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Hello Everyone,

I would like to introduce myself to all CLARA Members.  I am Val Lemko, you know me as your webmaster, and now I have agreed to take on the Position of President.

I have been a licenced amateur for the past 36 years, been a secretary for the public school board here in Moose Jaw, a secretary to a military Chaplin, a wife and mother of 2 grown sons, and now have found room for another hat.

I joined CLARA in 2003 just after I retired as a school secretary.  I had to get back into the hobby of ham radio, and it was shortly after, that I heard the girls on the Tuesday Net at 14.120.  So I checked in and everyone was so friendly that when they asked if I was a CLARA member I said no, but would really like join.  So got the application, and filled it in.  The rest is history as they say.

Once I had gotten into the organization, I got really interested in doing more.  I finally got a computer, and started checking things out on the internet.  I finally found the CLARA website, and was intrigued by all that CLARA does and who her members were.   I was not into doing websites at that time, as I was just a browser like most of you.   I then got more involved with CLARA when Paulette Schouten VE7VPE was your webmaster and she said that she had to step down for personal reasons.  So I invited Yvonne ZR6TBL to do the website.  Little did I know she contacted Ann VE3HAI and they decided that I could do the website.  Long story short, yes, I maintain the website.

I am looking forward to getting more girls interested in CLARA, and I really hope that the rest of you in Canada and elsewhere will keep promoting CLARA.  We are a GREAT Bunch of Flowering Beauties, in one great organization.  Let’s keep CLARA alive for the coming generations.

Val Lemko VE5ACJ


Vice President




Hello, my name is Heather Holmes and I live in the countryside near Queensville, Ontario, about 50 kilometres north of Toronto, near the east shore of Lake Simcoe.

I earned my Basic certificate in 1974 and my Advanced in 1975.

My husband is Doug, VE3CWO/VE3VS. We were married in October of 1964 and have two children and two grand-children. Our son, Darin is also a ham, VE3GWO. He is married to Stacey, and they live near Shelburne, ON. Our daughter, Corinne is not a ham, but is a talented florist, married to Scott and they have 2 children, Bradley – 9 yrs and Sarah – 7 yrs old. They live in the village of Keswick about 12 km north of us. I’m her book-keeper and help with deliveries when needed.

When our children were young, I was on CW when I had the time, but as time has gone by, I haven’t remained so active on the air. I belong to YLRL, CLARA , BYLARA and our local York Region Amateur Radio Club.

Before CLARA was formed, I belonged to “TOT’s” The Ontario Trilliums. I’ve held the position of “Supply Person” for CLARA since 1998 and Treasurer since 2001.

Over the years I’ve taken part in a few of the contests. I’m not really a contester but I did place 3rd in the “CLARA & Family HF Contest in 2008” and most recently was awarded a certificate for the “YLRL 2010 Birthday Certificate” (making contact with 12 YL’s showing a birthday for each month). I have been a member of YLRL for over 35 years.

I don’t get on the nets very often, due to our lifestyle and our active schedules. Doug & I teach modern square dancing three nights a week from September through April and then travel, with our fifth-wheel trailer, on several weekends during the summer months, calling for Camping Square Dance groups, Conventions & Festivals, into early Fall. During the times when I get to stay home for a little while, I like to sew clothing, for our dancing, and also for our family.

We have an antenna farm on three acres and Doug is active everyday and loves to build and try out different antennas. We use a four-element monoband yagi beam for twenty metres, mounted on a 50 foot tower; a three band two-element quad (17-15-10) on a 40 foot tilt-over tower, and several wire antennas for the lower bands. In the hamshack our main equipment is an Elecraft K3, a Kenwood TS590, and an Alpha 91B amplifier, along with assorted other accessories and test equipment. I hope to get back on the air when time allows but for now I keep in touch with the many YL’s via e-mail.




I started listening to short wave broadcasts a long time ago. That got me interested in ham radio. In 2003, after taking a short work week, I decided to get my amateur radio licence and passed the basic with code in December of that year.

In the spring of 2004 I wrote the advanced licence exam and got my advanced in June 2004. Shortly after that, I joined CLARA. In 2005, I was nominated as CLARA secretary and took on the position which I still hold.

I am a member of the local repeater group TFM and help register hams at the QCWA Chapter 73 luncheons. My other interests include baking, gardening and volunteering at the local hospital.


Past President


Helen - VA1YL

My name is Helen Archibald. I got my basic licence in 1992 as VE2YAK and my advanced in 1993.

The OM and I moved to Nova Scotia in 2003 and I took the call VA1YL. We chose our Nova Scotia QTH for its antenna capabilities and we have a tri-band beam as well as a 500 foot horizontal loop.

My husband is Fred, VE1FA, formerly VE2SEI. My kids are Anne VE2WHO and Margaret VE2ZOO.

I am a member of Kings County ARC (KCARC) and Halifax ARC (HARC), formally a member of West Island ARC (WIARC).

I belong to a DXpedition Group who have done DXpeditions to CY9 (St Paul Island) and a number of other Maritime Islands over the years. Most of those DXpeditions were planned at my dining room table.

I enjoy our CLARA nets and check into the 20 & 80 meter nets whenever I can, as well as doing net control on the 40 m net when I am home. But even more, I enjoy being on the receiving end of an HF pile-up. I feel like a movie star when I am working 3 contacts a minute on a rare island! One of the special things about being on the right end of a pile-up is hearing and recognizing a friend’s call.

In VE2 land I volunteered with the Westminster Amateur Radio School, teaching the regulations part of the course. When the class size shrank, the classes were held on the above-mentioned dining room table.

One of my activities was Guides on the Air (GOTA) so I took on the call VE2GGQ. I got interested in GOTA because I have been a member of Girl Guides of Canada since 1986, as a leader of girls and then with various administration positions. Now I only belong for the fun, as a member of Trefoil Guild. I could only get one call when I moved to Nova Scotia, so I don’t have a Girl Guide call here. The most Guides I have hosted for Guides on the Air in a single weekend is 45. When we built the new shack, we took visitors into account.


Adviser to the President



I’ve been a radio amateur since 1972 and a member of CLARA for almost as long. I got into the hobby to join my husband Barc VE3HAH as he was having so much fun with it. He’s a designer and builder. I’m the talker. When we moved back to Ontario, one of our ham friends said the phonetics of our calls should be “Here Ann Is and Here’s Ann’s Husband.” Are you surprised? Not only are we hams, but our daughter, Janet is N9ZKU.

Ham radio has opened many doors for us. During the early years of our marriage, we moved frequently. Our hobby was our entry into the new community. We joined the local clubs, often being on the executive. It was a great way to meet the most interesting people in the community. I am pleased to be the Adviser to the President of CLARA this term. We have an excellent executive and enthusiastic support from our members. Together, I expect us to accomplish great things.