THE ONTARIO TRILLIUMS (VE3TOT)
While the majority of amateur radio operators appear to be of the male variety, it is not confined exclusively to this sex. There is an increasing number of ladies joining the forces and making a name for themselves in this field. Organizations exclusively for YL operators have only recently come into existence.
The Ontario Trilliums evolved out of a group of YL operators discussing the possibility of a Canadian YL Club at a dinner meeting of the Scarborough Amateur Radio Club. No formal action was taken at that time, but the girls began to meet on the air on Saturday afternoons. They called themselves the Ontario CW YL net.
Eventually the YLs met for the purpose of formally organizing a YL radio club. Jan Burgess, VE3BII, was elected the first president. Other members of the executive were Doree Butler, VE3EUV, Jean Evans, VE3DGG, Ivy Smythe VE3EZI, Doris Cody, VE3BBO, and Doris Taylor, VE3FRN. They decided to call themselves The Ontario Trilliums. The call letters VE3TOT were applied for and received. A constitution was drawn up. The aim of the Club was to further the fellowship and activities of women sharing the common bond of amateur radio. All licenced women amateur radio operators were eligible for membership, and ladies simply interested in amateur radio would also be welcomed.
In order to create a greater interest in the Club, as well as to publicize the organization, a TOT certificate was made available. With the help of some of the OMs around the district they got established financially, and also acquired their own QSL cards.
In June, 1966, the Trilliums, not to be outdone by their male counterparts, took part in the A.R.R.L. field day.
The 1967 elections saw the first executive member outside of VE3 land elected. She was Chris Weeks, VE1AKO. The Club again took part in the annual Field Day, and in a very enthusiastic manner manned three complete stations.
In the past the Trilliums have taken an active interest in the CNIB hams. As their Centennial project it was decided that they would like to branch out into a truly Canadian organization. After some thorough investigation, meetings via amateur radio and questionnaires, the Canadian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (CLARA) was formed in September, 1967. This has turned out to be a National organization, with members from every province in Canada participating. The President of CLARA is Chris Weeks, VE1AKO, with executive members Donez Booth, VE6ATH, Jan Burgess, VE3BII, Marion Inkman, VE7BQV, Sally Ranti, VE2KO, Bubbles Timlick, VE4ST, Vera Hines, VE8HH and Thelma Woodhouse, VE3CLT. No doubt in the next few years we will be hearing a good deal about CLARA.
The Trilliums have not “closed up shop” but are continuing as an affiliated club of CLARA. The executive of the Ontario Trilliums are encouraging their members to become part of the National Organization.
Source: “From Spark to Space, The Story of Amateur Radio in Canada”, published by Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club VE5AA, 1968, pp 117, 118.
The call sign, VE3TOT has been re-issued.
Handicraft art produced by an unknown member of the TOTs. From the collection of Gordon Hogarth, VE3CNA, Toronto, Ontario.