Canadian Aviatrix #30 – Margaret de Nure Caldwell (1909-2003)

Born on 27 November 1909 in Barrie, Ontario, to Samuel Grenville Caldwell (former hockey player and referee, commercial traveller for Blue Ribbon, head of the United Commercial Travellers in Alberta, and mason) and Elizabeth Florence Habbick.

1916 census

1921 census

1931 census

Edmonton AB

Edmonton AB

Edmonton AB


















In 1931, the Edmonton and Northern Alberta Aero Club offered the lowest rate in Canada for flying lessons and Margaret was one of three new candidates.

On 24 October 1932, Margaret passed her flying test and received PPL #1124, making her the 30th female pilot in Canada. She was 22 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #30 – Margaret de Nure Caldwell (1909–2003) 

Photo: Naturalization form, 1952 (Ancestry)

On 26 February 1939, Margaret married Arthur Lord Richardson (RCMP officer). There was illness in the family at the time, so her parents cancelled the reception and the ceremony was a quiet one at their home.

By 1946, Margaret was living in Los Angeles without her husband and working as a secretary. By 1952, they were divorced.

Margaret was the head of the Sonama County Humane Society for 32 years, as well as being involved in Soroptimist International, the American Red Cross, and the YMCA. She was still an aviation enthusiast – the decor at the 1963 Soroptimist Christmas party was built around a plane on the auditorium stage. Margaret’s contribution to the Humane Society was so great, they even instituted the Margaret Richardson Volunteer of the Year award.

In 1996, she was still caring for animals – feeding Spooky, the graveyard dog, every night.

Margaret died in 2003, aged 93.

Note: Margaret was listed with an asterisk in No Place for a Lady – meaning the author hadn’t been able to find her. I just had her name and the date of her PPL.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots





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