From Small Beginnings

A Brief History of the Guelph,
Kitchener-Waterloo and 
South Waterloo Amateur Radio Clubs.

Produced by the Kitchener-Waterloo Amateur Radio Club.

Chapter Two
The Progressive Radio Club

Radio amateurs are a gregarious lot. They are happiest when they are a recognized member of a group. They love to talk, talk, talk. Get a group of them together and believe it or not they all seem to talk at once.

It seems this is natural...they deal with communication either on code or phone. They are interested in their own problems of equipment and radio propagation but they are also interested in the other man's problems and how he solved them.

In a new hobby there are generally plenty of problems so it is quite natural that one amateur wants to discuss his problems with another amateur. So lasting friendships are developed over the air, perhaps thousands of miles apart.

It is also quite natural that groups start meeting on a regular basis to discuss their mutual concerns. Therefore hobby clubs are formed and fulfil a definite requirement.

In the case of Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Preston, Hespeler and Galt in the late 1920's and early 1930's, the amateur radio hobbyists were increasing in number. In addition to discussing their problems over the air a number of them believed that a formal club would be desirable for further group discussion, general training and understanding. This organization was called the Radio Club of Galt and was formed in late 1933. Blackie Taylor VE3ABZ

For some months the group met in the basement of Mr. James Sweet who lived at 28 Cameron Street in Galt. The group consisted mainly of the men listed below and organized by Mr. H.L. "Blackie" Taylor VE3ABZ (see photo) and came from the various towns and cities mentioned above. Records of these early days are almost nil and we are indebted to Mr. Taylor for permission to publish these two lists from his files.

Expenses did not seem very great, 50 cents per meeting per man which for the February 1936 meeting came to a grand total of $7.00. However postage in these days was probably 3 cents per letter or notice of meeting.

Early Members active in organizing.
Hugh Watt VE3AHQ
Newt Good VE3CY
Norm Friedmann VE3HM
Con Gorth VE3UM
Earl Stickney VE3QW
Fred Hammond VE3HC
Roy Chappell VE3AVE
Fred Holm VE3SM
Bill Scott VE3ZS
Bill Barrie VE3AAS
H.L. Taylor VE3ABZ
Gord McPhail VE3IH
Stan Jackson VE3AIX
Mac Gammon VE3ZM
Doc Cummings VE3ZR
Bill Martin VE3IC
Jim Sweet VE3AAI
Paid up Members at the Feb 1936 Meeting
Orm Boettger VE3CBU
C.E. Baker  
Norm Friedmann VE3HM
Con Gorth VE3UM
Earl Stickney VE3QW
Fred Hammond VE3HC
Roy Chappell VE3AVE
T.F. Makey  
Dick Lippert  
Don Russel  
Jerry Connor  
Glen Kritzer  
Hubert Stumpf VE3BIQ/VE3IZF

The group seemed to prosper and fill the needs of the radio amateurs. However in 1936 Mr. "Blackie" Taylor VE3ABZ believed the time had come to establish the club on a proper organization. The name chosen was The Progressive Radio Club. The club grew and joined in various activities with other clubs in Brantford, Hamilton, Buffalo etc.(a list of activities follows)

It is interesting to note the "Hamfest" at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener on the 24 May 1939. The ticket shown here was purchased by Hubert Stumpf, VE3BIQ/IZF  Also note the Field Day in Preston.

The first President of the Progressive Radio Club was W.H. "Bill" Barrie VE3AAS now living in Almonte (1983). Meetings were held in the Kitchener Y.M.C.A. building, in Guelph in the Physics building at the OAC (Ontario Agricultural College) and in Galt at the Y.M.C.A. The meetings were rotated between the three locations.

Some of the Club's Activities
during the Period

11 July 1937
Brantford Picnic at Crystal Springs.

14 September 1938
Meeting at the Kitchener YMCA, 8 PM.

25 February 1939
VHF Meeting, YMCA in Buffalo, 7:30 PM.

(Date unknown)
The Picnic at Puslinch Lake.

24 May 1939
Hamfest at the Walper House, Kitchener.
Hubert Stumpf, VE3BIQ/IZF see his original admission ticket to this Hamfest above.

June 1948
Field Day at the crossroads of Hespeler, Galt and Preston. This was at the south-east corner of Eagle Street and Highway 24.

1946 FD

The Club members from the Guelph area were Gord McPhail, Fred Holm, Mac Gammon, Fred Hammond, Roy Chappell, Ralph Bartlett, Crawford Robinson, Howard Mathews, Jack Bolton, Ross Walker and others.

From Galt the members were Blackie Taylor, Mate Wilson, Johnny Bolt, Lloyd Jones, Bill Scott, Bill Barrie, Jack Stauffer, Connie Gorth, Gordon Clark, Jim Sweet, Bill Martin and others.

The Progressive Radio Club held meetings for several years until the outbreak of World War 2 when in 1939 the Federal Government closed down all amateur activities.

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