“Fred Hammond, VE3HC: A Legend, A Gentleman and A True Amateur”
In June 1997, on the occasion of Fred Hammond’s (VE3HC) nomination to the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, Rob Ludlow, VE3YE, Editor for The Canadian Amateur magazine, presented the following tribute.
Fred Hammond, VE3HC, died peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Guelph on Sunday, November 7, 1999 after a long illness. An Amateur for more than 70 years, Fred started building radios in 1923 and became a Radio Amateur in 1929. He was elevated to the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 1996 and —among other accolades — had been named Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year and was recently honoured by the Quarter Century Wireless Association for his 70 years. His contributions to Amateur Radio and Amateur Radio causes are legendary.
Perhaps Canada’s best-known Amateur because of his long and distinguished professional and Amateur Radio career, Fred Hammond’s name and call sign are respected and revered around the world.
Extract from the July-August 2000 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine:
“Born in Guelph, Ontario on December 15, 1912, Fred became a co-founder of Hammond Manufacturing Co. Ltd., with subsidiaries in the United States and the United Kingdom, which is still run by the Hammond family today.
Hammond cabinets, transformers and components are world famous for their quality and reliability. Fred was at the helm of the family business until his retirement and today his son carries on the family tradition.
Fred began building radios in 1923 and became a Radio Amateur in 1929, the second in the city of Guelph at that time.
A true promoter of Amateur Radio and always ready with a smile and sage advice, Fred is the personification of the true Radio Amateur – honourable, patient, and knowledgeable. Few other Canadian Amateurs have contributed so much to the hobby. His generous support for worthy Amateur Radio causes is legend.
Fred is known far and wide for his kind, gentlemanly, unassuming and self-effacing manner – always ready and willing to help anyone. He is a philanthropist and generous benefactor to the worldwide Amateur community. His concern for helping others is matched only by his strong leadership and organizational abilities.
Here are just a few of Fred’s many honours and achievements:
- set up the Reginald Fessenden Memorial Station in Knowlton, Quebec;
- founded the Guelph ARC in 1946;
- Radio Society of Ontario Amateur of the Year in 1977;
- ARRL Certificate of Merit in 1977;
- honoured by the CNIB ARC in 1978 for his assistance to white caners, not least of which was providing hundreds of pre-punched cabinets for mounting special CNIB equipment;
- CRRL Canadian Amateur of the Year in 1979;
- supplied and shipped equipment at his own expense to Geneva, Switzerland to put 4UlITU on the air for the 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference;
- President of the QCWA Southern Ontario Chapter 73 from 1980-82;
- in January 1981, the Hammond Museum of Radio was opened. This is probably Fred’s greatest and most enduring contribution to radio. He has collected a vast amount of old radio equipment dating back to the turn of the century —probably the largest and certainly the finest private collection of its kind in the world. His knowledge of the history of radio development in this century is as vast as his collection.
- with Tom Wong, VE7BC, donated the equipment for China’s first Amateur Radio station on the air, BYlPK, and visited China in 1984;
- Director of QCWA HQ from 1986-1990;
- awarded the Special Achievement Award at the Dayton Hamfest in 1988;
- when the ARRL’s official station W1AW was being refurbished in 1989, Fred provided all the custom-made cabinets for the new equipment and was honoured at the ceremonial re-opening of the station.
In addition, Fred organized several DXpeditions in the 1950s and gave many Amateurs their first aeronautical mobile QSO on 2m AM from his Cessna 172 in the 1960s.
Over the years, Fred has provided, at his own expense, much-needed radio components to Amateurs all over the world including the Jamaican Red Cross.
He provided special QSL cards for the Canadian Amateur base station CI8C in support of the 1986 Canada/USSR Trans-Polar Ski Trek Expedition and also for CY3IARU, the Special Event Station at the IARU Region 2 Conference in Niagara Falls in September 1995.”
Fred Hammond, VE3HC SK
January-February 2000 TCA: In Memoriam
Fred Hammond, VE3HC, died peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Guelph on Sunday, November 7, 1999 after a long illness.
For over 60 years, Fred helped to build Hammond Manufacturing with his brothers Len, Roy and Ken into one of Canada’s oldest and largest electrical and electronic equipment manufacturer.
An Amateur for more than 70 years, Fred started building radios in 1923 and became a Radio Amateur in 1929. He was elevated to the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 1996 and – among other accolades – had been named Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year and was honoured by the Quarter Century Wireless Association for his 70 years. His contributions to Amateur Radio and Amateur Radio causes are legendary.
Fred and his long-time friend Tom Wong, VE7BC, were responsible for bringing China back on the air in 1983 with BY1PK. ARRL Executive Vice-President David Sumner, K1ZZ, recalled Fred as an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the ARRL. “Fred was one of our most loyal benefactors,” he said. “Hammond Manufacturing Company cabinets grace W1AW and the ARRL Lab through his beneficence.”
A favourite personal project of Fred’s was the Hammond Museum of Radio. It recently was reorganized and reopened to continue his vision of preserving the history of radio for present and future generations.
Fred was a founding member and Past-President of the Southern Ontario Chapter 73 of the Quarter Century Wireless Association. Through his leadership he built the local chapter to the largest chapter in the association.
January-February 2000 TCA: article on pages 16-17
Fred Hammond, VE3HC, receives the Hall of Fame Award from then QCWA President, Jack Kelleher, W4ZC, in October 1996.
John Iliffe, VA3JI, congratulates Fred Hammond, VE3HC, on being named as a Member of the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in May 1997.