before Coderre departed we packed up the 1 K.W. transmitter without
any regrets whatever, and shipped tit to Mayo, while we welcomed
the return of another Signals transmitter, modified for A.C. operation,
known as the SITD. 500C, together with its own rectifier unit the
Signals RE.6 using a 4 866A rectifier valves. 1939 also brought
us an official issue, for the first time, of that mechanical dot
maker and fast operators delight known as a "bug". For
years we had used our own personal machines, but more or less unofficially
because for some time they were frowned upon, if not actually forbidden,
until they became a recognized necessity and actual issue to certain
stations about 1936.
war years passed us by with hardly a noticeable ripple to mar our
normal routine; one or two war-time restrictions and precautions
were introduced, such as special coding of meteorological reports,
and the censoring of all messages handled etc., and that was about
all. But general business gradually picked up despite the war time
slump from the prosperous, near-boom years of 1935 to 1939.
Reid took time off in August 1941 to get married; and we fired our
civilian messenger in August 1942 and enlisted Sigmn. Alex Low locally.
Alex not only excelled as a lowly messenger but soon turned into
a first class brass pounder and meteorologist to relieve the strain
in those departments formerly presided over exclusively by Heath
1943 we acquired Sigmn. Bill Hunka to further increase the operating
staff and make things more pleasant and efficient for all concerned.
With Bill we also received a Jeep, which arrived almost unannounced
in August, and almost disorganized and disrupted the entire community
in addition to Radio Station schedules and routine, as all and sundry
inspected, admired and tested it. But, much to our sorrow and regret,
we had to send the Jeep back to Whitehorse in October. It was a
great loss and was mourned and lamented for weeks. By now we were
handling six meteorological readings and schedules daily - at 3
am, 6:30 am, 9 am, Noon, 3 pm and 9 pm., so that the advent of Hunka
to the staff came none too soon.
April 1944 Heath went to Edmonton for medical attention and hospitalization,
following which he enjoyed 28 days furlough - the first in 11 long
years - before returning to Dawson about end of June. He missed
all the excitement and turmoil of a GOC's inspection of the station
conducted by Maj. Gen. McKenzie and staff on April 28th; and more
upheaval and uproar occasioned by our third flood early in May.
flood was by far the worst experienced in Dawson. The water reached
a height of 13 " in the operating room on May 9th, (about 3"
higher than the 1925 inundation) but, thanks to valiant and strenuous
efforts on the part of station personnel, failed to damage any vital
equipment which was either removed to safety and operated elsewhere,
or lifted and cached on tables and counter high above the water
level. To assist in every way possible during the