WETASKIWIN, Alberta, February 25, 2013 – Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament (Wetaskiwin), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced support to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum (RAM) for the repatriation of a de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth aircraft from Dorset in the United Kingdom.
The de Havilland Aircraft Company produced a total of 284 Puss Moth planes, 25 of which were manufactured in Toronto. The funding provided will allow for the purchase of what is believed to be the last Puss Moth produced in Canada. This acquisition will allow the RAM to tell the story of the Puss Moth’s contribution to the development of Canada’s northern natural resources.
“The RAM represents an important part of Alberta’s history, as well as the technological evolution of the machines that helped develop the province,” said Mr. Calkins. “This funding will help the RAM complete an important collection of Moth aircraft, allowing the museum to display and interpret the aviation history of this great province.”
“Our Government wants to provide Canadians with opportunities to enhance their knowledge of their country and its history,” said Minister Moore. “With the funding announced today, this rare Puss Moth plane will be brought back to Canada, where Canadians can learn more about how it contributed to shaping our aviation landscape.”
“The Reynolds-Alberta Museum is very pleased to receive this funding and support from the federal government to acquire a highly significant Canadian aircraft, the 1935 de Havilland Puss Moth,” said Noel Ratch, Director of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum. “The government’s Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board has also been a valued partner in this acquisition and many others over our 20-year history, and we look forward to bringing this aircraft home to Canada and putting it on display for the public to enjoy.”
The Puss Moth plane was popular in Canada because it could cover long distances quickly and its enclosed design protected the pilot and the passengers from harsh climates. In the 1930s, mining companies used the airplane to explore and discover new mining and petroleum areas in the Canadian North.