Angus Joseph (Joe) MacPherson



He worked as a Radioman in the Royal Canadian Navy and as a Communicator in the Department of External Affairs.
He transferred to the Department of Communications (DOC) in 1970 and worked in Emergency Telecommunications.

Il a travaillé comme radioman dans la Marine royale canadienne et comme communicateur au ministère des Affaires extérieures. Il a transféré au Ministère des communications (MDC) en 1970 et a travaillé dans les télécommunications d'urgence.


From correspondence with Joe

Laval January 2006

Hi Laval:


I hail from Antigonish, Nova Scotia and in 1962 joined the RCN at age 19.  After basic training in Cornwallis, I was made a Sonarman against my objections and was posted to HMCS Fort Erie which was in dry dock in the Dartmouth slips and went absolutely nowhere except to work-ups in and around St. Margaret's Bay near Halifax. 


I made THREE separate requests for a transfer to radio and while each was recommended by the CO's of Fort Erie, the Commodore's office refused, so I had to resort to political means through my MP.  I was successful and ended up back in Cornwallis at the radio school. [Where I got my first HAM ticket].


After getting out of the radio school, I was posted to HMCS Cape Scott in Halifax and just before the ship left for Easter Island, I was transferred to HMCS Granby - the diving tender in Dartmouth and served on short runs in two of the YMT diving tenders.  While on HMCS Granby I worked - for a short time with Neil Parent who later joined DOC.  Neil was a Leading Seaman at the time.  I think Neil wound up in the Saint John DOC office as I recall.

In 1966, I requested a release from the Navy and was again refused - once again I requested the intervention of my MP who actually went to Paul Hellier, then Minister of National Defence, and
I was released after yet another Ministerial Inquiry.  [I actually had lunch with my MP and Mr. Hellier in the Parliamentary dining room - an experience that was quite unique for a young fellow like me]. 


I had won a competition with the Department of External Affairs and subsequently moved to Ottawa (East Block on Parliament Hill) as a Communicator.  In March 1967 I was posted to New Delhi, India and in 1968 cross-posted to the Embassy in Washington DC. 


While at Cornwallis I got my ham ticket as VE1AHC, and in India as VU2AHC.  In Washington I was VE1AHC/W3 in Chevy Chase, Maryland just outside Washington DC. 

In January 1970 I came back to Canada and worked for External Affairs until December when I won a competition to work as an Administrative Officer in the Department of Communications.  One of the interviewers was none other than Cecil Kenny, who was then Head of Radio Regulations under Al Hewitt (another ex-RCMP Marine Communicator - now living near Toronto.  He in turn worked for a Ted Argue who reported to the Director General, none other than our own Bill Wilson - VE3NR I believe.

Later on I worked with Michel Milot in Emergency Telecommunications and was involved in quite a bit of planning in relation to the BC Earthquake Plan and on the NATO CCPC circuit.

Just as an aside, the reference to Henry Klain at Swissair was interesting because I was the fellow who applied for the licence for the UHF repeater and portables which Henry authorized.  I still volunteer for Red Cross and was there just hours after Swissair 111 crashed into the Atlantic.  Some of my accounts of that night can still be found on the internet if you enter my name (Joe MacPherson). 

In any case, BRAVO for the excellent web page . . . I will read through EVERY bit of it.

Thanks for the opportunity to fill in these few details.


Joe MacPherson, VE1CH
Shad Bay, N.S. (near Peggy's Cove)

January 2006


Update:  Joe moved from Shad Bay to Halifax in 2015. He now lives not far from my QTH in Clayton Park West.... We are almost neighbours...

Donald Courcy, Webmaster...26 March 2017


Obituary - Avis de décès

Angus Joseph (Joe) MacPherson

December 2, 1942 - April 6, 2024


Angus Joseph (Joe) MacPherson, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Passed away peacefully in the Palliative Care Unit of the Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, NS on April 6, 2024 at the age of 81 after a hard fought battle with Colon Cancer. Loving husband of Joy (Findlay) MacPherson for 46 years. Angus Joseph (Joe) MacPherson was born, December 2nd, 1942, eldest son of the late Angus Roderick and the late Esther Eunice (MacGillivray) MacPherson of Georgeville, Antigonish County, NS.

Joe attended St. Andrew Rural High School in Antigonish and in 1962 at the age of 19, joined the Royal Canadian Navy. He served on the HMCS Fort Erie, Cape Scott and Granby (Diving Tender) as a Radioman. In 1966 he was honourably released from the RCN and joined the then Department of External Affairs as a Communicator. He served in New Delhi, India, and Washington DC before returning to Ottawa in January 1970.

In 1963, Joe became a licensed amateur radio operator with the call sign VE1AHC (Halifax, NS) he also held call signs, VU2AHC (New Delhi, India), VE1AHC/W3 (Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA) VE3CAT (Orleans, Ontario) and VE1CH (Halifax, NS.) In 1970 Joe won a competition with the then Department of Communications, as an Administrative Services officer, (AS) Joe worked in the Cable TV Section as well as in the Radio Regulatory Division and the Emergency Telecommunications Division. He was the Department’s representative to the NATO Civil Communications Planning Committee (CCPC-WG) and attended many meetings and conferences in Europe and elsewhere.

In 1990, Joe earned a BA (History) from the University of Waterloo. After retiring from the Public Service, he and Joy moved to Shad Bay, NS, in 1996. They relocated to Halifax in 2016.

He has two sons, Kenneth Richard and Brian Joseph from his first marriage to the late June Florence Storey of Greater Napanee ON.

His second marriage was to Joy Elizabeth Grace (Findlay) MacPherson of Dumfries, Scotland and Ottawa. Joe adopted Joy’s daughter Catherine.

In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by his brother Richard, brother-in-law, D.G. MacIsaac both of Antigonish.

Surviving are; his wife Joy, daughter Catherine (Eugene Violette) Cole Harbour NS, sons Ken, Belleville ON and Brian (Angela), Greater Napanee ON, sisters Elizabeth Ann (late D.G. MacIsaac), Ottawa ON, and Lynn Marie (Shawn Kennedy), Fairmont, NS and Brother Len (Patricia) Orleans ON. As well as 6 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Joe was an active volunteer for more than 43 years. He spent many years as a volunteer with Ottawa-Carleton Emergency Measures Organization (RMOC-EMO) and after moving to NS, another 20 years as a volunteer with Halifax Regional EMO, Joe taught at the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College (CEPC) at Arnprior, Ontario (visiting lecturer). He also volunteered for more than 30 years with the Canadian Red Cross in Ottawa and Halifax.

Joe was an active member of the Ontario Provincial Police Auxiliary (Ottawa/Rockland Detachments) for 13 years and concluded his service with the OPP as an Auxiliary Inspector. He then established the Auxiliary Police Unit in what was then the Gloucester Police Service (now part of Ottawa Police) and was their first and only Auxiliary Inspector.

Joy and Joe traveled extensively and visited many countries in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. They visited every state in the USA (except Alaska) and drove across the USA several times. They also visited every Province in Canada.

Cremation has already taken place. At Joe’s request, there will be no visitation or service. If desired, donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Society.

Special thanks to family physician Dr. Harris Crooks (retired), and Ophthalmologist, Dr. Arif Simad for their many years of excellent care. Finally thanks to Dr. Ikenna Ezeamah, Dr. Lee as well as the Palliative Care Unit, (Halifax) for their sensitive kindness during Joe’s final hours.

Links   -   Liens

Field Day - June 27,  1992  -  The Minister On The Air


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