SS Prince Rupert ashore on Genn Island, March 23, 1917. Harris photo

   Jack Bowerman kept a scrap book of yellowed newspaper clippings and the like, all related to his work or that of his friends in the field.

Jack's Newspaper Clippings

Clipping #1   This two page type written memorandum contains a couple of short 1924-25 newspaper articles lauding the ability of Estevan Point Wireless Station to reach out to record distances, communicating with vessels sailing to New Zealand and Australia.

Clipping #2   Harold Tee retiring. Harold was with Jack in 1913 on Triangle Island. This is something I copied from a note in the scrap book and gives a brief history of Tee's career. See also clipping #6 below.

Clipping #3   Cecil Clark, of the Victoria newspaper "The Daily Colonist", wrote a popular local history column. This document is from 1963 when he interviewed four wireless operators about their Triangle Island experiences.
Clipping #4:    Motor schooner 'Noble' comes to grief on the west coast's Escalate Reefs, north of Estevan Point, on January 08, 1928.  Vessel went up on the reef at night while the wireless operator was asleep.  He went to his station and found there was no electrical power as the engine room was flooded.  (In later years the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention stipulated that there should be a secondary source of power for the wireless equipment mounted far above the water line.)
Clipping #5:    November 15, 1934. Jack became the Radio Inspector for British Columbia in 1925. At one time the owners of home radios were required to license their receivers annually. The fee was around $2.00. Part of Jack's duties were to prosecute those who didn't pay their annual fee. Many home handymen went to great lengths to hide or disguise having a receiver.         One old inspector told me of finding a radio's loop antenna cleverly wound around the frame a living room door.  A wire antenna strung outside the house would be a dead give away. The fee was generally despised by all and sundry, and a thankless enforcement task for Jack. The fee requirement ended sometime in the late 1940's, I think.
Clipping #6:    Harold Tee was a fellow operator with Jack on Triangle Island in 1912-14. Tee went on to retire as the Saskatchewan District Superintendent of Radio.
Clipping #7 & #8:    March 1928.  Gerald Pike three years out from Britain was posted to Merry Island Lighthouse.  From there he provided communication with vessels transiting along the inside coast, north of Vancouver. He met a sad painful end when an open can of gasoline he was carrying ignited.
Clipping #9:    Walter Lambert appears in a number of Jack's photos, but this clipping relates to his hobby of rowing across the local straits. Lambert was a radio operator and eventually helped create the radio operator's course at King Edward High School in Vancouver, BC. Jack Bowerman's albums has photos Lambert in uniform, photo 260, or at the blackboard in photo 353.
Clipping #10:    A letter to a Saskatoon newspaper complaining about the amount of interference on his receiver. The writer paid almost a month's salary for the receiver and certainly isn't getting the money's worth. Interference from other radios, appliances, machinery and the like was a big headache in the early years.
Clipping #11:    Yet another letter of complaint to the local newspaper, this time from Vancouver, BC, concerning radio users who cannot operate their receivers properly.
   In our time we may wonder about that statement, but back then a popular receiver was the "regenerative receiver". It was a simple, inexpensive, and sensitive single vacuum tube receiver. If not adjusted correctly it would turn into a miniature radio transmitter and create havoc to other radio listeners in the vicinity. The word 'bloopers' in the clipping refers to the sound of the interference would make in a neighbour's receiver.
Clipping #12:    A note from a British newspaper about a 'local boy making good in the colonies'. The date would be shortly after 1925.
Clipping #13:   The old wireless building on Gonzales Hill to be demolished about 1945. The 'new' building, on the grounds of the University of Victoria, is now in use by the University of Victoria since the Victoria station moved out to Sooke in 1967 to get away from the creeping urbanization.
Clipping #14:    January is a bad time of year to be up the west coast of Vancouver Island in a small boat. 1928 was no different. Estevan Wireless gets the word out to Victoria.
Clipping #15:    Mr. E. (Eddie) J. Haughton was the Superintendent of the Department of Transport's Radio branch here in BC. He had been in that capacity since 1912 and had thus overseen the building up of the wireless stations and infrastructure along the coast. Haughton retired in December 1938 and Jack Bowerman succeeded him. Unfortunately Haughton's retirement was short for within two years he passed away.
Clipping #16:    Mr. E. J. Haughton reminisces on his career.
Clipping #17:    Wireless operator Tommy Raine retires after 27 years of pounding brass. Tommy started out in 1911 as an operator in the then wilderness of Point Grey. He and his wife lived in a tent on the grounds for a year awaiting accommodation. Clipping is undated but is most likely 1938.
Clipping #18:    Another news item or two about Jack Bowerman's retirement. An interesting aside is the portion quoting a sneering American gangster "Lucky Luciano".
Clipping #19:    George Gilbert retires as a wireless technician in a clipping dated August 1952. Gilbert joined in 1919, from the Royal Navy, as a wireless technician and was a bit of a tinkerer--always trying something new. He appears in several of the Bowerman photos such as 428.
Clipping #20:    On July 14, 1939, a Prince Rupert newspaper clipping tells of an upcoming visit by Bowerman, Woods, Stephenson and Lowe.
Clipping #21:    In the late 1930's the operators organized themselves and put some pressure on Ottawa HQ in an effort to improve their working wages and conditions. This clipping is from the operator's association newsletter.



Rough Radio

Ship to Shore Radio on the

West Coast of Canada  1900-70