Digby Island staff about 1915. Jack Bowerman on far right.

Staff Names O through R

   (*The BCD refers to the various British Columbia Business Directories. Their published data may be a year out of date.)

O'Neil, Miss   She was the junior clerk/bookkeeper at the Victoria HQ in 1923.


Orser, Lee   Operator at Estevan in the late 1940's early 1950's. Shifted up to Digby in the late 1950's. Was a radio technician at the Vancouver Airport in the latter 1960's, early 1970's.


Osborne, Joe   Joe got his license in 1943 and spent a few years up at Digby, Dead Tree, Spring Island and Coppermine NWT before leaving the service.


Palzant, F. A.   Bookkeeper in 1916 at the Victoria office earning $87.50/month. In 1923 is still on the job.


Parkin, Bill   Became a telegraphist with the British Post Office in 1902. Joined the wireless service in the 1912 from the British Post Office. Parkin went to eastern Canada for war duties. (A W.L.Parking served on the HMCS Malaspina in 1915 drawing $60/month.)In 1919 to 1924 he pounded brass at Point Grey. He had developed slight deafness and as a result found copying weak signals difficult and as a result was assigned office duties on the station. Parkin resigned from the service in 1924 and worked as a wireless operator for the Powell River Company. He was appointed as the Magistrate at Powell River in 1928 and spent some 30 years on the bench. Photo is from 1923.


Parkins, P.   1918 Estevan Point wireless operator. (BCD*)


Patterson   Patterson is noted in the Aitkens diary as being employed at an unknown occupation at Estevan Point in 1932.


Pattinson, Dick   Dick was at Point Grey before WW2. Was in Ottawa during the war, returning to the BC coast and Alert Bay afterwards. Within a year or two he left and started his own radio servicing business. He had his own aircraft and used it for 19 years to service remote coastal camps.


Payzant, F.A.   Book keeper in 1916 for the B.C. branch. Appears on a 1926 pay sheet. He took home $1,638.75 that year.


Pennefather, Pete    Operator at Vancouver Radio in 1964, and was on the Station P weather-ships around 1972.


Perkins, L.M.   Other than this signature I know nothing more about Perkins. The signature is from one of the well known Audel's reference books from the old Victoria workshop. From that I can assume he may have been one of the radio workshop lads.


Petersen, Fred   Electronics technician at VAI in 1964.


Pike, Armour   In 1960 Armour relieved Hooper as OIC at Digby and probably remained in that position until his retirement in the late 1960's. (email from R. deM.)


Pierce   Operator on the C.P.R. vessel Princess Louise in the early 1920's.


Pike, Gerald   Pike came to Canada from the UK in 1924. Pike replaced operator Daniels at Merry Island in 1926. Within three months he was dead from burns received in an accident with his pipe and an uncovered can of gasoline. See the newspaper clipping for the details.


Pike, L. H   Pike is noted in the Victoria Times August 31, 1909, as being busy (along with Zimmerman)installing the new wireless station on board the C. P. R. Steamer "Royal". At the time he was an employee of the United Wireless Company.


Pike, Percy.   Electronics technician at VAI in 1964. (d. 1971)


Pillar, William Robinson   1911 census has Pillar (b. 1872) listed as the Pachena Point lighthouse keeper. Annie Maria Pillar was the wife, and three children.


Potruff, E.V.   Potruff is listed as a radio operator at Bull Harbor in 1927 (BCD*). 1928 Pachena operator.


Purves, A.   Ex British Post Office telegrapher and is noted as a wireless station operator on the BC coast in 1910. In 1912 he was an operator at Victoria at $65/month.


Pyke, E.A.   Appears as an operator in Bull Harbor for a couple of years around 1938.


Raine, Tommy Chester.   Born in England 1873. Trained as a telegrapher with the British Post Office. Raine emigrated from the UK with his wife and Doris, their six year old daughter. He joined as a wireless operator in May 1911 and was broken in at Gonzales Hill. He was then transferred to Point Grey Wireless as the third operator. Since there was no real road between Vancouver and the Point Grey Station he spent the first year living on station in a tent with his family. He shows up in the 1911 census making $625/yr. He was at Estevan in the 1913-14 period. 1916 Dominion accounts have Tommy listed as an operator on the "Galiano" at $60/month. At that post he earned $613.16, perhaps a 10 month posting. 2nd operator at Digby Island in 1916 for a short period of time. According to the 1922 BC Directory he was operating at the Alert Bay station. (In 1926 he took home $1,966.50)
Raine retired after 27 years as an operator on the coast. At that time he was the Officer in Charge of the radio station in the Vancouver Merchants Exchange Building.
   After retirement Tommy pounded brass on several vessels, the last being the CPR's S.S. Princes Patricia in 1956. Died 1958.

Redford, Edward (Red)   Larry Reid's book has him listed on November 05/1923 as an operator. Redford was the OIC of the Estevan Point station in June 1942 when a Japanese submarine lobbed a few shells over their heads. He is easily identified in any photo as he was an amputee, losing one arm in Europe during World War 1.
   Thanks to his grand daughter Amy for sending me a note 8/2017 clearing up his name.
   When Fran Aitkens was at Estevan he found Redford to be a great practical joker and drove his lovely wife Helen nuts with his escapades. Redford had a trick tin of nuts that was really a jack-in-the-box.


Reid, Larry   Graduate of Room 19 Operator School in 1938. Rose through the ranks to become a Radio Inspector. In 1989 he published a history of the west coast wireless service for the 20th anniversary of the Federal Communications branch, viewable here.


Restall, Bruce A.   Restall apprenticed in the UK as a machinist, immigrated to Victoria and soon became a journeyman electrician. He went to Seattle in 1914 and passed his U.S. 1st. Class Operator's exam. In his spare time he built bits and pieces for amateur radio enthusiasts such as transformers, coils and spark transmitter parts. Restall came to the attention of the Wireless Service by his ‘amateur' wireless activities in contacting ships in the vicinity of Victoria and chatting. He joined the Navy at the outbreak of World War 1 and set up a radio operator's course. Larry Reid's book has him listed as a 'radio electrician' with the Radio Workshop in Esquimalt on November 05, 1923. He came under the wing of Haughton, was eventually offered a job and thus spent the next 40 years with the Wireless Service on the Canadian west coast. Take home pay n 1926 was $1,738.50 In 1937 he was an operator at Estevan Point (G.A. diary).


Rickensen, Ted   Met with Howard and Morse in 1908. He was apparently hired as a wireless technician by Howard and helped by installing equipment at the Pachena and Estevan Point Wireless Stations.


Robb, E.   Operator at VAI in 1964.


Robson, Basil H."Goofy"   Basil was an operator at Alert Bay Radio when Gene (Aitkens) Thomas was visiting her brother Clarence Thomas in 1929.
   Tommy Thomas notes Basil transferred to the CGS Newington after Alert Bay. In 1933 he is listed in Gene's dairy as being in the F.P.V. 'Givinchy'.
   Pattinson, in a note to me remembers: At the wireless one evening the grave yard operator came on duty and there was no one in the station. He looked around outside and found the operator, Basil Robson, shooting arrows at a target he had set up in the moonlight.


Robson, Bert H.   Joined the wireless service as an operator in the 1911-12 period, most likely from the British Post Office. Larry Reid's book has him listed on November 05, 1923. He was in Alert Bay for a few years at the end of the 1920's.


Robertson, A.   Operator at VAI in 1964.


Robertson, A.S.   District accountant in 1916 with a $1312.47 salary. The 1926 pay sheet shows a take home pay of $2,251.50.


Robertson, J.W.H.   Robertson's name appears on the Alert Bay Radio's 1933 Christmas card along with three other names.


Robertson, Robbie   Robbie was the last operator in charge at Estevan before the relocation to Tofino Airport.


Rogers, J   Electronics technician at VAI in 1964.


Roche P.    He was a rigger and was at Triangle Island with engineer Stephenson shortly after 1912. The two of them witnessed another storm, strong enough to bulge in the dwelling windows. (Reid’s book has a photo with Roche and is dated 1914 where he is on his way to Digby Island.) Roche was an operator at Triangle Island, leaving in 1914 for Digby Island. On the pay roll as a rigger in 1916 earning $1020. Roche worked only a few years as a rigger before passing away from pneumonia.


Rush, Walter A.   Rush was a former Marconi employee and assistant to C.P. Edwards, Superintendent of the Service from 1919 and controller at the Department of Transport until the end of World War II. (Thanks to Laval for this info.)


Ryan, Bill   Operator at the Vancouver Japanese code intercept station during W.W.2


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