P. J. G. (Doc) Plummer – VE3MA QCWA # 2529  (SK) 


Doc was born in London, England but grew up on a farm in the Niagara Peninsula


Education / Employment History

1928 - He graduated from Ontario Veterinary College with Ph D research degree. (This made him a scientist not a Veterinarian).

1928 - Doc moved to Ottawa and began a lifetime career with the Canada Department of Agriculture. He joined the Health of Animals Division and slowly worked up through the various classifications for scientists.

1929 - Joined the Pathological Division, Animal Diseases Research Institute in Hull

1943 - Appointed Head of the Pathology Unit at the Animal Disease Research Institute 

1957 - Appointed Director of the Animal Pathology Division, Health of Animals Branch. Over his career he became increasingly interested in pathology as well as virology and bacteriology. He was the first to successfully cultivate and passage the canine distemper virus on a chicken embryo. He was the first to diagnose northern dog disease as rabies. He had over sixty papers published including papers on tumours and haematuria. Doc was a member of a dozen professional societies.

1965 - Retired on December 31 at age 60. He was remembered by his staff as a manager who always took time, despite heavy executive duties and extensive travel, to discuss and give advice on their problems, both scientific and personal. His jokes brightened a dark day.


Amateur Radio History

Doc became interested in wireless at the age of 14. He had free access to the junk box at a local garage, including spark coils and “hot shot” batteries to make his first (unlicensed) transmitter in 1919. This evolved into tuners, loose couplers, variometers etc. Detectors were solid-state hunks of galena crystal. Doc attributed any success in communicating to his antennas – three wires 175 ft long and 45 ft up on a 100acre field. About 1923 he went to tubes. All power came from batteries, as they had no electricity.

1933 - First licensed as VE2GP while living in Aylmer, Quebec. Doc was an active member of OARTA (now OARC).  He served as OARTA President (1933-1934) and OARTA Vice President (1939-1940) and taught theory classes in the days leading up to WWII.

1954 - Received call sign VE3MA upon moving back to Ontario. After this move, Doc operated only commercial equipment. He was active on SSB on HF.


Doc became a Life Member of QCWA in February, 1961, the first to join from what would become Chapter 70. He later was one of the twenty-one Charter Members of Chapter 70. Doc served as a Director of Chapter 70 1977-1979. The photograph of the presentation of his “65 Year Licensed” Golden Certificate and lapel pin at the September 1998  dinner was on the cover of the Chapter 70 1974-1999 History Book.


Doc passed away on July 7, 2003 at age 97.


Prepared by VE3XK with assistance from VE3GX                                                                                                                                              Updated 2010-11-28