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Jack Bowerman

Started in 1911  -  Retired in 1951

 

 
 

 

Transport Department's Radio Chief Retires After 40 years of Service

Ray Wormald

(From Jack's own scrap book of clippings, thanks to Ian Haynes and Frank Stratham)

 

A man who has watched at close hand the tremendous growth of radio for 40 years retired yesterday after serving that length of time with the radio branch of the Federal Department of Transport.

He is W.J. Bowerman who, since 1938 has served here as the district superintendent for the Transport Department's radio division. His offices are located on the fourth floor of the Belmont Building.

Born in Hampshire, England, Mr Bowerman came to Canada 41 years ago, and for a short time worked on the railways on the Prairies before coming to Victoria. His firs job here was that of ship wireles operator aboard the C.P.R. Tees -- a small vessel which plied the Island's West Coast.

Starting his carreer with the Government service in 1911, Mr Bowerman was posted as a third-class radio operator at the old Gonzaless Hill station. Between 1911 and 1922 he served at practically all Government radio stations along the British Columbia coast.

" Radio and radio communications were certainly different, if not actually crude, in those days " Mr. Bowerman states " It was the day of spark transmitters and crystal detector receivers. Use of the vacuum tube for radio purposes was something yet to come."

BACK HERE IN 1938

In 1925 he was transferred to Vancouver to serve as the department's radio inspector for British Columbia. Thirteen years later, in 1938, he returned to this city to become district superintendent, succeeding E.J. Haugton.

As district superintendent, Jack -- as he is known to his innumerable friends along tyhe entire coast of British Columbnia -- has been directly responsible for all Government coast radio stations, radio beacon stations, the inspection of radio facilities of ships and aircraft, private radio stations, the collection of radio licences, as well as the investigation of interference to radio reception. The area under his jurisdiction covered the entire British Columbia coast.

His department has played a leading role in the development of radio as it applies to the safety of life at sea.

Succeeding Mr. Bowerman in the office which has a staff of approximately 150 persons scattered along the coast, will be A.L. Gray who has worked closely with Mr. Bowerman for many years.

The retiring radio veteran was honored by a group of his colleagues yesterday morning. In a few days he will leave for a six-month visit to England where he will visit friends and relatives.

Upon his return to Victoria, he plans to devote much time to his two hobbies: prospecting and golf.

 

Related Links

An Early History of the West Coast Radio Service

by Larry Reid

including Jack Bowerman's Photo Album

 

 

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