Al Wastle


Joined the Department of Transport (DOT) in 1956. Retired from the Department of Communications (DOC) in 1990.

Entra au Ministère des transports (DOT) en 1956. Retraité du Ministère des communications (MDC) en 1990.


Adapted for the web from personal exchanges , November 2008


I got into radio almost by accident....for I was a dragline operator in 55 and that line of work on the prairies ended with the cold weather so every winter  was unemployed.


An ad for radio operators in the Winnipeg paper got me interested and as I had always been interested in radio communication, I applied and managed to get through all the paper work etc...and took my training at the Winnipeg Technical Institute...forerunner of Red River College..


From radio school  in 1956,  I really didn't want to get into range operating so I was posted to the monitoring station in Winnipeg , Duke Coutanche (sp) was the OIC and Fred Eyolfson, Charlie Custanche and I were the operators.


I got married and applied for Northern duty and was sent to the Ionosphere Station in Baker Lake NWT., spent the winter of 58/59 there and when the Ionosphere section closed down I was sent to the Ionosphere station in Churchill...spent 59/60/61 there and came south to the Ionosphere station in Headingly MB....spent 61/62/63 there and then got posted to Kenora range station...


Followed a promotion to Melville monitoring station in 64... I don't know much about the building itself, a brick construction, no basement, a large operating room and a nice workshop. I had been in operation for some time when I got there . I left in 66 and it closed just a few years after that but I don't know the exact date... maybe in the 70's.


Howie Hitchcock was the OIC at the time and some of the operators were Bill Lowe and John Howard (not really sure of the last name) ...the operators came and went (like me) so the names haven't stuck but how many shifts were open depended on how many were there at any given time.


I finally got promoted to Radio Inspector in the summer of 66 in Winnipeg and spent the rest of my career there, working my way up to the Regional office as an EL6  in spectrum management until retirement in 1990.


Some I worked with are Stan Davis, Jack Prodanuk, Alf Northam with whom I am still in contact, Wayne Hay, Eric Shea and Harold Pengelly .


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