This page is a photo sequence of Point Grey (Vancouver) with the earliest first. All images can be clicked for a larger view. The early photos show the 1909 location housed in a small building. About 30 years later the station moved into new facilities built on Westbrook Mall,a kilometer or so to the north.

 

   The Anthropology Museum now resides on the 1909 location and the 1930's Westbrook Mall location has been built over.

 

   Station's original call sign was a home made one, as was done in those days, PGD. With the introduction of an international convention in the mid 1910's alphabetical prefixes were assigned to various countries.  Hence the call became VAB. Another government station was constructed at the Merchant's Exchange Building in downtown Vancouver sometime in the 1920's and the VAB call was transferred to it. The Point Grey station then was given the call of the closed station at Ikeda, VAI.

 

News Item: Wireless-An acre and one-half of land at Point Grey has been placed at the disposal of the federal government for a wireless station.

 

1910-11 Staff

Officer in Charge L. James

2nd Operator J. Macdonald

3rd Operator H.J. Arnold

 

1908 CPR telegraph connected to Vancouver.  This incurred additional message charges.

1909  Point Grey quarters.  Tree on right of building is the antenna mast, some which was a 265 foot tree, cut back by 65 feet.  Another B.C. Mills prefabricated product.  The wireless service bought many of their buildings as once the foundation was laid, the building went up quickly.  BC Mills used a photo of the station building in their 1907 advertising.  It was a large house yet operator Raine spent the winter of 1911 living in a tent with his wife and daughter on the station.

 

The Busy Man's Magazine, 1909

 

1910 Station connected to Vancouver with B.C. Telephone.

1911 Road punched through from Vancouver.

 

   The station in 1914, some six years after commissioning. Note the antenna downlead wires--gives one an idea of the antenna dimensions in use at that time. Good old outhouse provided the sanitary facilities.  Building was a B.C.Mills prefab.  Left end was the engine/transmitter room, center was living quarters, and the right end the operations room.  Call sign changed from PGD to VAB

                                           
Vancouver Public Library Collection

   Point Grey mast photo November 3 1925. This is a heavy wooden mast of the type used at the original 1909 stations.

                                                                  Bowerman Photo

   1920's photo of the station's location.  The two masts suspending the antenna are clearly visible.  Station building is closer to the left hand mast.  Probably the station's large dwelling over to the right.  University of British Columbia buildings in the foreground.    UBC Archive Photo

   Lulu Island's transmitter building. Constructed in 1932 and shared with Point Grey/VAI and the Merchant's Exchange/VAB.  Lulu Island site had its own call sign VAL, although it wasn't used on the air.  Note the modern steel tower.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bowerman Photo

 

   April 1932--Lulu Island transmitters. By this time HF frequencies were coming into use, ensuring vessel communications no matter the time of the day.  14.5 mHz & 7.23 mHz were fitted. Morse code and voice now in widespread use.

 

   Colonist newspaper uses this same photo in an August 1938 article on the station. It goes on to describe the complete renewal of the Point Grey station. Modern tube transmitters installed on Lulu Island controlled back at a new operations building on Westbrook Mall in Point Grey. Receivers and their antennas were located on the operations building property. 2,000 Watt short wave transmitter and a 1,600 Watt long wave transmitter replacing the old spark equipment. The expectation was the new site and equipment would permit direct contact with Australia.  Bowerman Photo

 

1940  Point Grey operations building on Westbrook Mall.   Bowerman Photo

  Point Grey station's dwelling as seen from Westbrook Mall. These buildings were demolished in the early 1970's to make way for the Walter Gage student residences.  Bowerman Photo

   View of the 1940 built station from its driveway.  Transmitter site was out on Lulu Island (about 15 kM south).  Towers supported receiver antennas and possibly a reserve/backup transmitter antenna.   Bowerman Photo

 

    View of the Point Grey station. Operations building and station dwelling.    Bowerman Photo

....and the view from the other end of the property. Masts support the station's receiving aerial system.   Bowerman Photo

   Staff on the steps of the operations building.

 

   Left to right: Arthur Green, E.Redford, unknown, unknown, unknown.   Bowerman Photo

 

   Aerial view of the1930-40's operations building. University of British Columbia looming in the background. Bowerman Photo

   This and the next showVancouver's remote transmitter site located on Lulu Island (Richmond B.C.) I'd expect these are a mix of high and mediumfrequency transmitters. To prevent interference the station's transmitter site would be some miles away from the receiver site.   Harris Collection

 

   The 1932 equipment has been replaced by the time this 1950's photo was taken.  VAI was busy on MF and HF by this time, passing message traffic to merchant vessels.  At published times the station would transmit the vessel call signs of any traffic the station was holding.  A vessel, upon hearing its call sign would contact VAI for the message being held. Communication with local light stations, small vessels, doing weather broadcasts and a myriad of other duties kept the operators busy. Harris Collection

   In the 1940's a monitoring station was set up to copy the Japanese signals in the Pacific.  The Japanese KANA code received would be passed onto the military for further handling/decipherment.  Art Healey is in the centre of the photograph while around him are the operators.  HRO receivers in abundance.  A couple of the ladies went commercial deep sea after the war.  Larry Reid's book says the station occupied the basement and second floors of the Point Grey building.  The windows in this photo do not match those of the Point Grey building, so the location is still open to discovery.  This station, of course, was completely separate from VAI itself.

    A complete list of all the 1964 staff. This list was attached to their 1964 Christmas card. 

  Harold Hammerer Collection

    1966 reception verification card from VAI. This would have been sent to a short waveradio listener as confirmation of hearing Vancouver Radio.

 

VAI's QSL card (click it to enlarge) signed by the OperationsSupervisor, Pierre Guiness.

2182, 1630, 2318, 2366 2738, 4098, 5521.5, 8236.4, 8939, 12347.5 kc/s plus121.5, 126.7 and 156.8 mc/s.

 

For some reason 500 kHz and 420 kHz are not mentioned.

 

Harold Hammerer Collection

   1982   Another QSL from VAI.  Lots of info in this mail out.

 

Harold Hammerer Collection

 

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Point Grey

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