The Brandon Flying Club was established on November 28, 1936 and incorporated on January 2, 1937. It is a Not-for-Profit Corporation and was originally named the Brandon-Virden Flying Club. At this time Cecil Leech, who was one of the founding members, was the Club’s President, as well as its Chief Flight Instructor. Mr. Leech was holder of both an RCAF and civilian rating as a pilot instructor and proved invaluable in training civilian pilots and RCAF personnel for the Club as time went on. The Club began as a training school for pilots.
At this time, all civil flying was under the jurisdiction of the Department of National Defence and thus the Club’s first move was to gain access to the Canadian Flying Club Association. In order to encourage civilian flying, the department had an arrangement through the Flying Club Association, whereby member clubs who purchased a new training plane were provided with a second trainer. Thus two new planes were purchased, a Taylor Cub and an Aronca Cabin.
By the fall of 1941, the Club was forced to shut down operations for the duration of the war due to lack of students and personnel leaving for other employment or joining the military services. It should be noted that by 1939, the Brandon Flying Club was so highly regarded by both inspectors of the Department of National Defense and the Flying Club Association officials; the Brandon Flying Club was selected as the first club in Canada to train pilots for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
On February 12, 1944, the Brandon-Virden Flying Club’s Charter was established. Its mission had six purposes:
- To acquire, hold, operate, and maintain all manner of lighter-than-air and heavier-than-aircraft;
- To promote flying and aviation in general and to teach and train persons in the art and science of flying, navigating, and operating all manner of lighter-than-air and heavier-than-aircraft;
- To teach and train persons in the rigging, maintenance, and repair of aircraft and in the care, maintenance, and repair of all motive power used in the propulsion of aircraft;
- To acquire and hold land for the purpose of establishing and maintaining flying and landing fields, airports, air harbours, depots, and hangars for the care, housing, reception, and dispatch of aircraft for the purpose of the Corporation and of the members thereof;
- To make, use, and conduct experiments in connection with flying and aviation generally and the training of persons therein and to promote race meetings, speed and trail tests, and other exhibitions of aircraft and to offer for competition and to distribute prizes in connection therewith or for any other purpose or purposes likely to tend to the advancement of the art, science and practice of flying, aeronautics and aviation in general; and
- To establish, maintain, and conduct or to assist in the establishment, maintenance, and conduct of any organization, association, or society formed for the purpose of advancing the study and practice of flying, aeronautical, and aviation in general.
At this time Conditions of Membership were established, which were as follows:
- Flying Members shall be persons admitted as such by the Board of Directors for the purpose of receiving instructional training, and who have paid such annual and other fees as may be fixed, from time to time, by the Board of Directors, but who shall not be entitled to be present or to vote at any meeting of the Members.
- Sustaining Members shall be persons admitted as such by the Board of Directors, who have paid the entrance fee fixed by the Board of Directors, which shall not be less than the sum of $25.00, and who pay such annual fees as may be fixed, from time to time, by the Board of Directors. Each Sustaining Member shall be entitled to one vote at each meeting of the Corporation.
- Life Members shall be persons admitted as such by the Board of Directors and who have paid the entrance fee fixed by the Board of Directors, which shall not be less than the sum of $100.00. Each Life Member shall be entitled to one vote at each meeting of the Corporation.
Honourary Life Member
- Honourary Life Members shall be persons admitted as such by the Board of Directors; provided, however, that the number thereof, at any one time, shall not exceed three. Each Honourary Life Member shall be entitled to one vote at each meeting of the Corporation.
Associations, Societies or other Corporations
- Associations, societies or other corporations may be entitled as Sustaining Members by the Board of Directors upon compliance with the foregoing conditions; in the event that any association, society, or corporation is admitted as a Member, it may by notice in writing to the Corporation, nominate a representative who may on their behalf, exercise all or any of its rights of membership until such time as such nomination is revoked. Notice of such revocation shall be given in writing to the Board of Directors’ Secretary. Such a representative shall be entitled to one vote at each meeting of the Corporation.
Membership in the Corporation shall not be transferable, and shall lapse and cease to exist:
- Upon death of the member;
- If he/she is found to be a lunatic or becomes of unsound mind;
- If he/she submits his/her resignation to the Board of Directors and the same is accepted by the Board;
- If cancelled by resolution passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present at any special meeting duly called for the purpose;
- If he/she fails to pay any fees due within the time prescribed by the Board of Directors; or
- If his/her nomination as a representative of an association, society, or corporation is revoked.
As well as conditions of Membership Supplementary Letters of Patent was introduced outlining the Board of Directors be at six.
In 1946, Supplementary Letters of Patent were submitted to change the name to the Brandon Flying Club.
In 1949, Supplementary Letters of Patent were submitted that added two conditions of Membership, which were as follows:
- Not entitled to be present or vote at meetings.
- Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association. Based on Standard Membership Card.
In 1962 and 1964, Supplementary Letters of Patent were submitted which dealt with Board of Directors positions to be seven members with a two-year term which was confirmed in 1964, as well as dissolution of assets to organization(s) similar cognate objects.
On March 23, 1971 by Canada Corporations Act Charter 70, issued new filing requirements which dealt with the following:
- Takeover bids;
- Insider trading;
- Proxies; and
- Financial statements.
The Club has grown substantially since its conception in 1943. Promotion and education of aviation remains a large focus of the Brandon Flying Club and is fostered through attending fairs within the region, fly-ins, social events, public speaking, opening our doors to other clubs to hold their meetings, website updates, and the training of anyone who would like to obtain their pilot licence. To date The Brandon Flying Club maintains its Flying School, which includes a Chief Flying Instructor, three Flying Instructors and an enrollment of over 20 eager students.
At present, the Brandon Flying Club still occupies the original building and land. Today, within our arsenal of planes the Club owns three Cessna 172’s and one Seneca 1. We service all our membership planes, as well as transient customers from Brandon, all of Manitoba, as well as Canada and international planes.
The Club now employs 14 full-time and part-time staff and has an active Board of Directors that includes seven Board members with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Presently, the Brandon Flying Club has a membership of over 150 male and female members. The Club is lucky to have over 20 lifetime members and they share with the Club their love and great enthusiasm of flying, and along with many, a colourful story of the history of events of the Brandon Flying Club. As well, the Club has six active committees helping to further the viability of the Brandon Flying Club.
At present a new Not for Profit Act has been introduced by the Canadian Government and the Brandon Flying Club is undergoing yet another change to meet the needs of this New Act, which will be implemented in 2014. Change is not uncommon to the Brandon Flying Club as it has weathered many throughout the years but no matter what has taken place, the Brandon Flying Club is still a viable training and flying Club with active enthusiastic members!