National Capital Chapter 70 - Ottawa, Canada



Minutes of the Meeting of May 17th, 2005
Held at the Carlingwood Family Restaurant

  • At our annual spouse's night, which was moved forward from the normal September dinner meeting, there were 45 members and 21 guests in attendance. President Joe Parkinson, VE3JG welcomed all to the dinner meeting. He introduced the head table which were: guest speaker and Director Ernie Brown, VA3OEB; Treasurer Dave Parks, VE3AV with Barbara Evans; Secretary Clare Fowler, VE3NPC; Director Doug Leach, VE3XK, and Bill Wilson VE3NR.
  • A special welcome was given to all the spouses and also to guests Dave Green, VE3TLY, VP of the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club; Ron Fuchs; Ben Price, VE3CDA RAC Ontario North/East Regional Director, and his wife Karen; Chris Pugh, VE3TUF; Jim Thiessen, VA3KV from Industry Canada, and Ray Perrin, VE3FN.


  • At the last Chapter 70 board meeting it was approved that from the profits of the Ottawa Convention, donations of $1000 be given to the QCWA Scholarship Fund; $500 to the RAC Defense of Amateur Radio Fund; $500 to The Radio Amateurs of Canada; $500 to the Radio Amateurs of Canada Foundation; $500 to the Radio Amateurs of Canada Youth Education Program, and $500 to the Amateur Program of the Canadian Institute for the Blind.
  • Also approved by the board was a 3-year subscription to the QCWA Journal for the Chapter 70 archives with the Journal being mailed to our archivist Doreen Morgan, VE3CGO
  • Renewal Forms for Chapter 70, HQ and the Journal are available from our Treasurer Dave Parks, VE3AV, and they also may be downloaded from the Chapter 70 web site.
  • Every Thursday morning there is a breakfast at the Embassy West Hotel on Carling Ave., to which all amateurs and guests are welcome to attend.
  • We still have copies of the Chapter 70 History Book and updates for sale from Keith, VE3GFI.
  • We always welcome new members and if you know of anyone who is eligible please invite them to the next dinner meeting.


  • The minutes of the last dinner meeting of Feb. 15, 2005 were posted on the Chapter 70 web site for downloading for those who have so indicated, and mailed to those who have not. Clare, VE3NPC moved they be accepted, seconded by Jim, VE3IQ. Approved.
  • Dave, VE3AV, in his treasurer's report indicated the balance as of May 16th, 2005 was $6224.08. After deducting the donations of $3500 we have a balance of a bit over $2700. Annual expenses run around $1400 per year so we are in pretty good shape. Dave moved and seconded by John, VE3ZOV that the treasurer's report be accepted. Approved.
  • Clare, VE3NPC reported that the Chapter 70 membership is now 78, which is believed to be the highest in our history. So far 9 have not paid their 2005 Chapter 70 dues and if not paid up before the next dinner meeting will be removed from our membership list and will not be phoned or receive mail or year pins. Correspondence received by the secretary, VE3NPC was a thank you note from Doreen, VE3CGO and Ed, VE3GX for the award that they had received.
  • Marg, VE3EQE in her health of members report noted that Chapter 70 member Fred, VE3IO broke his leg in a fall but was now home and on the mend. Other ill amateurs are Jaques D'Avignon, VE3VIA and an SK is Brian Smith, VE3DHS who produced the RAC audio-visual cassettes.
  • Keith, VE3GFI urged members to check their membership status on the web page, which is kept up to date.
  • Croft, VE3CT, in his HQ report, noted that QCWA is now in its 58th year. Since its inception over 35,000 members have joined and current membership numbers are in the 35,000's. There are still members around with four digit membership numbers and a few in Chapter 70. Croft recently had the privilege of presenting to Frank, W4AMJ, who has membership number 13, and who is 97 years old, with his 80-year pin.
  • George, VE3BNO, HQ activities manager, reported that for the last QSO party, over 100 logs were submitted. Last year only 40 were received. Over 100 people have registered for the August Convention Alaska cruise. The 2006 convention will be held next September in Calgary and the 2007 in Atlanta Georgia.


    This year, Doug, VE3XK had 19 awards to present. Unfortunately almost half of them could not be in attendance to receive them. A 60 year pin and certificate was awarded to Don Dashney, VE3RM who was absent as he was on his way to Dayton. 55 year pins and certificates were awarded to Jack Belrose, VE2CV; Paul Campbell, VE3PC; Wally Clarke, VE3CBE; Dave Conn, VE3KL; Clay Hiltz, VE3TL (absent); Bill Jeffrey, VE3PTM; Doreen Morgan, VE3CGO; Croft Taylor, VE3CT; Bill Wilson, VE3NR and Bob Knapp, VE3CDG (absent), who also was awarded a Century Certificate. Also getting a 55 year pin is Tom Atkins, VE3CDM who is a Chapter 70 member but lives in Toronto. Receiving 50 year pins and certificates were John Gilbert, VE3CXL (absent), and Doug Leach, VE3XK. 45 year pins were awarded to Ernie Crump VE3OU (Cambridge ON, absent), and Bill Monuk, VE3BDK. A 40 year pin was awarded to Cary Honeywell, VE3EV(absent). Chris Bisaillion, VE3CBK and Frank Stratton, VE3YY (absent) are to receive their non year pin on joining QCWA.


  • The guest speaker, Ernie Brown, VA3OEB was introduced by Jim Dean, VE3IQ. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the year of the veteran. May has been the month when the Battle of the Atlantic memorial services have been held. This May the 8th a particular memorial service was held at the cenotaph in connection with the opening of the new War Museum in Ottawa. About 15,000 Canadians served in the merchant marine and about 1600 or 10% were lost. Radio operators served in all branches of the armed services, the merchant navy and in the ferry command. Soon after the outset of the war, merchant ships sailed in convoys to reduce losses from submarine attacks. All merchant ships were required to monitor radio frequencies on a twentyfour-hour basis. Ernie Brown, VA3OEB, grew up on an Ontario farm south of Barrie. He graduated as a radio operator from The Canadian Electronics Institute radio school in Toronto in March 1941.
  • With the aid of overheads Ernie related his wartime experiences as a radio operator in the merchant marine.
  • After graduating from radio school he was assigned to the Holland American line SS Maasdam, a 10k ton freighter. They sailed from New York on April 1st. He and the chief operator kept a 24-hour watch, 6 hours on and 6 hours off. The receiver was a 2 tube regenerative receiver with regeneration turned off. The emergency receiver was a crystal connected to the tuning coil of the regenerative receiver. The transmitter was sealed and to be used only in an emergency. The emergency transmitter was a ten-inch coil spark gap. The hand key was a large affair bolted to the edge of the table. You keyed with your arm floating in the air. They arrived in Liverpool on April 22nd. While in dock, early in May, heavy air raids started. Incendiary bombs whistled down and clattered on the deck. Deck hands rushed out with shovels to throw them over the side. A ship in the next dock caught fire and blew up, scattering debris all over the dock area. They left on May 10th in a convoy to the mid Atlantic, where they dispersed, and proceeded due west at full speed, arriving in New York on May 29th, 1941. After shore leave Ernie reported back to the ship on June 8th. After loading cargo, including bombers latched onto the hatch covers, they departed on June 11th for Halifax. They left Halifax in convoy HX133 on June 16th. On the 24th they heard the unmistakable boom on the edge of the convoy. One ship gone. On the 25th, another one. On the 26th a tanker two columns over was hit but managed to carry on.
  • One hour later Ernie's ship was hit. While putting the code book in a sack with a chunk of metal to throw it overboard another explosion rocked the ship A ship beside them sank. He tossed the codebooks over the side. He got the emergency transmitter and went to his lifeboat station. There were six lifeboats but two were smashed. The crew and thirty-two passengers comprised of American Red Cross nurses and a small contingent of US marines bound for duty at the US embassy got into the remaining four lifeboats. The last lifeboat away had the Captain and Ernie on board. But soon their feet started getting wet and the lifeboat swamped. They were in the North Atlantic but in the Gulf Stream, which was cold, but not perishing cold. Luckily everyone in the four lifeboats were picked up by a nearby ship in the convoy. On the 29th one more ship was lost before they arrived in Bristol on July 4th. After spending some time in London Ernie was sent on the ship up to Sunderland to take on cargo for Iceland. They sailed on the 25th of August joining a convoy on the 1st of September reaching Reykjavik on September 4th. They didn't leave until the 27th of September and joined a small convoy on the 28th. Three days out, at 4 am, Ernie was on watch, and again there was a thuddering crash as they were hit in the stern. The ship, a small freighter, immediately began to tilt down by the stern. Ernie again threw the codebooks overboard and took the emergency radio to his lifeboat. All abandoned ship with no difficulties, except for one man in the crews quarters at the stern, who was pinned in his bunk by the rear gun which had fallen through the deck. The rear stairway to the deck was damaged and two of the crew who pulled their shipmates through a hole wre recommended for medals for bravery, It wa dark and the sea was rough, but before Ernie got seasick a ship, the HMCS St. Croix, took them aboard, It was a four-stacker destroyer, which headed straight for St. John's, where he stayed over night, and where he remembers getting a ditty bag from the Red Cross. They went on to Halifax, where the Captain arranged to pay him off and he went home.
  • Joe, VE3JG thanked Ernie for his interesting and informative talk whick helped us understand what went on during the war.
  • There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

    Joe Parkinson  (VE3JG)                                                              Clare Fowler (VE3NPC)
    President  613 225-8998    WebPage -      Secretary. 613 730-1081
    49 Inverness Ave.                                                                   16 Fairbairn St.
    Ottawa, Ont., K2E 6N6         VE3QCW on Thursday. 2000 hrs 147.03(-) (VE3TEL)       Ottawa, Ont., K1S 1T3
    Thursdays at 0900 hrs - Breakfast Embassy West Motor Hotel - Consulate Cafe


Last modified: September 18, 2014