How it all began…
The history of our amateur radio club is being written and posted to this web page in order to provide our members and the public with a greater knowledge of the people and their roles which have contributed to the continuation of this club for over sixty years. Information contained on these web pages was derived from a variety of sources including verbal discussions with members and from the written record of the OVMRC.
To err is human, therefore you may find errors or omissions and we would like to be informed of any additions or corrections to names, call signs, or historical facts. All of the Call signs shown are those which were assigned to the individuals as shown by the record or as recalled by the source of the information. We want to encourage you to forward any more information or knowledge regarding the history of the club. Please spend the time to write a note and if you can, please provide any references. We would like to make this history as accurate and as complete as possible. The Internet and email make it so easy to send your comments, additional information or corrections. These web pages will subsequently change and be developed more fully as we progress with this project and with your valued contributions.
Please send your email to the webmaster as a feeedback message in our contact area.
Our current members owe a debt of gratitude to the early members and the many members since who have contributed their valuable time to the creation and continuation of this club. We also applaud those individuals that have contributed to the verbal and written record of this club, particularly Ed Morgan VE3GX and Doreen Morgan VE3CGO. Ed’s contribution as Editor of the club’s “Rambler” newsletter and club historian for so many of the early years is, without a doubt, the outstanding contribution covering the early history of the OVMRC and of course many thanks to our NEW editor of our “Rambler”, Bill Hall VE3WMH whose efforts and dedication are noteworthy!! A special thanks to Chris Wiesner VE3CUZ, former Webmaster, and Darin Cowan, VE3OIJ, current Webmaster, who spends so much time and uses his magic to create these web pages.
EARLY OVMRC HISTORY:
Back in the early 1950’s, a group of like-minded amateurs began meeting informally for coffee and meals in restaurants in the Ottawa area, and for motor trips and picnics around the Ottawa Valley. The common thread that drew them together was their interest in HF mobile Amateur Radio. They were an exclusive group who would go to all kinds of trouble to run mobile rigs, but they sure had fun. These early members organized summer picnics, swim parties and various other social activities. Social events were high on their list of priorities and they soon generated a sizable following. By the middle of the 1950’s, this interest had reached a point where a more formal structure was desired, leading to the formation of the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club in 1956. They applied to the Province of Ontario and were granted Letters Patent on March 16, 1962 to incorporate the Club as “Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club, Incorporated (OVMRC)”.
James Lyle Ward, Defence Production Officer,
Doreen Ruth Morgan, Housewife,
Alan Graham Ide, Civil Service Commission Officer, and
Kenneth Nadeau Cogan,
John Anthony Gilbert,
Norman Rudolph Hutter and Alfred Mitchell Powell, Electronic Technicians
all of the City of Ottawa.
The roots for the club were planted in November 1957 after a group of High Frequency mobile radio amateurs held a series of informal meetings.
The Club was formed by the following amateurs: Gerry Erland VE3BBY, Tom Hayes VE3ABC, Eric Bodley VE3AK, Glen Pack VE3CGP, Ian McIntyre VE3DMT, Gerry Harbottle VE3AGU, Gord Grant VE3DY, Harry Hayes VE3BEB, George Brunet VE3BZI, Doug Burrill VE3CDC, Doreen Morgan VE3CGO, Don Waters, VE3DEL, Ken Scrivens VE3AFO, Ed Morgan VE3GX, Gerry King VE3BST, and Doug Metcalfe VE3BON.
The first general election was held. Gerry Erland VE3BBY, was elected President. Membership in the club totalled 69 and most members were operating mobile radios on 75 and/or 10 meters with a few on 6 meters. The Club became affiliated with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
An amateur radio monitoring service for club members was initiated on 3760 kHz. The Club monitoring service was suggested and introduced by Mike Larson K5IJV/VE3. Doreen Morgan VE3CGO, monitored the frequency throughout the day from early morning until the evening for any emergency or general traffic from mobiles and out of town stations. She used MARS PBY equipment which had been lent by K5IJV/VE3 who was on loan working with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in the Ottawa area flying T-33 trainer jets.
The “Pot Hole Net” was also suggested and introduced by Mike Larson K5IJV / VE3 on 3760 kHz. as the official Club Net conducted every Saturday and Sunday Morning at 10:00 a.m. local time. The name of the net was derived from the numerous pot holes prevalent at the time in Ottawa roadways and which were frequently the topic of mobile conversation! The Pot Hole Net was registered with the ARRL who indicated strong objections to the choice of the name! They were promptly informed by President, Mike Larson K51GV/VE3, of the circumstances and acquainted with the fact that it was our prerogative to select an appropriate name. The Pot Hole Net is still operating today.
The OVMRC participated for the first time in Field Day.
The official club callsign VE3RAM was selected by the membership. The letters “RAM” have dual significance. First, they represent our newsletter “Rambler” and secondly, they stand for “Radio Amateur Mobile”.
The first of many social evenings were held at the facilities of a reserve military mess complete with a bar. The members and XYL/YLs spent a pleasant evening chatting, dancing and in general getting to know each other better. The music was provided from records owned by the members. A light lunch and door prizes were supplied from the modest charge for admission. It was an unwritten rule that amateur radio discussions were taboo. This tradition was continued down through the years at functions of a social and family nature.
The first of many adult skating parties was held and they were usually followed by meeting at someone’s home for conversation, dancing and lunch.
The second club Field Day was held and we placed 2nd in the two transmitter class. Quite an accomplishment.
The Club’s radio equipment used for monitoring 3760 kHz. was replaced by a highly modified #19 Radio Set owned by Ed, VE3GX. This was necessary due to the departure of Mike Larson K5IJV/VE3, who returned to the United States of America.
The OVMRC supplied communications for the Capital City Regatta on
50.4 MHz for 100 sailing craft. With the help of seven members over the two-day event, two “marine mobiles” were installed on two of the boats and operated in conjunction with the station located at the Boat Clubhouse. The second day, there were three “marine mobiles” operating.
The first annual Childrens’ Christmas Party was held complete with Santa Claus (Gerry King), presents, cartoons, games and food. This event became one of the most popular of our annual activities.
Ed Morgan VE3GX became the Editor for the Rambler taking over the task from Gord Grant VE3DY.
A contest for the design of a Club Emblem or Crest was announced in the Rambler. The Worked Ottawa Mobile (WOM) Certificate was also introduced. The certificate was awarded to out-of- town stations for working five Club members mobile and an amateur could get endorsement stickers in increments of five contacts.
The contest for the Club Emblem or Crest resulted in a tie between VE3BCL and K9YZA/VE3 for their designs. The judges decided to combine their respective designs in a composite which became our current Club Emblem. The RAMBLER also introduced the “Pot Hole Net Certificate” awarded to regular call-ins to the Net.
The OVMRC held the first genuine Road Rally. It was a simple course and the family car served in lieu of the proverbial sports car. Most of the entrants brought their families along to enjoy the event.
A joint picnic was held with the Montreal Emergency Communications Corps at Long Sault Park near Cornwall. There was also a tour through CJSS TV studios.
Billings Bridge Shopping Centre was the location for a 75 meter mobile whip tune-up.
The OVMRC also entered the three transmitter class during Field Day and placed 1st in Ontario, 4th in Canada and 28th in North America in a field of more than 200 clubs.
The Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club was duly Incorporated and was officially recorded as such by the Province of Ontario on April 27, 1962. Incorporation provides protection from lawsuits. Ed Morgan had recommended that the club should become Incorporated.
The Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club Inc. is an association of radio amateurs devoted to the promotion of interest in amateur radio communications in the National Capital Region and to the advancement and achievement of club members.
Our Club Objectives are:
- To contribute to the interest, study and progress of the science and art of Amateur Radio with particular emphasis on Mobile operations;
- To promote social activities among members and their families;
- To cooperate with and assist the civil authorities to the fullest extent possible in any emergency; and…
- To foster good will and understanding among radio amateurs.
The Rambler newsletter announced a contest inviting members to design and construct a 2-meter AM mobile transmitter/receiver or transceiver capable of two-way communication over a minimum distance of 5 miles. It was to be simple enough so that anyone who could follow a schematic could copy it. It was to be made from standard locally obtainable parts. Various points were awarded for neatness of wiring, mechanical construction, self-contained power supply, AC/DC or DC only, including 10 points awarded if the cost was less than $50 and 20 points awarded if the cost was less than $40.00. The winner would receive a prize worth about $25.00.
The OVMRC came “First” in Canada in the two transmitter class. Extra points were gained extra using the “under 30 watt” multiplier leading to a placement of 18th in North America in a field of 228. There were only eight operators so it was quite an accomplishment. Our very first “First”.
The OVMRC sponsored and operated its first Spring Auction. All previous auctions were jointly sponsored by our club and the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club (OARC).
The “Swap Net” operating on 3760 kHz. was launched as part of the Pot Hole Net. Jack Whittingham, VE3YC, conducted the Swap Net every Saturday at 10:00 AM.
Another “First” in Canada was obtained in the two transmitter class during Field Day. This was our “1st First” in the Field Day rise to fame.
The OVMRC initiated a new service to Ottawa Area Radio Amateurs, a QSL Bureau, under the management of VE3YC, established at P. O. Box 6161.
The club purchased a Heathkit HW12, complete with a home-brew power supply, from VE3BRE to replace the #19 set used by the Monitoring Station.
ROSTER OF PRESIDENTS
1958-1959 Gerry Erland VE3BBY
1959-1960 Mike Larson K51GV/VE3
1960-1961 Ian MacIntyre VE3DMT (VE3CZ)
1961-1962 Mitch Powell VE3BCJ
1962-1963 Lyle Ward VE3CEZ
1963-1964 Gerry King VE3BST (VE3GK)
1964-1965 Glenn Pack VE3CGP
1965-1967 Jack Whittingham VE3YC
1967-1968 Ed Morgan VE3GX
1968-1969 Ted Duncan VE3GGQ
1969-1970 Mike Patriarche VE3DNJ
1970-1971 Bernie Best VE3SH
1971-1972 Doreen Morgan VE3CGO
1972-1973 Ron Belleville VE3AUM
1973-1974 Ron Hutchinson VE3GUJ (VE3MG)
1974-1975 Bernie Best VE3SH
1975-1976 Dan Danielson VE3EMO
1976-1977 Sydney Moorcroft VE3GVI
1977-1978 Ron North VE3HDO
1978-1979 Merv Lemke VE3CV
1979-1980 Tom Hayes VE3ABC
1980-1981 Mike Shacklock VE3LAR
1981-1982 Russ Pastuch VE3FSN
1982-1984 Dave Koutts VE3KLX
1984-1985 Pat Brewer VE3KJQ
1985-1986 Bob Campbell VE3KLK
1986-1987 Vance Johnson VE3OAO
1987-1989 Bill Seyler VE3OAI
1989-1991 Doug Carswell VE3ATY
1991-1992 Jeff Wilson VE3RCI
1992-1993 Bob Sharp VE3YBC (June 1992 – January 1993)
1993-1994 Jerry Wells VE3CDS
1994-1996 Ernie Jury VE3EJJ
1996-1998 Dan Reardon VE3GUU
1998-1999 Doug Carswell VE3ATY
1999-2001 Susan Mogensen VE3MOG
2001-2002 Dan Johnston VA3JAR
2002-2004 Ken McKenzie VA3NEK
2004-2005 Paul Henry VE3CPH
2005-2006 Bob Sharp VA3QV
2006-2007 No President, the Vice-President and other members chaired General and Executive Meetings
2007-2008 Jerry Neufeld VE3QSO
2008-2009 David Scott VE3ZZU
2009-2011 Michel Barbeau VE3EMB
2011-2012 Doug Carswell VE3ATY
2012-2013 Michel Barbeau VE3EMB
2013-2015 Sandy Haggart VE3HAZ
2015-2016 Norm Rashleigh VE3LC