May 10, 2022
We’re very excited to introduce you to our brand-new mascot, Hobbs the Bear.
The name was inspired by a decorated Canadian pilot named Basil Deacon Hobbs who lived from 1894 to 1963 and is a favourite of our CEO, Terry Slobodian.
In 1917, pilot Basil Hobbs became one of the few Canadians to shoot down a German Zeppelin, earning the Distinguished Service Order. What makes this remarkable is that he accomplished it not in a fighter aircraft, but in a large, slow Curtiss H.12 flying boat.
Hobb’s achievements continued after the war. In October 1920, he flew a Felixstowe F.3 flying boat as part of the first transcontinental flight across Canada, and from 1921 to 1924 served as commander of Canadian Air Force Stations in Manitoba.
As honourable as his wartime achievements were, perhaps his greatest contribution was during peacetime.
In 1924, Hobbs was the sole pilot on Canada’s first long-range aerial survey, photographing over 102,000 square kilometres of northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It’s an achievement widely regarded today, and one of the factors that led to his induction into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.
Basil Hobbs is just one of the inspiring figures you’ll meet throughout our museum. It’s our hope that each guest to RAMWC finds inspiration during their visit—even the youngest ones.
Upon entering the museum, visitors will be greeted by a life-sized version of Hobbs the Bear. Activated by touch, this friendly greeter tells the engaging story of its namesake via a recording read by Winnipeg children’s author Gerald Sliva.
Hobbs the Bear will also appear in our Galaxy Exploration Zone play area and be featured on merchandise and apparel in the Landing Zone Boutique – as Hobbs the Pilot and as Hobbs the Astronaut!
Keep your eyes open for appearances of Hobbs the Bear at Winnipeg attractions and events in 2022!