Source: St. Mary's University
Craig Lawrence Dobbin: 1935 to 2006
October 10, 2006
Dobbin OC, D.Sc.(h.c.), LL.D (1935 to 2006) passed away on October 7.
He was instrumental in helping build the Irish Studies Program at Saint
Maryís, and in the Fall of 1990 he was awarded with a Honorary Doctor of
Science Degree from the University.
He was an industrialist and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CHC
Helicopter Corporation, a public company traded on the Toronto Stock
Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. The company, headquartered in
Vancouver, B.C., is the world's largest helicopter company, providing global
Dobbin was born in St. John's, Newfoundland and received his early education
at Saint Bonaventure's College in St. John's. After a period of employment
with P. J. Dobbin Lumber and Building Supplies, Mr. Dobbin engaged in a
short-haul trucking venture and underwater salvage operation until he
started real estate speculation in St. John's in 1963. The venture, later
known as Omega Investments Ltd., moved operations to Ottawa and subsequently
established offices in Montreal.
In the early 1970ís Dobbin returned to Newfoundland and established Sealand
Helicopters Ltd. in 1976. In 1984, Dobbin merged Toronto Helicopters,
Okanagan Helicopters, Sealand Helicopters and British International
Helicopters into CHC Helicopter Corporation. In 1999, CHC Helicopters
Corporation, with Dobbin as CEO and chairman, took control of Helikopter
Services Group ASA of Norway, making CHC Helicopters the largest provider of
global helicopter transportation.
Dobbin was Chairman of the Ireland Canada University Foundation located in
Dublin which assists and promotes Canadian Studies in Irish Universities; a
member of the Board of Directors of Newfoundland Capital Corporation and was
the Honorary Consul General of Ireland for Newfoundland and Labrador.
In June 1990, the Government of France awarded Dobbin with the Medaille de
l'Aeronautique, designed to reward civil or military people who have
distinguished themselves in the development of aviation. He was appointed an
Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992. In 1995 he was bestowed with an
Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the National University of Ireland; in
1996 he was appointed the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist for the year
from the Canadian Society of Fund-raising Executives, and presented with
both Newfoundland's Transportation Person of the Year award and the National
Transportation Person of Year Award.
In January 2000 he was awarded the honour of "Newfoundland's Businessman of
the Millennium" and in May 2000 he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws
Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. In October 2000 Mr. Dobbin
was awarded the Atlantic Canada Entrepreneur of the Year, this program,
founded by Ernst & Young, celebrates great entrepreneurs and heightens
awareness of the economic effect of entrepreneurial ventures.