Point Grey ' Y '
VAI Point Grey, B.C. ,
a coast station, is the ancestor of the Marine Traffic Control System in
Vancouver, having been in business since 1908. Some years later, during the
2nd World War, Point Grey got better known when women worked there. The lack
of radio operators was a problem and the government needed to intercept the
Japanese KANA Morse code.
Hence , space was acquired in the building to house
what was then called a ' Y ' or radio intercepts operation.
After several years of research, some tidbits of
information was gathered from discrete sources until some who worked there
were found and historical data was at last obtained. We are grateful to:
Photo Album - Early photos at Point Grey
and Lulu Island
Links to informative sites about YL Sparks a)
RAC b) YL
description of the Pt Grey station from Radio Craft magazine 1935
In 1950, part of a national program, the first
monitoring installation in the Pacific region, was made in a back room
at the Pt. Grey station. State of the art General Radio Co. precision
measurement equipment, together with an RCA AR88LF receiver, were supplied
An Ottawa technician made the installation with
assistance from Sid Woods from the Pacific Region Radio Workshop. Initially,
monitoring was restricted to below 30 MHz, but VHF capability was added
later. Vern Read was appointed as the monitoring operator, and this service
was only open weekdays, except when special assignments were required.
A work in progress !
Point Grey/Lulu Is./Steveston
progress ... (1936
- mid 50's ) for 'Y' or intercepts operation
with thanks to Larry Reid, Jim White, Olive Carroll Roeckner and others
A.L. 'Andy' OIC
Sammy, shift supervisor
, shift supervisor
joined as intercept operator 15 April 1939, was in the
first opr group for Kana intercepts at the beginning of the war and stayed
on until spring of 1943 when he went to the Wireless Workshop Victoria as a
technician. The first intercept position was manned by him, Herb
( Strachan ) Agnes , SK, was at the Radio School with Olive
both wrote their exam at the same time.
from Point Grey intercepts 1944-45 to DND 45-46 to sea early in 1947
was the first YL to get her radio certificate in western Canada, she worked
at VAI/Point Grey Marine then went to DND at
Victoria. Late '46, Ina married Vic Zariski who had worked at Lulu Island.
At War's end, Vic was posted to a station up the BC coast
(King ) Elizabeth
from Point Grey intercepts to DND to sea early in 1947
Thomas, Ron, later went to VAE and on to being a radio
Mayne, Tommy > formerly with the Merchant navy
Larry Reid wrote that at its peak, there were 28
in three shifts
When the war ended in Europe ended in 1945, many of those interceptors from
the East coast were transferred and a new facility at the old Williams Road
transmitter site on Lulu Island was installed but the 68 operators there had
not reached their peak efficiency when Japan surrendered.
Taylor, Charlie "Chas"
Wilson, Lorne 'Scotty'
Palmer (Smith) Lylie received her training in
Winnipeg and went from Hudson's Bay Moose Factory to Intercept at Lulu then
to Sparks on Norwegian ships to DOT Edmonton Aeradio
Taylor, Jim > 1944-45
B ?, Bill
Pre-war at VAI
( a work in progress )
Durkee, Ken M
Field, J.H. OIC in 1908
Gilliland, T. Gordon
J.H. MacDonald ( 1911 )
1920-23 : Lofty Harris, Daniels, Charlie Acton, Turner,
Burford, Kelk, Samuels Edmunds , Hector F Corriveau, Sam Gold , Bill
Parkin, Hollis, Jack Bowerman,