ASL female pilots pay homage to pioneer for paving the way

As Guyana’s aviation fraternity continues to pay their respect to the country’s first female pilot, Air Services Limited (ASL) on Saturday took their hats off to the 79-year-old veteran.

Female pilots of the local aviation company were honoured to have met with retired flight operator Lucille Dawsey and expressed the profound impact she had on them to choose careers in the aviation sector.

Dawsey was recognized by the aviation sector in an event held at ASL’s hangar at Ogle Airport. Dawsey who became a licensed pilot in 1961 at the age of nineteen years, was feted in a simple ceremony which included four of ASL’s female pilots. They interacted with her and gave their perspective on how her pioneering achievement had influenced them in choosing their careers.

Dawsey who now lives in Costa Rica, had flown all over Guyana as her husband was George Golas was one of the most successful gold and diamond miners in that period. They had a base in Kamarang from which they would shuttle cargo to nearby locations.

Brittney Ally, an ASL pilot, expressed delight in meeting with the legendary Ms. Dawsey whom she credited for inspiring her at an early age with an interest in aviation. This led to her obtaining her pilot’s license in 2010. Brittney is currently pursuing a degree in aviation management.

Saturday’s event included a PowerPoint presentation by Annette Arjoon-Martins, ASL’s CEO. The presentation focused on Ogle Airstrip in the 1960s, with which Dawsey would have been very familiar, and on its growth to Ogle Airport today as well as ASL’s growth over the years. ASL today has a staff complement of 250 with 40 percent being female.

Dawsey said “I am so impressed by the fact that there are so many female pilots now but also as impressive is that they are playing an important role in all aspects of the aviation industry”.

Saurday’s ceremony concluded with Captain Ferial Ally, ASL’s senior female pilot and Dawsey captaining the Cessna Caravan to the Rupununi in the interior.