VE1YO : +147.15, 444.6Mhz Voice


William James "Bill" Gillis, 87, of Moncton, with his loving family at his side, passed away peacefully at The Moncton Hospital on 
Monday, December 26, 2016.

Born in Campbellton, NB, he was the eldest son of the late William James and Mary (Haley) Gillis. His lifetime career was in the 
technical and management fields of the telecommunications industry with postings to various Maritime centers as well as St. 
John’s, Montreal, Toronto, and internationally for 15 years in Tanzania, East Africa. Throughout his life he was active in the 
Amateur Radio Service, holding station license VE1WG since 1946, VE3WG in Ontario, and 5H3WG in Tanzania. He served 
two terms as President of the Moncton Area Amateur Radio Club where he also conducted license qualifying instruction and 
edited the Club monthly newsletter. He was a member of the Montreal Amateur Radio Club, the Oakville ON Radio Club and in 
the national organization served as Regional Director (Maritimes) and national President. He had been an active member of the 
Beausejour Curling Club and the Beaver Curling Club.

His many accomplishments included playing piano, woodworking, genealogical research and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Bill 
was well read, and enjoyed writing about many historical events that he researched very thoroughly. He most enjoyed 
welcoming friends and family to his home of 54 years in Harrisville, (especially the Thursday lunch crowd), and helping his many 
grandchildren with their projects in his shop whenever he could.  He also took great pride in his participation to influence the 
naming of Harrisville Boulevard.













Wm. J. Gillis VE1WG January 2007





by Wm. J Gillis VEIWG



Canada's Centennial in 1967 was commemorated across the nation with many special observances.

Amateur Radio joined in the festivities marking the occasion with several special events including a large Atlantic Handfest staged in Moncton and a major ARRL Convention held in Montreal. One noteworthy Centennial project was the Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club's undertaking to publish 'The Story of Amateur Radio in Canada'. With contributed narratives, 'From Spark to Space ' went on sale in 1968.

Entreating the reader's indulgence, some brief personal background is included. From Spark to Space and other historical writings like 200 Meters & Down describe the period during which my father was involved in radio. He began by constructing wireless receivers in 1919. In 1924 he obtained Amateur station license 1BJ for a station at his home in Newcastle NB and call sign 1AZ for a second station operated in Campbellton NB where he was based with the railway. Hearing directly about his radio experiences, reading his collection of early QSTs and technical references along with activating his home-built receivers and a still functioning two-tube transmitter, kindled my interest in radio. It led to acquiring station license VEIWG in 1946, an interest in radio history and later research into pioneer Amateurs in the Maritimes.

Government files reviewed in the late 1980s were the prime authoritative source of past license issuances. This effort was facilitated by the invaluable interest and support of the late J. B. "Jim '' Cullen, then Regional Authorization Manager, Dept. of Communications (now Industry Canada). The records were cross-referenced to Radio Callbook listings and particular call signs were verified by Brit Fader, VE1FQ, Walter Hyndman, VEIBZ and Les Codner, VEIGP. Now Silent Keys, all were highly respected veteran Amateurs. Les was prominent in the telecoms field, Walter served as PE1's thirty-first Lt. Governor and Brit faithfully managed the Maritime QSL Bureau for close to fifty years. It is now named The Brit Fader Memorial QSL Bureau.

To conserve website space, official call sign lists for the Maritime Region appended to this brief historical sketch are limited to the period from the first authorizations in 1911-12 to the 1926-27 list.


Charles H. Duell, US Patent Office Commissioner, is said to have declared in 1899: ''Everything that can be invented has been invented." His view not only ignored impending landmark inventions of the period but also the inevitable patent filings that build on each new creation. Wireless was no exception. The vision and persistence of Guglielmo Marconi and competitors like Telefunken and Universal Radio Syndicate confirmed the long range feasibility of wireless. Federal Telegraph had spanned the Pacific. In 1912-13 Universal built trans-Atlantic stations at Ballybunion, Ireland and Newcastle, NB utilizing the new continuous arc design of Valdemar Poulsen, a Danish engineer noted for his 1903 invention of the voice wire reorder.

Distant communication through nothing but "thin air'' fascinated many novices, most with sparse knowledge of wireless. It was an enticing possibility and on-air experimental activity mushroomed.

Unrestrained erratic spark transmissions soon reached an intolerable level disrupting essential marine and commercial service. Within a few years of its introduction wireless was gaining priority in safety and rescue at sea and commercial service was becoming essential to the business world. Protection from spurious and unwarranted interference was fundamental and pressure mounted for stringent government regulation.

Overshadowing all other events, the Titanic catastrophe in April 1912 dramatically underscored the crucial role of wireless at sea. The Marconi Company, with a network of coastal stations and its trans-Atlantic station at Glace Bay, NS, built in 1902 with $80,000 in Canadian government funding (equivalent to $2. l million in 2007), viewed any form of outside control as a threat to its monopoly. USA President Howard Taft was noted for his resolute administrative manner. He intervened directly demanding that an International Radiotelegraph Conference scheduled for July 1912 in London immediately adopt universal government regulation. With such an imperative and the recent Titanic tragedy vivid in the minds of delegates, the Conference acted decisively.


Protection of essential services thus became a prime focus of the 1912 London International Radiotelegraph Conference. Instead of regulated allocation to accommodate experimenters on long waves, the Conference determined that protection could not be assured unless experimental activity was banned to 200 metres and below. In 1912, wavelengths below 200 metres were dismissed as "the useless short waves.''

It was before the advent of broadcasting. Marine, commercial and government services would be allocated exclusively to long waves. Unforeseen was how this decision would immediately accelerate exploration of short wave propagation, development of innovative high frequency circuitry and creative antenna design.


A further consequence of the 1912 Conference decision to ban experimental activity to 200 metres and below was a major reduction in the number of casual experimenters. Undaunted by confinement to "unknown territory", the serious few who persisted took a determined and methodical approach to unravelling the mystery of short waves. Building on each discovery they systematically probed the peculiarities of short wave propagation, devised innovative HF circuits and effective antenna designs. A key element in their success was the open sharing of each new finding They came to be universally recognized as Radio Amateurs.

As Radio Amateurs they soon gained the respect of regulators and the scientific community with their not-for-profit motivation, operating skills, regulatory compliance, public service and technical ingenuity in demonstrating that short waves were anything but "useless". Their achievements attracted new enthusiasts to Amateur Radio with similar purpose, many with organizational and technical skills. Other services observing Amateur Radio's success quickly sought exclusive allocations below 200 metres.
Radio Amateurs established national associations such as the Radio Society of Great Britain, founded in 1913 and the American Radio Relay , founded in 1914 with a Canadian Division. Both published respected journals.

In 1921, ARRL sponsored successful trans-Atlantic 200 metre tests by sending Paul Godley, 2XE, to the UK where he logged reception of more than thirty USA and Canadian Amateur stations. The first two-way trans-Atlantic Amateur contact (USA- France) was made in 1923 between Schnell 1MO and Deloy, 8AB. Amateur skills also led in conversion from "spark" to CW and improved frequency stability.

As will be further detailed, all of these achievements led to agreement at the 1927 International Radiotelegraph Conference on three cornerstone regulatory principles pertaining to Amateur Radio:

(1) formal international definition and recognition of Amateur Radio,
(2) allocation to Amateur Radio of harmonically related shortwave spectrum

segments, and
(3) assignment to Amateur Radio of country call sign prefixes.


In Canada, "wireless" was regulated though the "Radiotelegraph Act" under the Ministry of Naval Service. The "Act" passed in 1905 was amended in 1913 to include among other revisions, formal licensing of "Amateur Experimental Stations '' first authorized in 1911-12. Responsibility for the "Radiotelegraph Act" was later transferred to the Dept. of Marine and Fisheries and then to the Dept. of Ships and Canals, a forerunner of Transport Canada.

Under further amendment it became the "Radio Act'' assigned to a new Department of Communications, later brought under Industry Canada. Almost from the beginning qualification for an Amateur Radio Certificate has required demonstrated technical and regulatory knowledge plus Morse code proficiency (see para. 14). This classification became officially defined as the Amateur Radio Service.


Evident from the beginning was the need for each station to have a unique concise identification as in landline telegraphy. Prior to government regulation, major private wireless companies such as Maconi assigned their own order of call signs. Under government licensing, national jurisdictions allocated call letters for all services. Prior to the formal agreement on country prefixes at the 1927 Washington Conference, some services used informal country designators to avoid confusion between neighbouring jurisdictions.


Before WW1, call signs issued to "Experimental Amateur Stations'' in Canada consisted of two letters prefaced by the letter "X" denoting "experimental'' station. After WW1 the "X'' was dropped and starting in 1919, a regional numbering system for Amateur call signs was adopted. Assigned call letters were prefaced by a regional number. The numeral "1" was assigned to the Maritime Region, "2" indicated the Quebec Region and "3" designated the Ontario Region, "4" denoted the Prairie Provinces and "5" comprised BC, the Yukon and NWT. Experimental commercial call signs were prefaced with "9" and numeral "10" preceeded expermental broadcast stations. Following the 1927 Conference, Canadian Amateur Radio and Experimental call signs were prefaced with the newly adopted "VE" country prefix followed by a regional number and two or three suffix letters. As indicate below, later revisions were made to the above formats.


Radio Amateurs usually attach particular significance to call signs beyond their regulatory and identification function. Unlike call signs issued to most other services, Amateur station call signs are issued to an individual. As a consequence, they become personally attached to and associated with the holder or something of particular significance to that Amateur. 0ne often hears reference to an individual Radio Amateur by station call sign alternatively with their personal name. This peculiarity of Amateur Radio call signs frequently extends to discussion about the first holder of a certain call sign and the history of call sign authorization. It is trusted that this brief review and the early call sign lists will contribute some useful background.


The classification, Experimental and Amateur and variations of it have been officially in use in Canada since 1911 and in other countries for a similar period. Agreement reached at the Washington 1927 Radiotelegraph Conference and later formalized in the Madrid Treaty, included the first official international recognition, definition and regulation of the service known as Amateur Radio. It is officially stated in the ITU articles as:

Article I, [14] Amateur Station: A station used by an "amateur", that is, by a duly authorized person interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

Together with exclusive and shared frequency allocations plus specific country prefixes, this internationally agreed recognition and definition of Amateur Radio gave it regulatory status with other radio services. Amateur Radio had finally gained official international acceptance. Adopted by more than seventy countries, final accord was achieved only after a long and often discouraging struggle. Overcome was strong opposition to any authorization of Amateur Radio by one member of the Canadian delegation, Lt. Col W. Arthur Steel, and the very restrictive Amateur Radio privileges advocated by the UK and certain other countries. This experience made abundantly clear the need for vigorous and constant Amateur representation.

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was founded in 1925, with individual memberships. To increase its effectiveness the IARU was reorganized in October 1928 as an association of national Amateur Radio societies. Membership in the IARU has now grown to 150 national Amateur Radio societies.

At the Madrid Conference it was decided to drop the term, Radiotelegraph, and change identity of the international organization dealing with regulatory matters to International Telecommunications Union (ITU). ITU is now an agency of the United Nations and meets at regular intervals. The IARU advocates on behalf of Amateur Radio to the ITU on a broad range of matters at the international level.


When Radio Amateurs began their pioneering experiments below 200 metres, one early outcome was propagation of signals well beyond national borders. To avoid confusion with their American neighbours, Canadian Amateurs unofficially prefaced their call signs with the letter "c". Stations in USA informally preceded their call letters with the letter "u". Amateurs in other countries followed a similar practise until adoption of internationally agreed Amateur Radio prefixes at the 1927 Washington Conference. Augmenting the formal definition and recognition of Amateur Radio and agreement on Amateur Radio country prefixes at the 1927 Conference was the third major accord on allocation to Amateur Radio of a series of harmonically related bands throughout the short wave spectrum. (160, 80, 40, 20 & 10 metres, etc.)

On January 1, 1929, agreements reached at the 1927 Washington International Radiotelegraph Convention were approved for inclusion in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Conference treaty signed at Madrid on December 9, 1932. Seventy-seven countries were represented. In line with the 1927 Conference Agreement, Canadian and USA administrations implemented use of newly adopted country prefixes late in 1928 pending formal signing of the Madrid Treaty four years later.


As noted above, agreements reached at the 1927 Washington Convention were implemented shortly thereafter and formalized in the 1932 Madrid Treaty. Call signs for all services were prefaced with newly adopted country prefixes. County prefixes for the Amateur Service included: "W", "K", or "N" assigned to the USA. "G" and "M" to the United Kingdom, "SM" to Sweden, "OZ" to Denmark, "F" to France, "I" to Italy, etc.

Although Canada became self-governing under the 1867 BNA Act, its foreign affairs remained under British control until 1931. Choice of county prefix for Amateur Radio reflected Canada's 1927 position as a Dominion in the British Empire. Its citizens

were "British Subjects" until 1947 and its Constitution was not patriated until 1982. At the 1927 Conference, a series of "V" and "Z" Amateur Radio prefixes were allocated to jurisdictions which were part of the British Empire, e.g., "VK" to Australia, "VU" to India, "ZS" to South Africa, "ZL" to New Zealand, "VE" to Canada, etc. and "VO" to the then "Dominion of Newfoundland".

With Newfoundland's 1949 entry into Canadian Confederation, the "VO" prefix was transfered to Canadian jurisdiction. The "VO" prefix continues to be assigned to Amateur Radio stations in Canada's tenth province, officially designated since 2001 as the "Province of Newfoundland and Labrador". The full series of prefix blocks assigned to Canada are: CFA-CKZ, CYA-CZZ, VAA-VGZ, VOA-VOZ, VXA-VYZ and XJA- XOZ.

Implemented in recent years are revisions to regional numbering and permanent assignment of "VY" and "VA" prefixes along with expanded suffixes. On application to the regulator, authorized use of unique prefix and suffix combinations for special occasions within the above blocks is given due consideration.


In September 1939, for a second time in its history Amateur Radio on-air activity was prohibited for the duration of a World War. Through their technical and operating skills many Amateurs supported the war effort in various capacities. Numerous enlisted men and women were trained as radio technicians and operators leading many to pursue Amateur Radio when they returned to civilian life after the war.

Amateurs on the "home front'' kept the spirit of Amateur Radio alive by participating in the War Emergency Radio Service (USA) and providing off-air services using power line carrier techniques. When peace returned, well-attended conventions held at Halifax in 1946 and 1949 confirmed the enthusiastic renewal of Amateur Radio. Included in the convention program booklets were complete lists of Radio Amateurs licensed in each of those years. Availability of a wide range of surplus military radio apparatus and components at affordable prices also stimulate the postwar growth of Amateur Radio. Again, Amateurs demonstrated their ingenuity and resourcefulness by adapting "war surplus'' equipment to Amateur bands and modes.


In the post WW II era many former European colonies gained new status as independent countries. Most one-time British colonies entered a new form of association

through the Commonwealth of Nations, currently composed of 53 independent states. Many new country prefixes, such as: 5Z Kenya (formerly VQ4), 6Y Jamaica (formerly VP5), 9V Singapore (formerly ), 5R Madagascar (formerly FB8), 3C Equatorial Guinea (formerly EA0), etc., were approved by the ITU, reflecting their changed status.


In the sixty years since WWII, Amateur Radio has maintained its lead in technical advancement. While CW remains popular, conversion from AM to SSB, new frequency assignments, introduction of solid state circuitry, slow scan TV, teleprinter and digital modes, VHF/UHF repeaters, Amateur satellites and computer integration are among the more significant advances that continue to stimulate growth of Amateur Radio.

Although no longer constructing transmitters, receivers and other major components, Amateurs continue to build specialized smaller devices and embrace new techniques. Emergency and public service remain the hallmarks of Amateur Radio's more than 90-year history. Morse code proficiency is no longer a qualification requirement. Out of fifty thousand in Canada, close to four thousand Radio Amateurs reside in the Maritimes.


Founded in 1960, The Old Timers Club is an association of more than one hundred and seventy-five members who have held an Amateur Certificate of Proficiency or a Radio Communication Operator's Certificate for twenty years or more. It conducts a net on 3.750 MHz. each Sunday at 08:00L. For some years, the O1d Timers Club has encouraged presentations and discussion on significant events in the history of Amateur Radio. This brief chronicle and the accompanying call sign records are contributed toward that objective.


Radio Amateurs throughout the Maritimes and neighbouring regions were profoundly saddened when Burns Getchell, VEICL, became a Silent Key on February 14, 2006. In 1998, Burns was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame and given the 'Award of Honour' Distinction. A long time member of several Amateur clubs, organizations and the Old Timers Club, Burns started in Amateur Radio in 1930 and obtained his Certificate of Proficiency and Station License the following year.


Over a lengthy period Burns collected considerable material and penned several essays on the history of radio. He assembled an extensive exhibit of antique radio equipment at his home in St. Stephen, NB. Visitors from far and near were treated to an intriguing display and Burns' fascinating discourse on the evolution of radio.

To foster interest in the development of wireless and Amateur Radio, Burns conducted several presentations at Amateur gatherings. He frequently gave interviews to the media and on occasion took great delight in momentarily activating his home built spark gap transmitters. For a number of years, it was a personal privilege and pleasure to exchange with Burns many historical manuscripts and references.

Burns Getchell was the consummate Radio Amateur and an inspiration to many. This brief chronology and the associated authorization lists are devoted to his memory.


Appreciation is extended to Old Timers Club President Bill Anderson, VE9UH and OTC Secretary Frank Graham, VY2FG, for taking the time to review the submitted manuscript and approve posting to the OTC Website. Many thanks also to Jim Cleveland, VE1CHI, who has been very helpful in facilitating Website uploading. Their cooperation and support is most encouraging.

January 2007

Selected Bibliography:

ITU Proceedings, IARU Reports, Government of Canada records, Radio Call Book lists, ARRL & RSGB, publications, QST, SM Reports, contributions of VEIBZ, VEICL, VEIFQ, and VEIGP, historical references including: From Spark to Space by Saskatoon ARC, 200 Metres & Down by DeSoto, Amateur Radio on PEI by Barrett, VY2YN, Out of Thin Air by Large and Crothers, Whisper in the Air by Macleod, Come Quick, Danger by Dubreuil, A History of the Marconi Company by Baker, & Wireless Over Thirty Years by Vyvyan.







Our call sign is VE1 YO which was the callsign of one of the founding members.At the present time we are located at in the Spicer Building 21 Mt Hope Avenue, Dartmouth, N.S. The hamshack at the club has HF, VHF, UHF, and Packet which is used by the club members mostly for recreational purposes using modes such as SSB, CW, SSTV, PSK31 and other Digital Modes and on demand for Emergency purposes under the umbrella of the Halifax Regional Municipality Emergency Management Organization (EMO).

The Club also has Repeater and Autopatch facilities located at the tower site on Dustan Street, Dartmouth, N.S. 

The repeater callsign is:

VE1DAR +147.15, 444.6Mhz Voice
144.91 Mhz Packet

 The Club facilities are open every Saturday morning from 9AM to 11PM for coffee and conversation. Everyone is welcome.

Note: Call on 2M upon arrival. VE1YO +147.15 , VE1PSR 147.27
or 490-1450 , or on 147.15+ autopatch autodial *99 .

Used and Swap 

Below you can find local and national links to various Buy/Sell/Trade forums and groups. The Dartmouth Amateur Radio Club remind you that when it comes to shopping online for secondhand gear, even on sites that have buyer and seller protections in place, the onus largely falls on you to protect yourself from scammers and possible fraud.

If you have additional links or sources to other safe and reliable Buy/Sell/Trade forums and groups please let us know and we'll add them to our list!

Monday evenings at 2330Z on 3.750 MHZ or 7:30 local time.

Items which are sold on this swap shop are the sole responsibility of the SELLER and BUYERS only.VE1 PJS cannot assume any responsibility for any transactions that have taken place.

"A place for Atlantic Canadian Amateur Radio Operators to share their hobby on Facebook. HAM stuff for sale welcome, but please delete them when sold."

" is an easy-to-use, free “buy and sell” site dedicated to amateur radio operators across Canada. The site was ‘hatched’ and initially offered to address the cancellation of in-person Amateur Radio “buy and sell” events as a result of the ongoing Covid19 pandemic."

" is a community site designed and operated by and run for active Amateur Radio operators (hams).Buy, Sell, and Swap online for free.  Ads often include photos."

RAC's list which includes national B/S/T forums, groups and pages from provinces outside Atlantic Canada.




Latest news

Our Executive Board

President: Earl Burneau VE1 EPJ.

Vice President: Stephen Rodgers VE1 SBR.

Treasurer: Jeremy Fowler VE1 JHF.

Secretary: Jason LaPierre VE1 PX.

Director at Large: Craig Mac Kinnon VE1JMA.

Station Manager: Robert Brown VE1BFX.


Thursday night net

  • Thursday night net

    Thursday nights on 147.150 / 444.600 at 2000 / 2400Z.