Vic Waters, VE7ALR (SK)

VANCOUVER --  Long-time Vancouver Radio Broadcaster and B. C. Entertainment Hall of Fame member Vic Waters died peacefully with his wife Thelma at his side on August 19, 2008. Born Charles Victor Waters on September 9, 1918, Vic was the youngest of 4 children born to William James Waters and Enid Vivian Ramage.

Vic grew up in Grandview, and was well known for his theatrical performances at Britannia High School. From his early teens, Vic had a strong interest in "The Magic of Radio", and earned his Amateur Radio License and set up his own amateur radio station -- first as VE5QH and then as VE7ALR where he remained an avid "Ham" throughout his life.  

Former CJOR Vancouver personality and program director Vic Waters was 89 and unique among  broadcasters, in that he only ever worked at one radio station. He was a wireless operator, engaged to copy Trans Radio news for CJOR and the Chicago Daily News Foreign Service for The Daily Province in 1939. He was a studio operator/announcer at CJOR in 1941 and 1942, breaking for duty in the Canadian Army from 1942 to 1946.

He returned to CJOR following the war and  later became program director.  He retired from radio in 1969.  He  became a member of the B.C.  Entertainment Hall of Fame Starwalk at the Orpheum in 1998 and a member of the Canadian  Association of Broadcasters Half Century Club in 2002. 

Some background in his own words...

I started in radio in 1938. I was taking a wireless-telegraphy course at Sprott-Shaw School on Robson Street and was asked by an instructor as to whether I could copy Morse code at 35 words per minute and I said yes. I was needed.

My first duty was to go to the transmitter site of CJOR at Sea Island and listen to the Trans-Radio Press circuit and type the copy. The idea was that CJOR wanted to be first with unchallenged accuracy in its reporting of what was going on in the world. The copy was couriered by motorcycle to the Howe Street studios for Dick Diespecker's 8 o'clock morning news broadcast. Prior to this time, CJOR would get its news from a station CKCD owned by The Vancouver Daily Province. One of the important chores linked to my job was that I first turned the transmitter on at 5:45 am under instruction from Engineer Bud Seabrooke.

I only worked at one station, which is uncommon in the broadcast field. I came through the front door meeting the likes of Dorwin Baird, Diespecker and Ross Mortimer - all were announcers and involved in current affairs.
I held most positions within the production side of radio, studio operator, news editor, engineer, program director, talk show host, and  announcer.

I remember once being the operator to Pat Burns who was doing a telephone talk show. This lady caller asked Burns if he had been born on a farm. He said no. She asked was Vic Waters born on a farm. The answer was no again and Burns asked why this particular question. She responded that she had never heard so much bull manure (or words to that effect) in her entire life. So a delay system had to be invented. It was the birth of modern talk radio.

Waters retired in 1969. Ownership had changed. His day of doing everything for that one station was over. He had been the glue for nearly thirty years.

During his retirement years, Vic was actively involved in community service, and enjoyed traveling, family affairs, music, and lawn bowling. In addition to Thelma, his wife of 67 years, Vic is survived by their two children, Rick and Laura, and by grandchildren Catherine, Michael, Paul, and Emily, and by 5 great grandchildren.  

At Vic's request, there was no service, but Vic loved a party, and a sharing of memories and celebration of his life for family and friends took place on Friday, September 5, 2008 from 5 PM to 8PM, at his Vancouver home.  He would have loved the party!.

                        "If there's a microphone in heaven, you can be sure Vic will grab it!"

A large portion of the preceding text and some images were borrowed with thanks from author Jack Bennest of the 'BC Radio History' website.  The BCDX Club is extremely grateful to Mr. Bennest for the use of this material which allows us to fully document our friends rich life in radio broadcasting. Please read the complete Vic Waters biography located on BC Radio History' website in the Biographies section.

Portions of text on this page ware also taken directly from the obituary published in the Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on 8/21/2008. 


Vic, VE7ALR was a long time BCDX club member

Vic, VE7ALR, circa 1957

Vic was a driving force behind the BCDX Club Convention
planning for many years. Here is an excerpt from an article
written by John Brown, VE7JB (SK) in the March, 1959
issue of the Canadian Amateur magazine regarding
Vic's contribution to the 1958 BCDX Club Convention.


1958 BCDX Club Convention
Vic is in the bottom row, third from the left

Comments from Club members

Some words from Reg, VE7IG...

Vic was a DX'er in the days of Frank Taylor, VE7GI, Vic Cumyow, VE7VC and Bill Wadsworth, VE7ZM. I had been in his shack a few times and remember he had a Collins Console of some kind. My interaction with Vic was on a more personal level, not DX'ing so much, although he was there in the background for us younger guys back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. We used to go out for drinks at a bar before going to the club meetings, Vic and several of us would meet.  
 He was a highly respected broadcaster in those days at CJOR. He performed almost every kind of job there over the years and had a famous talk show at one time.  He was very suave and sophisticated and extremely well spoken. He had a great grasp of the language and a very smooth radio voice, on ham radio too. I know he often made things happen for us in preparation and during the Pacific Northwest DX conferences when we hosted them in Vancouver in those days.

In a 2003 conversation between Paul, VE7BZ and Vic...

Vic told me that many of the older members fondly remember their AM rigs and their corresponding reluctance to embrace SSB as the new technology of the day in the early fifties. But embrace it they did. Vic went on to say this new medium allowed him to be amongst the first to in our area to work Turkey. 

Vic in good company at the 1960 Pacific
 Northwest DX Convention
Image supplied by Andy, VE7AHA

Vic in the shack - Fall 1990
This photo was taken during a Club
 meeting at Vic's home
Photo credit: Jim, VE7WG

This page was last updated on May 05, 2009 by Paul B. Peters.
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Copyright 2000 -2009 Paul B. Peters, VE7BZ. All rights reserved.