Montreal Amateur Radio Club Incorporated. (1949)
P.O. Box 53047
The Montreal Amateur Radio Club was founded in 1932 and was formed as a result of a merger between various groups that existed in Greater Montreal area. It was formed to "promote the science of amateur radio, promote friendship amongst the varied members of the amateur community and to provide a forum for persons interested in amateur radio to meet and exchange information in a more formal basis".
The Westmount Amateur Radio Club was one of those earlier groups and its members met at each other homes. This small group soon grew larger, and in 1932 a decision to merge with the South Shore Amateur Radio Club as well as amateurs from the Notre Dame de Grace Ward, Verdun and surrounding areas created a new club known as the Montreal Amateur Radio Club. The club survived the depression years as well as the war years that soon followed, and in 1949 was formally incorporated as the Montreal Amateur Radio Club Inc.
In those early years, the club met in the classrooms of the Sir George Williams College and later as the size of the club increased, in one of the salons of the Windsor Hotel. There was a very successful VE2 Convention held in 1936 at the Mount Royal Hotel which attracted may Amateur Radio operators from Eastern Ontario and Northern New York.
The post-war years were very busy years for the club as members returned to the fold and as war surplus equipment became available. After the war there was a change from Radiotelegraphy (Morse Code) to Radiotelephone (voice) technology as Amplitude Modulation (AM) radios baecame available.
Single Side Band (ssb) replaced Amplitude Modulation (AM) in the early 1960's. Amateurs quickly embraced this new form of voice transmission as it provided more efficient means of voice communication.
In the mid-1970's, Frequency Modulation (FM) repeaters operating in the amateur 2-metre band was the newest technology available to amateurs and the Montreal Amateur Radio Club was at the forefront of this new technology in the Montreal area. The club repeater VE2BG was one of the first VHF (Very High frequency) repeaters in the Montreal area. The repeater callsign VE2BG originally belonged to Tommy Letts, an early amateur radio pioneer and was issued to the club by the then issuing authority, the Department of Communications (now the Spectrum Management Division of Industry Canada) because of the historical significance of that callsign to the club.
In the late 1970's, the interest in digital communications also affected amateur radio, and on May 31st, 1978 in the banquet hall of Bill Wong's restaurant, a special meeting was called to discuss the proposals to change amateur frequency allocations to aid in the research and development of new modes of operation, but actually the first transmissions of digital packet radio were made at this special general meeting of the club. Interest in the new mode was rather small at the time but new applications such as Amateur Position Reporting Systems (APRS) has been developed to make use of the Packet Radio protocols.
In the 1980's as both the interest in both the club and amateur radio waned, the club stopped its annual hamfest and just conducted its monthly meetings and amateur radio classes. In the early 1990's the club has become more active once again and has once again started to get involved in the promotion of amateur radio. This resurgence has coincided with the deregulation of amateur radio in 1991 and now the the club is now as active as ever. With the purchase of the VE2RED repeater in September 1994 and the active promotion of club activities such as Field Day, amateur radio courses for those wanting to become amateurs and public service communcations. We are looking forward to the future of ham radio in the 21st century.
For further information the club may be contacted via e-mail Here or at the address above. The club meets on the last Wednesday of every month (except June, July, August and December).
Click here for meeting details.