History of Delta Amateur Radio Society

by Clay Jones VE7CUW

I have been asked to provide what information I can with regards to the origination and formulation of our Society. I have long ago reached that station in life where memory is not what it used to be, so I will do what I can. Who knows what little facets of memory may be dragged up. Possibly I might even surprise myself.

Wilf Whitworth (VE7WJW), one of the better known Hams in Delta in the late 70’s was approached by the Municipality of Delta regarding the formulation of a group of Radio Amateurs in Delta to provide an Emergency Communications Network to work with the Municipality’s Emergency Measures Organization. It was on this theme that about one hundred and forty hams met at a school in East Delta.

Subsequently an inaugural meeting of some 22 interested Hams met at the Tsawwassen Jr. Secondary School at 8 p.m. on October 8, 1980 under the chairmanship of Glen Betts (VE7CXJ). (Glen was a United Church Minister in Ladner.) Discussion centered about the form that subsequent meetings should take and where they should be held. The meeting ended up with a bunch of do’s and don’ts for later meetings. This Assembly did not think it prudent to formally elect a slate of officers and it was agreed on that four persons should be appointed to act as an interim executive for a period of three months.

A letter written by Clay to a newspaper describing one of the first field days.

A letter written by Clay to a newspaper describing our second field day in 1982.
Click the image to enlarge.

Selected Were:

  • Jim …. VE7CEZ (North Delta)
  • Ted Pattison VE7JH (Ladner)
  • Glen Betts VE7CXJ (Ladner)
  • Wilf Whitworth VE7WJW (Tsawwassen)

Of some interest the Do’s and Don’ts at this time included: business meetings were to be quarterly; workshop meetings are to be informal, learning, brain picking and sharing. On the Don’t list were: don’t meet in schools; don’t meet for social reasons; and don’t have too many projects on the go at any one time.

The executive advised that the time and place of the next meeting would be advised on 146.58 at 8 p.m. on October 29, 1980.

Well several years passed and we had many emergency exercises with various Delta establishments. There were parades, exercises with emergency social services, Delta Hospital, Police and Airport. The ferries were also included. We were gradually becoming known and depended on.

The Municipality helped us with Antenna, fixed and mobile but nothing really extensive. Probably the only antenna surviving from this period is the one over the Emergency Entrance of Delta Hospital. A Meeting in January, 1993 started a big change.

Notes for our first field day in 1981.
Click the image to enlarge.

We had been dreaming of a club repeater for some time but available frequencies seemed to be out of sight. Then Ed Sebulsky (VE7AFC) brought great news. He advised that he had been allocated a pair of frequencies in the 70 centimeter band for our proposed repeater. We have him to thank for being in the right place at the right time. As a committee of the whole we appointed Ed as project coordinator on the spot.

It was also at this meeting that we became aware that in order to qualify for Grants, or accepting donations and being able to issue tax deductible receipts, that we must be a Registered Non-profit Society. This would mean we would have to become a more structured organization with a President, Secretary, Treasurer and of course such things as minutes and a constitution. The time have come when we had to grow up. Our club membership was 23.

It took a whole year but on the 11th of February, 1994 we sent our new constitution and other required documentation to the Registrar. This gave us our new name Society instead of Club. On March 18, 1994, we became Incorporated as the Delta Amateur Radio Society.