The Sask Alta Radio Club began when a growing interest in the 2 meter (144-148 mHz,) amateur band and the availability of surplus commercial radios led the local amateurs to consider acquiring a repeater to serve this area. The limited range of car to car communication made a repeater a necessity if our widely scattered group wanted to talk to each other. A meeting was held at the Travelodge Motel (click on Photos) in the summer of 1975 to organise an informal club and by September 1975, VE5RI was on the air. A generous donation from Art VE5AS got the financing started and the original repeater was purchased and put into service on a tower owned by Till Communications Ltd. on the hill south west of Lloydminster now known as Mount Joy ski resort. The repeater site was later hosted by Motorola followed by Northwind Radio on a different tower, later moved to a Glentel tower which is now owned by SBA Communications Corporation.
VE5RI was the call sign of Ron Ingrey, a pioneer ham in Lloydminster and his call was assigned to the new club with the assistance of Ron’s wife Elsie. Elsie was proud to be our Honorary President for many years.
The club was formally incorporated as an official non-profit society under the Alberta Societies Act on 8 June 2007 to take advantage of the liability insurance available through Radio Amateurs of Canada. As the club has grown and matured over the years, many more interests and projects have been undertaken. The club is active in the annual ARRL Field Day activities and for many years helped with the Relay for Life cancer research fund raiser. A group of SARC members are active in HF radio contesting with their multi operator, multi transmitter station at the farm QTH of Len, VE5WI, where the VE5RI call sign is often used during contests.
SARC is an active participant with the City of Lloydminster’s Emergency Preparedness program, providing emergency communications facilities and support. Click on ARES in the menu for more.