History of the Lakehead Amateur Radio Club Inc
Compiled by Jim O’Brien – VE3UA, January, 1998
and verified by Bill Klemacki – VE3AJ.
Part 3 of 3
The First Annual Lake Superior Ham Fest was a huge success in 1977. Approximately 43 hams from Duluth, Thunder Bay, Eagle River and Virginia gathered at the Spirit Mountain Campground late Friday on a long weekend. Lots of good fun was enjoyed by all. One of the highlights on Saturday was a slide show on the Thunder Bay repeater presented by members of our Club. Many from Thunder Bay took advantage of the proximity to shopping centres by attending to the usual rituals at the Duluth, Miller Hill Mall and some parts stores.
During the winter of ’76–’77, in cooperation with the CNIB, the Club conducted a ham course for blind students. In April, three members successfully passed the exam. The Club was pleased to welcome new graduates; Karen Marsh (later Karen Black) – VE3JAK, David Laird Krouse – VE3JAZ1 and Richard Parsons – VE3JAP.
At a total cost of $300.00, the Club was incorporated in ’79 after months of work under the guidance of Bob Bishop – VE3JAB1 and Dave Milne – VE3KRT. The Letters Patent, dated 30 July 1979, assigned Ontario Corporation Number 421620, and listed the name as “Lakehead Amateur Radio Club Inc.” The initial Incorporation Application form was signed by the following Executive Members:
President Bob Fontaine – VE3JAY,
Vice President Vic Loewen – VE3JAR,
Secretary Treasurer Hugh Elliott – VE3EDW1,
Directors Ken Rusnak – VE3EFZ,
Dianne Loewen – VE3JAW,
Bill Klemacki – VE3XJ; and
John Visser – VE3HTM.
Page two of the Letters Patent listed new objects of the Club (approved by the general membership on June 14, 1979 as follows:
- To provide an organization for the encouragement of the science of radio, electronics and communications for and by amateur radio operators;
- To hold meetings for the purpose of bringing the club members together to share ideas and information related to amateur radio;
- To provide the amateur radio (operator) with theoretical and practical assistance;
- To provide volunteer radio communications as a public service whenever possible;
- To promote the hobby of amateur radio, by way of classes, lectures, exhibitions, demonstrations and information to the general public; and
- To purchase, acquire or take by gift, devise, bequest or donation for the objects of the corporation and the furtherance of its objects, but for no other purpose, and to sell, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of any real personal property.
Our lawyer, Mr. Keith Jobbitt, cautioned us at the time that we must, under ministerial regulations, file a Notice of Change annually and whenever there is a change in either the Executive, the Directors or the objects of the Club.
Annual dues were increased in April ’82 to $15.00 (Full), $10.00 (Assoc.) And $20.00 (Family). This increase was brought in within two months of the Club taking possession of two repeaters from the Thunder Bay FM Assoc. and the Thunder Bay VHF Society.
Bob Bishop – VE3JAB1 arranged a schedule in 1991 where Pat Doherty – VE3HFS was to QSP traffic between Irkutsk (southern Siberia), Duluth, MN and Thunder Bay. This was in support of Superior-Baikal Connect, an environmental expedition where a group of Russians, Americans and Canadians were to make a kayak trek around Lake Superior. This would duplicate a kayak trek made around Lake Baikal the year before. The radio schedule continued after the trek around the lake was completed. A genuine friendship prompted by their common interest in amateur radio had developed between Pat and Serge – UA0SR. Subsequently, Serge, as President of the Irkutsk Radio Club (IRC), extended an invitation for Pat Doherty – VE3HFS and (then) Hi-Q Editor, Jim O’Brien – VE3UA, to visit Irkutsk in the summer of 1993. In stark contrast to our naive, and media enhanced preconceived notions of Russia, the intrepid travellers were welcomed as family into the homes of their hosts. Honoured as they were by their hosts, the travellers soon became accustomed to the warm hospitality of southern Siberia. An exchange of gifts and souvenirs, a delightful Russian tradition, preceded the signing of preliminary agreements to twin the Irkutsk and Thunder Bay Radio Clubs. The final agreements were put in place during a visit to Thunder Bay of the officers of the Irkutsk Radio Club in July of 1995. LARC enjoyed the pleasure of the company of Serge Sobolev – UA0SR, Sasha Zakolyuzhin – UA0SF, Vasya Maslyukov – UA0SN and Natasha – XYL and Victor Akulpnok – UA0SHR and Lyuda – XYL. Friends of Jim, Bill Galloway – VE1WWG and Tina – XYL attended the festivities from Dartmouth, NS and the international presence of the affair was further enhanced by Ron Thompson – FP5EK and Laura – XYL, friends of Victor and Lyuda, who travelled from Ste. Pierre et Miquelon to attend. Duplicate twinning certificates were signed and exchanged by Presidents Terry Stewardson – VE3TKA and Serge Sobolev – UA0SR. The momentous event was suitably commemorated by approximately half a hundred Club members, their families and friends at a barbecue amid numerous toasts with vodka imported, for the occasion, at great expense from Lake Baikal. More gifts and souvenirs were exchanged. Our Russian friends extended this gift giving to include Mike VE3MER and Linda Rouseau (now VA3LLR) in Sault Ste. Marie and Duncan McCansh – VE3OM, Ralph Cameron – VE3BBM, Robert Shaw – VE3SUY and Archie McKenzie – VE3NJY of Ottawa who all assisted by graciously providing accommodations for the travellers during the road portion of the journey. Pat documented the trip to Irkutsk in Hi-Q in three parts (September to November, 1993) and the trip to Thunder Bay was in the December, 1995 issue. TCA Editor, Rob Ludlow – VE3YE, included an article recording the overnight Ottawa stops in The Canadian Amateur, September 1995. While not DXpeditions in any sense of the word, these social events will prompt warm memories for all participants for years to come.
While celebrating our 60th Anniversary at a dinner on Saturday, August 27,1994 we were fortunate to witness the restoration of a full Senate. Bill Roberts – VE3ARN/7 (now VE7YQT) was the only Life Member still serving. To bring the number of Life Members back to six the following received certificates, commemorating their induction to the Senate and recognizing their past contributions to the Club in particular and amateur radio in general: Keith Fiske – VE3JQ, Bert Lambert – VE3BKY, Ray Greer – VE3CH (ex VE3ACV), Hugh Elliott – VE3EDW1 and Bill Klemacki – VE3AJ.
Sadly, the key of Hugh Elliott – VE3EDW1 fell silent in 1997 and once again there is a vacant seat in the Senate.
This history of the Lakehead Amateur Radio Club is far from complete. In the first place, there is not enough space here for the long play version and secondly, the Club is still growing. God willing, that growth will continue long after we all join the ranks of Silent Keys.
The information in this history was shamefully stolen from any and all sources I could find. Fortunately a fairly complete record of the Club’s early years in the form of original minutes survived and are now in my custody. However, most of the information related here is from the vast collection of High-Qs loaned to me, some years ago, by Bill Klemacki – VE3AJ.
In no particular order, and despite the obvious risk of unintentionally offending other contributors by not recognising their work, I wish to thank the following, past and present, LARC members for their efforts and insight for leaving a paper trail comprising the many short stories I admittedly plagiarised:
Frank Start – VE3AJ1,
Bert Tamblin – VE3ANP1,
Ray Greer – VE3CH (ex VE3ACV),
Phil Moorey – VE3AXL,
Tom Haavisto – VE3HHS (later – VE3EEW and now VE3CX),
Bill Klemacki – VE3EEW (later – VE3XJ and now VE3AJ),
Bill Unger – VE3EFC (now – VE3XT),
Mike Wolowich – VE3HZW,
Les Harris – VE3AYZ1 (ex – VE3GB1),
Vic Loewen – VE3JAR,
Brien O’Brien – VE3UA1 ; and
Pat Doherty – VE3PD (ex – VE3HFS and VA3GD).