ARTHUR THOMAS PARRY
September 25, 1920 — November 26, 2000
Art Parry was a well-known personality in the Ontario aviation community. His career spanned sixty years during which time he made an invaluable contribution to aviation in Canada.
Arthur Thomas Parry was born on September 25, 1920 in North Bay, Ontario. In October of 1940, at the age of twenty, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force where he began his trade as an Aircraft Fitter. He left the RCAF in September 1945 and joined Leavens Aviation at Barker Field, Toronto, Ontario. In January 1947 Art earned his Air Engineers Certificate based on the Aeronca Champ and Continental A-65. He then earned additional endorsements on Piper PA-12, J3-Cub, Cessna T-50, Republic Seabee, Stearman and numerous engine types such as Continental, Jacobs, Franklin, Lycoming, and Pratt & Whitney.
During his tenure at Leavens Aviation he also took time out to attend Teachers College. During 1953 and 1954 Art worked for Sandersons Aircraft in Malton, Ontario where he was issued with the “then new” style AME licence. He continued working for Smart Aviation in 1954 and 1955 then left to do a short three-month stint at De Havilland in Downsview, Ontario. Art moved to Canadian Aircraft Renters at Toronto Island Airport in 1955. During his time there he earned his Beech 18 and DC3 endorsements, becoming chief engineer in March of 1957.
In 1960 Art became an Airworthiness Inspector with D.O.T. (Department of Transport, now Transport Canada). One of his many areas of expertise was inspecting and guiding constructors of home built aircraft. Art continued in this role until 1968 at which time he resigned and on December 1, 1968 he joined Centennial College’s fledgling Aviation Department housed at the Wellesley Campus in downtown Toronto. He continued as a teaching master of Aircraft Maintenance students until the course moved to the “then new” Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough in 1972, where shortly there after he became the Aircraft Department Coordinator. Art held this position until his retirement in the 1980s. During this period Art Parry taught, guided, and mentored thousands of young apprentice AMEs, many of whom have now become the current leaders within the aviation community in Canada and abroad.
Art was also an integral part of the Ontario AME Association and was instrumental in helping create and host the first AME Symposium at Centennial College’s Ashtonbee Campus in 1974. He was a tireless and dedicated member of the Ontario AME Association and was always involved with the Workshop Committee right up until the year of his passing. In 1987 Art was honoured by his peers and received the Gordon B. Rayner Award. He also received the Clare Leavens Award in 1996. At the time of his passing Art held a valid AME licence. At Art’s request, his wife, Patricia Parry established an Aviation Maintenance Scholarship Fund at Centennial College. The cash award accompanied with a certificate is awarded annually to an outstanding Aircraft Maintenance student. The award was first presented in 2003. Art Parry contributed a great deal to the Aviation community during his lifetime. He had the foresight and goodness to ensure that his love of aviation would continue to flourish in the lives of young future AMEs for many, many years to come. During his long and diverse aviation career, Arthur Thomas Parry served his country, was an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, a civil servant, a teacher, a volunteer, and most importantly a great Canadian.