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

by Joe MacPherson, VE1CH

- - - - - - Standing left to right - - - - - -

Dan Holmes (local amateur – not a DOC person)

Michel Milot, Manager of Emergency Telecommunications and former RI Quebec Region

Ray Perrin, P. Eng. DOC HQ

Jim Cummings, DOC Standards Officer DOC HQ

Bob Jones, Director-General Telecom Regs DOC HQ

- - - - - - Seated left to right - - - - - -

Hugh Clark, Standards Officer, DOC HQ

Perrin Beatty MP and Minister of Communications.

 

Perrin Beatty was the Minister of Communications in The Mulroney cabinet. In 1991, he was asked to attend Field Day by a ham club in his constituency and was pleased to attend since he had always had an interest in becoming an amateur radio operator.

 

In 1992, he had THREE invitations from three different clubs in his area.  He felt he couldn’t attend all three but didn’t want to disappoint anyone, so he took the issue to the Senior Staff meeting at DOC.

 

George Zurakowski,  P. Eng. was in attendance at that meeting and offered a suggestion which Beatty seemed to like.  George said that since we have an amateur station in the DOC headquarters building, why not talk to a “whole bunch of hams” all over Canada.  If he had stopped there, I would have been spared of a task that I did not need.  He told Beatty that he knew just the person who would likely agree to set this up. YUP, you guessed it. Little old me!

 

At the time, my wife and I were in San Antonio/Corpus Christi, Texas on vacation.

 

When I got back on Monday, George called me to come to his office and sheepishly told me what he had done, and that I would be getting a call from the Minister’s office to discuss the details.

 

Sure enough, I got a call from a young constituency assistant, by the name of John Baird (Yes, the “bulldog” MP from Ottawa and later Minister himself).  Baird said that he had set up a meeting  for Tuesday at 10 am, for me to meet and brief the Minister. Needless to say, I did some scrambling and brainstorming to come up with a plan. 

 

The meeting took place on schedule in the Minister’s office.  He was very cordial and served me a flavored coffee. (I detest flavored coffee but drank it anyway).  The 20 minute briefing turned into 45 minutes as I explained how he was going to be able to talk to so many people.  He was very interested and confided in me, “that he always wanted to be an amateur radio operator but could never find the time”.

 

I explained to him that I would not be personally present since I would be in Detroit, Michigan, for the weekend but that I would make sure he was taken care of.

 

Over the next few days I got hold of some movers and shakers in the HAM world mostly in Ontario and the Maritimes and had them spread the word to various Field Day stations in particular, as well as others.

 

Jim Cummings, and Hugh Clark, both DOC Standards Officers and former RI’s, took the ball and ran with it.

 

I was told when I got back from Detroit, that the Minister was in his glory and was very pleased.  He spoke to MANY amateur radio operators.  I tried to find the thank you letter he sent me but it was not to be found.

 

Cheers,

 

Joe MacPherson, VE1CH

May 12, 2017

 

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