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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX001 (2012)

ARLX001 Former RAC President Earle Smith, VE6NM (SK)

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 1  ARLX001
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 28, 2012
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX001 Former RAC President Earle Smith, VE6NM (SK)

Earle Smith, VE6NM, of Grand Prairie, Alberta -- who served as
President of the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) from 2004-2007 --
passed away Friday, February 24. He was 81. An active radio amateur
since 1948, first licensed as VE1SA, Smith enjoyed meeting amateurs
from all over Canada and the world.

"Earle was well respected by Amateur Radio operators both within
Canada and internationally," said current RAC President Geoff
Bawden, VE4BAW. "He was a gentleman and friend to all hams and a
strong advocate for Amateur Radio and for the Radio Amateurs of
Canada. All who knew Earle respected him as a leader, a friend and a
force for good in the Amateur Radio community. We will miss him."

Smith served as Northwest Alberta Director of the Amateur Radio
League of Alberta (ARLA), and later as the Assistant Director for
Northwest Alberta for the Canadian Radio Relay League (CARL), as
well as various executive positions with the Canadian Amateur Radio
Federation (CARF). He worked on the merger of the CARF and CRRL to
form Radio Amateurs of Canada. Before becoming RAC President, Smith
served as RAC Director for Alberta, the Northwest Territories and
Nunavut. As RAC President, he served as the RAC Delegate Team Leader
to several IARU Region 2 conferences.

Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia; at age 17, he enlisted in the
Royal Canadian Air Force, serving 21 years. Upon retirement from the
military, Smith joined ATCO, an energy company in Alberta. After 24
years with ATCO, he retired once again and began a new career as a
truck driver for the petroleum exploration and drilling industry,
driving in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
While Smith said he did not consider himself an "Ice Road Trucker,"
he did make several trips up the MacKenzie River in the Northwest

"Earle's devotion to Amateur Radio and his down-to-earth
friendliness earned not only respect, but also affection from those
who had the good fortune to know him," said ARRL President Kay
Craigie, N3KN. "Earle's passing is a loss to Amateur Radio in Canada
and to the whole ham radio family."

Smith was a Life Member of the RAC, the Quarter Century Wireless
Association (QCWA, Chapter 151), the Society of Wireless Pioneers
(SOWP), and a member of the ARRL and of several amateur clubs across
Canada. Smith noted that he was proud to be the sole Canadian
recipient of the prestigious Azteca Award from the Federacion
Mexicana de Radioamateur Experimentadores (FMRE), for services
rendered to Amateur Radio in Canada and Mexico. "It was a privilege
for me, while serving as RAC President, to visit every Canadian
Province and Territory while meeting many amateurs," he said on his
QCWA bio. "I've also attended several QCWA National conventions and
enjoy meeting so many enthusiastic amateurs."

"Earle also held the call VE8BY, and to 6 meter enthusiasts, that
call means 'The Baffin Island Beacon,' which was located on 50.050
MHz," explained ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave
Patton, NN1N. "Earle's love of Northern Canada and 6 meters combined
to give the rest of us a unique operating thrill -- hearing a signal
from Baffin Island. As well as seeing Earle when he attended ARRL
Board meetings on behalf of RAC, I had the pleasure of attending
conferences with him in Mexico at FMRE events. Earle instantly
earned friendship and rapport with our counterparts in Mexico, and I
could tell that he would be liked and respected by anyone he met.
Earle was a 'Ham's Ham' and a 'Man's Man' and I will miss him."
According to his QCWA bio, Smith said his favorite band was 6
meters; he sponsored two 6 meter beacons: VE8BY at Iqaluit and
VE6ARC near Grande Prairie.

"Earle Smith was one of the most passionate Canadian amateurs you
could meet," IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, told the ARRL. "A
loyal supporter of the Amateur Service in Canada and
internationally, he was a true friend of the IARU. I had worked with
Earle at Radio Amateurs of Canada and valued his calm demeanor and
his ability to form a consensus on difficult issues. His leadership
within RAC was second to none. He will be missed not only in Canada,
but by his many friends around the world."

The RAC has set up a website at for
friends and colleagues to leave their remembrances and condolences.
A memorial service is planned for Thursday, March 1 at St Paul's
United Church in Grand Prairie.


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