Originally from Parry Sound, Ontario, Robert D. (Bob) Cooke developed an interest in communications at a young age, beginning as a shortwave listener and youthful associate member of the ARRL.
He spent many hours listening to hams and
other stations on a vintage
AM military radio, becoming well-versed in radio operating terminology and
techniques. His love of Amateur
Radio was firmly established in those early years.
While in high school Royal
Canadian Army Cadets,
he was introduced to The Wireless Set No. 19, a world war two “tank”
transceiver, on which he trained at Camp Borden
(now Canadian Forces Base Borden), receiving his Canadian Army Group 1 Signals
certificate and subsequently becoming a cadet instructor for the 19 Set.
Today he has several operating 19s and since 1997 has hosted “The Wireless Set No. 19” Internet website, an authoritative site visited by vintage military communications enthusiasts from around the world, most of whom are hams. He is an executive member of The Wireless Set No. 19 Group (WS19G), formed in 1991 by VA3ORP and VE3CBK, and a member of the telecommunications arm of the Museum of Applied Military History, as well as of the RCAFCS (Royal Canadian Air Force Commemorative Squadron).
Bob pursued his interest in radio as a
Communications Operator (Com-Op) in the Royal Canadian Air Force and later with
the Canadian government's Department of Transport Telecommunications Branch, Air Services
Division, where during a vigorous six-month course in Ottawa he was trained for and
subsequently worked DOT circuits in marine and aviation radio communications.
He is an Industry Canada accredited
examiner for Amateur Radio and, until recently, a volunteer examiner for VHF
Radiotelephone Marine Operator certificates.
Co-founder of the Parry Sound ARC, Bob has also served on the executive of the Orillia ARC and alternately as a Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Assistant Director, District Emergency Coordinator, Regional Director, Vice President for Field Services and RAC President/Chairman of the Board. He resigned from the President/Chairman post at the end of October, 2009, ceasing involvement with the RAC Board and Executive.
RAC Certified Emergency Coordinator and recipient of several certificates in the
area of emergency management and communications training, Bob holds Amateur Radio calls VE3BDB, VE3BD,
VA3BDB, VA3VBE and VA3ROR and
custodian of VA3WSN, the official call sign of the WS19G.
Bringing new operators into Amateur Radio
has always been an interest for him and he has been active in organizing
and conducting Basic Qualification courses.
with the vital assistance of Doug Campbell VA3DC, operates 10-metre Amateur
Radio Propagation Beacon VA3ROR at 28.191.5 mHz and is active on most Amateur
bands, especially HF.
He has held three special event call signs: VC3F
for the Centennial of Powered Flight in December 2003; CF3VEDAY,
an historic, first-ever 5-letter Amateur Radio call marking the official opening of the Canadian War
Museum and the 60th anniversary of VE DAY
A member first of the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation (CARF) and then of RAC upon the latter’s formation, he is retired and lives quietly in Orillia, Ontario, having served thirty years as a member of the Ontario Provincial Police, the last eleven of which were at OPP General Headquarters.
Bob is a firm believer in a national Amateur Radio organization and his former involvement with the RAC was his way of actively promoting the Amateur Radio service in Canada and safeguarding its future while improving it as a community resource.
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