Started in 1911 - Retired in 1951
Department's Radio Chief Retires After 40 years of Service
(From Jack's own scrap book of clippings,
thanks to Ian Haynes and Frank Stratham)
A man who has watched at close hand the tremendous growth of radio for 40 years
retired yesterday after serving that length of time with the radio branch of the
Federal Department of Transport.
He is W.J. Bowerman who, since 1938 has served here as the district
superintendent for the Transport Department's radio division. His offices are
located on the fourth floor of the Belmont Building.
Born in Hampshire, England, Mr Bowerman came to Canada 41 years ago, and for a
short time worked on the railways on the Prairies before coming to Victoria. His
firs job here was that of ship wireles operator aboard the C.P.R. Tees -- a
small vessel which plied the Island's West Coast.
Starting his carreer with the Government service in 1911, Mr Bowerman was posted
as a third-class radio operator at the old Gonzaless Hill station. Between 1911
and 1922 he served at practically all Government radio stations along the
British Columbia coast.
" Radio and radio communications were certainly different, if not actually
crude, in those days " Mr. Bowerman states " It was the day of spark
transmitters and crystal detector receivers. Use of the vacuum tube for radio
purposes was something yet to come."
BACK HERE IN 1938
In 1925 he was transferred to Vancouver to serve as the department's radio
inspector for British Columbia. Thirteen years later, in 1938, he returned to
this city to become district superintendent, succeeding E.J. Haugton.
As district superintendent, Jack -- as he is known to his innumerable friends
along tyhe entire coast of British Columbnia -- has been directly responsible
for all Government coast radio stations, radio beacon stations, the inspection
of radio facilities of ships and aircraft, private radio stations, the
collection of radio licences, as well as the investigation of interference to
radio reception. The area under his jurisdiction covered the entire British
His department has played a leading role in the development of radio as it
applies to the safety of life at sea.
Succeeding Mr. Bowerman in the office which has a staff of approximately 150
persons scattered along the coast, will be A.L. Gray who has worked closely with
Mr. Bowerman for many years.
The retiring radio veteran was honored by a group of his colleagues yesterday
morning. In a few days he will leave for a six-month visit to England where he
will visit friends and relatives.
Upon his return to Victoria, he plans to devote much time to his two hobbies:
prospecting and golf.