DIEDRICK (DICK) TOBIAS BERG
Unionville (Toronto), ON
Dick, born March 16, 1928, grew up in Hague, Saskatchewan and worked on the family farm until it was lost during the great depression. At that time Dick learned fundamental skills that have carried him throughout his life, these included: How to adapt to difficult situations, the importance of grass roots communications, the importance of hard work and integrity, and how to repair equipment.
In 1946 Dick joined the Royal Canadian Navy serving as a seaman for five years. Dick demonstrated high moral convictions when he and other sailors took action against officers due to their unfair treatment and poor working conditions. This brave proactive act carried substantial risk. He later spoke at the Mainguy Commission so that the Navy could better understand issues faced by sailors and for the Navy to learn how to implement improvements for the future.
After Dick left the navy he served as an apprentice and earned his Department of Transport category A and D Aircraft Maintenance Engineer licence at Leavens Brothers, Barker Field, Toronto. After several years with other maintenance organizations Dick joined the Department of Transport in 1961 (now Transport Canada) and stayed there until he retired.
At Transport Canada Dick first served as an inspector where he grasp the importance of quality control and added value to the audit program. He was known for his keen eye for detail, his ability to communicate with industry, and his relentless pursuit of safety. His unbiased pioneering skills were recognized when he served as the Regional Airworthiness Inspector for the Ontario Region. During the Dubin Inquiry he appeared as a witness that was willing to disclose shortcomings of the Crown. He provided proactive testimony that led to embarrassment of some senior Transport Canada management. During this difficult time his wife, Lorraine and his four children provided him with support.
Dick not only said he had AMEs’ interests at heart, he proved it by his actions. He did this by being instrumental in the creation of the Ontario AME Association and starting the AME conference and workshops. These provided an opportunity for AMEs to network and gain additional respect within an industry dominated by pilots. Later, he became Manager Airworthiness and Policy Advisor and proved that AMEs are equal partners in the aviation community and within Transport Canada. The Ontario AME Association has honoured him with:
- The Gordon B. Rayner Award in 1990
- The Clare Leavens Award in 2004.
Dick now enjoys the fruits of his labours and his passion continues with his participation at AME meetings and his restoration of his own Piper Cub, a lifetime dream that has now been fulfilled.