- Note from George Howell - ]
a bit of coincidental "trivia" to contribute to Michael's research
and documentation of the NWT&Y Radio System.
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.
Mayo then changed its designated call sign from VEB to VFM8. Dawson City
then became VFD2. Whitehorse became VFW.
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.
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.
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.
happened in 1967. I found it quite incredible that his recollections of
people and places were still so prevalent in his mind.