History of GARC

From Small Beginnings

A Brief History of the Guelph,
Kitchener-Waterloo and the 
South Waterloo Amateur Radio Clubs.
Produced by the Kitchener-Waterloo Amateur Radio Club.

Chapter Five 
Guelph Amateur Radio Club

Guelph ARC was formed in 1949. It was an offshoot from the old pre-war Progressive Radio Club that ceased to exist after World War 2 when amateur radio clubs were formed in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge (Galt) and Guelph.

There was a great increase in amateur radio activities after the war. From a start of about six there were only fifteen active hams in the Guelph area at the outbreak of hostilities when all amateur radio activities in Canada ceased for the duration. Some of the very early members of the Guelph ARC are still with the club (as of 1983) and very active. Ralph Bartlett VE3BJX, Gord MacPhail VE3IH, Puss Valeriote VE3DSC and Fred Hammond VE3HC.

The founder of the club was W. McCormick Gammon VE3BFK (later VE3ZM). He was known as Mac Gammon until his tragic death some years ago.

Meetings were held for several years in the Physics department of the Ontario Agricultural College followed by sessions in the Col. John McCrea Branch 234 Royal Canadian Legion, the Civil Defence headquarters in the old Federal Wire and Cable building on Norwich Street, Hammond Manufacturing, Co-operators building, St. Joseph's Hospital Annex and then to the present location in the Hammond Manufacturing new electronic plant.

In commemoration of Mac, Guelph ARC was granted his callsign and from then onwards VE3ZM has been used for all club activities.

Some of the past presidents of the club are worthy of mention because it was greatly due to their efforts that the club now finds itself one of the most active, friendly and richest amateur clubs in the province of Ontario.

Starting of with Mac Gammon VE3ZM there were:

Crawford RobinsonVE3YH
Earl BainsVE3NS
Ralph MillsVE3
Ralph BartlettVE3BJX
Pacifico (Puss) ValerioteVE3DSC
Jack MacCarronVE3
Gordon MacPhailVE3IH
Fred HolmVE3SM
Roy MargettsVE3EBM
Stanley SchofieldVE3CFX
Stroyan LeithVE3
Ray JenningsVE3CZE
Gord CleggVE3DFB
Frank RozeeVE3
Dennis GoreVE3DGA
Rocco FurfaroVE3HGZ (now VE3YJ)
Bill Miller  VE3GSN
Fred HammondVE3HC

Throughout the years, the man behind the club has been Fred Hammond VE3HC. Administratively and financially Fred's contribution to the welfare of the Guelph Amateur Radio Club cannot be covered in mere words. His assistance and advice to new amateurs plus all the equipment he has donated to get them started makes him the Uncle Elmer of the club.

Fred's radio museum, now under government control, has its own radio station VE3BJ and is considered to be one of the very best if not the best radio museum in all of Canada and the USA. Just having this museum in Guelph has added much to the fame of the club. 

Some of the club's present day activities such as the famous Flea Market and the sponsorship of the amateur radio station in St. Joseph's Hospital will be covered in other sections of the book.