A Brief History of SPARC
On June 18, 1974, the Slemon Park Amateur Radio Club (SPARC) was established with 22 members. It was a joyous day in August when the club received notification from Communications Canada that it was issued the callsign VE1CFB. With this, the first QSO was made using the callsign VE1CFB from the clubhouse in Building 25 at CFB Summerside in Slemon Park on August 17, 1974. The first meeting was held in September and the first executive was elected: President – Bob McPhail VE1ZT; Vice-President – Gord Beaman VE1EO (SK); and Secretary-Treasurer – Ron Gebhardt VE1VE.
'74 Club Station
Gord Beaman (SK)
The club was actively involved with CFARS (Canadian
Forces Affiliated Radio System – similar to MARS in the USA) with the callsign
CIW81. Many hundreds of phone patches were run for servicemen deployed overseas
and the Arctic as well as Canadian Navy ships to their families here in Canada.
This system is all but shut down now because of the much improved
telephone systems available. The
club had changed over the years with new executives, new repeater equipment
, new repeater links, and new meeting places.
When CFB Summerside was closed the club was removed
from the base and in 1991 the club was incorporated as the
Radio Club Inc. Even though the
name had changed slightly, the SPARC initials were kept. Presently, the club consists of 72 members and the club
facilities are located at 99 Harvard Street in Summerside, PE.
The club is, as it was in the past, actively involved in promoting
amateur radio on Prince Edward Island, providing emergency communications when
needed and actively providing community service to the communities where its