Bill Borrett


00:00:02 Speaker 1 

Yeah, well, that seems to be operating. 

00:00:05 Speaker 1 

The nice thing about these microphones that you can hear. 

00:00:10 Speaker 1 

Yeah, well, that seems to be operating. 

00:00:13 Speaker 1 

The nice thing about these microphones that you can hang them up. 

00:00:16 Speaker 1 

And forget about, yeah. 

00:00:16 Speaker 2 

That’s right. 

00:00:18 Speaker 1 

Well, how did you get interested in radio? 

00:00:20 Speaker 1 

Because there wasn’t really much around it in those days. 

00:00:23 Speaker 2 

Now they how it came in. 

00:00:28 Speaker 2 

During the first war. 

00:00:30 Speaker 2 

In the in the army. 

00:00:33 Speaker 2 

I used to be interested. 

00:00:36 Speaker 2 

And I used to spend a lot of time. 

00:00:40 Speaker 2 

With the signal group in the in the battalion and the. 

00:00:46 Speaker 2 

I decided on the war was over. I was going to have equipment on my own and the when the war didn’t get over 1919. 

00:00:58 Speaker 2 

I gather some junk together. 

00:01:02 Speaker 2 

And I could read telegraphy so I had no trouble getting a license. 

00:01:09 Speaker 2 

And I operated. 

00:01:13 Speaker 2 

A handset and I happened to be one of the I think it was the 2nd Canadian to ever work overseas. 

00:01:26 Speaker 2 

You see direct from here. 

00:01:29 Speaker 1 

To send signals. 

00:01:32 Speaker 2 

And then. 

00:01:34 Speaker 2 

I got to be so successful. 

00:01:39 Speaker 2 

In 1925. 

00:01:42 Speaker 2 

The the governments of the world decided to have a conference of experimenters and amateurs and everything in Paris, France, and I was like, holy of selectors represent Canada. 

00:02:03 Speaker 2 

And now I went to Paris in 1925. 

00:02:09 Speaker 2 

I can show you some pictures of the gang net and. 

00:02:15 Speaker 2 

As a result. 

00:02:17 Speaker 2 

When I came back, I got tremendous publicity. 

00:02:22 Speaker 2 

But to tell you the truth, up till that moment 1925, I didn’t know anything about broadcasting. 

00:02:31 Speaker 1 

You were how you’re using Morse code and signals and. 

00:02:33 Speaker 2 

Yeah, but then. 

00:02:37 Speaker 2 

Following that. 

00:02:39 Speaker 2 

There was a man named Berry Johnson, the manager involved in an electric. 

00:02:45 Speaker 2 

When he read about me, he sent for me and he said if I could get the company. 

00:02:53 Speaker 2 

To send some equipment down here, would you run it for us? 

00:03:00 Speaker 2 

Sure, I didn’t know anything about it and we had a Halifax radio listening club. 

00:03:11 Speaker 2 

And a couple of other fellows. 

00:03:16 Speaker 2 

Myself is about 3 hours from the committee and we told Bill Johnson to get the equipment that we’d run it. 

00:03:27 Speaker 2 

And so for a year we we opened up in the Carlton Hotel. 

00:03:34 Speaker 2 

And they just handed me the Mike and told me to go and the lottery. 

00:03:39 Speaker 2 

I had the gift of the gab. 

00:03:44 Speaker 2 

So then. 

00:03:46 Speaker 2 

We did fine, but then the end of the year, catastrophe came. 

00:03:52 Speaker 2 

His company sold all our equipment to a Vancouver outfit. 

00:03:58 Speaker 2 

And so I had to take the bold brother on. 

00:04:02 Speaker 2 

And I went around. 

00:04:06 Speaker 2 

Looking for. 

00:04:08 Speaker 2 

You know where I’d. 

00:04:10 Speaker 2 

I raised money and I came across. 

00:04:15 Speaker 2 

The late son of the build, Dennis. 

00:04:20 Speaker 2 

And I sold him the idea of buying from me news broadcast for the whole year, and he not only did that, but he. 

00:04:32 Speaker 2 

He said. 

00:04:34 Speaker 2 

By that, and if she likes space, they’re building a new hotel here in Halifax, and the Lord knows. 

00:04:43 Speaker 2 

I’ll talk to the directions about giving you space up there and so. 

00:04:51 Speaker 2 

I went and. 

00:04:53 Speaker 2 

Told the other fellows. 

00:04:56 Speaker 2 

And then what I was going to do, I was going to give up my job. 

00:05:01 Speaker 2 

What job did you have? 

00:05:03 Speaker 2 

I was a government employee that at that time in the Customs department. 

00:05:09 Speaker 2 

And I gave her that movie with her was crazy and I got equipment from Johnson. 

00:05:16 Speaker 2 

Me he bought for equipment from this company. 

00:05:20 Speaker 2 

And I opened up. 

00:05:22 Speaker 2 

$30,000 in debt I would rather. 

00:05:29 Speaker 2 

Do such a thing to it. 

00:05:30 Speaker 1 

Well, $30,000 in those days would be a lot of money. That’s what it cost you for the equipment, for the. 

00:05:37 Speaker 2 

Yeah, that was a 500 water. But the point was I had proven in the year before. 

00:05:46 Speaker 2 

How to solve time and how? 

00:05:49 Speaker 2 

And Dennis? 

00:05:51 Speaker 2 

Was wise enough. 

00:05:53 Speaker 2 

The newspaper, man beyond the whole. 

00:05:57 Speaker 2 

The need was wasn’t didn’t want that this radio stuff. 

00:06:01 Speaker 2 

Interfering with his businesses. 

00:06:04 Speaker 2 


00:06:05 Speaker 2 

So he backed me the 11th. 

00:06:07 Speaker 2 

He has turned out he never had to give me any money. 

00:06:12 Speaker 2 

I I earned it all. 

00:06:14 Speaker 2 

Who went? 

00:06:15 Speaker 2 

And from then on. 

00:06:19 Speaker 2 

I was on my own, but I was able to pay myself and pay the. 

00:06:27 Speaker 2 

Hundred 4034. 

00:06:30 Speaker 2 

Came with me to act as a program director and announces and one other as an operator. 

00:06:39 Speaker 2 

Do you have a staff? 

00:06:40 Speaker 2 

Of what about five or six people? 

00:06:44 Speaker 2 

And then? 

00:06:45 Speaker 2 

Then I got to go in the office and go. 

00:06:48 Speaker 2 

Wouldn’t go. 

00:06:49 Speaker 2 

Wouldn’t go. 

00:06:51 Speaker 1 

In the early days, how long would you be on the air on a per day? 

00:06:56 Speaker 2 

How on the about 2 hours it come on it come on the at 8:00 o’clock in the morning. 

00:07:03 Speaker 2 

And you’d sign off at 9, and you’d do office work when you see, and George Sullivan. 

00:07:12 Speaker 2 

And then. 

00:07:14 Speaker 2 

You might come on noon for a noon broadcast and go off again till the evening and six you’d come on at 6 and you might stay on till 8. 

00:07:30 Speaker 2 

And, but gradually, you know it’s got. 

00:07:35 Speaker 2 

So yeah, just stay on more and more. 

00:07:40 Speaker 2 

And the first thing you knew you were going all day with. 

00:07:44 Speaker 1 

And trying to do the office. 

00:07:45 Speaker 2 

Work too. 

00:07:46 Speaker 2 

Yeah, but I I did everything you see, I knew there was technical side enough. 

00:07:54 Speaker 2 

To know what all the equipment was. 

00:07:57 Speaker 2 

And when something would go wrong, I’d take off my coat and dig in, find out what was up with the equipment you used was made by Marconi. 

00:08:07 Speaker 2 

No made. 

00:08:08 Speaker 2 

Made by. 

00:08:09 Speaker 1 

By northern I’m sorry by northern every. 

00:08:12 Speaker 2 

And that’s very it was very fun looking and stuff. 

00:08:17 Speaker 2 

And you see that was the 1st. 

00:08:20 Speaker 2 

Real commercial station in Nova Scotia and with their first broadcast in May 1926. 

00:08:32 Speaker 1 

CHNS those call letters, did you? 

00:08:37 Speaker 1 

Well, how much? 

00:08:37 Speaker 1 

You said you you sold advertising and almost everybody did. 

00:08:41 Speaker 1 

Do you remember what a spot announcement would cost? 

00:08:44 Speaker 1 

Holiday has. 

00:08:46 Speaker 2 

About $2.00. 

00:08:49 Speaker 2 

And the. 

00:08:51 Speaker 2 

Exception. Sometimes only a dollar. Mm-hmm. But uh. Program half an hour, $30 see. 

00:09:03 Speaker 1 

That paid all the entertainers and everybody. 

00:09:04 Speaker 2 

Oh, oh, yeah, we understand they. 

00:09:08 Speaker 2 

Might be working if they got anything. 

00:09:12 Speaker 2 

But you know, they were like, like we were. 

00:09:14 Speaker 2 

They were enthusiasts. 

00:09:17 Speaker 2 

They wanted the publicity. 

00:09:19 Speaker 2 

They wanted to get on. 

00:09:22 Speaker 2 

And I’ll tell you one further. 

00:09:24 Speaker 2 

I started off. 

00:09:26 Speaker 2 

I paid him $15 a week. 

00:09:30 Speaker 2 

I need to be ready whenever I want it. 

00:09:33 Speaker 2 

And he admitted that now, Hank. 

00:09:37 Speaker 1 

Ohh yes. 

00:09:37 Speaker 1 

The country singer, yeah. 



00:09:41 Speaker 1 

You know, I’ve been quite a few people have come through the Frank Willis and. 

00:09:42 Speaker 2 

Ohh yeah, I know Frank and Austin. 

00:09:49 Speaker 2 

Oh, there were so many. 

00:09:52 Speaker 1 

As the the early days too, there were. 

00:09:55 Speaker 1 

There were some funny, some funny regulations they had. 

00:10:00 Speaker 1 

You couldn’t. 

00:10:01 Speaker 1 

You weren’t supposed to have records in the evening. 

00:10:03 Speaker 1 

And I just want to be alive. 

00:10:03 Speaker 2 

Very short. 

00:10:05 Speaker 1 

So I suppose you got that fair amount of life programming. 

00:10:08 Speaker 2 

They all quite a lot, but we had no trouble with those people. 

00:10:12 Speaker 2 

Just love to get. 

00:10:13 Speaker 2 

On the air. 

00:10:15 Speaker 2 

There’s men come up to me, to, to. 

00:10:19 Speaker 2 

And tell me of how they were on the whole laundry ministry or some other thing and uh. 

00:10:30 Speaker 2 

People or I can get anybody in the country from the mayor or the. 

00:10:39 Speaker 2 

The matter does matter how important they were. 

00:10:42 Speaker 2 

Offer me a chance to speak on radio. 

00:10:46 Speaker 1 

They they thought it was wonderful. 

00:10:49 Speaker 1 

Well, of course it was something brand new and all that had everybody’s attention. 

00:10:53 Speaker 1 

You knew if you had the people, the, the listeners. 

00:10:59 Speaker 2 

Were quite different to what they are. 

00:11:01 Speaker 2 

They, they they were all our friends. 

00:11:04 Speaker 2 

You know, there were only 7000 sets in all over Scotia when we started. 

00:11:12 Speaker 2 

And they were all homemade. 

00:11:15 Speaker 2 

And so they they show, people would write and phone you and talk to you like, you know, and steered you wrong. 

00:11:25 Speaker 2 

And what they wanted to. 

00:11:26 Speaker 1 

Hear to hear so that that was your audience survey was what you got in the mail. 

00:11:29 Speaker 2 

But I got into all sorts of funny things. 

00:11:37 Speaker 2 

Reasonable so well known. 

00:11:40 Speaker 2 

For instance. 

00:11:42 Speaker 2 

Senator Dennis. 

00:11:44 Speaker 2 

One day got it in his mind, will be very popular thing for him. 

00:11:51 Speaker 2 

If he broadcasts a hockey game, it was in November 2016, and he said his sports announcer. 

00:12:03 Speaker 2 

Who was a very good writer. 

00:12:06 Speaker 2 

And the next hockey player is showing with the meeting Nebraska. 

00:12:13 Speaker 2 

The poster has only been known 5 minutes. 

00:12:17 Speaker 2 

When the control phone rang and the sensor was on. 

00:12:23 Speaker 2 

And he said take him off and do it to yourself. 

00:12:30 Speaker 2 

One that had high broadcast hockey and Halifax, Moncton, Saint John’s versus Montreal, Toronto and all. 

00:12:43 Speaker 1 

You have to take your equipment with you, your microphones and your. 

00:12:48 Speaker 1 

And they were pretty heavy on. 

00:12:50 Speaker 2 

Our US right and yeah. 

00:12:52 Speaker 2 

And you had to often when you go and, you know broadcast, you have log all this stuff and put it all together and do your test and then go to it. 

00:13:04 Speaker 2 

But I’ll tell you. 

00:13:06 Speaker 2 

One thing I. 

00:13:09 Speaker 2 

That was in all your interviews with other. 

00:13:14 Speaker 2 

Fellows who you know. 

00:13:17 Speaker 2 

Poor pioneer. 

00:13:19 Speaker 2 

I bet there’s none of them ever had to do one thing. 

00:13:23 Speaker 2 

I’m gonna tell you. 

00:13:25 Speaker 2 

I was broadcasting from the Maple Leaf Gardens. 

00:13:30 Speaker 2 

The final game of the Allan Cup. 

00:13:33 Speaker 2 

Between Moncton and Port Arthur. 

00:13:38 Speaker 2 

And we used to when those games run. 

00:13:43 Speaker 2 

The three pairs we had acquired standing by the Victorians in Montreal, and when the period would end, the choir would sing and the organist would play, and then when the play going away, away they. 

00:14:02 Speaker 2 

Well, we were doing this final game and the second period was well within a class thing and having they switched back to me and the play began. 

00:14:15 Speaker 2 

The first thing we know the. 

00:14:19 Speaker 2 

Goalkeeper thought that she got hurt. 

00:14:22 Speaker 2 

And they took him off the ice. 

00:14:25 Speaker 2 

Then his whole team went off the ice. 

00:14:28 Speaker 2 

And was amongst the team always off the ice. 

00:14:32 Speaker 2 

And I had the talk, believe it or not, for 25 minutes before everybody came back. 

00:14:41 Speaker 1 

What do you remember? What? 

00:14:42 Speaker 2 

You talked about. 

00:14:43 Speaker 2 

Yes, I talked about. 

00:14:46 Speaker 2 

But I I got into telling them how we did the the work with they were and how we hooked them up and how we learned the names of the players and all that stuff, you know, 25 minutes on. 

00:15:06 Speaker 2 

Networking and nothing. 

00:15:09 Speaker 1 

What what stations would be getting it to be your own, of course. 

00:15:12 Speaker 2 

All right. 

00:15:17 Speaker 2 

On your life. 

00:15:21 Speaker 1 

Of course, it wasn’t easy to set up a network in those days. 

00:15:24 Speaker 2 

Know we have to, you know, to bring up the general manager, the telephone company. 

00:15:31 Speaker 2 

I remember when we wanted to hook up with CFC, Y showed us that. 

00:15:37 Speaker 2 

He says we’ll we’ll hook you up. 

00:15:40 Speaker 2 

But he says we don’t. 

00:15:42 Speaker 2 

Whether you’re going to burn up a cable or not going across the island. 

00:15:49 Speaker 2 

But it did it work, you know. 

00:15:51 Speaker 1 

It was. 

00:15:52 Speaker 1 

It was quite quite something and there was. 

00:15:54 Speaker 2 

But you see. 

00:15:56 Speaker 2 

Everybody in those days was cooperative, the general manager of the telephone company I talked to, not just the clerk so far away down the line. 

00:16:10 Speaker 1 

How much would it cost you? 

00:16:11 Speaker 1 

Do you have again? 

00:16:12 Speaker 1 

Do you have any recollection of how much a line the line charges would be? 

00:16:16 Speaker 2 

They were quite expensive in those for those days. 

00:16:22 Speaker 2 

But it was like a regular telephone, right? 

00:16:26 Speaker 1 


00:16:27 Speaker 1 

You have so much for mileage. 

00:16:28 Speaker 1 

What was the quality like? 

00:16:33 Speaker 2 

All right for hockey, but not too good for music till we got a little bit. 

00:16:40 Speaker 2 

But that that was so. 

00:16:43 Speaker 2 

Down the year. 

00:16:46 Speaker 2 

Strange to say, the sepia had the lines. 

00:16:51 Speaker 2 

Broadcast lines from Montreal to Saint John to Moncton, the Halifax on the sea and our pole and the they the CPR, set up the department and for broadcasting and. 

00:17:12 Speaker 2 

They have a controlled circuit and we could talk to them to control. 

00:17:19 Speaker 2 

Board all the way along the line and they do. 

00:17:22 Speaker 2 

Their excellent job. 

00:17:25 Speaker 2 

And you know, the CNN and the sepia. 

00:17:30 Speaker 2 

Is the most foolish thing when. 

00:17:33 Speaker 2 

Times got tough. 

00:17:35 Speaker 2 

The first thing they gave up was radio. 

00:17:38 Speaker 2 

They could have been the national network. 

00:17:42 Speaker 1 

Of course, the CNN network or what was left of it became, you know, the CRBC and the. 

00:17:47 Speaker 2 

Slam would charge that. 

00:17:53 Speaker 2 

Did you ever know? 

00:17:54 Speaker 1 

No, I didn’t use gone before I. 

00:17:56 Speaker 2 

It was a fun for. 

00:17:59 Speaker 1 

You know, there was that whole, the whole crowd of people was there. 

00:18:02 Speaker 1 

It was. 

00:18:02 Speaker 1 

It was nice to talk to Victoria and Hugh Robertson and Ernie Jackson and. 

00:18:07 Speaker 2 

But you know what I’m wondering now. 

00:18:11 Speaker 2 

We are set up. 

00:18:13 Speaker 2 

The Canadian side of the first around the world broadcast of King George the fifth. 

00:18:22 Speaker 2 

December, Christmas Day in 1932. 

00:18:28 Speaker 2 

And I was harmed wife. 

00:18:32 Speaker 2 

Being asked to speak first for Canada and there was a fellow named Duvalier and. 

00:18:40 Speaker 2 

Montreal Charlesworth and Toronto Robertson, Winnipeg. 

00:18:46 Speaker 2 

And Paul, in Vancouver. 

00:18:50 Speaker 2 

And they spoke from BBC. 

00:18:54 Speaker 2 

And then to me. 

00:18:56 Speaker 2 

And then when I got home. 

00:18:58 Speaker 2 

They went right across the country, run over. 

00:19:02 Speaker 2 

To Australia and New Zealand, India was back again to London when King George spoke. 

00:19:10 Speaker 1 

That was a big day. 

00:19:12 Speaker 1 

Ohh yes. 

00:19:12 Speaker 1 

Well of course it was very exciting too. 

00:19:14 Speaker 1 

In those days there to be able to do this. 

00:19:16 Speaker 1 

And as you say, the people excuse me, Nova Scotia or Edmonton or where with their little homemade. 

00:19:25 Speaker 2 

They got the government thought so much of it at that time. 

00:19:29 Speaker 2 

That way printed a book with all the pictures, the stations and the names of the people. 

00:19:41 Speaker 2 

And one thing I was reminded of this week, I heard a TV program on. 

00:19:49 Speaker 2 

Was Sir Tyrone Guthrie. 

00:19:54 Speaker 2 

I never knew this gentleman. 

00:19:56 Speaker 2 

But I shall never forget the thrill I got. 

00:20:03 Speaker 2 

When the. 

00:20:05 Speaker 2 

Broadcast was over. 

00:20:07 Speaker 2 

He sent me a. 

00:20:09 Speaker 2 

A telegram. 

00:20:15 Speaker 2 

What I had said that how I said it, sure that was a great thing for my mad night. 

00:20:23 Speaker 2 

Like it like it, said Tyrone. 

00:20:26 Speaker 1 

Well, he produced too, didn’t he? 

00:20:27 Speaker 1 

The historical series of the CNR ran a grant. 

00:20:33 Speaker 2 

They were. 

00:20:34 Speaker 2 

They were some of the best radio that we’ve ever done. 

00:20:40 Speaker 2 

And my friend Austin, where you see was fine, a lot of them. 

00:20:45 Speaker 1 

Now he brought Greg Guthrie over in the. 

00:20:50 Speaker 1 

You’ve been in really in private radio all your life and for many years. 

00:20:57 Speaker 1 

Of course, the CBC was the regulatory body as well. 

00:21:01 Speaker 1 

Now of course we’ve got the CR TC. 

00:21:03 Speaker 1 

Do you think it was a good idea to have somebody else other than the CBC? 

00:21:07 Speaker 2 

During the regulating well, it has turned out. 

00:21:14 Speaker 2 

They were very cooperative, you know. 

00:21:17 Speaker 1 

But they were broadcast people too, and they would understand your problem. 

00:21:19 Speaker 2 

Yeah, that’s right. 

00:21:22 Speaker 2 

And I’m a strange individual. 

00:21:26 Speaker 2 

I was in opposition to them, you know, competing in everything they did. 

00:21:33 Speaker 2 

But yet I cooperated with them in every way. 

00:21:40 Speaker 2 

And as a matter of fact, for a while they got me to produce shows, Father. 

00:21:47 Speaker 1 

Out of Halifax, yeah. 

00:21:48 Speaker 2 

And and. 

00:21:51 Speaker 2 

I got along fine with the CBC, fellas. 

00:21:56 Speaker 2 

And they’re all good friends. 

00:21:58 Speaker 2 

George Young did you? 

00:22:00 Speaker 1 

Even know him? 

00:22:00 Speaker 1 

I don’t know him, but. 

00:22:01 Speaker 1 

I’ve heard the name. 

00:22:03 Speaker 2 

He was uh. 

00:22:06 Speaker 2 

And Ted brief, you say I knew him from before he got into savc. 

00:22:14 Speaker 2 

He was. 

00:22:16 Speaker 2 

He was a representative of the Canadian Performing Rights Society. 

00:22:24 Speaker 2 

And I remember having trouble to see me the first time. 

00:22:30 Speaker 2 

And I just show you the funniest things I do. 

00:22:36 Speaker 2 

He came in and he told me who he was and he represent underperforming, right? 

00:22:42 Speaker 2 

And had no doubt I owed the money and I said I don’t like you or what you’re doing, but come in and sit down and I’ll give you an office and you know, girlfriend, do anything I can to help you. 

00:23:01 Speaker 2 

And we tend my. 

00:23:03 Speaker 2 

Became great friend and then he left that and got a job with the CBC. 

00:23:10 Speaker 2 

And he made it how he got in strong with the CBC. 

00:23:16 Speaker 2 

When the king and queen were here in 1939, I think it was. 

00:23:22 Speaker 2 

He was an ex naval officer, you see. 

00:23:26 Speaker 2 

And he did the broadcast of of the about the Queen, King and queen on board the the Ampersand Britain or whatever it was, and so on. 

00:23:39 Speaker 2 

And he did have this splendid job. 

00:23:43 Speaker 2 

Because he never he was talking about. 

00:23:47 Speaker 2 

I must say that often many of them. 

00:23:51 Speaker 2 

Did broadcast on something we didn’t know what we. 

00:23:53 Speaker 1 

Were talking about when you started running a station when you’re not quite sure what broadcasting is all about. 

00:23:59 Speaker 2 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:23:59 Speaker 1 

Everything else must be very easy. 

00:24:02 Speaker 2 

You know, but Ted was became a great friend of mine. 

00:24:06 Speaker 2 

He became out of time. 

00:24:08 Speaker 2 

Director after young. 

00:24:10 Speaker 2 

Then he became vice president. 

00:24:14 Speaker 2 

And so I had never had any. 

00:24:17 Speaker 2 

Trouble with those? 

00:24:21 Speaker 2 

And matter of fact, the CBC. 

00:24:24 Speaker 2 

Established the the studio up on the top of the Nova Scotia Hotel. 

00:24:32 Speaker 2 

And I was invited to use things like that besides her own. 

00:24:40 Speaker 1 

You know when it was available, of course, you did owe the performers money and the fact they were now becoming unionized. Yeah, you had to pay them more than $5 for 1/2 hour. 

00:24:52 Speaker 1 

That’s why you know where to go to one. 

00:24:55 Speaker 1 

This other thing you think now, now that we have the CR TC, you know an outside body doing the regulation, just think this is a good idea. 

00:25:03 Speaker 1 

Should we stay with the CBC itself? 

00:25:06 Speaker 2 

Well, I I it depends on the personnel of of whoever they put into that job. 

00:25:17 Speaker 2 

But at least the CBC for us, know what the hell it’s all about, and that’s important. 

00:25:27 Speaker 2 

As long as they’re fair, don’t have powers. 

00:25:33 Speaker 2 

Beyond what they should have. 

00:25:36 Speaker 1 

The regulator opposition to the back we were talking earlier about about advertising. 

00:25:43 Speaker 1 

Of course when you started selling advertising, you couldn’t mention the price of anything on the. 

00:25:48 Speaker 1 

Yeah, we we weren’t allowed to mention prices of anything. 

00:25:53 Speaker 2 

And we were only allowed to do it. 

00:25:57 Speaker 2 

Is that what you call institutional advertising? 

00:26:04 Speaker 2 

Not allowed to. 

00:26:06 Speaker 2 

To tell you this, hope would do wash your face or something. 

00:26:11 Speaker 1 

He had to get around it to somehow when you were you were mentioning the laundry, you know the the so and so laundry minstrels. 

00:26:20 Speaker 1 

And that was one way of getting around. 

00:26:22 Speaker 2 

One way? Yes, sure. 

00:26:24 Speaker 1 

But people tended to buy whole programs, whole program being so cheap that rather than just small now and, you know, quite an interesting happen. 

00:26:34 Speaker 2 

The Chapel came to me. 

00:26:38 Speaker 2 

To be my first program director. 

00:26:42 Speaker 2 

Worked for me. 

00:26:43 Speaker 2 

The first thing I did was to put. 

00:26:46 Speaker 2 

Given the program for the Robert Simpson Company to put out. 

00:26:54 Speaker 2 

Of live talent every week. 

00:26:57 Speaker 2 

He did so well that within the year he left me and went to his company and became one of the executives. 

00:27:11 Speaker 1 

You know people, especially in the early days, people seem to come and go. 

00:27:15 Speaker 1 

Oh yeah, quite easily. 

00:27:18 Speaker 1 

But you you say where the station was, a money maker right from the start. 

00:27:21 Speaker 1 

Oh, yeah. 

00:27:22 Speaker 1 

Many of the early stations weren’t. 

00:27:27 Speaker 2 

You say I will, but you know, I was willing to work for almost nothing. 

00:27:35 Speaker 2 

To make it go. 

00:27:37 Speaker 2 

And I proved in the first year I could. 

00:27:41 Speaker 2 

So then I wasn’t being very brave, really, except that I wouldn’t have the nerve to hold that much money. 

00:27:53 Speaker 2 

You know again today. 

00:27:56 Speaker 1 

Well, to be 30,000 wouldn’t be much, maybe maybe 300,000 would be more. 

00:28:01 Speaker 2 

Yeah. Yeah, but. 

00:28:02 Speaker 2 

But the same time when you’re young. 

00:28:07 Speaker 2 

You you will do things. 

00:28:10 Speaker 2 

I don’t know what it is. 

00:28:13 Speaker 2 

It’s a complement to your use or not. 

00:28:17 Speaker 1 

Well, sometimes you don’t know that you can’t do it until you go ahead and do it anyway. 

00:28:21 Speaker 1 

Yeah, right. 

00:28:21 Speaker 1 


00:28:22 Speaker 1 

Well, you you mentioned too that you one of your, the first things you did was to to buy the rights to a new service from, I presume from the newspaper here. 

00:28:33 Speaker 1 

That wasn’t really a big part of the broadcast. 

00:28:36 Speaker 1 

Maybe in the early, early days of it. 

00:28:39 Speaker 2 


00:28:39 Speaker 1 

What was? 

00:28:39 Speaker 1 

What was it on that? 

00:28:42 Speaker 1 

But, however, do you know the biggest opposition I had? 

00:28:48 Speaker 2 

To us. 

00:28:49 Speaker 2 

Was from the editors of the newspaper. 

00:28:53 Speaker 2 

They used to keep going to the Boston town and not supply that radio station with any news. 

00:29:02 Speaker 2 

And I had employer tap. 

00:29:06 Speaker 2 

Was sitting in the office with the headphones on and coffee news from New York by telegraphy. 

00:29:16 Speaker 1 

Could be the the trans Trans radio news. 

00:29:18 Speaker 1 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:29:20 Speaker 2 

So have have one say newspaper editors. 

00:29:26 Speaker 2 

So I was going to get it anyway. 

00:29:29 Speaker 2 

They couldn’t stop me. 

00:29:31 Speaker 2 

Then they changed their mind and they they formed. 

00:29:36 Speaker 2 

You know that news service that. 

00:29:38 Speaker 1 

And broadcast now broadcast news Press news when it formed. 

00:29:41 Speaker 2 

Yeah, but it took a hard lesson to but they. 

00:29:47 Speaker 2 

Couldn’t keep us. 

00:29:48 Speaker 1 

Down you’re going to get it one way or another, and I think too in in at least in the early 30s. 

00:29:57 Speaker 1 

You weren’t supposed to sponsor newscasts. 

00:30:00 Speaker 1 

They weren’t. 

00:30:00 Speaker 2 

No, no, but you see. 

00:30:03 Speaker 2 

We get around that by doing, doing them direct from the Halifax Herald newsroom, where we didn’t say they paid for it, but they damn well did. 

00:30:17 Speaker 1 

Sure, it was time. 

00:30:18 Speaker 1 

It was time to you. 

00:30:20 Speaker 1 

It was, I think I’ll turn this cassette over. 

00:30:23 Speaker 1 

It should be just a boot. 

00:30:30 Speaker 2 

I she she was here at Camp Hill. 

00:30:36 Speaker 2 

She was an ex nursing sister there. 

00:30:40 Speaker 2 

There was two of us when we were married. 

00:30:42 Speaker 2 

Right and uh. 

00:30:45 Speaker 2 

I had to put her in a nursing home. 

00:30:48 Speaker 2 

Because I couldn’t look after him when I put her in a nursing home. 

00:30:53 Speaker 2 

I went to see her one night just about a year ago. 

00:30:58 Speaker 2 

And I collapsed on the steps and they rushed me up here and operated on me. 

00:31:06 Speaker 2 

And when I got through with the operation. 

00:31:11 Speaker 2 

They tell me. 

00:31:13 Speaker 2 

Than for a month I couldn’t. 

Part 2:


00:00:02 Speaker 2 

I couldn’t do any. 

00:00:04 Speaker 2 

I couldn’t. 

00:00:05 Speaker 2 

That’s why I’m in a wheelchair. 

00:00:08 Speaker 2 

I’ve got to learn to walk all over again, say. 

00:00:11 Speaker 1 

Certainly your voice is fine and you. 

00:00:13 Speaker 2 

You know, but it’s not like it was, you know. 

00:00:18 Speaker 1 

That’s and I must have been about the time I first ruled because they said you had. 

00:00:23 Speaker 1 

You know, we’re in hospital and they’ve just been been taken in. 

00:00:26 Speaker 2 

Ohh yeah. 

00:00:26 Speaker 2 

I wouldn’t have been any good to you. 

00:00:28 Speaker 2 

So because I couldn’t say it. 

00:00:30 Speaker 1 

Yes, now did you. 

00:00:33 Speaker 1 

Did you say you’re a major? 

00:00:35 Speaker 1 

No, no, no. 

00:00:36 Speaker 1 

I’m just a just a teacher at the upper. 

00:00:39 Speaker 1 

You say when you introduce yourself and professor of Professor. 

00:00:46 Speaker 1 

So and you when you heard the news service from the newspaper for the first year, when did you first get your own staff, your own new staff? 

00:01:01 Speaker 2 

And help I know, but I never had very much of a new job because I felt the son of a. 

00:01:12 Speaker 2 

And then there was here. 

00:01:14 Speaker 2 

Hey, and let him worry about let him and he’s put his managing editor and all. 

00:01:22 Speaker 2 

But what I did know. 

00:01:25 Speaker 2 

I introduced on the air to radio. 

00:01:29 Speaker 2 

Fellows like late Professor HO Stewart. 

00:01:37 Speaker 2 

And we used to come on once a week and interpret the news I’d put on features like that if they, on a regular basis. 

00:01:48 Speaker 2 

But the actual news broadcasting. 

00:01:52 Speaker 2 

I mostly got it done through back. 

00:01:55 Speaker 1 

Through the newspaper? 

00:01:56 Speaker 1 

Well, it makes some sense the the history. 

00:01:59 Speaker 1 

Of radio, really. 

00:02:00 Speaker 1 

Was more entertainment than news in in many ways. 

00:02:01 Speaker 2 

Yeah, that’s right. 

00:02:04 Speaker 1 

And that’s what people like to listen to. 

00:02:06 Speaker 1 

Yeah, any of those first days, of course he didn’t have. 

00:02:09 Speaker 1 

Any recording equipment, so all of your programs were done. 

00:02:13 Speaker 1 

Live last slide. 

00:02:14 Speaker 1 

And that must have led to some interesting stories. 

00:02:17 Speaker 2 

You have a lot for a while. 

00:02:19 Speaker 2 

You see, we’ve got. 

00:02:21 Speaker 2 

Aluminum disc were and the water. 

00:02:25 Speaker 2 

The quality was quite good and noise level was bad. 

00:02:32 Speaker 2 

And then then they boil out the acid tape once. 

00:02:39 Speaker 2 

I started doing things very, but the very first recording I ever did. 

00:02:46 Speaker 2 

With an old ladies machine on a wax very little cylinder. 

00:02:55 Speaker 1 

And they wouldn’t be very practical for brass. 

00:02:58 Speaker 2 

All good. 

00:03:02 Speaker 1 

So when we. 

00:03:03 Speaker 1 

Need to do. 

00:03:04 Speaker 1 

Or when when did you finally leave the station? 

00:03:10 Speaker 1 

In 1951, I think just about just shortly before television, you had this. 

00:03:19 Speaker 1 

Well, I was 30 years. 

00:03:21 Speaker 1 

That’s enough. 

00:03:22 Speaker 2 

And then my next thing I did then. 

00:03:27 Speaker 2 

The government asked me. 

00:03:30 Speaker 2 

To supervise. 

00:03:33 Speaker 2 

The reconstruction of the Halifax server, very. 

00:03:38 Speaker 1 

Nice, beautiful job had. 

00:03:40 Speaker 2 

Made such a law about the fact that Quebec was kept in order. 

00:03:48 Speaker 2 

And the house sitter was falling to pee. 

00:03:53 Speaker 2 

That when the department. 

00:03:57 Speaker 2 

I forgot what they call them, man. 

00:04:00 Speaker 2 

Not northern affair. 

00:04:01 Speaker 2 

Something like that. 

00:04:03 Speaker 2 

When they took it over from department National Defense. 

00:04:10 Speaker 2 

Bob Owens has. 

00:04:12 Speaker 2 

The minister. 

00:04:14 Speaker 2 

Called me up and says you’ve made such a lot of noise about. 

00:04:19 Speaker 2 

Well, now we’ve got it. 

00:04:21 Speaker 2 

I want you to be honorary Superintendent, he says, loving me, going up once a week, see what’s going on. 

00:04:31 Speaker 2 

It turned out to be suddenly 8 hours a day, but I didn’t get the paid fee for that. 

00:04:38 Speaker 2 

But and I did it for 10 years. 

00:04:41 Speaker 1 

Take that long. 

00:04:43 Speaker 2 

And then then, uh, now we’ve got a whole bunch of civil servants out there. 

00:04:50 Speaker 1 

This happens so one of the things that I’ve heard too, from time to time from people when I’m talking to them is stories of possible political influence and the granting of radio licenses. 

00:05:04 Speaker 1 

Do you have any views on that? 

00:05:06 Speaker 1 

Do you think that it is political? 

00:05:06 Speaker 2 

If you’re not sure it was because. 

00:05:11 Speaker 2 

This is 1C H in this. 

00:05:14 Speaker 2 

Was around. 

00:05:16 Speaker 2 

And the CBC, the competition was good, fair. 

00:05:23 Speaker 2 

And an excellent podcasting. 

00:05:27 Speaker 2 

The first thing we knew. 

00:05:30 Speaker 2 

A license was given. 

00:05:36 Speaker 2 

Man, Woman, liberal newspaper. 

00:05:41 Speaker 2 

And less station which is filling. 

00:05:46 Speaker 2 

Would take any old advertising which I used to call up George Young and say I’m not gonna take it to you. 

00:05:55 Speaker 2 

And you say no and we we, you know, kept the quality, but they take anything and they force us. 

00:06:07 Speaker 2 

The radio went right down the. 

00:06:09 Speaker 2 

Hill. That’s one case. 

00:06:14 Speaker 1 

You know, so you you feel that it it helped if principally I guess if you were helped, if you were liberal because we’ve had more liberal. 

00:06:25 Speaker 2 

Or if you had an ex to grind, then you could do some good liberal government. 

00:06:31 Speaker 1 

Well, that’s that’s too bad that that has crept in or not saying. 

00:06:36 Speaker 1 

Well, we started professor. 

00:06:40 Speaker 2 

Anybody can get a license. 

00:06:42 Speaker 2 

All you’ll do. 

00:06:43 Speaker 2 

That’s for it. 

00:06:45 Speaker 2 

And you could get it that you have done fully and they give it to you. 

00:06:52 Speaker 1 

Well, they didn’t know any more about broadcasting than you did really. 

00:06:55 Speaker 2 

Did you have an OCP, Edwards? 

00:06:58 Speaker 1 

No, I know the name. 

00:06:59 Speaker 2 

His commander, edge, he was he was in charge. 

00:07:04 Speaker 2 

And he cut to where he was by. 

00:07:10 Speaker 2 

Nice fella. 

00:07:12 Speaker 2 

He was the water separator at camping down. 

00:07:16 Speaker 2 

And when the war came on. 

00:07:20 Speaker 2 

The government took over all the wireless operators. 

00:07:25 Speaker 2 

And when the war was over. 

00:07:29 Speaker 2 

The department transferred in that title when charged to. 

00:07:38 Speaker 2 

And when the radio came, he was listening. 

00:07:41 Speaker 1 

He was the only one there that. 

00:07:42 Speaker 1 

Knew one thing, but yeah. 

00:07:43 Speaker 2 

And he was nice. 

00:07:44 Speaker 2 

Nice fellow. 

00:07:45 Speaker 2 

Or that was the old Department of Marine. 

00:07:48 Speaker 2 

Yeah, but I said I used to tease him. 

00:07:51 Speaker 2 

Used to be so important. 

00:07:55 Speaker 2 

We were. 

00:07:56 Speaker 2 

Good friends. 

00:07:59 Speaker 1 

Well, I think is there anything else you can think of what you said with the additional station that came in, you think the quality of radio went down? 

00:08:08 Speaker 1 

What do you think of radio today? 

00:08:10 Speaker 2 

High, she responded. 

00:08:12 Speaker 2 

Down downhill so. 

00:08:15 Speaker 2 

I there’s not lost life program. 

00:08:20 Speaker 2 

There is not enough commentators. 

00:08:23 Speaker 2 

As disc play and record. 

00:08:27 Speaker 2 

I may need my own station, CHS. 

00:08:31 Speaker 2 

Between you and I, and for the record, I’m ashamed of what. 

00:08:36 Speaker 2 

But yet the dancing makes money that this is the thing that puzzles me too. 

00:08:41 Speaker 1 

I don’t really understand. 

00:08:42 Speaker 2 

It I don’t know how they do it, but the boys must be very good size girl. 

00:08:49 Speaker 1 

I’m good at uh. 

00:08:50 Speaker 1 

I’m well, I’m. 

00:08:52 Speaker 1 

I lean toward the CBC anyway, but if I want to listen to radio, it’s the only place I can listen to anything other than other than records, as you say. 

00:09:00 Speaker 2 

Yeah, that’s that’s, you know, that’s a strange thing. 

00:09:03 Speaker 2 

That’s CHNS they’ve done something else. 

00:09:08 Speaker 2 

I’ve got it. 

00:09:09 Speaker 2 

I got it. 

00:09:11 Speaker 2 

Long before I got the first FM station and they won their FM station separate from the other one, and they’re doing pretty good job on the reference good. 

00:09:26 Speaker 2 

But on the A. 

00:09:28 Speaker 2 

It’s terrible.