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ÉPOPÉES CANADIENNES EN RADIOCOMMUNICATION

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Reminiscences and some lines on a few of the Radio Regs fore'fathers

From Bill Wilson

December 2007

 

 

Archibald Norman Fraser

 

Born in Coaticook, Quebec and graduated fro McGill University in Electrical Engineering. He joined the RNCVR when WW I broke out and after serving on HMCS Niobe was assigned to the Barrington Passage Radio Station until the war ended when he was put in charge of east coast wireless operations until he went to Ottawa in 1921 to be Chief Engineer of the newly formed Radio Branch. Among other things he was responsible for the establishment of wireless communication and direction finding stations in Hudson Strait and Bay and thus opened Canada’s eastern Arctic to radio communications and marine shipping. When the Aviation Radio Aids Section was established in the Radio Branch under Harold Walsh, Mr. Fraser took charge of the newly formed Marine Radio Aids Section.

 

 

Alfred George Edward Argue

 

Ted’s father Albert Edward Argue started in radio by serving during WW I at the Barrington Passage Radio Station in Nova Scotia. When WW I was over Ted’s father left Barrington Passage and came west to be Officer in Charge of the Port Burwell Coast Radio Station from 1920 to 1946 and, of course got Ted, his second child interested in radio. One of Ted’s first jobs was to be radio operator of the Long Point Marine Radio Beacon at the lighthouse on Lake Erie, not far from Port Burwell. Ted worked his way up in the Transport’s Radio Branch eventually coming to Ottawa to become Superintendent of Radio Regulations some years before he retired. When Ted retired he was Superintendent of Radio Regulations and responsible for the application of all Radio Regulations to the operation of Canadian radio stations and the staff who operated them in all of Canada.

 

 

George Frederick Harris

 

Born in Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland, in 1891, he became a railroad telegrapher and later joined Canadian Marconi where he served on several ships and coast stations before the war. During World War I he joined the RCNVR and worked at the Barrington Passage Coast Station. After the war he joined the DOT’s Marine Radio Branch and worked at several east coast radio stations becoming a Radio Inspector and then District Superintendent of Radio Regulations for the Maritime Provinces and retiring in 1957.

 

 

Edwin Guy Bennett

 

Born in Birmingham, England, he came to Canada in 1912 and after the war broke out he joined the RCNVR as a wireless operator. He was stationed at the Barrington Passage Wireless Station. After the war he worked for the Department of Marine's District Radio Office in Halifax. He later moved to Ottawa where he organized a special long range high frequency radio direction finding service. In 1946 he was made a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1946 for his war services. He later became Assistant Controller of Radio in Ottawa. He died in 1954.

 

 

William A. Caton

 

The nearness and popularity of radio in the north-eastern United States supported the growing popularity in the construction, operation and maintenance of radio in eastern Ontario around the Kingston area. Bill Caton grew up in Napanee (not far from Kingston)and soon got actively involved in amateur radio and with many who became very active professionally in the development of radio in Canada. He became a commercial radio operator with Marconi, Transferred to the Department of Transport and became a radio inspector in charge of the Department's Radio Office in Kingston. From there he moved to Ottawa and moved up in the radio Regulations Section to become Superintendant of Radio Regulations, eventually retiring from this position.

 

 

I thought we could include Dave Hayman. He wasn't  truly a founder of Radio Regs but he did an awful lot at the Radio Test Room for a long time  to make radio Regs a success as did others. And we have several pages about the Radio Test room for which he was the key manager. When I was researching Dave's background for Michael Christie's book on the Barrington Passage Station, Michael told me about Dave's wife who was living in Ottawa so I went to see her.  I learned that very often I used to walk back and forth to Hopewell Public School here in old Ottawa South in the mid-'30s with Dave Hayman's son, Dave Jr.  We were youngsters together and good friends but, sadly, we never connected after I went to High School or Queen's. Hence I've attached a bit about Dave Senior for our web page.... Laval Desbiens

 

***

 

 

Elisha David Hayman

 

Dave, as we knew him, was born in Denmark Nova Scotia in 1889 and  as a young man worked initially at the Pictou Foundry and Machine Company training to be a blacksmith and machinist. In 1914 he began working as a wireless operator with the Canadian Marconi Co. and worked at their stations at Partridge Island, Camperdown and Cape Sable. Late in 1914 he joined the RCNVR and was sent to the Barrington Passage Coast Radio Station which had just been established and where he was thus one of the original operators. Because of his ability to repair electrical equipment as well as engines and generators Dave was made Engineer in Chief of the station in 1917. On January 1919 he was transferred to the staff of H.M.C.S. Niobe and sent to Ottawa where he was put in charge of the Naval Radio Test Room under the direction of Commander C.P.Edwards, who was responsible for the establishment of the Barrington Passage Station. While Canada's management of radio was organized under the Dept. of Marine and later moved to the Dept. of Transport, Dave was in charge of what then became the Transport Department's Radio Test Room at 683 Wellington St., Ottawa. He died in 1968.

 

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