Former RAC President Farrell (Hoppy) Hopwood, VE7RD SK

From RAC

Farrell Hopwood

Radio Amateurs of Canada has received the sad news that former RAC President, Farrell Hopwood, VE7RD, became a Silent Key on December 8, 2020 at age 91.

The following information was extracted from the online obituary notice which was published in North Shore News on December 30.

“Farrell worked for BC Tel for many years and was active in St. Stephen’s parish, North Vancouver as well as instrumental in the founding of the Radio Amateurs of Canada.

He is survived by his son David, brother Brendan, sisters Eileen and Deidra, sister-in-law Lee, their spouses and many nieces and nephews.

The family is grateful to the staff of Delta Hospital as well as Wexford Independent Living in Tsawwassen for their care and support. Due to the current Covid restrictions, a celebration of Farrell’s life will be limited to a private Mass with a graveside service to follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated.”

RAC would like to extend its sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Member of Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame 2015

Farrell (Hoppy) Hopwood, VE7RD, was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2015 and the information provided below was published in the January-February 2016 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine in recognition of this significant achievement. We will be including a tribute article to Farrell in the March-April 2021 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine.

Farrell Hopwood, VE7RD, better known as “Hoppy”, was born and raised in British Columbia. Hoppy’s parents were influential mentors in his early telecommunications career.

His father, Jack, was a telegrapher with Canadian Pacific (CP) Telegraphs; his mother, Mona, was a Teletype operator who worked alongside Jack. Hoppy learned the landline Morse code from his dad.

Hoppy started his telecoms career in Vancouver as a telegraph lineman for CP Telegraphs in 1948 and then transferred to BC Telephone, where he worked his way through maintaining telephone dial offices to long-distance carrier systems in Vancouver.

After the changeover to public distance dialing in 1959, Hoppy was involved with mechanical switching, TD2 microwave and large digital switching networks; and in 1971, formed a Systems Coordination Centre (SCC) to help BC Telephone and other large business users to install new telecom networks. He managed the SCC until he retired in 1992.

In 1955, Hoppy obtained his Amateur Radio licence and his first call sign, VE7AHB. He held a strong interest in all aspects of Amateur Radio, particularly DX, VHF/UHF linking and packet. He was an early member of the Canadian Radio Relay League (CRRL), the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation (CARF), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Telephone Pioneers and the North Shore Amateur Radio Club. He was also a member of the team that created an Amateur Radio station and exhibit at EXPO 86 in Vancouver.

These memberships introduced him to government regulations and the various threats to Amateur Radio bands. This led Hoppy to become an Assistant Director for the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation, followed by Director and Vice-President.

He sought the CARF Presidency on the condition that the CARF Board commit to meet with the CRRL Board to revisit prior discussions with the CRRL to create one national society. Thus began a series of meetings between CARF and CRRL.

Merging the two societies was a complex and delicate process for the whole merger team and when roadblocks occurred it was up to the two Presidents to find a way around.

Hoppy particularly appreciated working with CRRL President Dana Shtun, VE3DSS (now also VE3DS), who shared the vision for a strong national Canadian Amateur Radio society and served as RAC’s first Vice-President.

Hoppy was appointed RAC President and remained in this post for six years. During this period the new RAC team improved services to members and to the Amateur Radio community in Canada. Hoppy retired at the end of 1998 after serving three terms as President.

Hoppy was inducted into the Hall of Fame on December 10, 2015 at the annual banquet of the North Shore Amateur Radio Club in North Vancouver, BC.