Open Letter to the Board, Executive and Members of the Radio Amateurs of Canada

October 30, 2009

To: RAC Corporate Secretary

cc. RAC Board of Directors and Executive

      RAC Members 

Greetings, all.

I take no pleasure in writing this letter but I believe it is necessary in the interests of the RAC and its members, so as to provide some understanding of the present situation within the RAC.

When I accepted the ten-month appointment of the Board of Directors to the position of president of the Radio Amateurs of Canada on February 24, 2009, to fill the remainder of the term left vacant by the resignation of the previous president, it was with the understanding that the Board saw an urgent need for change within the organization.  I also understood that no one else approached by the Board would accept the task.   

Therefore, in good faith and with the belief I had the support and cooperation of the Board, I reluctantly accepted the appointment.  Two months remain in that appointment.  

My acceptance was “reluctant” because I never aspired to the position of president and never expected it.  I accepted because I agreed that serious action was required to prevent the corporation from falling deeper into what might be seen as despair and disorganization, and because of my genuine affection and sincere concern for the RAC.  

Make no mistake; being president of the RAC is a huge undertaking, requiring hours of dedicated work and dealing with fires big and small.  Anyone who has been there will know exactly what I mean.  Anyone who hasn’t will have little or no idea what is actually involved.  Fortunately, my previous years of experience with the Board and Executive prepared me in large measure.

Over the ensuing months, I went about the task of dealing with matters of concern to the Board, with integrity and vigour, in a straight forward manner and always with the best interests of the RAC and its members in mind.  Certain circumstances made the job even more onerous than normal.  

However, at the same time I became increasingly dismayed at what I saw as wrong-headed and misguided actions of the Board.  The show of support I expected and needed seemed to be slowly but surely decreasing, while at the same time my efforts on behalf of the RAC were increasing.    

In fact, I was spending eight to ten hours or more virtually each and every day of the week on RAC business and making monthly trips from my home in Orillia, Ontario, to RAC HQ in Ottawa on behalf of the corporation.  There was a lot of work to be done and a lot of repairs to be made.  

I became disillusioned and disappointed as the majority of directors adopted an attitude which I saw as being detrimental to the corporation’s goals and objectives and contrary to the best interests of its members in general.  It also became less than collegial, thereby increasing the level of personal stress put on me.  

The result is I have lost all confidence in the ability of the present RAC Board to govern and manage the affairs of the Radio Amateurs of Canada Incorporated. 

For that reason, I hereby resign as president of the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc., effective October 31, 2009.  

This action is completely of my own volition and not because of any request or demand by the RAC Board, contrary to what reportedly has been suggested by one Director in a public venue.

I do not take this action lightly and am greatly saddened that circumstances have made this decision necessary but, at the end of the day and in all good conscience, my sense of duty and personal values leave me no other option.  This is no longer an organization of which I wish to be an officer.   

There are those who will say, among other things, that my resignation is a “knee jerk” reaction, the result of being disappointed at not being elected to a full two-year term in the recent election of executive.   

They will be wrong.  

My decision to stand for election to a full term as president, a decision that was agonizingly made only in late August 2009 after interviewing a person who, the following month, I hired as RAC’s office manager, was because I wished to continue what I had started in my efforts to bring the RAC back to a viable full service organization for its members.  I did not particularly relish the job but I saw it as being necessary and was ready to take it on.  Had any other fully qualified candidate with proven experience as a RAC executive or director stepped up for election, I most probably would not have put my name forward.   

The organization is hurting.  This is not the time for the RAC to change horses in mid stream, to switch to untried and inexperienced leadership lacking knowledge of the RAC inner workings, regardless of good intentions by newcomers, and I have no doubt those newcomers have good intentions.  But I wonder if they fully understand what they are getting themselves into and the challenges that await them.  I have to wonder at the Board’s rationale in allowing this to happen at such a crucial time in the RAC’s history, when both revenue and membership numbers are so tenuous.  I, for one, find this to be a cavalier and dangerous course.  

There is no ego trip or personal agenda involved on my part, just an honest, sincere and principled desire to complete what I started for the good of the RAC.  Nor do I consider myself as being the only person in the RAC membership who can do the job, given the necessary knowledge, time and support.   

However, I was already in the position and closely acquainted with the problems, as well as with many of the solutions.  I could see what had to be done and, employing my knowledge of and long experience with the RAC, I wanted to make sure it happened.  That opportunity is now gone, not for me personally, but for the RAC.  This is NOT about me.

I wish to point out that Ontario South Region Director Geoff Smith VA3GS, and Quebec Region Director Noël Marcil VE2BR, were to the best of my knowledge the only two members of the Board to recognize the error of the Board’s ways and to display what I consider as integrity throughout this crisis.  As a member of the RAC, I extend thanks to them both.  

It is my fervent wish that the RAC, as an organization, will be able to rise above the current situation and act in accordance with its constitutional mandate by putting the organization first and foremost.  My belief in the need for a viable national Amateur Radio organization has not lessened one iota.  

I’ve had a long association with the RAC.  The success and strength of the RAC as a member-based national organization for all Radio Amateurs in Canada has always been the focus of my many years of service to the corporation in various roles and I wish it well.  

I leave the RAC executive with my head held high and with apologies to the many friends and supporters I have within the Amateur Radio community that this decision had to be made.  I trust that they will understand my reasons.  Sincere thanks go to them for their support.   

Congratulations and best wishes are extended to my successor and to all those who allowed their names to be placed in nomination.  Good luck to you and thank you for your willingness to volunteer as a RAC official.  



R.D. (Bob) Cooke VE3BDB


Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.


“We’re ALL about Amateur Radio!”

“Tous ensemble pour la radioamateur!”  

Postscript:  I am overwhelmed with heartfelt gratitude to all who, by telephone and especially by email, have shown their support of my actions.  Thank you all so very, very much.  Words cannot adequately express my appreciation. -- VE3BDB  05 Nov 09