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J.A. (Jack) Gervais

Joined the Department of Marine and Fisheries in 1927

Retired from the Department of Transport in 1967

 
 

 

Jack Gervais, right, receives a retirement gift and congratulations from Lorne Greenwood, regional superintendent of radio regulations for Toronto. Mrs. Gervais is at centre.

Retirement didn't last long for J. A. (Jack) Gervais.

 

Within a month after the Canadian radio pioneer wound up a 40-year career with D.O.T., he had "signed on" as a radio officer with the Upper Lakes Shipping Company vessel "Cape Breton Minor" and sailed for Rotterdam.

 

During his lengthy career, which ended in a testimonial dinner held in October, Mr. Gervais spent the last 27 years in Kitchener, Ont., as inspector in charge of the radio regulations office.

 

Mr. Gervais began in radio in 1925 when he attended the Marconi Marine School of Wireless Telegraphy in Toronto.

His first job was with the Canadian Marconi Company, after which he joined the government service on June 1, 1927, on the Coast Guard ship "Lady Laurier" at Dartmouth, N.S. Later he was transferred to the Red Head direction-finding station at Saint John, N.B., and Canso, N.S., direction-finding station.

 

In Sept. 1927, he was sent to establish and serve at the first government marine radio station at Churchill, Man. A year later he was transferred to Amery, Man., at the then end of steel of the Hudson Bay Railway.

 

Mr. Gervais came to the "outside" for an extended vacation in October 1928, then received an assignment to the Coast Guard ship "Mikula," an icebreaker based at Quebec City.

 

He was posted to headquarters Ottawa in December 1928, where he operated radio station VAA which communicated with stations on Hudson Bay and Hudson Straits. A year later, he was transferred to the Ottawa traffic section and from this position moved to the radio inspection and interference staff.

 

In 1937, Mr. Gervais was appointed radio inspector in charge of the Ontario radio regulations office in Kingston. Two years later, he was appointed to the Kitchener office.

 

Guests at Mr. Gervais' retirement party included H. R. Nason and V. J. R. Brister, both retired regional superintendents of radio regulations.

 

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