Atlantic Region

Closed Stations
Marine Communications Officers
(46.39.25N 53.04.15W)

The station of Cape Race was built by the Canadian Marconi Company and opened on November 17, 1904. The station was located on the southeastern tip of Trepassey Bay. This is the first point or last point of land in North America that vessels pass due to Great Circle routing for Trans Atlantic voyages. There was a major light station there and it was a logical place to locate the "new technology of wireless". The very first operating staff was composed of Harry Cusack, L.R. Johnstone and Harry MacLean.

The original call sign of the station was CE until 1912 when it became MCE and eventually VCE.

"VCE" was internationally known for its aid to navigation, but came into prominence in 1912 at the time of the Titanic disaster. 705 persons were saved and owed their lives to the value of the Marconi invention. At the time of this disaster, Walter Gray was in change of the station. Mr. Gray died in December, 1970.

On October 9, 1913, Wireless was again instrumental in the saving of 650 lives from the burning "Volturno". Among other events of major importance was the Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914 and the wreck of the "Florizel" on February 28, 1918.

A Direction Finding station was also opened at Cape Race during the hostilities of WWI, in 1915. The East Coast DF service was then offered from Chebucto Head, Cape Sable, Canso and Cape Race (NL). The DF service from Cape Race was discontinued in 1961.

En 1930, on a fermé la station Marconi de Cape Race. Ses services furent intégrés à ceux de la station de radiogoniométrie (VAZ) établie non loin de là depuis 1915. Cependant, un an plus tard, les opérations radio sont revenues à VCE.

Making way for progress and more scientific system of communications, VCE closed down permanently in the fall of 1965 and some of the equipment moved to St. John's and some to St. Lawrence. The service rendered to humanity by VCE will long be remembered by Wireless/Radio Pioneers who had the privilege of being stationed there.
Unifor Local 2182
Cape Race / VCE
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