Father’s Day weekend

This Father’s Day weekend, some long-lost kin are going to connect at the Burnaby Village Museum, thanks to the Burnaby Amateur Radio Club.

The club is holding a special event, hosted by the museum, to celebrate the centennial of Burnaby’s C.W. Parker Carousel No. 119.

They will be operating outside the museum on Saturday and Sunday, and will be talking to radio operators at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth, Kansas, where carousel No. 119 was built and three carousels, including No. 118, currently reside.

Eric Stapleton, a member of the club (call sign VE7EES) and the Burnaby Historical Society, said society president Goldie Carr was asking for ways to mark the 100th birthday of the carousel at a meeting last year.

“I suggested that amateur radio might be a way we could publicize the carousel around the world,” he said.

The society spoke with the museum’s curator, Lisa Codd, and the club’s president Karla Wakefield, who were interested in the idea, he said.

The idea has since taken off with help from both groups, he added.

Industry Canada, which regulates amateur radio, granted a unique call sign for the special event, which can only be used between June 15 and July 15, and cannot be used again for 100 years, according to Stapleton.

Canadian call signs are usually six characters long and start with VE or VA. The event’s seven-character call sign is CG7CWPC.

“This call sign is only going to be issued once, in my lifetime anyway,” he said.

Every station that contacts the club at that call sign during the event will receive a QSL card commemorating the occasion.

The cards – designed by museum staff – have pictures of the carousel horses on them and space on the back for proof of contact – date, call signal, etc.

The club will be setting up on Saturday morning at 8 a.m., though the carousel doesn’t open until 11 a.m.

“We’ll be right outside the doors of the carousel talking to people all over the world,” Stapleton said.

“It’s probably the first thing we’re going to do on Saturday,” he said, regarding contacting the other car-ousel. “We’ll be talking to the mothership down there in Kansas.”

Participants can speak to people at stations all around the globe, he added, as well as try their hand at Morse code, and check out radio equipment from the 1920s.

Nancy Stagg, marketing coordinator for the museum, said the club event is part of the museum’s Father’s Day weekend celebration.

Other attractions include the Pacific Spirit Quilters demonstrations and displays; Chicks with Sticks, a five-piece clarinet ensemble; a Two O’Clock Toonie bachelor’s tour on both days and Footlight Theatre’s Vaudeville Varieties on Sunday.

For more information, go to www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

Club web site : http://www.ve7bar.org

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