By Al Thurber with research from Gertie Weeks, VE9WA
Since the inception of the IRG repeater linking network, I have been asked by many as to the background of Don Weeks and the VE9WB memorial report. I am pleased tonight to share the history of Don Weeks and the evolution of the Don Week’s memorial report.
Don served overseas in World War Two with the Royal Canadian Air Force as a radar technician. He spent four years, four months as an enlisted airman. He was discharged on February 23, 1945.
In 1946 Don began a long career at radio station CFNB in Fredericton, first as studio engineer and soon Don became chief engineer.
Don was first licenced on May 20, 1948 as VE1WB. At that time he and his xyl, Gertie (the late VE9WA) resided in Fredericton.
In 1980 Don and Gertie moved from Fredericton to Smithfield (Smithfield is located near Harvey Station) to be near to CFNB’s new RCA 50 kilowatt Ampliphase transmitter. Home was across the road from the transmitter site and Don spent many hours babysitting the new model of transmitter.
Don retired from CFNB in 1986 but still maintained a close relationship with CFNB.
In his personal life, Don was a member of the Masonic Lodge, he was also a Shriner. He served on the Board of Trustees of both the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton and of the Harvey Hospital. Don also was the chairman of the School Board in Harvey Station. Don was clerk of session of the St. Andrew’s church in Harvey.
Among his ham radio achievements Don was the Maritime Section Communication’s Manager of the Canadian Division of the American Radio Relay League from 1955 until 1976. Don was a charter member of the International Repeater Group, a director of the New Brunswick Amateur Radio Association and a member of the Fredericton Amateur Radio Club.
For years following the formation of the International Repeater Group in 1974, each Sunday on the regular IRG net, Don gathered information from various sources, mainly from the W5YI report and presented it on the net as the W5YI report. Keep in mind that in those years there was not any internet from which to gather information as there is today.
Don passed away suddenly at home on May 3rd, 1995.
As a tribute to Don and his devotion to amateur radio, the Don Week’s Memorial report was introduced shortly after his passing and continued to this day by VE1AKT, Al Thurber.
On a personal note, Don was a close personal and professional friend of mine from the day I received my amateur licence. It was Don who took me to my very first hamfest in Charlottetown in the early 1960’s. That, I’ll never forget.
Al Thurber, VE1AKT