Fonds PR0672 - Matt Berry fonds

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Matt Berry fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records.

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    • 1904-1969 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    1.60 m of textual records and other material

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Arthur Massey (Matt) Berry was born on June 19, 1888 in March, Ontario. During WWI, Berry joined the 30th Wellington Rifles, traveling overseas with the 153rd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Captain. Berry transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in England and upon graduation as a pilot, served as a flying instructor with the 189th Canadian Training Squadron of the RFC in Deseronto, Ontario.

    Berry left the service in 1919 and obtained a Canadian pilot's certificate. He worked for the Soldier's Settlement Board in Ottawa for two years before taking a homestead near Rimbey, Alberta. In 1928 at Camp Borden, Ontario, he took a pilot's course with the Royal Canadian Air Force, then, obtained his commercial pilot's license. Berry joined Northern Aerial Mineral Exploration Limited (NAME) at Hudson Ontario and flew from bases in Northern Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta into the Hudson Bay area and throughout the Northwest Territories. Berry joined Canadian Airways Limited in 1931 and flew charters out of Tashota, Ontario.

    In 1932, after the cancellation of Prairie Airmail Service left Berry without employment, Berry joined General Airways, flying out of Chapleau, Ontario. Later that year he joined Mackenzie Air Services at Edmonton, and he graduated with honors from a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) course at Camp Borden in instrument flying and radio beam work. Berry then returned to flying duties with Canadian Airways Limited and in 1936 was awarded the McKee Trophy for several hazardous flights to the Arctic coast, and pilot rescue missions. Berry retired from professional flying to become manager of Northern Transportation Limited in Edmonton in 1937, holding the position until the Canadian government requested his service in WWII as second-in-command of No.7 Air Observer's School at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. In 1942, Berry oversaw construction of airfields in the Northwest Territories and the Canol Project for the United States government. At the end of the war Berry founded Territories Air Service Limited at Fort Smith, Northwest Territories and became involved with M.W. Ward in Yellowknife Airways Limited. In 1951, Berry disposed of his interests in both companies to Associated Airways Limited in 1951. Until his retirement in 1969, he occupied himself with various mining ventures.

    Berry died in Edmonton on May 12, 1970. He married Eileen May Johnson (1886-1974) in Carleton, Ontario in 1917, and they had two children: Kathleen Elizabeth (1918-1987) and Arthur Lawrence (b. 1925).

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of the records used, created, and maintained by Matt Berry pertaining to his personal and business life, and his career as a pilot including agendas/itineraries, agreements, annual reports, articles, articles of association, bills of sale, boring, drilling, and trenching records, budgets, business cards, correspondence, crew lists, diaries and daily journals, employment contracts, equipment inventories, expense accounts, financial records, flight logs, geological surveys, reports, and assessments, greeting cards, hand-drawn maps, historical/biographical sketches, income tax returns, insurance policies, invitations, iron prospecting permits, leases, mining equipment catalogues, an issue of Canadian Aviation magazine, maps depicting various areas in Alberta and British Columbia and Canada, including some mining areas, Masonic pamphlets, membership lists, memorandum, mineral claims, miner's licenses, minutes, newspaper clippings, notes, option agreements, ore analysis reports, organization charts, a pictorial book of the Inuit entitled The Far North, pamphlets, partnership agreements, permits, pilot's licenses, postcards, powers of attorney, press releases, programmes, progress reports, receipts, share certificates, site plans, syndicate agreements, telegrams, trust declarations, and wedding announcements. Fonds also includes 40 negatives, 30 copy negatives, 240 photographs, and 285 copy photographs depicting various people, views, buildings, mining areas, mining equipment, airplane accidents, airplane equipment, aerial views, rescue operations, boats, camps, Inuit camps, and Berry friends and family members. The fonds divides into three series: Personal records; Pilot records; Business records.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Matt Berry allowed records to be copied by the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1966. Mr. A. Lawrence Berry, a son of Matt Berry, deposited these records in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1972. In 1993 the Glenbow Archives transferred material comprising PR1993.0055.


    Arrangement note: Correspondence in PR1972.0295 has been arranged in chronological files, titled according to his employment, prior to 1945, and by correspondent, as Matt Berry himself organized them, after that date.

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        Language and script note

        The material is in English.

        Location of originals

        Availability of other formats

        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        Inventory is available.

        Associated materials

        For more material on Matt Berry, please see at the Provincial Archives of Alberta the A. Lawrence Berry fonds and PR1967.0241 for an oral history by Matt Berry.

        Other records pertaining to Matt Berry can be found in the Arthur Massey Berry fonds at the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario.


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        An image from the fonds can be located in the A file of the Provincial Archives of Alberta reference prints under the numbers A2228. Information for the biographical sketch sourced from a biographical sketch prepared by the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and the Alberta On-line Encyclopedia,\_arthur\_berry.html (Accessed Oct. 22, 2007)

        General note

        Includes accessions GR1966.0112, PR1972.0295, and PR1993.0055.

        Physical description

        Fonds also includes ca. 636 photographs, ca. 100 maps, and 70 negatives.

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