'The Executive' for details)
and Founder, in his 'shack' with
BP (Black Prince)
Amateur of the Year 2001
of the Year 2001
The forming of
the Toronto Marine Amateur Radio Club came about because of a near fatal tragedy
at sea by some of Charles Leggatt's sailing friends. Finding them selves in
a storm of such
magnitude that there seemed little or no hope of survival, they could do nothing
except pray. With only a wireless receiver on board, they could hear other
vessels calling for assistance but they could not send messages, for they had no transmitter.
(Incidentally, there is similar story which affected another very competent sailor, the now world
famous weather forecaster, Herb Hilgenberg.) In both cases the sailors had no means of
communicating their situation to the various search and rescue facilities
It was some
time in 1990 that a telephone call by the now “safe and sound” crew was made to Charles.
The caller advised him that he and his friends would never ever go to sea again without a
single side band transceiver on their vessels.
His question was simply “How
do we go about getting our Amateur Radio Certification?” Charles
met with them at
the Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club to discuss their concerns. The
discussion, along with a little support from a local brew, led Charles to accept the challenge
There were some eight or nine male and female sailors in that first
class. They came to Charles and Dianne's home each Monday night for a period of some six
months. All passed the Basic Exam and Morse Code Test to receive their Certification in Amateur Radio.
over three hundred and fifty men
and women, all sailors, have taken the vital and interesting step of gaining
The teaching process has changed from the
weekly, home program at
3 Baker to more of an open university system. The change came about to meet the
needs of members of the sailing community who come from all over Ontario as far north as Blind
River and from outside the province as far east as Newfoundland. The flow of
students requesting the opportunity to get ham licenses continues at a steady
Hilgenberg was once asked, “How many live do you think you have
saved?” He answered, “I gave up counting at
date, of the three hundred or more sailors that have taken the ham radio
study course through M.A.R.C., NOT ONE has lost his or her
life at sea.