A.P. (Art) Stark

Joined the Department of Transport (DOT) in 1928

Retired from the Department of Communications (DOC) in 1972



Passed Away in 1989 - Scroll Down for Obituary  

Décès en 1989 - Avis de décès au bas de la page  



From the Desk of Art Stark VE3ZS
Consultant, DOC Liaison (Retired)

(c) The Canadian Amateur magazine

Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.

CARF Publications

Reprinted with permission


My first interest in 'wireless' occurred somewhere around 1918 when I was given an E.D. Gilbert 'do-it-yourself wireless set'. It consisted of a buzzer (the transmitter) and a small piece of galena crystal and a single ear piece (the receiver). It was powered by a single No.6 dry cell. There was some 50 feet of number 18 wire for the 'aerial'. The only problem was that there was no one else within several hundred miles who had even hear of "wireless'. I managed to have the buzzer make noises in the ear piece, but couldn't figure out why a piece of rock had been included in the package!


While attending high school in Victoria, B.C., I built and sold broadcasting receivers, but it was not until 1930, after two years of 'pounding brass' at sea that I got my first Amateur licence- VE5AE. (The '5' call sign area then consisted of Alberta and British Columbia.) It was not until 1935 that I finally got on the air- 80-metre phone with a pair of RK-25s running about 12 watts. Before that I was stationed at remote government coast stations and the 'power-that-be' thought I might interfere with their 1 kW low frequency circuits!


Operations on 80 metres really picked up when I was transferred to Vancouver and later (1937) to the first aeronautical radio beacons in the interior of British Columbia. At that time I was an original member of the '5 o'clock Net' which operated 365 days a year and was the nucleus of the B.C. Red Cross Emergency Net, operating on 3850 Kcs, phone or CW as conditions dictated. Then came WWII and the end of Amateur Radio for a few years.


Professionally, I started off pounding brass for the Canadian Marconi Co. in 1928 and for two years rolled back and forth on freighters across the North Pacific and up and down the West Coast and even through the Panama Canal to New York. Then I joined the Government Radio Service, first on Fishery patrol vessels on the West Coast, then three years on a direction­finding station. I spent a year on loan to the RCMP for their marine activities on the B.C. coast, back to DF and coast stations for another couple of years and then to a year of 'babysitting' transmitters in Vancouver.


In 1937 Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) started flights across Canada. This necessitated navigational aids and the Department of Transport, Air Services, was formed to install and operate these facilities. I was lucky enough to be appointed Officer-in­Charge of the one at Grand Forks, B.C. was the first of a multitude of '4­course radio ranges', then the latest in navigational aids, to go on the air in Canada.


Three years later I found myself flying bombers (Catalinas and Hudsons) across the North Atlantic with the Canadian Pacific Air Services which eventually became the RAF Ferry Command and then 45 Group, RAF. Back brass pounding again but this time above instead of on the sea. I was a Flight Radio Officer on the first delivery flight of a PBY5 Catalina flying boat, from Dartmount, N.S. to Greenock, Scotland in January 1941- 18 hours flying time!


In January 1942 I found myself back on the West Coast again, this time in charge of the radio range station at Sidney Island, B.C., which served the airport at Patricia Bay (now Victoria International Airport). Twenty months later I was given a 'temporary' transfer to Headquarters in Ottawa.


My new work in Ottawa consisted chiefly of laying the foundations for standardization of operating practices. Procedures had to be developed and instructional manuals written. Liaison was maintained with our 'opposite number' in the U.S. to ensure compatibility. This led to a number of years of international conferences with the Canadian delegations at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) where the Canadian radio procedures were accepted as the basis for world wide radiotelegraph, radiotelephone and teletype communications procedures and practices in the civil aeronautical field.


In a re-organization of the Department of Transport in 1955, I moved from the operational to the regulatory service and became the Chief Examiner responsible for setting Canadian standards for all classes of Radio Operator certificates and to ensure their compatibility with the ITU regulations. Later, in 1958, the position was expanded to include overall supervision of the suppression of Interference Service, the Inspection Service and the Monitoring Service. In 1968 I moved with the Radio Regulation Division to the newly formed Department of Communications. I retired in 1972 as Superintendent of Enforcement.


I left the DOC in February 1972 and in May was invited to attend a meeting of the CARF Executive. It sounded interesting, since I was just getting back into Amateur activities again, so I went along, It was only then that I found I was being co-opted as the liaison link between CARF and my old shop, the DOC.


Current Amateur operation is mainly on 2-metres with spasmodic excursions to the lower bands under the call sign VE3ZS.


Obituary  -  Avis de décès

A.P. (Art) Stark

1908 - 1989


Art Stark VE3ZS Silent Key

(c) The Canadian Amateur magazine

Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.

CARF Publications

Reprinted with permission



Art Stark



Amateurs across Canada will be sorry to learn that Art Stark VE3ZS passed away in Ottawa on June 6 at the age of 81. He was well-known across the country, especially on the West Coast where he had spent a number of his early years with the then Department of Transport. Most Amateurs in Canada's capital knew the call VE3ZS belonged to Art Stark, who faithfully monitored the regional repeater, VE2CRA, for many years. He was always quick to respond to a call for assistance and played an active part in more than one local serious emergency.


Art retired in 1972 from the Department of Communications and then put his vast knowledge of its operations and regulations at the disposal of Canadian Amateurs. He became the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation's liaison officer with the DOC and wrote the first handbook on Amateur radio regulations, published by CARF and widely used by Amateur classes.


That task was a familiar one to Art as he had developed a series of procedural manuals for DOC radio operators and inspectors and standards for all classes of radio operators' certificates during his years with the Department of Transport and latterly when it took over the communications sector of DOT. As Chief Operations Supervisor for DOT, Art was responsible for the training programs for radio inspectors and participated in many international conferences with the International Civil Aviation Organization on aeronautical communication procedures.


Art spent 30 years with DOT and DOC head offices in Ottawa. His dozen years with DOT as a radio operator on West Coast ships, coast and radio range stations served him well in his work. World War II saw him serving as a wireless op in the famous Ferry Command which he survived after many hazardous trans-Atlantic flights delivering aircraft to Britain.


He was born in the U.K. but his family settled in the Kootenay Valley of B.C. His first Amateur station was in that province in 1930, VE5AE, where he was active on the Red Cross Emergency Net. This interest in the usefulness of Amateurs in emergency and public service nets ensured Art's participation in such activities. One unique activity which Art headed up during the past few years was the provision of a half­dozen cps to provide radio communication for the emergency management training courses for municipal and provincial officials at the national Emergency Preparedness Canada College at Arnprior, Ontario.


His friends were not confined to this continent, as on his trips to Australia he obtained a VK call and kept up his contacts with Aussie Amateurs and their national Amateur organization whose problems were similar to many of our own.


Art's contribution to Amateur radio in this country was a significant one and he will indeed be missed by his legion of friends and those with whom he worked to build the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation.         


Related Links

1988 - CARF honours Art Stark VE3ZS