Cape Lazo VAC
  Cape Lazo is on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, about half way up. This station was one of the original five stations and was operational in February of 1908. Comox Coast Guard Radio, as it came to be known, reflects the name of its closest community.
   After over 110 years of local operation the facilities at the station are to be remoted to Victoria MTCS Station sometime in the spring of 2015. No operations staff will be kept at the station.


   Google Earth View location here.

   Walter Howard's grandson, in an email to me, tells of being taken out to the wireless station in the early 1940's by his father and shown how the cliff's erosion had swallowed up their old residence and orchard. Down on the beach they could look up and still see the foundation bricks in the clay of the bluff.


   Some Lazo photos in chronological order are available here.
1909   Charles Bradbury was OIC with Jim Harker as second operator. Lean-to accommodation for operators built. 2 kWatt transmitter installed in the fall or early 1910.
1910   Bradbury and Harker on staff at $85/month.

1911   24 hour operational coverage instituted. Synchronous gap beinginstalled during December.  The trial was so successful the rotary gap system will be installed at other stations.  In December a tender was let to build a house for the operators. Charles Bradbury is an operator. 

1912  In December tenders called for additional housing to make the station more attractive to married men. By the middle of December the newspaper reported that Lazo was the first station to be fitted with synchronous spark transmitters.

1913 Call Sign changed from SKD to VAC in accordance with the Berlin Conference. Synchronous spark gap being tested before being installed at rest of stations.
1914 Military guard posted to the station for the duration of World War One. Walter Howard on staff.
1920   Late in the year a rumor circulates that the station will be closed. WW1 guard shacks are being demolished.  Due to advances in the radio technology Point Grey's coverage now blankets Cape Lazo's and the latter station is not required.
1906   Cecil Doutre, Dominion Superintendent of Wireless Stations for the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and Eddie Hughes, Project Engineer, sail on the Marine & Fisheries Vessel 'Quadra'. They make site selections for the new chain of wireless stations along the British Columbia west coast. Cape Lazo was one of the selected sites.

1907 Land purchased in 1907 for $2000. Victoria Times July 12: "SS 'Cascade' delivering supplies to construct the station." July 27 edition of the Daily Colonist reports: "The station at Cape Lazo being constructed by Mr. Frost, the Nanaimo lighthouse builder, is well under way."

1908 Station on the air in February 1908 with Morse as operator, who resigns shortly afterwards. Station operational with the call sign SKD. 1 kWatt spark transmitter. Morse's stay was very short.
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1929-30 Annual Report A right of way was slashed and a pole line erected to carry central station power to the dwellings and operating house. The dwellings were wired for lights and the wiring in the power house rearranged. A 100 watt radiophone transmitter was installed to replace the 50 watt transmitter previously in use.

1936 Modulated CW frequencies 187, 417, 500 kHz
         Radiotelephone frequency 1630 kHz

1962 Station moves from the old location on the Cape Lazo bluff to the civilian air terminal at Comox Airport, about 2 kM to the west.

   Plans are afoot to move the station back to its old location on the Cape Lazo cliff.  Station is moved back to the old location in 1993.

 

2016 Comox/Cape Lazo becomes an unmanned station in May. Control of station's radio equipment is remoted to Victoria CG Radio