Club History

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.

Bob MacPhail

Gord Beaman (SK)

Ron Gebhardt

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 Summerside Amateur 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 members reside.