George Miller 1960 Speech

CKSO Radio Celebrates 25 Years
Honouring 25 years of radio broadcast, management and staff gathered for a celebratory occasion on October 15, 1960 marking not only a quarter-century of radio, but also eight years of television broadcast in Sudbury. President of CKSO Radio Limited, George M. Miller addressed the gathering with the following speech. Word for word, with no editing, this is taken from a photocopy of the original source. Notation marks three separate areas in which text is missing. The official CKSO Radio anniversary date was August 19, 1960, while October 25 of that year marked CKSO TV’s eighth anniversary.

Address made by George M. Miller, Q.C., President, CKSO Radio Limited to the Staff at Party Celebrating the 25th Anniversary, October 15, 1960

I first wish to congratulate you and your Management and Staff for arranging this 25th Anniversary Party.

I am sure the organizing ability of our General Manager, Ralph Connor, and of our good Secretary, Mickey Shields, contributed largely to the planning of this celebration.

While this date is a few weeks after the actual date of the first radio broadcast from CKSO in Sudbury, it is likewise a few days prior to the first telecast in Sudbury, and this celebration is held when it is most convenient to do so and is designed to celebrate not only the 25th anniversary of the advent of radio but also to mark the 8th year in television.

The Chairman has said I was engaged in radio broadcasting earlier than Mr. Mason, who founded CKSO, and, while there is some fact in this statement, it is not entirely correct.

In 1933 I had discussed radio broadcasting in Sudbury with some businessmen as we were entirely void of daytime radio and could only receive radio signals in the evening from the larger American stations and not a very good signal. A radio license was, at that time, a gift of the government of the day and the Right Honourable R.B. Bennett was the Prime Minister of Canada and the Honourable George Henry was the Premier of Ontario and these men were fairly well known to us and we felt it would be a proper time to make the application for a radio license and we had some assurance we would receive one but we had difficulty arranging the financing to erect and operate a radio station, so early in 1934 I spoke to W. E. Mason about the project and he agreed to come in with us and arrange financing and we started to put the plan into operation when Mr. Mason said he would like  ... (missing text) …  promote and finance the station. The result was, Mr. Mason did make an application for a radio license and it was granted to him late in 1934 and I was associated with him and carried out the legal work to enable him to get into operation in 1935. I am sure if Mr. Mason had not taken up the challenge we would have obtained the license and established the station but it would not have been quite as early as 1935 and it was not until 13 years later, after the death of Mr. Mason, that I became actively associated with radio as President of Radio Station CKSO.

While the application for the license was granted in 1934, the work of constructing and equipping the station was slow and it was not until 1935 that the station went on the air.

CKSO Radio Station went on the air at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, August 19, 1935 with a frequency of 780 KC and powered at 1,000 watts and the official opening of the station took place on the 31st of August 1935 with a salute from St. John’s, N.B., Toronto, Hamilton, London and the Prairie Provinces. Dave Miller was the Manager and Leonard Parks was the technician and the late James McRae was the Engineer and the call letters CKSO were designed for “CK” meaning Canada, “S” for Sudbury and “O” for Ontario. At the opening celebration W.J. Cullen, Mayor of the City was in attendance with A.E. Collins, Mayor of Copper Cliff and the Honourable Charles McRae, who was the Cabinet Minister in the Ontario Government representing Sudbury for many years, and Dr. J.R. Hurtubise, M.P. and E.A. Lapierre, the new M.P.P., together with Hector Charlesworth and Lt. Col. Steele from the CBC, as well as greetings from the Right Honourable R.B. Bennett, Prime Minister, the Honourable Wm. Lyon Mackenzie King, Leader of the Opposition at Ottawa and the Honourable Mitchell Hepburn, the new Premier of Ontario, and it may seem strange all these men have passed to their great reward several years ago, but the oldest, Mr. Lapierre, only died last year.

The studios were located on Elgin Street in the City and the transmitter was located on the old Coniston Road on the farm of one Desloges near the east end of Ramsay Lake where Mr. Mason had rented a site and erected a small transmitting building and the towers consisted of two 95 foot wooden towers from poles provided in the District of Sudbury and they were erected by a Canadian Pacific Railway crew, from which towers signals were broadcast until the 19th of August 1946, exactly 11 years later, when the transmitting power was increased to 5,000 watts and the transmitter and towers and equipment were moved to their present location near McFarlane Lake on Highway 69 and the frequency changed to 790 KC with a non directional signal in the day time and a directional signal at night and the reason given by the Engineers for acquiring a non directional signal in the day time and a directional signal at night was the Department of Transport, who controls these signals, demanded that this increase in power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts must be drawn in from the west and south at night so the signal was 5,000 non directional in the day time and 1,000 directional at night.

In 1935 Sudbury had a population of 22,000 people. It had been incorporated as a city in 1930. The Sudbury Daily Star was published twice per week, on Wednesday and Saturday, and it changed to three times per week with the advent of radio. The city was recovering from the financial depression of the early 1930s and a great number of citizens were still on public relief, administered by the city and province.

Sudbury, with the rest of Canada, late in 1934 and through 1935 was starting to surge forward in an economic way and these were memorable years in Canada.

The Lindberg Kidnapping Case was the most sensational event of the year and took place on the night of September 20th, 1934 and the subsequent trial and execution of Bruno Hauptmann held everybody spellbound and there was a Provincial Election that year and the Conservative Party that had been in control of the affairs of Ontario for 30 years, since 1904, with the exception of a lapse of four years during the administration of the Farmer Government, was defeated and a Liberal Government was elected and Mr. Mitchell Hepburn became Premier of Ontario and the Honourable Charles McRae was defeated and Mr. Lapierre became the Ontario member and it was in that year the quintuplets were born to Mr. & Mrs. Ovila Dionne at Callander, Ontario and that Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and began sober rattling in Europe and the famous Labatt of London, Ontario Kidnapping Case broke and found its way into Muskoka. W.M. Brodie was the Mayor in 1935. These facts are well known to His Honour J.M. Cooper who was the Law Partner of Mr. Brodie and later became a member of the Mitchell Hepburn Government.

The main international events of 1935 were the death of the Bennett Government and of the rise to power again of the Honourable Wm. Lyon Mackenzie King and that year Mussolini, the Italian dictator, moved into Abyssinia and in Europe the dictators grew more arrogant and Hitler was threatening to take over Austria and the Ruhr, which was the forerunner of the Second World War.

Detroit won the World Series from the Chicago Cubs in 1935. Omaha won the Kentucky Derby. Jim Braddock knocked out Max Baer for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Japan had over run China. Will Rogers and Wylie Post were killed in an airplane crash on August 15th and like this year, a hurricane slashed the Florida coast, east and west, and did a record damage. Oliver Wendell Homes and Billy Sunday died in 1935 and radio became a factor in political campaigns for the District of Nipissing for the first time  ... (missing text) .

The International Nickel Company began its plan for advancing its industry and constructed a smelter at Copper Cliff and the development of its mines in 1935 and unemployment in Sudbury began to wane. The Honourable H.H. Stevens established a new political party called the Progressive Party that year and this party had a great effect on the Dominion Election held in October 1935.

These were the conditions in the world at the time CKSO commenced broadcasting and the radio has had a large part in public activities, both locally and nationally, down through the years.

Take a look around you and contemplate what you were doing in 1935 - 25 years ago. You were all a lot younger than you are today, some were not born at that time, and it is of some interest for you to reflect on these things and to realize the many factors that influenced your early life coming up to the position you occupy today. This kind of thinking can assist you to prepare your children for their place in business and society.

One often asks himself what does the future hold for us? What will it be like 25 years in the future?

One would be a bold and venturesome person to attempt to forecast the future 25 years hence but I will go so for as to say I believe we will not have a nuclear war. There may be local wars and some of more serious proportions, but no nation will start a nuclear war for the same reason they did not in the last war, start a gas or bacteria war, as no nation can control the winds and atmospheric changes where the effects of these devastating agencies may be felt in the country that initiates them as well as in the country intended to damage. And my belief is that all future wars will be more or less local wars and of comparatively shorter duration,  ... (missing word) …  the Cold War now in existence will continue, with the bluff and blustering and bullying tactics by Mr. Khrushchev and his successors scaring no one by his claim that his rockets are rolling out like sausages and he should have said baloney!

I think this industry will see as many or more scientific advancements in the next 25 years than it has in the past 25 years and we know there have been many amazing new avenues of communication created since 1935 and not the least is Television.

I think both radio and television will have radical changes in all its phases and I hope we will be able to keep up with the times or better still, keep in the forefront of the industry and I know we will be able to do so if we give to the industry the constant study and attention this industry requires and to keep up-to-date in the national field.

I predict the population of Sudbury will double by 1985 as it has done in the past 25 years and I think we will have opposition in TV in Sudbury which may be all to the good.

It is my belief that Inco will have developed new mines and that other base metal and precious metal mines will have been uncovered in the Sudbury District and our economy will be much stronger and steadier as the national thinking gets away from regarding Sudbury as a mining city capable of becoming a ghost town like Elliot Lake and placing it in the category of an industrial city and I predict many new industries will develop here to create this city the industrial and distribution centre for Northern Ontario.

I am sure we have in our new management young men with the forward look who will advance our operation with the times and I hope we will be able to spread our operations into other areas.

Our Directors are proud of the achievement in our industry in the past 25 years and are confident about the future of our company, with our Management and Staff all working together in a harmonious team.

The next 25 years should see thirty-five or forty million people in Canada and a much expanded national economy in all fields and I know our team will play its part to have our share in this prosperity.

There will be a great expansion in Northern Canada that is beyond our dreams at the present time.

Gentlemen, there is a great responsibility resting on you to meet this challenge but I am sure you will be able to do so if you keep your eyes on the future and your feet on the ground and work hard and progressively for the betterment of our industry and for Sudbury and for Canada, and you will achieve a measure of success far beyond that which may be on your present horizon.

I wish to thank the Management and Staff for this party and their attendance here tonight. Our year ends October 31st. It has been a good year and I wish you all a good and successful year next year, and in the years to come.

I now wish to say something about the retirement of Mr. and Mrs. Woodill from active participation in our company operations.

Wilf Woodill has been in full and complete charge of our company since its inception, and was General Manager of CKSO under the ownership of the late W.E. Mason for many years, as well as Manager after Mr. Mason’s death in 1948 to early in 1951 when this Company acquired the business, and it is under his guidance that this Company has grown from a small operation carried on in the two rooms on Elgin Street to its present position occupying the large quarters on Television Hill.

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