Stuart does Ottawa

White Rock amateur Stuart Lyster (VA7CRH) took a trip to Ottawa in May, and also made it to CFB Kingston and its Military Communications Museum

While In Ottawa, he ventured out to Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) headquarters.

At CFB Kingston, the Military Communications Museum was like a candy store.  The full story of Canada's communication history was there, as some of the photos here illustrate.  There was a small HF rig in a suitcase, which spies in mainland Europe used.  There was a rig used on the beach during the Dieppe Raid, used by Major G.M. Rolfe who used it to warn coming waves of landing craft away from the disaster.  Major Rolfe ended up as a prisoner of war, and, no, he did not get to take his radio.

The museum is home to VE3RCS, the museum's callsign as worked by its licensed personnel.  It would take about three hours to get the best sense of all the exhibits and history, so if you go make sure you have the time.

In Ottawa Stuart ventured out to Belfast Street in the eastern part of the city.  RAC's national office is located at #217-720 Belfast Street, the office and storage cupboard is quite small and unassuming, but staffed by very dedicated volunteers.  Like hams everywhere, they love to stop for a chat.

On the left is Dave Parks (VE3AV, VA3LGQ) who is RAC's treasurer.  On the right is Ken Pulfer (VE3PU) one of RAC's general managers.  It was surprising to find that our national office was a small storefront operation, but not surprising to find that it was the dedication of volunteers which keeps the thing going.  Both Dave and Ken have rich personal histories in communications.

Ken was kind enough to take Stuart to the cupboard where all the stuff is for sale on the RAC website.  All Stuart got was another golf-shirt with RAC insignia!

So - Stuart's trip demonstrated two things:

  1. the rich history of communications in Canada
  2. the dedication of hams and volunteers in keeping the hobby going

If you ever get a chance to visit Kingston or Ottawa, these are two stops you must consider.