Harold E. (Hal) Parsons – VE3QA  QCWA # 8779 (SK) 


Education / Employment History

1925-1929 University of BC - Hal graduated with degree in Mechanical Engineering.

1929-1939 Britannia Mining & Smelting - Mechanical Engineer and/or Surface Foreman

1939-1966 National Research Council, Section Head of Engineering Design, Radio Division. During war years he was responsible for the mechanical design of most Canadian radars. He was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his outstanding work on radars. Before retiring from NRC in 1966 Hal was concerned with the design of large radio telescopes, including Algonquin Observatory VE3ONT.

1967 Secretary Manager of Canadian Radio Technical Planning Board (now Canadian Radio Advisory Board).


Amateur Radio

1913 - On the air (unlicensed) with a Model T Ford spark coil. In those days the Vancouver electric street-car system was switched off on Sundays. Hal and some others that were interested in amateur radio, used the trolley lines as an antenna. In 1914, the outbreak of World War I interrupted their experimentation.

1922 - He was issued call sign 5EH, used a 1 KW spark set.

Founder of the first Vancouver Amateur Radio Club. Founder and first President of University of British Columbia Amateur Radio Club.

1929 - 1939 - He received the call sign VE5FO, which he held until World War II, operating from Britannia Beach, BC.


Following World War II, Hal held call signs VE2RZ, VE3BKG and finally VE3QA. He was an avid DXer and for some time was the top Canadian on the “Phone Only” DX Honour Roll. Whenever there was activity from a new country or one that he needed, he would slip away from the office to work it. He was a familiar sight to Ottawa amateurs as he sped back and forth in his little sports car, beret at a jaunty angle.


He also contributed greatly to the amateur radio community. Hal served for several years on the ARRL DX Advisory Committee (DXAC). He was one of the twenty-one Charter Members and second President of QCWA Chapter 70 for 1975-1976. He also served as a Chapter 70 Director from 1984 to 1988.


Hal passed away May 27, 1996 in his 95th year


Biography prepared by VE3XK                                                                                                                                                               2010-10-25