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He was an irrepressible Newfoundlander who counted presidents and prime ministers among his friends, often teetered on the edge of bankruptcy and remains a legend among all who knew him. Craig Laurence Dobbin almost drowned while salvaging metal from shipwrecks in the St. John's harbour, his first business venture. Back on solid ground, he built a small empire with real estate ventures. Dobbin invested in a helicopter to carry him to remote salmon pools, and within a decade the single craft had grown into CHC Helicopters, a public corporation earning hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
With ambition, unlimited charm and an outrageous capacity for risk-taking, Dobbin shaped CHC into the largest operation of its kind in the world. Along the way he survived a near-fatal helicopter crash, a lung transplant and constant predictions that he and his company were doomed to failure. He defied them all, creating a global economic powerhouse headquartered in St. John's and having, in the words of one colleague, "more fun in a week than most people enjoy in a year."
When he died in October 2006, Craig Dobbin left a legacy of business and personal achievements unmatched by any Canadian of his time.