DOT Radio Operator Alumni Update
By John Gilbert
The basic list of Radio Alumni on the current RadioAlumni.ca / SpectrAlumni.ca and DOTRadiomuster web sites was created from a search through some radio amateur call books, most particularly 1954. The radio amateur call books are a good source for DOT Radio Operator names for two reasons:
1. Commercial radio operators (First and Second Class), were automatically given a radio amateur call sign and were listed in the call books;
2.The majority of DOT stations were in remote or semi-remote areas and the addresses of the radio operators were often the address of the DOT station itself, making it easy to identify DOT operators.
There are several caveats. It is unclear, prior to about 1951, whether all radio amateurs were listed or whether one had to submit details to the Call Book to be listed. There are many names missing from the call book entries of people that I know were active amateurs at the time. Further, the call books are about six months behind in the listing and often continue to list long after an operator had left the station. This is true, for example, in my own case (Eureka, VE8OW) where I am still listed three years after I had left Eureka. On northern stations there were often radio amateurs (met techs, RCMP, military, clergy, HBC employees) who were not DOT operators. I have not shown these individuals where they are known to me, but several names on the list are undoubtedly not ROs, even though they are on the stations.
The following, using new sources, is an update to the earlier list. This past winter (2014-15) a number of call books became available. Two of them, 1922 and 1926, are accessible on the Web. The 1936-37 call book was loaned to me by Radio Amateurs of Canada. Five call books came up on eBay and I purchased them for my own collection (1932, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1951). Sadly the postage from the US increased not long after I made the purchase and the cost of postage is now three times the value of the books themselves, so that source may not be economical in future.
I have made use of other sources such as QST, XTAL (1938-47) and radio club lists such as the Lakehead Amateur Radio Club 1952 listing (which shows amateurs working on DOT stations at Armstrong, Nakina and Graham).
Finally, I have made use of my personal knowledge of individuals where I know they were working with DOT but their address is not a DOT station. By far the most complete and useful source is the 1951 call book which seems to have been compiled from an official DOT list.
It appears that the names of stations changed over the years (London, Ontario for example, used to be called Crumlin). Some of the stations (Alert Bay?) may have been military, and not DOT. I do not know, for example, if there was ever a DOT station at Pangnirtung. There are numerous instances of identical stations being given different postal addresses. There are several curiosities which might be worth further research (e.g. Radio Field Station, Billings Bridge, Ottawa, 1951). No attempt has been made to sort out the various stations in large cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Hopefully, if the lists are posted on the web sites, some of these anomalies can be resolved and, perhaps an accurate station list developed.
Note: The range of years shown in brackets are the dates of the source (call books, QST etc). The actual dates are subject to the caveats given above. “Guesses” are shown in square brackets.
24 July 2015
Note: This update by John Gilbert has been integrated into Roll Call.