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SCRAPBOOK - ALF SPENCE COLLECTION #3 FROM 1959

PHOTO SCRAPBOOK
Alf Spence Collection #3 from 1959

In his long career with CBC Radio, Alf photographed his colleagues in work situations and in relaxation and the result is a wonderful collection of pictures spanning 34 years from the beginning of his career in 1949 until his retirement on June 23, 1983. The ten photos which follow comprise the third selection to be presented in Scrapbook.

Alf joined the staff of CBC Toronto's Engineering Department on May 1, 1949.  Within hours of beginning what was to prove his career destiny, he met his boss Reg Horton’s Secretary, Joyce Morgan - the lovely young woman who had emigrated from Birmingham, England, and was to become his life-long partner.  Alf and Reg Horton became and remained close friends until Reg’s death in 2002.  Alf and Joyce’s first date was to Massey Hall in Toronto to see Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden.    They were married a year later on Alf’s 25th birthday, May 5, 1950, in Vancouver.

Alf' did a number of jobs within the Radio Engineering section, some of which got him into trouble. The first time was soon after he started in Toronto.  At CJBC he was a pinch-hitter for an Announce staffer who didn't show up in time for the broadcast.  He voiced a network cue and local station call.  To Alf's surprise, he ended up on the carpet for violating the rules.  Operators as they were called in the 50’s, were never heard on the air, but since it was something that had never happened before, there wasn't any precedent for discipline and in the end, none was meted out.

Alf’s position was with the Engineering Department but he did many things for CBC Radio including one on-air interview recording at the Vancouver Crippled Children’s Hospital where Alf volunteered to interview a young patient, because he had been a patient there himself in the 1920’s.

Alf and Joyce always knew they wanted to make their home in Vancouver but there were no jobs available at CBC on the West Coast.  That is, until television started up in 1953.  With the advent of this new medium, many of the experienced people in Radio transferred, leaving numerous Technical vacancies in Radio and a shortage of people to handle the work.  In June, 1953, Alf got a phone call from the Toronto Engineering Headquarters asking if he was still interested in moving to Vancouver and when he quickly replied, "Yes!", was asked if he could leave straight away and report for work in Vancouver the next day.  That was a bit tight since he was 3,000 miles away and had a wife and home to consider, but he agreed to take a flight to Vancouver that weekend and reported to CBC Radio at 9am the next Monday morning.  Joyce remained in Toronto to sell their house and joined Alf six weeks later.

In Vancouver, Alf took up duties as a Radio Audio Technician and in those early years, worked primarily in the Radio Recording Room, initially recording on 16 inch discs and later on with audio tape.  His work outside the studio was mainly with a department called ‘Outside Broadcasts’.  The main Technician in this department was Elmer Winton and Alf filled in when Elmer was busy.  His job was to record interviews and to provide background sound on remote broadcasts.  He also recorded Radio News and Special Events’ items with Announcers Bill Herbert, Bill Good Senior, Ted Reynolds, and many others.

He retired from the Corporation seven years early at age 58 and embraced new interests and a great enthusiasm for life.  In retirement, Alf and Joyce enjoyed two extended holidays travelling around the world.  Alf took flying lessons, achieved his private pilot's licence at age 64 and for nine years, owned his own plane.  He also embarked on a new fun career at age 81, driving miniature steam locomotives at Confederation Park in North Burnaby; and he helped out a friend who had a contract to repair Canada Post vans by driving all sizes of vans from the various postal depots (as far away as Maple Ridge and Langley) to the body shop near downtown Vancouver.

Alf passed away at age 89 on June 23, 2014. 

Here are Alf’s photos:

 1.  1959 – Using a construction area in the Hotel Vancouver for an echo chamber (mic not seen). Basil Hilton standing at left.
 2.  1959 – Alf (mono) – Studio D, Hotel Vancouver.
 3.  1959 – Alf during a Kamloops Remote production.
 4.  1959 – Alf, John Must and two others stand beside the CBC Wagon during coverage of a Royal Visit to Terrace, B.C.  Can anyone identify the two fellows with Alf and John?
 5.  1959 – Basil Hilton, Chief Engineer and Tony Geluch, Chief Operator.
 6.  1959 – Basil Hilton and Tony Geluch pose with a model of the Hotel Vancouver.
 7.  1959 – Radio Technicians Bob Gray and Don Hardisty in Transmitter Booth D, Hotel Vancouver.
 8.  1959 – John Edwards, Radio Public Affairs’ Producer in Hotel Vancouver.
 9. 1959 – Norm Griffin, Farm Broadcasts’ Reporter, Hotel Vancouver.
10. 1959 – Tony Geluch and Alf in the Hotel Vancouver 1st Mezzanine Tape Library.
 
NEXT ON PHOTO SCRAPBOOK:
March 8:        Bob Asgeirsson Collection #2/Dennis Robertson Collection #2.
March 22:      Mike & Peggy Oldfield Collection #5 – CBC Vancouver 1995.

Photographs are a wonderful part of memories, and very often they form part of collective as much as individual memories.  That’s what this segment is all about – the memories we share of CBC English and French, Television and Radio productions and the people who have made them happen through the years in either work or social settings.  We hope you will enjoy the collections posted here and will search your own and let us share them too.  If you have just one picture or dozens, send them in!  Photo Scrapbook postings appear bi-weekly (every other Monday).

The supply of photographs that your Stationbreak.ca team has to draw from for new Scrapbook and Flashback postings is running out, so PLEASE, dig out your albums and boxes of photos taken prior to the year 2000 and send in your collections for us to share.  Whether the pictures were captured during filming/taping of productions, in the CBC offices, or at social functions with CBC colleagues on or off the CBC premises, we’d love to have them.  If you’re able to scan and send them via e-mail, that would be wonderful, or if you’re willing to loan the original photos we will scan and return them to you.  Please contact Peggy Oldfield via https://goo.gl/QNvaxu and she will supply her direct e-mail address or contact you to make arrangements for scanning of your photos.  We can’t keep these sections going without your input so, in advance, THANK YOU for taking the time to help us.

 

 

1. Basil Hilton.

1. Basil Hilton.

2. Alf Spence.

2. Alf Spence.

3. Alf Spence.

3. Alf Spence.


4. Alf Spence, John Must and 2 unknown fellows.

4. Alf Spence, John Must and 2 unknown fellows.

5. Basil Hilton and Tony Geluch.

5. Basil Hilton and Tony Geluch.

6. Basil Hilton and Tony Geluch.

6. Basil Hilton and Tony Geluch.


7. Bob Gray and Don Hardisty.

7. Bob Gray and Don Hardisty.

8. John Edwards.

8. John Edwards.

9. Norm Griffin.

9. Norm Griffin.


10. Ton y Geluch and Alf Spence.

10. Ton y Geluch and Alf Spence.