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VA3ROM Canada flag Canada

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The photo is of my former work "radio shack"and I was sending the last Morse code transmission from VBA on 4 November 1998 via our Churchilll remote site covering western Hudson Bay. We were the last Canadian Great Lakes station to provide Morse code services. I graduated from the Transport Canada Training Institute (TCTI) Ottawa (class 7 of 1976) as a dual air/marine ("aeradio") operator (1977-86) and then worked at Dauphin, Saskatoon and Lac La Ronge air [only] stations plus at Resolute Bay, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay combined air/marine stations. The air/marine divisions split in 1986, so I jumped ship to the coast guard (pun intended). Radio Amateur since 1994 with Basic, Morse code and Advanced endorsements.

Coast Guard/MCTS radio officer (1986 to 2012) primarily at Thunder Bay/VBA for almost 30 years of my career. The Canadian Coast Guard Radio Stations (CGRS) and Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) amalgamated in the mid-1990's resulting in a new MCTS moniker.The radio call is still "Coast Guard Radio" or "Traffic" but internally we use "Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre". I retired (Jun 2012) after 35 years, 7 months and 15 days of air/marine search and rescue (SAR) communications, but who was counting!

In mid-2015, Thunder Bay/VBA MCTS centre was shutdown (govenment cutbacks and restructuring) and remoted to Sarnia/VBE MCTS ending nearly 105 years of continous marine radio service. It was the first Canadian Great Lakes station built (fall 1910) by the Marconi company at the resquest of the Canadian government, and assigned Marconi callsign "MUG". In late 1912, it became government wireless station "VBA" (VB for Canadian Great Lakes plus A denoting it as the first station built in the chain down to Toronto, Ontario) when the government took over all ownership and control because of the new radio regulations enacted (world-wide) a few months after the RMS TITANIC disaster. But the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company was given a sole-source (no competition) contract to maintain, service and staff the Canadian marine stations, and this "sweet-heart" deal lasted until the end of the 1950's when the Canadian government merged the separate air and marine departments, and established its own training centre for the new "aeradio" operators.

QSL via email va3rom@gmail.com or http://eQSL.cc

My website: http://www.va3rom.com.

73

 

8610888 Last modified: 2018-01-28 14:26:07, 2695 bytes

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