Tag Archives: Radio Canada International

William Westenhaver, RIP

UK-DXer-RCI-QSL

Sheldon Harvey kindly posted the following notice regarding William (Bill) Westenhaver on the NASWA Winter SWL Fest Facebook group:

I’m sad to report the passing this week of a person well known within the radio hobby community, William (Bill) Westenhaver.

A native of Angola, Indiana, Bill moved to Montreal in the late 1960s, where he spent the rest of his life. An avid shortwave listener, DXer and QSL collector, Bill was an active member of several radio clubs including CIDX and Speedx. He was a participant in numerous ANARC conventions and Winter SWL Festivals.

Bill took a job with Radio Canada International, working in the Audience Relations department. One of his principal duties was issuing RCI QSL cards for reception reports received from around the world. Bill went on to other duties within the CBC/Radio-Canada headquarters in Montreal.

Bill was an active member of the Coalition to Restore RCI Funding and the RCI Action Group, the ad hoc groups that worked tirelessly to restore and/or retain the services of Radio Canada International on shortwave.

Bill was also the original co-host of The International Radio Report, with Sheldon Harvey, on CKUT-FM in Montreal. He also worked on a number of other programs on CKUT over the years.

Bill passed away earlier this week here in Montreal. We extend our condolences to all of his family and friends. He will be fondly remember throughout the radio community.

Sheldon Harvey

RCI’s The Link also posted the following message:

All members of RCI are mourning the sudden loss this week of William Westenhaver Bill was an integral member of the RCI team for years, handling our mail and prize mailouts, as well as participating in a number of shows over several years, especially on the various iterations of the “mailbag” shows. Bill adored shortwave radio, and with the budget [cuts], found work in another department of Radio Canada, but stayed in touch with many of us, always with a smile and friendly word in the hallways of this big building. We shall miss him dearly.

I never met Bill in person, but I communicated with him many times. He received my reception reports, issued QSL cards, and set up a couple of interviews on RCI.

If you’ve ever requested a QSL from RCI, Bill was most likely the fellow who issued your cards. Bill was an incredibly friendly and helpful fellow.

I’m also forever grateful for his help in securing a special guided tour of the RCI Sackville transmitter site–only months before it was closed.

Many thanks, Sheldon, for sharing your memories–condolences to his family and many friends.

Update: RCI recently posted this memorial page for Bill.

Tom’s 1981 off-air recording of RCI’s Shortwave Listener’s Digest hosted by Ian McFarland

I snapped a photo of this propagation poster in RCI's Sackville, NB transmitter site only months befor ethe site was closed.

A propagation poster in the foyer of RCI’s Sackville, NB, transmitter site only months before the site was closed. (Photo: Thomas Witherspoon) 

Tom Laskowski, has been generously contributing a number of off-air shortwave radio recordings to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA).

Recently, he shared a series I’m sure many of you remember. Tom writes:

My first contribution of many recordings I have of Radio Canada International’s Shortwave Listener’s Digest hosted by Ian McFarland.”

“The first 12 1/2 minutes is Bonsoir Africa. The recording was made using a cheap GE portable. The audio quality isn’t great but it’s still very nostalgic listening to a program I recorded 34 years ago.”

This brings back many memories of one of my favorite shortwave programs–thank you, Tom!

The audio quality actually reminds me of one of my first analog portables, Tom! Nostalgia at its best.

Check out all Tom’s SRAA contributions by clicking here. While you’re at it, bookmark the SRAA!

Shortwave Radio Recordings: RCI, BBC, VOA circa 1979 & 1981

HalliDial

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who shares the following recording and notes:

A few snippets from my old shortwave tapes that were too short to upload individually. These were made using a GE portable multi band that had poor selectivity, hence the annoying ute during the BBC clip.

Times of individual clips are:

  • 00:00 – 01:59: 1979, July 19 – RCI, frequency announcements in English and french.
  • 01:59 – 09:51: 1979, July 20 – BBC, newscast, bothered by an annoying utility station.
  • 09:51 – 11:38: 1981, August 28 – VOA, science news item about Voyager 2
  • 11:38 – 14:52: 1981, August 29 – VOA, science news item about Voyager 2

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Wojtek Gwiazda retires from RCI

Wojtek’s final appearance on the Link in RCI’s remaining studio, with Lynn and Marc on Friday May 1, 2015 © Leo G- RCI (Source: RCI)

Wojtek’s final appearance on the Link in RCI’s remaining studio, with Lynn and Marc on Friday May 1, 2015 © Leo G- RCI (Source: RCI)

My friend, Wojtek Gwiazda, who has been a host and journalist for Radio Canada International–and an integral part of the RCI Action Committee–has retired.

Click here to listen to an exit interview with Wojtek on RCI’s The Link.

Also, check out this page and audio from the RCI website.

Wojtek: here’s wishing you the best in your retirement!

Richard’s CBC Radio-Canada QSL and interview with RCI

radio_canada1

Many thanks to SWLing Post and SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, who writes:

“[C]oncerning the RCI anniversary, attached are scans of a QSL card from the CBC International Service for reception on 20 April 1964 when I was in high school. That was on the Knight-Kit Span Master regenerative receiver I had built the previous Christmas.”

radio_canada2 (1)

“About 50 years later (in 2012, actually), I did an interview with RCI’s Victor Nerenberg on GPS and the ionosphere, which appeared on the RCI program “The Link.”

It’s still on their website:
http://www.rcinet.ca/english/archives/program/the-link/home/date/27-01-2012/
(about 15 minutes in)
and
http://www.rcinet.ca/english/archives/program/the-link/archives/episode/09-10_2012-01-30-the-link-friday-january-27-2012/

The RCI site also is featuring some information related to the 70th anniversary:
www.rcinet.ca/rci70-en/

And, lastly, there’s also some interesting stuff in the CBC’s Digital Archives under
http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/arts-entertainment/media/radio-canada-international-canadas-voice-to-the-world/broadcasting-to-the-world.html
There was also an episode of the CBC Rewind archives program on RCI:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Rewind/2011/ID/2167995222/

Many thanks, Richard! I wish I understood the ionosphere as well as you do–that was a fascinating interview. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Gorgeous QSL card, by the way!

Remembering Radio Canada International’s final shortwave broadcast

The transmitter building of Radio Canada International, Sackville, NB.

The transmitter building of Radio Canada International, Sackville, NB.

I spent the summer of 2012 in an off-grid cabin on the eastern coast of Prince Edward Island, Canada. That summer, I listened as two of my favorite shortwave broadcasters left the air within weeks of each other: Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Radio Canada International.

I was able to not only listen to the final broadcasts of Radio Netherlands, but also record them. I wrote a post about that memorable experience.

Ironically, though I was only a geographic stone’s-throw from the RCI Sackville transmitter site, I struggled to hear any Sackville signals as my location was too close for skywave propagation and a little too far for ground wave. Though I paid a visit to the transmitter site only two days prior, I was unable to hear or record RCI’s final broadcast.

Unlike RNW’s final broadcasts, RCI’s ended without fanfare and quite abruptly. This week, I heard a recording of that final RCI broadcast for the first time. My friend, Rajdeep Das, recorded it on June 24, 2012 in Kolkata, India. Rajdeep has kindly shared his recording with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive and here on the SWLing Post.

This is a short 10 minute recording, beginning at 1550 UTC, June 24, 2012 on 11,675 kHz. Listeners will note that the broadcast ends abruptly during the mailbag program–obviously the Sackville transmitters were turned off prematurely.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

While we’re talking about RCI, I would also like to thank @LeedsRadio, @UKDXer and Al Holt for sharing the following brilliant QSLs and pennant:

UK-DXer-RCI-QSL

Source: @UKDXer via Twitter

LeedsRadio-RCI-NorthQuebecService-QSL

Source: @LeedsRadio via Twitter

Al-Holt-RCI-QSL

Source: @grovekid2 (Al Holt) via Twitter

 

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

SWLing Post readers should note that Rajdeep Das has a DX blog you should visit. I’ve added Rajdeep’s site to our blog roll. Thanks again, Rajdeep!

Special Broadcast: 70th Anniversary of Radio Canada International via PCJ

RCI-Logo(Source: PCJ Radio International)

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of Radio Canada International. On March 16, 2015 from 0100 to 0200UTC PCJ Radio International will present a special tribute program for their 70th Anniversary.

The program will include a recent interview with Eric Koch who was a presenter in the German Section. He will talk about the test transmissions that took place before the CBC International Service was officially inaugurated on February 25, 1945. And a special program produced and presented by Ian McFarland and Bob Cadman for the 40th Anniversary.

All times UTC
Latin America – 2300 to 0000UTC (March 13, 2015)
North America – 0100 to 0200UTC (March 15 from 9 to 10pm EDT)

Frequencies for the Americas are:
9955khz –2300 to 000UTC
7570khz – 0100 to 0200UTC

There will also be a special e-QSL issued.

Regards,
Keith Perron
PCJ Radio International