History of the Surrey Amateur Radio Club (1975-1981)

By Doug Moore VE7CBM November 1981


The Surrey Amateur Radio Club had its beginning in the Electronics Lab of the North Surrey Senior Secondary School in the spring of 1975. In a discussion with electronic students who had recently been successful in obtaining their Amateur Radio Licenses, the idea of a local radio club was put forth. Cory Balbraith, VE7CGR, liked the idea so much; he spread the word far and wide via the airwaves. It was so well received that plans for a fall start gathered momentum.

The electronics instructor, Doug Moore, VE7CBM, was granted permission by the administration to hold meetings in the electronics room on Tuesday nights. Incidentally, the club held their meetings and theory classes on Tuesday s for the first two years before switching to Monday nights.

The initial meeting was held on the first Tuesday in October 1975. Many members of today were present at that meeting. As Doug, VE7CBM, had to the key to the school, he was quickly elected President, with Cary Miller, VE7CFC, as Vice President and Cory, VE7CGR, as Secretary-Treasurer. The duties of the President were threefold; open up the school, chair the meetings and make sure there was coffee and cookies available.

In January, Cory graduated and went to Nanaimo to work for radio station CHU. Fred Orsetti, VE7CJG, was elected to take over the duties of Secretary-Treasurer.

The theory lessons began in December with Bob Searle, VE7CHB, Cary, VE7CFC, Fred, VE7CJG and Doug, VE7CBM, all helping out. Over the years, several members gave their time and energy to teaching the theory Garreth Gammon, VE7CGG, Lee Middleton, VE7BHS, to name a couple. Mike Holly, VE7AVM, was instrumental in making tapes and teaching CW for several of the beginning years.

The club had access to the school's Kenwood 510 but was never able to make use of it for various reasons.

Our windup to a very successful first year was the Field Day held at Fred's QTH in June 1976 and supervised by Mike, VE7AVM. For the majority of members, this was a first. We didn't do all that well but enjoyed the outing and fellowship. Those involved were Mike, VE7AVM, Cary, VE7CFC, Carl, VE7CLC, Mike Heritage, VE7CLE, Ed Dunham, VE7CIO, Laurence Holloway, VE7ADC, Jerry Szakal, VE7COI, Ralph Webb, VE7BVG, Vic Medway, VE7CON, Pat Cavanagh, VE7CAV, Bob VE7CHB, Doug, VE7CBM, Peter Desrosier, VE7CGZ and his wife Lise.

S.A.R.C

1976 - 1977

President ------- Fred Orsetti, VE7CJG
Vice Pres. -------- Bob Searle, VE7CHB
Sec. Treas. ---- Carl Bertholm, VE7CLC

We acquired a portable tower and TA 33 Jr. beam for use on Field Day. We moved to Monkey Mountain, just east of Abbotsford on the suggestion of Al Neufeld, VE7CDC. The site will always be remembered for its wonderful view and the terrible access road. Bob, VE7CHB, and Peter, VE7CGZ kept the crew furnished with nourishment throughout the weekend.

The club was licensed as VE7SAR under the sponsorship of Cary, VE7CFC, holder of an advance amateur certificate.

Our first annual Christmas Party was held at the Islanders on the King George Highway near White Rock.

This was also the year of the Canadian Pacific Airlines (CPA) tour conducted by Tony Craig, VE7XQ.

1977 - 1978

President ------- Mike Holley, VE7AVM
Vice Pres ----- Carl Bertholm, VE7CLC
Sec. Treas ---- Mike Heritage, VE7CLE

The Ten Meter net was initiated with Fred, VE7CJG and later operated mainly by Carl, VE7CLC and Mike, VE7CLE. In the early days, we did have code practice by Mike, VE7AVM after the net. The net is held every Sunday on 28.675 MHz at 0400 Zulu.

The second annual Christmas party was held at the Surrey Inn where we competed with the QRM of the Saturday night disco.

Field Day was a great success. The club station was again located high on Monkey Mountain. It was announced in QST that we were top Canadian in category 3A. the "other" club made a late submission and we dropped to second place. Not bad for such a young club.

We had our first auction at North Surrey Senior Secondary School. It proved to be quite interesting and lots of fun on the sidelines.

1978 - 1979

President ------- Carl Bertholm, VE7CLC
Vice Pres. ------ Mike Heritage, VE7CLE
Secretary -------- Joan Gendron, VE7CTB
Treasurer --------- Jim Johnson, VE7CSJ

This was a very active year starting with an over subscription of new students. Max Green, VE7DZ took over the duties of teaching theory.

Prior to the start of regular meetings, the club held a picnic for members and families at Port Kells Park on August 27th.

The club held its first Flea Market at the Hjorth Road Hall, Sunday October 15, 1978. It was considered a great success as we had buyers and sellers from all over the lower mainland.

The annual Christmas party was held at St. Helen's Church hall with Woodwards doing the catering.

Fred, VE7CJG took charge o the bunny hunt with a borrowed bunny from BCFMA. It was not too popular a project and this was attributed to the fact that for some unexplained reason Cary, VE7CFC kept winning.

A successful pre Field Day trial was held at Surrey Place with the aid of the Gendrons' motorhome. There was a Teletype display in the mall with Cary, VE7CFC sending pictures from his QTH in Delta.

The club purchased a generator and a 204BA monobander for use on Field Day. Field Day was held again on the excellent site on top of old Monkey mt. Carl, VE7CLC and Mike, VE7CLE were responsible for the well being (food wise) of all those who participated. And we did come first in Canada and I believe eleventh overall in the 3A category. This was a perfect ending to a great year of Hamming.

The club Bulletin was conceived by Bob Searle, VE7CHB, nurtured by Doug Moore, VE7CBM and finally adopted by Carl Bertholm, VE7CLC. It has proved a very valuable asset to the club.

Our big venture was the Club Certificate commemorating Surrey's 100th birthday. This was a great success thanks to the hard work of Cecil Boggis, VE7YM in making so many contacts and Doug, VE7CBM taking care of all the paper work. Certificates were sent to England, France, and South America, Australia and practically every state in the United States. The project was made possible by a grant from the Surrey Centennial Committee and the assistance of Fred, VE7CJG and Carl, VE7CLC in the printing.

1979 - 1980

President ------- Bill Driscoll, VE7ARL
Vice Pres. --------- Al Neufeld, VE7CDC
Secretary --------- Mike Foster, VE7ACZ
Treasurer --------- Lee Hopwood, VE7BDZ

Another great year for the club. Fred, VE7CJG built a bunny and conducted several hunts. They just never caught on as we had anticipated. Maybe a new twist is required.

Two Flea Markets were held at Hjorth Hall one in October and the other in March. They appear to be very popular with Hams.

The club took part in the PNE Amateur Radio booth. The portable tower and beam were put to good use.

The annual Christmas party (dinner & dance) was again held at St. Helen's Church hall. It was well attended.

The club set up a working station, VE7SAR in Bear Creek Park as part of the celebrations for Heritage day. The Gendrons, Joan & Len, again graciously made their motor home available. The club also provided communications for the Delta Family Days.

Due to more than unusual road conditions up Monkey Mountain, Field Day was staged on the property of Joe Chesney in Langley. Our generator refused to cooperate so Ralph, VE7PWA, supplied ni-cad batteries. Fred's generator kept everything charged up. The new 4-element 15-meter monobander made Fred, VE7CJG and Jim, VE7CSJ was given a good tryout. Mike, VE7CLE was responsible for procuring all the materials for the beam.

1980 - 1981

President ------- Fred Orsetti, VE7CJG
Vice Pres -------- Cary Miller, VE7CFC
Secretary ------ Chris Johnson, VE7FFJ
Treasurer -------- Lee Hopwood, VE7BDZ

The club switched from the Electronics room to ordinary classrooms at North Surrey Secondary. But due to the strike by CUPE members, we were obliged to meet part of the time in the Main Library in the Guildford area.

Max, VE7DZ is still successfully preparing students for the amateur examinations.

This was the term when we finally got contact with EMO through the persistent efforts of President Fred.

No bunny hunts were held but there were two Flea Markets in operation again.

The Christmas Party was held at the Scandia House in Walley. The restaurant has since blown its finals and is no longer in operation. Olaf Saetre, VE7CIS, arranged the party.

The Field Day site was back on Monkey Mountain, Carl, VE7CLC and Mike VE7CLE again took care of the mess tent. An added feature was the presence of the Scout troop from Cloverdale for the purpose of helping to set up and take down the tents and equipment. They also provided Mrs. Murphy's parlour. The total points accumulated were not the great but all who participated had a super time.



Retyped by Fred Orsetti VE7IO




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