To commemorate the special occasion, today’s issue of The Winnipeg Free Press (Saturday, June 1, 2019) includes a feature article by David Sanderson about the club:
Ham it up:
“As its 100th anniversary approaches, the Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club is showing why in an age of instant communication, there is still room to kick it old school. Ham radio has been around for over 100 years, and the Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club almost as long.”
The article provides an overview of Amateur Radio through the experiences of club members Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA, Barry Malowanchuk, VE4MA, and Bill Fleury, VE4BEF, and touches on the Amateur Radio Emergency Services, Radiosport and their support of community events including the upcoming Manitoba Marathon on June 16.
The Winnipeg ARC’s website features a page entitled “A Brief History Of The Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club” which includes the following:
“The first Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club was apparently formed in 1919 but its history has been lost in the mists of time. The following historic milestones and events have been gleaned from scraps of minutes and other sources collated by Ed Henderson, VE4YU.
June 13, 1952: The Amateur Radio League of Manitoba (ARLM) constitution was created. Mike Pura, VE4MP, was Honorary President and Stuart Richard Talbot was President.
June 1955: Five radio enthusiasts formed the club Amateur Radio Bugs of Winnipeg. None of the founding members were licensed at the time. In November of 1955, Ronald B. Adamson became the club’s first license holder as VE4TA. The second licensed member was Ralph, who became VE4SX in December. Meetings were held at Ronald Adamson’s home at 467 Burnell St. and by January, 1956 there were 10 members. In January of 1958 the active membership was over 25 and the club was meeting in the Free Press building. In June, 1958 the club held its first ARRL Field Day. Circa 1958/59 the club became the ‘Winnipeg Amateur Radio Association’.
August 1966: The Manitoba Association of Radio Clubs (MAARC) was formed and it’s first meeting was held on January 26, 1967. Mike Pura, VE4MP, was the Chairman.
September 2, 1967: The Canadian Amateur Radio Confederation (CARF) was formed in Winnipeg by delegates from Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. Acting President was Jim Roik, VE4UX and Secretary/Treasurer was Jim Couprie, VE4CS. CARF merged with the Canadian Radio Relay League (CRRL) in 1994 and formed Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), our current national body
January 8, 1968: The present day Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club (WARC) was formed by the amalgamation of the Amateur Radio League of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Amateur Radio Association, and the Bison Amateur Radio Club. Since its inception, the WARC has been a strong presence in the Winnipeg Amateur Radio community and currently has approximately 280 members.”
Former WARC President Bill Karle, VE4KZ (now VE1YY), added the following events to the history:
“The proudest achievements were:
1) Resurrecting the Club from near oblivion. Active participation had dropped so much that only a dozen or so hams came to meetings where people argued about the Minutes of the prior meeting!
By instituting a method whereby decisions were taken in Executive Session before the meeting and ratified if necessary at AGM, the monthly meeting of members could focus on education, information, entertainment, and fellowship. This meant that we had to develop a slate of speakers for almost every meeting.
2) We competed for and won the hosting rights for the last Canadian Radio Relay League Convention ever held.
CRRL later became part of the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation (CARF) the precursor to the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC).
The Convention was held in 1989 on August 18, 19, and 20 at a hotel near the airport (it still is there but has been renamed at least twice).
Mayor Bill Norrie and I knew each other from other civic projects. I asked him if the City would recognize the upcoming CRRL convention event. He declared the week of August 14 to 20 as ‘Amateur Radio Week’.”