The CAHS has enjoyed the leadership of many individuals over the years who helped build it into the society we have today. They include:

 1962 - 1963 George Morley
 1964 - 1966 John A. Griffin
 1967 - 1968 Patrick Howard
 1969 - 1984 Fred W. Hotson
 1985 - 1987 Peter Allen
 1988 - 1989 William J. Wheeler
 1990 - 1991 Terence R. Judge
 1992 - 1996 Jack H. Gow
 1997 - 2004 G. Edward Rice
 2005 - 2007 Tony Soulis
2007 - 2008
Howard Malone
 2008 - 2010 Timothy Dubé
 2010 - 2011 Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail
2012 - Present
Gary Williams


 2008 - 2010

on Saturday, 14 August 2010 08:52.

During the summer of 1962, George Morley and Jeff Burch met and discovered a mutual interest in Canadian aviation history. Both lived in Toronto and decided to seek out other local enthusiasts. Through letters, phone calls, and an ad in one of the city’s newspapers, they began accumulating members for what would be dubbed “The Early Bird Club of Canada.”

Many of these founding members went on to become influential in aviation circles and produce significant works of history. They include (among others):

  • John Beilby
  • Sheldon Benner
  • Harry Creagen
  • Charlie Catalano
  • John Ellis
  • George Fuller
  • Bill Wheeler
  • Doug MacRitchie
  • Al Martin
  • Larry Milberry
  • Paul Regan
  • Ross Richardson
  • Geoff Rowe
  • Larry Taylor
  • Boris Zissoff
  • Terry Waddington
  • Paddy Gardiner
  • John Griffin
  • Roger Juniper

The first formal meeting of the group was held in Jeff Burch’s basement in February 1963. Soon they were holding sessions regularly and hosting speakers like Jock Forteith, helmsman on the R-34 airship, which made the first west crossing of the Atlantic in 1919, and F/O Hugh Halliday, RCAF, now a successful author.

They realized, however, that their name was too similar to the “Early Birds” group of pre-World War I flyers, and so refashioned themselves the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. The nascent  “Early Bird Enthusiast” journal was also renamed  the
CAHS Journal. Annual dues were set at $2.

By 1963 the first official CAHS convention took place in Ottawa, which by then also had a chapter.

Learn more about the history of the CAHS and its Chapters:

CAHS National

"In the Beginning" by Bill Wheeler
CAHS at 50 by Gord McNulty

CAHS Chapters

New Brunswick
Prince Edward Island


The CAHS was formed in 1963 and is the world’s premier organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of Canada's flying heritage.

Who We Are

Our members are diverse and come from across Canada and around the world. Many have been actively involved in aviation themselves, are engaged in the writing and publishing of aviation history, or simply share a lasting enthusiasm for this richly varied subject.


  • Collect and disseminate knowledge about Canada’s flying heritage
  • Stimulate interest in and appreciation for this important field
  • Support and encourage research projects

For over 45 years the CAHS has accomplished these objectives through

Belt Orion

  • A quarterly Journal
  • Regional chapters from coast-to-coast
  • Annual conventions
  • Book launches and special events
  • Research and writing awards
  • Sponsoring museum displays
  • Connecting researchers with aviation professionals

In 2001 the society’s contributions were recognized by Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame when it was named a Belt of Orion member.