Lockhart, W.W. (Bill)

Signals Party at Steward City

Signals Party enroute to Dawson City and Mayo Landing in 1923

[ - Note from George Howell - ]

I have a bit of coincidental "trivia" to contribute to Michael's research and documentation of the NWT&Y Radio System.

I was a radio operator with Department of Transport in Whitehorse having arrived there with my family in 1957. In January 1960, I was transferred to Mayo and became one of 4 operators involved in the
handing over of the station from the Army to DoT in February.

Station Mayo then changed its designated call sign from VEB to VFM8. Dawson City then became VFD2. Whitehorse became VFW.

After 7 years in Mayo, I transferred to the Department of External Affairs, Communications Division in Ottawa. We were responsible for running the vast communications network between all the Canadian
embassies and High Commissions world-wide.

One day when in classroom, undergoing cryptography training as part of my indoctrination, my instructor told me that I was to report to "The Colonel" for an interview. The Colonel (none other than the former Sgt.Bill Lockhart in the MocTel photo) was the supreme commander of the total system and all of the communication centres. He had designed the whole network with a RCCS format and flavour.

So, with trepidation, I reported to his office as instructed. He invited me into his office and asked me to close the door. The conversation that followed took me totally by surprise. The first thing he asked me was to confirm (as he perused my file) that Mayo was my previous home, and when I assured him it was, he broke into a grin and asked if Archie Close and Joe Longton were still alive. He then
informed me that he was instrumental in the establishment of the Signal Station at Mayo, as well as other sites throughout the NWT&Y system back in the 1920's. And so, I had a very enjoyable half hour with The Colonel as everyone employed in the system referred to him.

This happened in 1967. I found it quite incredible that his recollections of people and places were still so prevalent in his mind.


George Howell
Westbank B.C.


Velox Versutus Vigilans