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On a recent cruise, Shirley went to see the elephants. Not only did she see them, she decided to be the daredevil she has always been and go for a ride.

In a recent email to me Shirely said: I've always been the one in the group to try the scary bits but I draw the line at bungey jumping. I joined a parachute club in my early 20s but gave it away when I wasn't allowed to fold my own parachute - "not allowed in case one wants to commit suicide" - I ask you. If you were that way inclined you would just forget to pull the ripcord I think. So, I resigned the next week. Then I wanted to go hang-gliding and approached a local club. "Sorry ma'am, no classes in South Australia" One has to go to Victoria, the next state east, as there have been too many "accidents" in this state.

I really enjoyed the elephant ride into the jungle. It was during our visit to Phuket, during our Princess Cruise to SE Asia. As it turned out we had two elephant visits but the other one was mainly to see the elephants performing for numerous visitors. They just loved the small, monkey we call them, and fed bananas freely from little baskets bought by unsuspecting tourists - yes we were one of them but it was such fun.

The jungle at Phuket was not as I imagined it, lush green and wet but lush green and very dry. The locals did say the monsoon was late this year thankfully for us. We did see one downpour, never seen rain like it, while we on the bus going back to the ship, which lasted one and a half hours.

Scooters are everywhere in Asia and no traffic lights to speak of in the parts we visited. The scooters were really zigzagging through the traffic and we were told that when, very infrequently, we had to walk across a road that once you stepped off the pavement into the line of traffic just keep walking as no one will hit you. Apparently the Asians have self preservation skills as if you have an accident, and report it to the police, you loose your drivers licence for a very long time. Scary, but jeepers it works.

I do hope your can manage the Echolink connection during the convention in Winnipeg. One of our YL Downunder Nets happened when we were on Norfolk Island last year and we managed to have a qso with Kirsti, the only YL on the island, and Bev, VK6DE in Geraldton 400 kms north of Perth - it was awesome.

33 Shirley - off to find yet another cool drink as the temp is rising to 40C today and 41C tomorrow - time for indoors relaxation.

Merle Loves to Quilt

(Picture and article used with kind permission of Heather MacAdam of the Casket Community Newspaper)  heathermacadam@thecasket.ca

Merle Taylor VE1VIC displays the 100th quilted comforter she has made since 2005. All of Taylor's comforters are donated to the sick or those in need or sold or raffled to raise money for the Lochaber Seniors' Association.

Merle Taylor's sewing machine has seen a lot of use over the yers. The resident of Lochaber recently finished making her 100th quilted comforter. The blankets are donated to the sick, those in need or sold/raffled to raise money for the Lochaber Seniors' Association. Merle has been using her treadle Singer Sewing machine to make quilts for decades.

She and her husband bought the sewing machine second hand in 1946. "The same year we bought our farm," she said. "One of our friends worked in New Glasgow and he knew where the Singer Sewing Machine Company was." The machine that Merle bought was reconditioned. "It had been used for many years. We would pay $25.00 if we bought it as is, or if it was reconditioned we would pay $30.00, so we decided to have it reconditioned."

When she first bought the machine she used it to make clothes for her five sons as well as sheets for the beds. "It was then that I started to make quilts - coverings for the beds."

Merle used to be a member of the Lochaber branch of the Federated Women's Institute of Canada which used to make quilts for the Red Cross. "I would always get the job of sewing around the edge and finishing them up because I had this Singer sewing machine," she said.

Since that time Merle said she has been making quilts but got into making them to donate and to raise funds in 2005.

Merle is an active member of the Lochaber Seniors' Association and since that time she has made 100. "Besides selling a few, I gave away most of the ones I made."

To make one of her quilted comforters Taylor must first cut out pieces of material by hand. "Each quilt takes 284 squares," she said. I do them all the same pattern which is a stairway pattern - I don't go into fancy patterns." Working steady it takes Merle a week to make one. After the material is cut and sewn together the comforters must be put in a frame and tied. It's then taken out of the frame and bound. "That takes a lot of time to bind it - it takes probably 12 hours." The machine is used for sewing the pieces together and half the binding. "The rest of it is done by hand - I do the tying and the binding by hand.

The frame Merle still uses for her comforters is one she used in 1946. "I went to the barn and I took pieces of lumber - and I tacked some black denim along. It's the same black denim and the same frame I used on my first quilt in 1946."

One of her sons wrote his name on the frame as a small child which is still visible.

" I happen to have a room large enough to have it in," she said, adding she moves her living room furniture to the side for the entire winter to make room for the frame. Merle said she only quilts in the winter because she is busy working on the family farm in the summer.

Quilts that are sold go for $100, she said with all the profits benefiting the Lochaber Seniors' Association. "If I had to go out and buy all this beautiful print, it would just be too costly," she said. One woman made a donation of materials to the Seniors' Club which was enough to make 20 comforters." Merle said. "Brand new material. That was a great boost to us."

Earlier this winter she received a financial donation from Olympic curler Russ Howard, a friend of Merle's, to buy the batting for 11 comforters.

"We've given away about 70 of the 100," she said. "The balance have been sold (or raffled)."

The Casket is the community newspaper for Antigonish town and county.

The newspaper documents its official beginnings as being 1852 when John Boyde, a school teacher in Pictou County, set up the newspaper in Antigonish. The first copy of the Casket appeared on June 24, 1852, consisting of four pages, two in English and two in Gaelic.



Merle is a Winner


Our Merle, VE1VCI  is no stranger to hard work and in her "spare" time raised 5 boys, does preserves of all kinds, quilts, is active in ham radio, and does lots of volunteer work.  One would not know she just had her 90th birthday this year.

Merle has now been recognized as a "Caring Canadian" (no surprise for those who know her)

Former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc initiated the Caring Canadian Award to recognize the volunteer efforts of outstanding Canadians over their lives.  Merle moved to Lochaber in 1944 with her young son, Sandy when her husband Fred was posted overseas.  In addition to raising five sons,  running the family farm and starting a cultured marble business, she generously gives back to the community.  Her contributions to the Sylvan Hall, Lochaber Community Associate, Women's Institute, Highlander Curling Club, Unicef, and St. Francis  Xavier  to name a few are legendary.

Merle received word of the award this past week and is very proud to receive it.  "It is hard to believe that I have been involved in these activities for nearly 70 years", Merle reflected.  "I encourage everyone to give and stay involved.  It is very rewarding."

Her current pre-occupation is with the X Rowling Club who has moved Lochaber Lake.  They have named their newest and longest boat after Merle.

I'm Not the Chief Cook & Bottle Washer

by Helen VA1YL

In July 2014, the VC1S DXpedition team helped by Halifax Amateur Radio Club (HARC) with equipment went to Bon Portage (Outer) Island (NA-126) for the Islands on the Air (IOTA) contest. The island is a wonderful radio location and has 2 comfortable buildings. This is our fourth contest from there. We set up a run station, a multiplier station and a 6 meter station which is only used outside the contest.

The island is only a few miles offshore, reached by a small boat. The best time to arrive and leave is at high tide so that it is not too difficult to move the ton of equipment from the mainland dock to the boat and on to the island dock. This time departure from the island was delayed for 5 hours because the waves were too high at high tide for the boat to dock. That meant that all of the equipment had to be hauled down the slip, lifted onto a small boat, moved to the larger boat, carried across and then lifted more than 10 feet up to the mainland dock. All the food and water must be transported to the island as well as the radio equipment, antennas, towers, generator and gas. It really does add up to a ton or more.

The team members were  Rich VA1CHP,  Helen VA1YL,  Mark VA2MM,  Wayne VE1BAB, Lynn VE1ENT,  Fred VE1FA, Bill VE1MR, Al VO1NO,  and Lowell VY2OX.   It was a wonderful team with all members working hard to contribute. The team put up 3 towers with 2 HF tri-banders and a Yagi for 6 meters, a full wave 80 meter vertical loop, a pair of phased verticals for 40 meters, some beverages for listening, and 40 Meter and 80 meter dipoles.

The team has done many DXpeditions so the two stations are effective and easy to use. Some of the team are CW operators and some sideband. Some are specialists at the mult station and some prefer the run station. A computer guru is needed to make sure that the logging computers talk to each other as well as to the internet. Lynn VE1ENT was our food specialist and provided us with excellent healthy food. Whoever is not on duty or asleep helps out with the cooking as well as with clean up. Helen has always said that she goes as a ham operator, not the chief cook and bottle washer. She is also good at pulling ropes and tying knots, as well as carrying equipment.

The team scored about 3 million points and may well be the highest scoring DXpedition team in North America. The European stations have an advantage over North American stations because there are so many European Island groups nearby which can be worked on more bands. The best that the team has ever done is about 10th in the world, but best in North America. It is terrific fun to be on the right end of a pile up! I always say it makes me feel like a movie star, having people line up to talk to me!

The End of an Era - Starting Over With Something New
(This article was written in the TCA by Cathy,  VE3GJH (sk)

When the Scarborough(ON) Amateur Radio Club held its annual banquet in April, 1965, the YLs present talked about the possibility of forming a Canadian YL Club.

After a foundation meeting in May, 1965, the Ontario Trilliums became a reality and the official name was most often shortened to "The TOTs."

During those years the TOTs were involved in several activities. In 1966, it was the NIBS (National Institute for the Blind Amateur Radio Club). The YLs and their OMs worked to help white caners get their stations on the air. Later, the Radio Society of Ontario took over the job.

The US Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL) sponsored YL conventions, and it was thought it would be beneficial to hold one in Canada. In 1969, the Midwest YL Convention was held in Scarborough with the slogan: "Cross the Line in "69."

In 1971, Doreen VE3EUV, who was working at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, suggested the Trilliums should start a class for the veterans. Norm VE3ZH, who was president of the Metro Amateur Radio Club, was invited to a meeting to discuss such an undertaking.

The Metro club set up a station at the hospital, and classes were held. The shack call was VE3SBH (Sunnybrook Hospital) and they also formed their own club.

In 1975, the TOTs agreed to manage the VE3 QSL bureau and a job it was!. A committee was formed, with Jean,  VE3DGG (Darn Good Girl), as Bureau manager.

The Canadian National Exhibition has a "Ladies Day" each year and YLs operate station VE3CNE.

One year, we held an all YL Field Day at the burned out farmhouse with some horses. We put up our own antennas and set up our own stations. The horses got into our food supply.

Thelma, VE3CLT and I worked as a team on one band for the full 24-hour period. She didn't think I could do it. Every time I got tired of operating I would do a headstand. She though I was crazy, but we're still on speaking terms, I think!

The TOT Net was popular for years and many social activities were held. Membership spread over many miles, but it seemed the hub of activity was always in the Great Toronto area

However, times are always changing and it's getting harder to get people to volunteer their times.

So, on June 25, 1995, 10 TOT members and 5 OMs gathered at the Guild Inn in Scarborough for a farewell luncheon. Ivy, VE3IV (ex-VE3EZY), was the only founding member present.

This would be the last official meeting of The Ontario Trilliums, but they decided to continue as a social group: The Ontario Trillium Social Group plans are to meet once a year-definately the end of an era!

In 1967, Canada's Centennial year, a meeting was held to talk about a National YL Club. and after many a good laugh the name was decided upon as Canadian Ladies Amateur Radio Association. The acronym CLARA is widely used. Doris Cody, VE3DDO was one of the founding members.

Our Past Presidents

1968-1969 ~ Chris Weeks, VE1AKO (sk)
1970-1971 ~ Jan Burgess, VE3BII
1972  ~ Bubbles Timlick, VE4ST (sk)
1973-1974 ~ Cathy Hrischenko, VE3GJH (sk)
1975-1976 ~ Donez Booth, VE6ATH
1977-1978 ~ Marjorie Karl, VE6LC
1979-1980 ~ Ann Nutter, VE3HAI
1981-1982 ~ Diana VanderZande,  VE7DTO (Now VE7XYL)
1983-1984 ~
Hallie Dupreez,  VE6UP (Now VE6YW)
1985-1986 ~ Viv Taylor, VE3HGA (also VE7VLT) (sk)
1987-1988 ~ Marg McKinley, VE3QE
1989-1990 ~ Marg McKinley, VE3QE
1990-1991  ~ Jeanne Gordon, VE2JZ (Now VA3WX) (sk)
1991-1992 ~ Jeanne Gordon, VE2JZ (Now VA3WX) (sk)
1993  ~ Cathy Hrischenko, VE3GJH (sk)
1994-1995  ~ Cathy Hrischenko, VE3GJH (sk)
1996 ~ Vicki Durance, VE7DKS
1997  ~ Renne Devenny, VA3EZ
1998 ~ Minnie Dawe,  VE3DBQ
1999-2000 ~ Minnie Dawe, VE3DBQ
2001-2002  ~ Audrey Hughes, VE1PK (sk)
2003-2004  ~ Helen Archibald, VA1YL
2005-2006  ~ Helen Archibald, VA1YL
2007-2008  ~ Paulette Schouten, VE7VPE
2009-2010  ~ Paulette Schouten, VE7VPE
2011-2012  ~ Ann Nutter, VE3HAI
2013-2014 ~  Helen Archibald, VA1YL
2014-2016  ~ Helen Archibald, VA1YL

Here is a lovely article and video on our one and only Merle, VE1VCI


The Birth of 33

Clara had her ticket

She also had a rig

Because she was just startin

It wasn't very big

She slowly tuned the crystal,

And watched the meter drop.

Then tapped the key a couple times

To be sure it wouldn't stop.

Now everything was ready,

She called a short CQ

And received an answer

On thirty-six sixty -two.

They chewed the fat "bout stuff and things.

"bout dresses, work and dates.

They finally called it QRT

the girl sent eighty-eights.

Clara though it might be funny

Whether it be Miss or Mrs.

To end a perfect QSO

by sending "Love and Kisses"

It sounds too sentimental;

Just a little too much "goo"

To be sending "Love and Kisses"

to a girl the same as you.

For an entire week she pondered;

Wouldn't even touch the rig.

She pushed her slide rul by the hour,

Employing "logs" and "trig"

She added and subtracted.

What could the answer be?

To reach a happy medium

Twixt eighty-eight and seventy-three.

Clara finally looked up from her work

All smiles and not forlorn.

Twas July in Nineteen Forty

that thirty-three was born.

There's no real definition

Bit it's meaning is known well.

It's how a YL says good evening

To another friend YL.

Author Unknown.


When connections are real, they simply never die.

They can be buried, or ignored or walked away from, but never broken.

If you've deeply resonated with another person or place, the connection remains despite any distance, time, situation, lack of presence, or circumstances.

If you're doubtful then just try it--go and revisit  a person or place and see if there's any sense at all of the space between now and then.

If it was truly real, you'll be instantly swept back into the moment it was before it left-

during the same year and place with the same wonder and hope, comfort and heartbeat

Real connections live on forever

Victoria Erickson.


We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives.

Some lessons are painful, some are painless....

But all are PRICELESS



This is your life.

Do what you love and do it often.

If you don't like something, change it.

If you don't like your job, quit.

If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV.

If you are looking for the love of your life, stop:

They will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.

Life is simple.  Every last bite;

Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our difference.

Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them

Travel often:

Getting lost will help you find yourself.

Some opportunities only come once, seize them.

Live is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them

So go out and start creating.

Life is short

Live your dream and wear your passion.

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men...

They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideas.

They give moral support to their family and friends.

Women have vital things to say and everything to give..


Please know just how amazing you are.



You Called On Me To Be A Mom

Dear Lord, it's such a hectic day
With little time to stop and pray
For life's been anything but calm
Since You called on me to be a mom
Running errands, matching socks,
Building dreams with building blocks
Cooking, cleaning, and finding shoes
And other stuff that children loose
Fitting lids on bottled bugs
Wiping tears and giving hugs
A stack of last weeks mail to read
So where's the quiet time I need?
Yet when I steal a minute, Lord
Just at the sink or ironing board
To ask the blessings of Your Grace
I see then, in my small ones' face
That you have blessed me
All the while
And I stop to kiss
That precious smile.

Author Unknown

Joy was an ALARA and CLARA member.

Read Joy's Amazing Poems

CLARA Facebook

This  page will connect you with our CLARA Facebook.  You do not need to have your own account.  Just use this link, and you can go and see what is happening in the world of YL Hams.

Also, all of our CLARA pictures are contained in albums on the page.  As more pictures come in , we will add more albums.

Hope you enjoy our Facebook page.

Please Click HERE