Abbotsford Amateur Radio Emergency Services Society
The suffix of the VE7ASM call sign was selected for the three districts in the area, Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui. This is the oldest continuously held Radio Club Call Sign in Canada. The club was first licenced on March 19, 1946. No ham activity was permitted during W.W. II, so all licences were suspended for the duration of the war.
The club’s other call sign VE7ECC, stands for ‘Emergency Communications Center’. This call transmitted very well in Morse code and was great in high traffic situations. Even though the club was small it achieved second place score (1988, 1990, 1991 and 1992) in the Canadian portion of the A.R.R.L. annual field day exercises (3A class).
The VE7ASM call was legendary in the A.R.R.L. contesting annals of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. The Abbotsford club dominated the six meter band in mountain top line of sight communication contests in the Pacific Northwest.
The Abbotsford club has participated in various civic emergencies throughout the years. These include the Matsqui Prairie flooding of the Fraser River in 1948, the 100 year flood of the Sumas Prairie in 1992, the great snowstorms of 1954 (thirty foot drifts) and again in 1995 the closure of the Trans Canada Highway. The club was the backup communications center for the visit of Pope Paul II to the Abbotsford Airport’s mass in 1982