Digby Island staff about 1915. Jack Bowerman on far right.
Staff Names S through Z
(*The BCD refers to the various British Columbia Business Directories. Their published data may be a year out of date.)
Samuels Operator at Point Grey in the 1920-23 period.
Scoffin, E.M Contract painter out of Port Alberni. In 1916 he received $85 for "painting operating house, dwellings and shed, Pachena Point station."
Sealey, Fred Fred was born in the UK, and came to Canada in 1918. He got his radio operator's license and joined the Canadian Marconi Company as a sea going operator. In 1928 he joined the Wireless Service and was posted as an operator on the RCMP Vessel 'St. Roch' for its maiden voyage into the Arctic. He was the first OIC at the new station at Coppermine, NWT from 1931-32. Two years later he was in Victoria as a Radio Inspector. He later transferred to the Aeradio Service and finished off as Officer in Charge (OIC) at Victoria (YYJ) Airport's aeradio station. The aeradio station closed around 1969.
Shatford, S.A. Larry Reid's book has him listed as an operator on November 05/1923. Shatford is listed, along with three other names, on the 1933 Alert Bay Christmas card.
Shaw, Jack Shaw was an operator at Bull Harbor in 1940 and moved to Victoria in 1944. His wife Grace did all the barbering for the station lads. At that time she was the only woman on the island. Shaw was retired by 1950.
Shea, Eric Operator at the Vancouver Japanese radio intercept station during W.W.2.
Sinclair, H. Radio inspector sometime during the 1918-1960 period.
Skinner, F.H. Wireless operator at Bull Harbor in 1928 (BCD*).
Smallwood Smallwood was a Chief Petty Officer from the Navy, loaned to the Victoria Radio Workshop for the duration of World War One. At that time the radio shop was located in the Esquimalt Navy Base.
Smith, 'Escalante' A reclusive German bachelor living up at Escalante (north of Estevan Point) in the 1930's. He had a dog named Betty and the two of them made a name for themselves cougar hunting. He mysteriously vanished in the late 1930's. A group of men, including a Provincial Police constable, searched the area for Smith but no trace was found. His cabin yielded the curious clue of a chess game, shown in Aitken's photo 078. The Aikens' diary makes a mention of a Jim Poli perhaps visiting Smith.
Smith, George Smith was assigned to Radio Inspector Basil Irvine as his driver for the interference van. He observed Irvine's methods so well, he started doing the job himself and was reclassified to a Radio Electrician and became Irvine's assistant. He retired around 1958.
Smith, Nelson J. Larry Reid's book has him listed as an operator on November 05, 1923. He appears as an operator at Estevan Point in 1926, 1927 & 1929.---(BCD*) Became a radio inspector in the 1918-1960 period. In 1930 his wife Violet died at age 24.
Spouse, Ray Listed as an operator at Estevan Point in 1923 (oper.), 1924 (oper.), 1926 (mechanic), 1927 (mechanic), 1929 (promoted to powerhouse attendant), 1930 through to 1939 at least---(BCD*). His name appears on the 1933 station Christmas card. Spouse was the power house operator at Estevan Point when Bowerman arrived in 1923. Mary (d.1997 at 90yrs) was his wife (nee Trowsdale) and his son Ray Jr. The family appears in many of the F.C. Aitkens photos. (d. 1984)
Stark, Arthur Stark was in the BC Directory listing for Estevan in 1935 and 1936 as an operator. Aitkens diary notes he went to Vancouver in 1935. He was replaced by Beart. An A.P. Stark appears in a photo of the Radio Regulations Branch veterans.
Stemson, Gordon Served in the Ferry Command between Newfoundland and Britain as a radio operator. On the return trips Gordon would often sleep on a piece of plywood in the bomb bay. After WW2 spent a couple of years at Vancouver looking after the Lulu Island transmitter site. Passed away about 2010. Dick Pattinson remembers Gordon as a follower of the body builder Charles Atlas and would keep warm at the transmitter site doing "dynamic tension".
Stephen, J.C. Stephen was the operator who replaced Lambert at Cape Lazo. Larry Reid's book has him listed on November 05/1923 as an operator. Operating at Bull Harbor in 1925-26. Operator at Alert Bay in the same period. (BCD)
Stephenson, Leonard (Lenard?) Whitworth
(Stevie) The June 1909 Times paper reports he is a
Marconi operator on the Empress of China. He came to the attention of C.P.
Edwards and was offered the job of Pacific Coast Government Radio
Engineer. In 1916 he earned a $1729.92 salary. Stephenson carried out,
with Gilbert and J.D.Taylor, the installation and calibration of the
new Pachena Direction Finding Station in 1922. Larry Reid's book
has him listed as the division engineer with the Radio Workshop in
Esquimalt on November 05, 1923. Take home pay in 1926 was $2,451.00 Aikens
notes Stevie visited Estevan in October 1934, and again in August
1935 to install radio telephone equipment. So far as I can tell he
never worked as an operator, but as an installation/repair
technician. Retired in 1945.
Daily Colonist, July 24, 1915 has a cricket item, the Albions vs. The Navy. Stevie was one of the Albions. Signature plate is from his copy of "Motor Troubles" dated 1909.
Stobart, T.P. Wireless operator on the S.S. Tees in 1916. The Tees worked the west coast servicing the light houses and wireless stations.
Storey, Jack Gene Aitkens mentions him as an operator on 'the boat' while they were at Estevan Point. (Could have been the Maquinna or the Norah.)
Strand, Norm Operator at Digby in 1945.
Stuart, C. Operator at Pachena in 1948.
Sutherland, Alex Born in Scotland in 1883 and came
to Canada in 1910 and was working as a wireless operator at Triangle
Island ($75/mo.) when the 1911 census was taken. No doubt he received his
initial training in Britain. He was relieved at Triangle Island in 1912 by
the arrival of Bowerman and Berry. Was at Pachena in the 1912/13
Sutherland went to Eastern Canada during World War One and carried out ship inspections and remained there after the end of hostilities.
Sutherland Operator on the G.T.P. Steamer Prince Rupert in 1910.
Swiler, B.H. Larry Reid's book has him listed as an operator on November 05, 1923. In 1926 he is working as an operator at Estevan Point---(BCD*).
Taylor, Fred Larry Reid's book has him listed as a carpenter with the Radio Workshop in Esquimalt on November 05, 1923. 1926 pay sheet says he took home $1,596.00 that year. In the 1928-30 period he visited Alert Bay and was then in the position of "boss carpenter" for the Radio Branch, Dept. of Marine & Fisheries, West Coast Branch. In September 1932 he was boarding with Gene Aitkens while he was painting all the buildings at Estevan Point.
Taylor, John D. Taylor was an ex English and Canadian Marconi Company engineer. Taylor was an early operator who went on duty back east during the early days of World War One. In 1916 he was appointed the workshop's assistant engineer to Stephenson. J.D.Taylor carried out, with Gilbert and Stephenson, the installation and calibration of the new Pachena Direction Finding Station in 1922. Larry Reid's book has him listed as a junior engineer with the Radio Workshop in Esquimalt on November 05, 1923. His take home pay was $2,451.00 in 1926.
Tee, Harold D. Tee joined the wireless service in 1911. He received his training from the British Post Office. His first position was aboard the fisheries vessel Malaspina. Bowerman adds that Tees was the first operator on the Fisheries Patrol Vessel Malaspina, launched in 1913. 1911 census lists Tee at Estevan in June. He relieved operator Arnold at Triangle shortly after Bowerman arrived on station in 1912. (Dates obviously not lining up here!) Still there in 1913. At Point Grey in 1916 but eventually went to Digby Island to make it a three man station. His rank on January 1918 was RNCVR (Special) W/T operator. He shows up in a 1926 BCD* edition at Bull Harbor Radio. Larry Reid's book has him listed on November 05, 1923 as an operator. 1926 wages were $2,116.96. By 1927 he was in Edmonton Alberta opening the new Radio Inspector's Office. In 1930 he became a senior radio inspector and wound up in Saskatoon until 1945 when he became District Superintendent and was posted to Regina. Left photo is 1913 and the right is on retirement in the late 1940's
LONG SERVICE RADIO EXPERT RETIRES H.D. Tee was District Superintendent of Radio at Regina. Saskatchewan, and has been forty years in the Canadian Government radio service. Some of the highlights in his career included that of being one of the first in Canada to have a training in the international Morse code, having received the training in the United Kingdom Postal Telegraphs before coming to Canada in 1911. He was one of the first operators to have the "delightful" experience of working a midnight to 0800 shift. This was when he was at Prince Rupert in 1911, when at that time only two ships were equipped with radio. Another event which would not be easy to forget was when a hurricane completely destroyed the wireless station at Triangle Island, a very lonely and stormy place. The wind gauge was destroyed when registering a velocity of 125 miles per hour.
Tee, W. Herbert (Bert) Bert appears as an operator in the 1911 census at Estevan Point. He immigrated from England in 1909 and joined the wireless service in the 1911-12 period. 1912 Federal accounts paid him $65/month at Victoria. At Estevan he was making $840/year. He most likely was trained by the British Post Office. Bert was at Pachena when Hillier lost an eye due to an accident when starting an engine. (b.1886)
During the first World War, Mr. Tee was attached to
S.S. Malaspina, formerly in the Fishery Protective service, and later
converted to a scout ship for allied fleet in the Pacific when there was
danger of the B.C. coast being raided. After the end of the war he
returned to the Department of Marine and Fisheries where he was in charge
of several coast stations, including Estevan Point, Cape Laze, Bull
Harbor, Point Grey and Digby Island and since 1930 he has been located in
Before moving to their new home in Victoria, Mr. and Mrs. Tee were honoured at a gathering of the radio clan in Regina and Saskatoon.
Telford, C.E. Operator at Bull Harbor in 1934.
Thomas, Clarence W. (Tommy) Tommy received his radio training at Sprott-Shaw in Vancouver. Spent at least 11 months on Triangle in 1916. He was an operator at Alert Bay Wireless in the late 1920's. From Alert Bay he went to the Radio Workshop in Esquimalt. In 1934 he was operating at Coppermine in the Northwest Territories. He was the brother of Gene, operator Chas Aitkens wife.
Thomas, Charlie Appears in a 1915 Triangle photo from the Harris collection. 4th. operator at Triangle in 1916 earning $72.50/mo.
Thomas, D.R. Named on a 1918-1960 list of radio inspectors.
Thompson, Jack H. Name is in Gene Aitken's 1930's Estevan Point diary. Jack is listed as an operator at Estevan during the period 1932 through to 1934---(BCD*). There is also another Thompson mentioned in a message from Pachena to Victoria in December 1907. His name appears on the 1933 Estevan station Christmas card.
Thompson, J.A. Chief engineer of the Dominion Radio Telegraph Service did an extensive visit, with Houghton and Stevenson, to all the wireless stations in July and August 1920. On the same trip he also investigated locations for new sites.
Thornton, M. 1934 operator at Bull Harbor.
Tickner, Les Operator at Bull Harbor in the 1950's. Station manager at Victoria Radio (VAK) 1970's-80's until retirement.
Tozer, Bill He immigrated from England in 1910. Tozer batched with Jack Bowerman at Estevan Wireless in the 1911-12 period (Census). Bill was earning $780/yr. in 1911. b.1885
Trowsdale Operator at Pachena in 1921. (Keepers of the Light--Harbour Publishing)
Turner, Eric Larry Reid's book has him listed on November 05, 1923 as an operator. BCD* lists Turner as an operator at Bull Harbor in 1923 through to 1936. In 1926 his net pay was $1459.20 In the year 1932 he isn't listed and an operator R.E.V. Potruff is instead, which sounds suspiciously like a visiting man of the cloth. In 2012 I was contacted by Eric's grandson, Dave Turner, who provided the photo.
Tuson, A.H. The January 9, 1909 edition of the Victoria Colonist has an item reporting that Tuson, a Dominion wireless operator, is helping a Mr. E.C.Hayward demonstrate the elementary principles of electricity at the YMCA. Other than that, Tuson is unknown along this coast.
Unwin, Art Unwin was a radio operator at Estevan from 1929 to 1934. He had a wife Ada (d.1988 at 85 yrs.) and children Joyce, Gloria & Ernest. Art also did duty at Pachena Point Wireless, most likely before turning up at Estevan Point. They eventually moved out to Victoria, BC. Aitkens diary notes they were at Estevan in 1931. Art passed way in 1980 at 81 yrs.
Vallance, Glen Glen was hired in October 1938 to fill a radio operator's position at Estevan Point to replace Phil Eldridge, and appears as such in a 1939 BCD*. Glen also worked as a technician at Vancouver radio in the 1960's. When he retired in 1971 he was then in charge the operators and electronic technicians supporting the coast stations and vessel electronics on Vancouver Island. Sadly Glen became a silent key in January of 2007.
Vint, Jim Jim operated at Cape St. James during WW2. Afterwards he was at Prince Rupert and Dead Tree. (d.2016)
Wakeling, G.P. Operator at Bull Harbor in the 1924 period.
Ward, Carl Carl was an operator at Alert Bay Wireless in the late 1920's. For many years Ward was the OIC at Bull Harbor Radio and is mentioned in The Colonist 1939/10/15. He was succeeded by Gord Gilliland.
Ward, Douglas He was at Alert Bay Wireless in 1914
with Bowerman. In the early summer of 1914 Ward was transferred to Digby
Island. On Triangle in 1916 for some 11 months. Meiss reports Ward was on
duty at Triangle the night the phone rang from a wrecked sailor on the
beach. (1914 looks like a puzzle here!) And to add to that puzzle he is
shown in a September 1914 Triangle Island photo. After World War One he
moved to California.
- 1 letter from to E.J. Haughton Dist. Supt., BC Radiotelegraph Service, Victoria to Commanding Officer H.M.C.S. "Rainbow", Esquimalt dated Jul 19th 1917 asking if Douglas Ward, late W/T operator, turned in his uniform to the stores.
Ward, J. Operator at Estevan in the 1913-15 period. (directory listing).
Ward, Victor H. 4th operator at Alert Bay in 1916. Colonist Feb 4, 1917 item says he is 22 years of age and was an operator on the coast for a number of years, and presently on the HMCS Hochelaga.
Watkins, Tom Appears in a Lofty Harris Sept. 1914 photo taken at Triangle Island. He was the lightkeeper after Davis.
Watkins, Walter Watkins appears in a Lofty Harris photo dated September 1915 at Triangle Island 1915. He could be lightkeeper Tom Watkins' son.
Wheeler, AlOperator at Alert Bay for a few months when Art Healey was OIC of the station.
Westhead, Thos. Operator at Pachena in 1930.
Whiteside, A.F. (Paddy) Started his career with the Belfast Post Office and at the end of the Boer War joined the South African Telegraph Service. He later joined the Canadian Marconi Company and in 1909 transferred from the Canadian Pacific Railroad to the Canadian Government Service. (In those days the Marconi Companies supplied not only the equipment but the operator as well, all for one low monthly payment.) Whiteside is listed as the OIC of Ikeda Wireless in 1910, receiving a salary of $85 per month. April 14/11 reports he has been transferred to Gonzales from Dead Tree and Walter Howard is his replacement. He appears as the OIC at Victoria during the 1911-13 period. Passage from Ikeda to Skidegate was $20 (a bit less than a weeks pay) in those days. Federal accounts paid him $85/month for 12 months ending in March 1912 while at Dead Tree. Whiteside, along with operator Dundas, was the first operator at Ikeda Wireless Station in 1910. Ikeda opened in January 1910. In April 15, 1913 he officiated, as the telegrapher, at the opening of the direct landline from Victoria to London. He joined the armed forces during World War 1 and in 1916 was killed in action.
Whiteside, Jim Officer in Charge at Bull Harbor in the early 1960's.
Williams, Bob May have been an operator at Alert Bay in the 1945-55 period.
Willowby, Col. Head of the 1930's British Columbia Marine Department. His responsibilities included the maintenance and staffing of the lighthouses and other marine navigational aids along the B.C. coast.
Wilson, T.R. (Bob?) Larry Reid's book has him listed on November 05/1923 as an operator. (Aitkens diary notes a Bob Wilson without any occupation listed.) In 1924 and 1926 a T. Wilson is listed as a mechanic at Estevan Point---(BCD*). Married with a son born in 1925.
Wolfe, H. (Bud) He was an operator at the Estevan Point Wireless station when Bowerman arrived there as the OIC in 1923. Still at Estevan in 1924 and by 1926 he was the Officer in Charge. In 1927 and 1928 he was also doing the Post Master duties for Estevan---(BCD*). Mentioned in Larry Reid's book.
Wood, Keith Operator at Estevan in the months before the relocation of the station to Tofino Airport in 1958.
Woods, Sid Woods was an early operator at the Pachena DF Station. Sid is mentioned in a July 14, 1939 as accompanying Bowerman, Stevenson, and Lowe on an inspection trip to the northern stations. He worked at the Ship Electronics Workshop on Harbor Road in Victoria. Sid retired in the early 1970's. Photo is of Sid at the beginning of his career.
Zimmerman, Z. A. Victoria Times August 31, 1909 notes Zimmerman and Pike are busy installing the new wireless on board the C. P. R. Steamship "Royal" in Victoria, BC. They both worked for the United Wireless Company.
Unknown, Jock Jock was an operator at Alert Bay in the 1949-55 period. Had a boat.