Local Abbotsford businessman Barry Marsden was among 23 civic leaders honoured Tuesday in Victoria with the province’s highest form of recognition, the Order of British Columbia.
Marsden, one of the founding members of Abbotsford-based Conair, a world leader in aerial firefighting, is recognized as one of the most innovative developers of aerial firefighting equipment and aerospace technology.
The Order of British Columbia is bestowed annually to citizens who have demonstrated outstanding distinction and achievement in any field.
Marsden began his aviation career in 1959 as a pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer. Conair, founded in 1969, provides aerial firefighting services worldwide using the latest technology and modifies conventional aircraft for such purposes.
Cascade Aerospace, formed by Marsden in 2000, was a Conair subsidiary until 2012. The state-of-the-art specialty aerospace and defence contractor has a highly skilled work force and is one of the largest employers in the Fraser Valley.
Marsden has been inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and recognized with a Masters Air Pilot award from the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in England. He also received the “Médaille De L’Aéronautique” from the Government of France. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate of technology from the University of the Fraser Valley.
Marsden is a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the growth of Canada’s aviation industry and has received the Order of Abbotsford.