time he developed a four cylinder air cooled engine, testing this aeroplane engine at Balgonie, Saskatchewan June 19, 1904.

The railroad fever had the potential for a large payoff, however GIBSON's gamble failed. The Railway venture caused GIBSON to loose $40,0000 within a year and a half. To make ends meet, he was required to sell off his chain of hardware stores which had arisen in Balgonie, Cupar and Craven. William Gibson, his father, began employment with the Forestry Division of British Columbia's Department of Education. GIBSON also left for British Columbia with his family in 1906.[3]

GIBSON, an adventurous soul, had traveled to Victoria seeking fortune in the gold rush. Around and about 1908, he meets Lucky Grant who had his gold mine prospect up for sale. GIBSON purchased a 17 foot boat and set sail up the ocean coast, arriving in Clayoquot eight days later. Here He re-united with Grant and they traversed overland to the Leora Mine. Immediately GIBSON purchased the prospect selling Locky, his boat, camera, rifle, field glasses and some cash. GIBSON knew what was required to mine this spot, and traveled back to Victoria for a water wheel driven small stamp-mill. The mining venture at the Blackpearl Mine was productive, and GIBSON was able to flip the mine for $10,000 cash early in 1910.



""This plane can teach you more things and give you more gifts than I ever could. It won't get you a better job, a faster car, or a bigger house. But if you treat it with respect and keep your eyes open, it may remind you of some things you used to know — that life is in the moment, joy matters more than money, the world is a beautiful place, and that dreams really, truly are possible."

~ Lane Wallace

He was now financed for the era of "aeromania" fueled by the Wright Brother's flight in North Carolina. Tristan Hopper of the British Columbia Magazine, relates that France’s Louis Blériot was embarking on his dream to fly cross the English Channel, Magician Harry Houdini was working upon a French biplane in Australia. Even the Canadian inventor Alexander Graham Bell assembled together an American engineering team and embarked on a mission to build a flying machine.

Now GIBSON had the means to return to his aviation hobby and settle in at Victoria B.C. He purchased a large home on 146 Clarence Street in the James Bay region of Victoria. He was able to make use of Beacon Hill for test flights. Neighbors would flap their arms and just at his experiments, so again he took to the early morning hours, and night time trial runs. His initial hand built engine did not take to the air, however GIBSON persevered. In an interview with the Victoria Colonist July 1909, GIBSON states, "The machine is [intended to be] 65 feet long and 14 feet width at its widest part. There it differs radically from all the machines hitherto made. They all present their widest part to the wind, proceeding, so to speak, sideways. I go straight ahead, like a steamboat or a fish." Gibson was convinced that a long, narrow air craft was the best design promoting flight and diminishing the risk of capsizing in the air.

On the other side of the world, Bleriot was undertaking a flight across the English Channel, July 25, 1909. And coincidentally, GIBSON make a wager of $1000 that he would achieve a flight to Seattle or Vancouver before the end of the year crossing the Gulf of Georgia.

Working in a local machine shop, and partnering with the Hutchinson Brothers, he soon had a six cylinder, air cooled 40-60 horsepower aircraft engine weighing in at 210 pounds constructed. With the aid of Tom Pimley of the Plimley Bicycle Company, a four wheel undercarriage was fashioned from bicycle tires. Fred Jeune proprietor of Jeune brothers supplied the blue silk to cover the 20 foot wings which were mounted lengthwise providing 330 square feet of lifting surface area. The monoplane designed by Blériot had only 160 square feet. The plane is twenty feet long, and eight feet wide. GIBSON fashioned two propellers and mounted a saddle in front of the engine. The entire craft was 54 feet in length with contra propellers before and aft of the engine. Ahead of his time, GIBSON's use of gull wings, baffle plates within the fuel tanks, and the direct drive contra-rotating propellers are innovations used in contemporary aeronautical design.

At Tolmie, Victoria, on September 8, 1910, GIBSON set off on his inaugural flight in the GIBSON twin plane on the Dean Farm, now the locality of the Victoria Landsdowne Airport. He reached a height of about 20 feet and a distance of 200 feet! As pilot of this craft, GIBSON cut short the flight early as he needed to cut the engine to avoid the trees at the far end of the runway. The landing completely broke the riding wheels.

GIBSON survived, having been thrown from the plane, but the aircraft hit the trees. GIBSON surpassed the initial flight record of the Wright Brothers which had maintained a distance of only 120 feet. Aviation pioneer A.V. Roe in England also did not meet this achievement with his inaugural flight of 100 feet.

"His flight this week was seen by several people who wondered what the enormous moving thing in the air could be as they saw it sailing across fields towards Mount Tolmie," was the extent of the September 9, 1910 Daily Times newspaper write up. However this great feat is now reported thusly, "in 1910, William Wiallace Gibson of Victoria, without formal training, designed and built the first successful Canadian aircraft engine," recognizing the contributions GIBSON made to aviation in British Columbia, GIBSON was inducted into The British Columbia Aviation Hall of Fame.

The first flight was followed by another on September 24, 1910. This flight recorded in the article Pioneer Flying in British Columbia, 1910-1911 by Frank H. Ellis in the The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, October 1939 related that the plane rose about fifty feet, "passing the shelter of a clump of trees a strong cross wind was encountered with the result that the aeroplane was drifted dangerously near some trees, Mr Gibson not using his rudder. He shut off his engine to avoid collision and came down, but unfortunately his wheels were not equipped with brakes and the momentum drove the aeroplane into an oak tree at the rate of about 25 miles an hour....on discussing the flight, Mr. Gibson said he was under the disadvantage of having to learn the art of aviation by experience, there being no "flying schools" in British Columbia" The National Aeronautical Museum in Ottawa has preserved this engine which powered his twin plane.[3] The Twin plane was re-built to size and is on display in the British Columbia Aviation Museum near Victoria.


To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.

- anonymous

GIBSON sold his home for $14,000 to continue financing his aviation hobby. GIBSON honestly came by a true Scottish character, a "tenacious nature", with a "willful stubbornness" and very patient to achieve his long term goal. Lieutenant Governor Thomas Wilson Paterson (1851-1921 Lt Gov 1909-1914) offered the use of the Paterson Ranch located near Ladner, British Columbia in the Fraser River delta providing a flat surface. It is here that GIBSON made test flights in his multi plane. The new design incorporated forty planes of Spruce wood which gave rise to the name; the flying Venetian Blind. Again, the craft had two propellers, and a new 60 horse power engine invented entirely by GIBSON. It was reported in the 1952 edition of The Beaver that this airship could bear the weight of twelve men.

GIBSON's wife, now worried about his safely, made him promise to take no more test flights. On May 31, Paterson, joined by Frank J. McKenzie, M.L.A. and other residents were present at the Paterson Farm to watch the first attempt. J.B. Woods of the Western Motor and Supply Company in Victoria is to be the "demonstrator".[5] In an unfortunate twist of fate, the day was calm resulting in a failed flight due to the lack of wind.

GIBSON tested his craft around Kamloops, B.C. before trying the drier air in Alberta, near Calgary. Partnering now with Alex Japp, GIBSON tries again. A new 6 cylinder air cooled, 2 cycle engine is developed producing 40 horsepower on a tandem, gull-wing monoplane. The flight on September 8, 1910, the landing gear is needing repairs. The on September 24, another flight, and a side wind took the plane resulting in a landing without power crashing into an oak tree.

The book Artificial and natural flight was published in 1908 by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, (1840-1916). Following his father's dream to conquer the air, Maxim chose to construct an airplane rather than a helicopter. Maxim's first attempt at flight was made August 31, 1894. Conveyed along railway tracks like a roller coaster, it did not lift off, and crashed at the end of the line. His next models were all tested in wind tunnels, but did not become successful.

Japp reads Maxim's book, and makes design changes to GIBSON's multi plane incorporating ailerons amongst other tweaks. on August 12, 1911 completing a flight of one mile in the GIBSON multi plane. He used Spruce for the wings, and tried it out on the flat plains near Calgary. Here GIBSON made successful test flights, and to settle his wife's fears while she is abroad on vacation, Alex Japp became the pilot. Japp steers the aeroplane trying to avoid the badger holes on the runway upon landing, ditching the plane into a swamp, and the craft is destroyed. In honor of his flying feat, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington built a model of his airplane for display.[3]

Following these aeronautical experiments, GIBSON returned to gold mining along the Kennedy river Leora Gold Mine inventing his own mill and mining machinery. GIBSON was able to produce $20,000 worth of gold from a mine which was most active between the years 1902 and 1915.


Genius is the gold in the mine; talent is the miner who works and brings it out.”

~ Marguerite Blessington

Gibson abandoned the mine in 1933, embarking on the GIBSON MILLS manufacturing company in San Francisco. A successful inventor, GIBSONs mining machines were successful and in demand internationally.


In 1940 he was 64 and living in the Oakland Judicial Township, Alameda, California with his wife Jessie P, born in Michigan, 1895. Here GIBSON retires, and yet to quote Seneca, "many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come . . . . Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate."


Kisikaw Wawasam ~ "Flash in the Sky Boy" ~ Great Chief Piapot

Name bestowed upon William Wallace Gibson

The traditions of our people are handed down from father to son. The Chief is considered to be the most learned, and the leader of the tribe.

~ Sarah Winnemucca Paiute

It was Thursday, July 15, 1948, when over 600 First Nations people were present at a large dramatic ceremony. GIBSON, now a resident of San Fransisco, was present, fulfilling the prophecy told to him in 1883, some sixty five years earlier. Now at 72 years of age, GIBSON received the name "Kisikaw Wawasam", the name of the Great Chief Piapot which translated literally to English means "Flash in the sky boy."

GIBSON was thus inducted as a great chief of the Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, the prophecy told to the seven year old boy, "Pale Face Jumping Deer" was now complete. First Nations of the Piapot Reserve, the Qu'Appelle and Crooked Lake Indian agencies unveiled a memorial cairn to Chief Piapot at the ceremonies.

This induction honour had only been bestowed twice earlier, upon John Phillip Sosa, the American band leader, and upon D.C. Coleman president of the Canadian Pacific Railway who had both been previously inducted as a chief of the tribe. GIBSON traveled to Ottawa on his trip to Canada, where he took in the Dominion Archives display of his first airplane engine assembled in British Columbia before returning home.


Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.

~ Ayn Rand

A commemorative cairn was erected on Richmond Road. According to Bill Irvine, the locations is " former site of Landsdowne Airfield (Victoria's first airstrip), beside Knox Presbyterian Church 2964 Richmond Road, Victoria BC, Canada" and it reads:












Authored by William Wallace Gibson

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”

~ Carl Jung

He wrote several books:

Title The Birdmen
Author William Wallace Gibson
Published 1923 republished 1942
Length 23 pages

Title Flash-in-the-sky-boy: From the Letters, Manuscripts, and Published Works of William Wallace Gibson
Author William Gibson
Editor with additions by Kay Parley
Published 1967

Title: Silver Cloud OR the Last Buffalo
by W.W. Gibson
It is the "story of the love affair of a young Indian girl and a white settler boy."
The pamphlet has a photo showing Gibson attired in full Cree regalia
published 1900, and c1905
Regina Saskatchewan
Re-published c 1940 California


All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.

~ Brian Tracy

The tombstone for William Wallace GIBSON's parents is in the Ross Bay Cemetery

Margaret Gibson
In memory of
Her husband
Auchinleck, Scotland
Aug. 23, 1847
Died at Victoria
July 11, 1918
Born at Patna
March 22, 1849
Died April 13, 1940

[Margaret - daughter of James F. Lees & Margaret McConnachie]

On the sides of this stone are entries for both - Margaret & Jean Gibson - their daughters -

Jean Wilson GIBSON
Ross Bay Cemetery
Vancouver Island Region, British Columbia

Also their daughter
Born at Dalmellington
July 18, 1874
Died April 9, 1921
Born at Wolseley, SK
Sept. 8, 1886

[Daughters of William & Margaret McConnachie Gibson - their details on side of this stone. Jean died 16 Mar. 1973, aged 86. Both single & died in Victoria]

Photos of the Gibson family; Mrs. William Gibson, William Gibson, Hugh Gibson and William Wallace Gibson.


WM Gibson 1847-1918 Margaret (Maggie) Mcconnachie Lees 1874-1940
  • Gibson William
    Head born Auguest 27 1847 Patna Ayrshire, Scotland died July 11, 1918 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Gibson Margaret McConnachie
    Wife born March 22 1849 Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland died April 13, 1940 Victoria, British Columbia Parents James Lees, Margaret Mcconnachie
Married April 6, 1871 in Straiton,Ayrshire,Scotland
emigrated to Canada June 1, 1883 settled on SE quarter of section 4 township 16 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian homestead in Moffatt, Assiniboia, North West Territories. (location changed names to Moffatt region near Wolseley, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1905)

Family Siblings

  • Gibson John Son born June 29, 1871 Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland died November 22, 1954 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Gibson Jas James Lees Son born November 11, 1872 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died September 10, 1924 Essondale, British Columbia married to Maggie Campbell died 1903
  • Gibson Margaret McConnachie Daughter born July 18 1874 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland April 9, 1921 Victoria, British Columbia age 45
  • Gibson William Wallace Son March 28 1876 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died November 25, 1965 Oakland, Alameda, California married to Jessie P died 1978
    • Lived in Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland 1881 to June 1, 1883>>Winnpeg, MB June 1 1883-June 20, 1883>> Moffatt, Assiniboia, Northwest Territories (later Saskatchewan) June 20, 1883 to 1901 >>Wolseley, Saskatchewan >> Balgonie, Saskatchewan (with ties to Craven, Saskatchewan and Cupar, Saskatchewan)>> Victoria, British Columbia >> Kennedy river region, British Columbia >>San Fransisco, California>> Oakland, Alameda, California
  • Gibson Hugh Wilson Son March 7 1881 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died September 10, 1964 Victoria, British Columbia married Edna Catherine Robinson
  • Lees Thomas Nephew April 25 1884
  • Gibson Jeanie Jean Wilaon Daughter September 8 1886 Moffatt, Assiniboia, North West Territories (later province of Saskatchewan) died March 16, 1973 Ross Bay
    Vancouver Island Region, British Columbia

Grandchild of Wm and Maggie:

  • James Gordon Gibson born January 8, 1906 Craik, Saskatchewan died March 7 1969 Victoria, British Columbia s/o John Gibson and Jane Paul Loree married on June 10, 1927 in Craik Saskatchewan to Bessie Loree age 23 b1904 London England d/o John E. Loree and Alice Baldwin.
  • Baby Gibson died December 18, 1934 at Victoria, British Columbia c/o Hugh Wilson Gibson and Edna Catherine Robinson.
  • Margaret Gibson d/o James Lees Gibson and Maggie Campbell daughter Margaret was raised by wife Maggie's parents Donald Campbell and his wife Helen Cameron; this family left the Moffat, Saskatchewan area in 1916

Family of Margaret Gibson nee Lees wife of William Gibson

William Wallace Gibson Maternal Ancestry

Lees, John Head married June 29, 1838, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
married McConnachie, Margaret
  • Lees James born May 1, 1840, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Jean born June 15, 1842, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Thomas born Oct 21, 1844, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Mary born Dec 22 1846, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Mcconnachie, Margaret born March 22 1849 Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland died April 13, 1940 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Lees John born May 10 1851, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees William born March 22, 1856, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Janet Born August 29, 1858, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland


“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

Calvin Coolidge

[1] Title: Beach in Canada, A Pictorial Genealogy

Abbrev: Beach in Canada

Author: Mahlon W. Beach

Publication: Privately published, December 1978

[2] Title: A Brief History of David Beach and Phoebe Daniels Beach and their Descendants

Abbrev: Brief History

Author: Wilfred Warren Beach

Publication: Unpublished manuscript, Chicago, 1932

[3] Bridging the Past.
Wolseley and District. 1880-1980.

Wolseley and District History Book Committee.

ISBN 0-88925+27+0

Friesen Printers. Altona, MB.

Pages6 and 57

[4] Victoria Colonist, July 7, 1909

[5] Victoria Colonist, May 2, 1911.

[6] Victoria Colonist, June 2, 1911.

[7] Letter from A.D. Paterson to Frank H. Ellis dated June 1, 1939.

[8] Daily Colonist, Victoria, September 10, 1910.

[9] From Cordwood to Campus in Gordon Head 1852-1959

Ursula Jupp

ISBN 10: 0969065027 / 0-9690650-2-7

ISBN 13: 9780969065029

Publisher: estate of Ursula Jupp

Publication Date: 1975

[10] Title The Beaver

Contributors Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's National History Society

Publisher Hudson's Bay Co., 1952

[11]People who lived in stone houses

Western People

August 26, 1982

[12] Understanding Saskatchewan through "Our Towns"

Publisher Leader Post
Date May 23, 2008

[13] Title Saskatchewan History, Volumes 28-30

Contributors University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan. Archives

Publisher University of Saskatchewan., 1975

[14] Title Canada's flying heritage

Author Frank Henry Ellis

Edition revised

Publisher University of Toronto Press, 1973

Original from the University of Michigan

Digitized 12 Feb 2008

[15] Uncharted skies : Canadian bush pilot stories / Walter Henry and the Canadian Bush Pilot 1993.

[16] Riders on the wind / Laurence Swinburne ; illustrated by Dan Hubrich. 1980

[17] Canada's aviation pioneers : 50 years of McKee trophy winners / Alice Gibson Sutherland ; foreword by C - Headquarters:
[18] Title Indian fall: the last great days of the Plains Cree and the Blackfoot confederacy

Page 203

Author D'Arcy Jenish

Edition illustrated

Publisher Viking, 1999

Original from the University of Wisconsin - Madison

Digitized 18 May 2010

ISBN 0670880906, 9780670880904

[19] Title Recollections of an Assiniboine chief

Authors Dan Kennedy, James R. Stevens

Editor James R. Stevens

Contributors Dan Kennedy, James R. Stevens

Edition illustrated

Publisher McClelland and Stewart, 1972

ISBN 0771045107, 9780771045103

Page 57

Frank Ellis, O.C., a noted aviation historian, Canada's first parachute jumper and aviation pioneer who flew his own biplane in 1914 wrote several articles about GIBSON:

[20] Gibson, William Wallace. "William Wallace Gibson; a Canadian pioneer of the air by Frank H. Ellis, in The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, April, 1944.

[21] - Flash in the sky boy, by Frank H. Ellis, in Western Wings, July-August 1960.

[22] " Ellis, Frank. "First Flying wing; the story of an attempt to conquer the air made by three ingenious farmers of Alberta in 1907-8, The Beaver, outfit 277 (March 1977), 6-9. illus."

[23] Ellis, Frank. "Pioneer flying in British Columbia, The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, III (October 1939), 227-261."

William Wallace Gibson: A Canadian Pioneer of the Air

[24] A biography

Author Frank Ellis

Published 1946-45

held at the City of Vancouver Archives

[25] Additionally, the Saanich Archives has a Gibson Displayset up honouring the achievements of William Wallace Gibson's first flight at "George Deans' farm near Mount Tolme."[9] The photograph of the cairn and plaque erected at Landsdowne and Richmond roads in 1985 at Landsdowne Airfield. This commemoration came twenty years posthumously.

[26] Coming in On a Wing and Some Wire

The Montreal Gazetter
March 9, 1968

[27] AS well, Partners in Motion produced an episode "The Balgonie Birdman" for the one hour documentary series, The Canadians, Biographies of a Nation which aired on History Television NOvember 15, 1998.

[28] "The Balgonie Birdman", a nine minute animation feature film, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, was directed by Brian Duchscherer and released in 1991.

[29] Photographs exist attesting to the achievements of W.W. GIBSON at the Glenbow archives. An image of his aircraft engine on display at the National Air Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, and his wooden plane built in Victoria, British Columbia, 1911.

[30] Also a photo exists of the very first airplane built in Regina, Saskatchewan by William Wallace Gibson in 1907.

[31] A photo (#8551) of the GIBSON twin plane is held at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

[32] On September 10, 2010, the B.C. Aviation Museum honoured the 100th Anniversary of Flight in Victoria B.C., (100 years Gibson's flight) reported Bill Irvine, the event was hosted by Caroline Duncin of the Saanich archives, and Dave Marratt was the master of Ceremonies.

[33] Saturday July 17, 1948 a Canadian Press story entitled "Inducted into Cree tribe as Great Chief Piapot," published by the Lethbridge Herald.

[34] The 1952 edition of The Beaver published by the Hudson's Bay Company with contributions from Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's National History Society, quoting the Canadian Press Induction into Cree Tribe story first published in Regina on July 17, 1948

[35] Induction Ceremony Story published by the Winnipeg Free Press Page 2, Friday August 6, 1948.



For more information:

Saskatchewan Gen Web Ethnic History - Scottish Roots

Saskatchewan Gen Web - Transportation

Yorkton Gen Web Region


Related Posts:

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

•Why were Canadian "Last Best West" homesteads created?

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

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