Oldtimer Newsletters

Oldtimer Newsletter excerpts:

May 2021 Newsletter:

In order to keep the group in better contact, as there have been no Gaggle meetings for over year (the last one was back in February, 2020) we came up with the idea of putting together a quarterly newsletter.

By way of a refresher, if you want to find the location of a member on the Oldtimers Map, you can enter their name in the search bar near the top of the pane. For example, if you were searching for me (or Jake), enter the last name Berry, and click the link below to have the location pop-up. Then, zoom in using either the mouse wheel, or the plus/minus icons in the lower right corner.


September 2021 Newsletter:

Old Photos

During the past month, Pat Guevremont has sent me numerous photos, primarily of Kingston. Here is a link to those photos. If any of You can provide names to the group photos, that would be greatly appreciated.



SAGE Newsletter
Our good buddy Gary Springer and his Mom are on the front cover of this month’s Sage magazine, a quarterly newsletter for Federal Retirees: https://www.federalretirees.ca/en/news-views/publications/sage-magazine

Rob Dunbar Announcements

Also from Rob on Facebook: Rob (bbsrobbyd@gmail.com) is putting together an order for White T-shirt with sweat wicking technology (see image below). Proceeds will be shared with the lions share going to SRS Oldtimers to allow them to keep doing work on our behalf. I will be able to publish a price when I gauge interest. Price won’t be more than any quality shirt.


November 2021 Newsletter:

Remembrance Day 2021 – Greely Legion

There were about 200 people in attendance at the Greely Legion for the Remembrance Day activities. I want to thank President Linda Wyman and her staff for putting together this event. In addition to my son and family, I saw Bob Spinney, Jim Humes, Bob Todd, Wayne Moore, Lou Kabesh, Howie Voight, Rob Dunbar, Gary Springer, and Bill Neelin. Also, thanks to Pete Hellier’s feedback, Bill Laidlaw, Eric Coles, Janet Lamothe were also in attendance. Pete further pointed out that the current RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and her Corps Sgt Major Al McCambridge were also at Greely.

Here is a link to some of the photos:



From Terry Whalley

Does anyone remember IAN TREE. He was in Gloucester, Coverdale and Inuvik sometime during the 60’s.

He was a technician. He left the Navy in Inuvik and joined the Inuvik CBC radio station as a tech. And from there went to Whitehorse, etc.

He is in the Kemptville Retirement Home, and just down the hall from me. We are both trying to remember people we both might know., primarily techs. Also, maybe some of our Old Timers” might remember him.

I would appreciate any info, anyone can give me or him. Thanks, cheers Terry


From Butch Whitlaw:

Ian Tree was in Inuvik and Coverdale with me. He married Blanch a Moncton girl (waitress who worked with her three or four sisters at the cafe right when you came off the Peticodiac bridge. Paul Stevens, Arnie Lackso and a cook (can’t think of his name right now) married the rest of the sisters. In Coverdale I don’t recall him being on the same shift but do remember him from being around the base. In Inuvik in 1969 Blanch was our daycare sitter for Barry when Orlene was still working at the hospital. I believe Ian was still in the forces when I left Inuvik but I could be wrong on that one. I worked for the CBC with a contract to haul their garbage twice a week. Don’t remember him there as a technician but he could have already been released and working without me knowing. Memory starting to slip a bit.

From Nicolas Daniels
While people are going down “memory lane” about Vancouver wireless I’ve noticed that the old ops building of CFS Churchill is still standing. In fact the entire station was all in the same building.
Maybe it’s cheaper to leave it there than to tear it down and deal with possible asbestos contamination. It can be seen on Google maps and with “street view”. The footprints of the old rhombic antennae rosettes are still visible behind the building. There used to be a picture of this building in the mess, but it’s been moved to the entrance way of the Leitrim Ops building.



A Canadian opens up about her secret wartime work — eavesdropping on Japan

A number of you have forwarded a link to this CBC Story about 97 year old, Marjorie Stetson.
The retired sergeant’s wartime work was so covert, she said, she had to sign 15 separate copies of Canada’s Official Secrets Act.
A very interesting glimpse into WW II Sigint work.


WAR MUSEUM – Homage Display
(Gaggle entry from 2019) Two members of the SUPRAD Oldtimers Association, Edna Atkins and Betty Ringrose were chosen to be part of a WREN’s display in the War Museum. This is an art project by local artist Elaine Gobel. Included in a group are four WWII and three post WWII Wrens. The other post WWII WREN besides Betty and Edna is Iris Stinson. Fran Tippet, Doris Hope, Gwen Paget and Mary Sinclair (now deceased) are the WW II WRENs.
(update from Vern Veinot – October 2021): War Museum Homage Display: https://www.warmuseum.ca/homage/; Betty and I were there as guests of the artist when the unveiling of fourteen new pieces of Elaine’s took place. Betty and Elaine have been friends since way back when Elaine who was just starting to do veterans asked Betty to introduce her to some veterans. The drawing of the five veterans from Branch 632 is of course at the Branch. Elaine has many drawings in the War Museum and soon if everyone can make up their mind a drawing of 3 WWII Wrens and 3 post WWII Wrens will be on display. Of the three post WWII Wrens Betty and Edna Atkins are two of them.

On a personal note, I also visited the display at the War Museum in December, and was very impressed.


Libraries and Archives Canada Need Our Help

Welcome to Co-Lab!
If you have some spare time, you can transcribe, tag, translate and describe digitized records from archives our collection. It was the Women of War collection that I have been working on, but there might be other collections that strike your fancy. The more work we collaborate on using the Co-Lab crowd-sourcing tool, the more accessible and usable our digital collection will become for everyone using the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website. https://co-lab.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng

From Ron Henderson

The following link was sent to me by a friend from B.C. It apparently aired on the CTV network in BC in August. It’s about a Bill Rogers who claims he worked at Vancouver Wireless Station back in the 1960s. I was there from 1965 to 1968 and don’t remember him but perhaps some of the Old Timers might.

Interesting anecdote from Ron’s time at Vancouver Wireless Station. Shortly after arrival, I went into Ladner to get a haircut. As I sat down in the chair, as barbers will, he started chatting with me. At one point he asked what I did. I responded that I was a radio operator working at “the station” and then fed him our cover story. Well, I swear, he damn near dropped his clippers. When he recovered, he said with a bit of a grin, that I was the first one to say I was an operator. He said everyone else that comes in from the station claims to be a “truck driver”.
Unbeknownst to me, I guess that was the VWS cover story; a whole station full of truck drivers!


December 2021 Newsletter

As 2021 fades into the rear-view mirror, it is time to put together a few items that might be of interest to our Oldtimer community. Also, as there are a number of new members, I have placed excerpts from the previous three newsletters on our Oldtimer site on a new page that I have been working on called ‘Dave Stuff’: https://supradoldtimers.ca/sample-page/dave-stuff/

From Jim Sedgwick – Trade Names

Communicator Supplementary 1948-1955 – Research by Spud Roscoe, Radio (S), RCN — By 1950 there was a CR, CS, CV, CC, rating all with the same badge with the exception of the letter in the circle. Shortly after that, the navy combined the CV and CR to CM and made them one and the same. The CM ratings did a watch in the radio room and then did a watch on the bridge as a Signalman. This only lasted a couple of years and it was just too much for one trade. They went back to CR and CV. CV was Communicator Visual, the Signalman. The CC disappeared sometime around 1953. Just before 1960 the trade name changed. CV became Signalman SG with crossed flags. CR became Radioman RM with the wings of mercury and knob. CS became Radioman Special RS with the wings of mercury and the DF Loops. These badges were changed in 1955 but the trade name did not change until later. The RS and Radioman (RM) branch badges were very similar. Both had the maple leaf with the wings of mercury. Where the wings of mercury joined, there was a solid knob on the RM badge and the loops of the MF/ DF antenna on the RS badge as shown above. The knob and loops were the same size and one had to look closely to see the difference.

From Jake Berry – Veterans Benefits

If any of you are having hearing problems or Tinnitus because of the work we did in the past, I strongly encourage you to call Veterans Affairs to get permission to have a hearing test done. I did about 10 years ago and did not take up the offer of free hearing aids. About a month ago I did another test and am now the proud owner of expensive (but not to me) hearing aids. It is nice to be able to hear again without trying to lip read. Here is a link that provides more details:


February 2022 Newsletter

Ten Ways to Spot Phishing Email Scams:

The article at the above link proves a number of ways to spot Scam email, including: Unexpected Attachments, Incomplete URLs, and a variation on ‘You’ve Won a Contest!’.

Offbeat Story from Legion Magazine (Spies in New Brunswick)

I had never heard of this prior to reading the article:


Another Offbeat Story from Norm Weir and Others:

Scientists track Arctic hare’s ‘record-setting’ travels around Ellesmere Island https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/bbyys-journey-scientists-track-arctic-hares-record-setting-travels-around-ellesmere-island

From Monty Montgomery: Veterans Affairs Survey by ECOS Canada:

The following message is being sent to veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and former RCMP members of the National Association of Federal Retirees on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada.


From BBC Travel – The Alaska Highway: A subarctic road to prevent invasion:


April 2022 Newsletter

Veterans Benefits Guide 2022

The Guide will help veterans and those assisting them navigate the paperwork to apply for benefits. As the guide is almost 30 pages in length, I have opted to attached the English version to this email. The French version can be downloaded from this site.

Reservists: Who are they and what do they do?

Any thoughts on coming out of retirement??:


Importance of our Legs

Being a huge fan of walking, this article is very informative:


May 2022 Newsletter

From Norm Weir: From growing up in rural NS to top secret work

From serving as a wireless air gunner in the Second World War, to experiencing a 35-year career with both Loran A and C navigational systems, to flying remote-controlled aircraft, at 98 years old, Don Stocker still enjoys plotting a course.

From John Bennett: On-the-Roof Gang: The U.S. Navy’s Cryptologic Pioneers

The predecessors of today’s naval enlisted crytologic professionals.

June 2022 Newsletter

The history of Canadian Communications Electronic Support Measures (CESM): http://www.rcsigs.ca/index.php/History_of_Canadian_CESM

From John Bennett – Crowsnest Articles

There are two articles in the July/August 1962 Crowsnest about our stations (see attached document). One is called Coverdale’s Picnic Ground, and the other is entitled The Far-Flung Radio Stations.

From Greg Jensen – Canadian Military Intelligence

Here is a link to a book that will be published later this year:


CFB CORNWALLIS – Group photos

(Canadian Forces Recruit School)

I have been working with the webmaster of this site (see below), and if any of you have joining and/or graduation photos from Cornwallis, please send them to me as an attachment, and I will see that the site webmaster receives them. For example, I am in the 1960 photo of Margaree 2/60, along with Don Fisher, Frank Rohl, Bill Davidson to name a few.


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