Friday 12 September 2008

VC3RCS Leitrim

It was a humid and rainy Friday afternoon at Leitrim Station in Ottawa's south end. Ken Halcrow VE3SRS has only been back from Alert for a few hours and already his hand is on the key sending morse code, making contacts. This is the 50th anniversary of ham radio at Alert and Leitrim. The Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club trailer is on site at CFS Leitrim sheltering the veterans visiting VC3RCS today. There were a handful of hams there this afternoon each with a story about how ham radio served as an only means of communicating with family and loved ones from their remote postings.

CFS Leitrim is Canada's oldest operational signal intelligence collection station. Established by the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in 1941 as 1 Special Wireless Station and renamed Ottawa Wireless Station in 1949, CFS Leitrim acquired its current name when the Supplementary Radio System was created in 1966. In 1946, the station's complement was 75 personnel. In 2005 personel was estimated at 450 with 29 civilian employees. PACERM PETERE, the station's motto means Research For Peace.

Here's Ken at the door of the comms trailer this afternoon.

Here's an unidentified former op at the keyer with Ken VE3SRS.

Hutch, VE3NG says "My most memorable call sign activity was from 1963-1965 when I was VE8TU and VE8RCS, operating from Alert, N.W.T., on the tip of Ellesmere Island, 650 miles from the North Pole. Alert is the most northern permanently inhabited settlement in the world. " Hutch was also the holder of VE1KV, VE8TU, VE8RCS, VE3GFL, VE2ZD, VE3GUJ.

VC8RCS will be operating most of the weekend on 40 meters and possibly other bands. When I left this afternoon Ken was working repeater VE3TWO making contacts.

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