by Alan Griffin (shared from the Radio Amateurs of Canada website)
On Saturday, January 19, 2019, with temperatures hovering at -24 Celsius, 50 Almonte Amateur Radio Club (AARC) members and friends gathered for their annual dinner evening in Almonte, Ontario.
The highlight of the event was the formal induction of club member Neil Carleton, VE3NCE, into the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame (CARHOF). Filling the hall were Neil’s family members and friends from near and far, former teaching colleagues and students, representatives of Radio Amateurs of Canada and CARHOF, and Amateurs from across the region and beyond. It felt very much like a gathering of extended family.
Robin Webb, VE3UIX, AARC President acted as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening’s festivities which began with a short presentation which included examples of Neil’s use of Amateur Radio to inspire and engage students, bring the world and space into the classroom, and make connections across the curriculum in math, language, science and social studies. The presentation featured an excerpt from the film record of the contact that the school made with the International Space Station (ISS) on November 23, 2001 and concluded with a video message from Neil’s longtime friend, fellow teacher and Chair of the RAC Youth Education Program, Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ, in Airdrie, Alberta.
Following the presentation there were speeches by: Ron Ferguson – Superintendent of Schools, Special Education and Wellness with the Upper Canada District School Board in Brockville; John Grow, VE2EQL – Member of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees for the Quebec Region; Richard Ferch, VE3KI – RAC Regulatory Affairs Officer; Aaron Barter – former Shortwave Listening and Amateur Radio Club student; and Maureen Dagg – mother of former student MeiLing Dagg.
Mississippi Mills Mayor Christa Lowry expressed her appreciation for being invited to the event and commented on the valuable service provided by the Almonte Amateur Radio Club to the community which included emergency preparedness stations established at the hospital and fire station.
Bob Clermont, VE3AKV, a long-time member and former Vice-President of the AARC and friend of Neil’s, concluded the evening’s formal speeches with amusing stories and anecdotes of how the school was transformed for the ISS contact in 2001 when over 400 parents and friends attended at 5.45 am for the 10-minute pass.
The formal presentation of the Hall of Fame plaque to Neil was made by RAC Regulatory Affairs Officer, Richard Ferch, VE3KI, of Ottawa and CARHOF Trustee John Grow, VE2EQL, of Montreal.
Radio Amateurs of Canada and the CARHOF Board of Trustees sincerely congratulate Neil on his induction into the Hall of Fame. A detailed account of his achievements will be presented in the March-April 2019 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine.
For more information on the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame please visit: https://wp.rac.ca/carhof/
For more information on the International Space Station contact in 2001 please visit: https://almontearclub.ca/r-tait-mackenzie-school-iss-contact-2001/
Frank Davis, VO1HP
Chair, Board of Trustees
Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame
Robin Webb, VE3UIX
Almonte Amateur Radio Club