Ontario Trilliums


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.

Canadian Amateur Radio Operators Association

CAROA logo
The Canadian Amateur Radio Operators’ Association began publishing its Official Journal called “XTAL” (ham nomenclature for crystal, a frequency determining device used in both transmitters and receivers) in March of 1935.  CAROA wished to offer a publication that exclusively expressed the views of Canadian Radio Amateurs and went to some length to assure everyone that it fully supported the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) then present in Canada as the Canadian Division of ARRL, and was a member of ARRL and also the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). “XTAL” was read both nationally and internationally.

“XTAL” appears to have been published from March, 1935 up to the Canadian declaration of war (WWII) or September 1939, and appears to have resumed publishing near the end of WWII in June of 1945 and continued up to December 1950. The final date is taken from a column by Bill Choat, VE3CO published in The Ontario Amateur, Vol. 1, No. 2, June 1966 pp 17 & 18. (See Radio Society of Ontario section of website.)

When Canada entered WWII in September, 1939, all Canadian Amateur Radio Operators were ordered off the air officially by the Government of Canada.

It is interesting to note that Canadian Amateur Radio Operators (as were other Amateurs world wide) were most anxious to resume operations as soon as possible once the war ended in August of 1945. Amateur frequencies were restored gradually and you may read about that in some of the issues of “XTAL”.

Please feel free to share any knowledge that you might have about this organization.

73 de Gord, VE3CNA, August 17, 2010. Updated December 13, 2010.


  1. Clive R. Oakes, VE3YB, of Toronto, Ontario, member of Quarter Century Wireless Association, (QCWA) Fred Hammond Chapter 73 for "XTAL" magazines.
  2. Bruce H. Underwood, VE3ANU, of Kitchener, Ontario, member of QCWA Fred Hammond Chapter 73, who told me about CAROA.
  3. Ken Grant, VE3FIT, Toronto, Ontario, for many issues of "XTAL" magazines that he acquired at a recent hamfest.
  4. Dana Shtun, VE3DS, Toronto, Ontario, for providing a copy of the "Getting Back On!" bulletin to Ken VE3FIT.
  5. Canada Science and Technology Museum/Musée des sciences et de la technologie du Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for a copy of XTAL Jr #2, April 1940

Continue reading Canadian Amateur Radio Operators Association

Radio Society of Ontario, Inc.

RSO Logo

On May 22, 1957, the Letters Patent incorporating the Ontario Amateur Radio Federation, Inc. was issued to Noel B. Eaton, VE3CJ, D. Alan Page, VE3XZ and A.K. Meen, VE3RX ( then VE3DAR ).  The organizational meeting of the Corporation was held in October, 1957, with Noel Eaton elected as the first President.  The by-laws of the Federation as then established provided for membership by recognized amateur radio clubs only, these clubs being represented at meetings of the Federation, each by a Trustee and an alternate Trustee. The clubs forming the original membership of the Federation were Oakville, North Shore, Metro, Westside, Wireless Association, and Nortown.These were subsequently joined by Peterborough, Brantford, Niagara Peninsula, Scarboro, Skywide and Hamilton. The Federation had annual and semi-annual meetings of the Trustees, and monthly meetings of the Executive Committees.   Considerable progress was made in the area of television interference, both diagnosis and treatment, and in submissions which ultimately resulted in the substantial improvement of television sets by the incorporation into all sets of a high pass filter, beginning with the 1961 model year.

At the semi-annual meeting of the Trustees in the fall of 1961 the Executive was authorized to explore the possibilities of amalgamation of the Ontario Amateur Radio Association and The Ontario Amateur Radio Federation, Inc. In April, 1962 as a result of these negotiations the two organizations were joined and the name was changed to Radio Society of Ontario, Inc. In the fall of 1962 the society sponsored the A.R.R.L. Ontario Section Convention.

In March, 1963, a By-law was passed which converted the membership in the Society from Clubs to individuals, and divided Ontario into districts as administered by D.O.T. (Department of Transport), the districts having representation roughly proportional to the amateur population of each district.  Thus Clubs were no longer members with voting privileges, but rather might become affiliated clubs provided 50% of their voting members were members of the Society.

Membership has grown year by year, and at the present time stands well beyond the 1000 mark.

The Society has become recognized over the years as the voice of the Ontario amateurs. It sponsors the Keith Russell Memorial Award for the highest scoring Club Field Day station, and is the voice of Ontario amateurs with D.O.T.  The society has a technical department which provides assistance to those members requiring it.

Source:  “From Spark to Space.  The Story of Amateur Radio in Canada", Published by: Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club, VE5AA, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1968, pp 89, 90.

Thanks to Ralph Cameron, VE3BBM and John Gilbert, VE3CXL for providing the December 1966 and 1985-1986 issues of The Ontario Amateur.

Continue reading Radio Society of Ontario, Inc.

Wireless Association of Ontario

The "Wireless Association of Ontario" was formed in 1912 and continued until around 1955 and meetings were held in the Electrical Building at the University of Toronto.   A radio course was offered and a station was established on 40 meters  ( 7 Mhz ) with a power of 4 watts using the call sign 9BZ followed by NC9BZ.  Contacts with similar stations in Europe and Australia were reported.   A call sign of VE3KI was mentioned in "Varsity" the student and University newspaper of February 1935.

F.G. Paterson 3JL was a delegate from the Wireless Association of Ontario at the first Canadian National Radio Convention, held September 8-9, 1922 at the Prince George Hotel (formerly the Rossin House Hotel) in downtown Toronto. Here is a photo of his delegate ribbon, courtesy of his grandson, Bob Paterson.


Canadian Amateur Radio had its first big convention at the Prince George Hotel in Toronto on the 8th and 9th of September (1922), under the auspices of the Wireless Association of Ontario. Several hundred radio amateurs attended the sessions. A good radio show and exhibit occupied stalls around the edge of the convention hall and in several adjoining rooms. Technical papers were presented at some of the meetings, an amateur gabfest was held and amateur work talked over. On the night of the 9th a banquet was held which will ever remain one of the bright spots in radio for those who attended it.

The various technical and business sessions were presided over by A. H. Keith Russell, president of the W.A.O.O. and A.R.R.L. Ontario Division Manager. Among others, papers were delivered by Mr. J. H. Thompson, chief engineer, Canadian Marconi Co., on Radio Transmission; Dr. NV. B. Cartmeal, Engineering Dept., Northern Electric Co., on the “N” Tube; and Dr. C. A. Culver, Research Dept., Can. Indep. Telephone Co. on recent radio developments.

New regulations had just been made for Canadian amateur radio a few days previously and Mr. Edwards made the, first official announcement during his talk.

C.W. was permitted specific wavelengths of 150, 175, 200, and 225; power limited to 1/2 K.W.; experimental “9” licenses, 275 meters. Provision is also made for an amateur broadcasting license, to be used especially in localities where there are no broadcasting stations, wavelength 250 meters. This class of license is to be issued only to duly organized associations, transferable by the club to any member thereof and good for operation during such hours as the club may determine. By this process the community is permitted to govern itself and there must be agreement.

Public broadcasting continues on 400 to 450 meters as present. (TA Canadian Convention, QST, November 1922, pp. 33-34.)

“The A.R.R.L. is operating in Canada at the request of leading Canadian amateurs, who realized that Canadian amateurs were not sufficient in number to maintain a relay organization through their own stations alone, nor could they finance a successful organization. The A.R.R.L. therefore has created Divisions in Canada, under Canadian Division Managers, exactly as in the States. A Canadian General Manager, Mr. A. H. Keith Russell, 9AL, supervises all their activities. By request it is doing what it can to help the amateurs of a sister country until they attain numbers sufficient to insure the success of an independent organization. The A.R.R.L. considers that it has a sacred trust in Canada and it proposes to safeguard that trust with all its ability.” (“CRRL,” QST, November 1923, p. 33.)

Source:   “From Spark to Space, The Story of Amateur Radio in Canada”   by Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club VE5AA”   published by Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club VE5AA, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1968, p. 29.

Here are some examples from the 1920s of a standard QSL card provided by the Wireless Association of Ontario. These images are courtesy of the K8CX Ham Gallery site and are reproduced with permission.

Wireless Association of Ontario standard QSL card from 3CO

Wireless Association of Ontario standard QSL card from 3DR

Wireless Association of Ontario standard QSL card from 3AT


On a personal note, I knew 3CO, Bill Choat, who became VE3CO and is now a silent key.  He was a prominent and active Amateur in Toronto and Ontario with great attention given to the Amateur Radio Program for the Blind sponsored by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.


“It soon became apparent that some regulation should be drawn up to keep the experimenters and operators within one general province. (sic) .

The Wireless Association of Ontario was formed in 1912 with about 50 unlicensed members. After several unsuccessful representations to the Government of Canada regarding license information, the Wireless Association of Ontario decided to issue station licenses to its own members. They also drafted a set of regulation for the guidance of the operators   A list of the operators with their station calls and regulations issued by the Wireless Association of Ontario is included herewith. The letter X denoted amateur status, the second letter the initial of the surnames with the same initial. Club meetings were held once a month in the YMCA in Toronto.


1.       All members agree to abide by the following rules:

2.      To use oscillation transformers, properly designed, for tuning all transmitting sets using step-up transformers and spark coil sets employing interrupters for current, and with ordinary spark coil sets, to use either the above or a condenser of small capacity in series with the aerial.

3.      To tune as closely as possible to one pure wave with hot-wire and wave meters, using at least 3 inch coupling.

4.      TO INTERFERE IN NO WAY WHATEVER WITH ANY COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT STATION, and not unduly with any other amateur station.

5.      To use the formula for calling another station as advised by the London Convention.

6.      To wait 5 minutes before repeating a call if one fails to get an answer.

7.      From 10 to 11 p.m. is reserved for long distance receiving.   Members should refrain from transmitting during this period.

8.      Stations to operate not more than half hour at a time, with half hour intermission.

9.      All station copy messages on Q.S.T.


Soon after this the Government of Canada saw the need of having all amateur radio activity under its jurisdiction and drew up a set of regulations.  These came into force in 1913-14.”

( Note:  All capital letters in Rules 4 and 10 as per original text. )

Source:   “From Spark to Space, The Story of Amateur Radio in Canada”   by Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club VE5AA”   published by Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club VE5AA, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1968, pp 6, 7, 8.

SARC 2m net, 2010-06-08


  • VE3PA       Bill
  • VA3SIF      Joy
  • VE3CNA    Gord
  • VE3ILG     Rahman
  • VA3IGD    Ian
  • VE3VXY   Ralph
  • VE3LEW  Cameron/ Dave
  • VE3ZXC   Ray
  • VA3PII     Jim
  • VE3OBU  Bert
  • VE3KCO  Earle
  • VA3RDR  Ron
Host:  VE3IEL   Bob
Call used VE3WE
Repeater:  VE3RPT