Point Grey  ' Y ' Monitoring Station   

VAI Point Grey, B.C. , a coast station, is the ancestor of the Marine Traffic Control System in Vancouver, having been in business since 1908. Some years later, during the 2nd World War, Point Grey got better known when women worked there. The lack of radio operators was a problem and the government needed to intercept the Japanese KANA Morse code.


Hence , space was acquired in the building to house what was then called a ' Y ' or radio intercepts operation.


After several years of research, some tidbits of information was gathered from discrete sources until some who worked there were found and historical data was at last obtained. We are grateful to:

Photo Album - Early photos at Point Grey and Lulu Island

Links to informative sites about YL Sparks a) RAC  b) YL Sparks stories

A 1911 description of the Pt Grey station from Radio Craft magazine 1935


In 1950, part of a national program, the first monitoring installation in the Pacific region,  was made in a back room at the Pt. Grey station. State of the art General Radio Co. precision measurement equipment, together with an RCA AR88LF receiver, were supplied from Ottawa.


An Ottawa technician made the installation with assistance from Sid Woods from the Pacific Region Radio Workshop. Initially, monitoring was restricted to below 30 MHz, but VHF capability was added later. Vern Read was appointed as the monitoring operator, and this service was only open weekdays, except when special assignments were required.


A work in progress !

Roll Call

Point Grey/Lulu Is./Steveston ,BC

in progress ... (1936 - mid 50's )  for 'Y' or intercepts operation
with thanks to Larry Reid, Jim White, Olive Carroll Roeckner  and others


Point Grey


Gray, A.L. 'Andy' OIC


Gold, Sammy, shift supervisor


?, Vern ,  shift supervisor


Lobb, Richard,  joined as intercept operator 15 April 1939,  was in the first opr group for Kana intercepts at the beginning of the war and stayed on until spring of 1943 when he went to the Wireless Workshop Victoria as a technician. The first intercept position was manned by him, Herb Holt, Tom Smith and Bill Gregory


Lathwell, Harry


Shea, Eric


Lake, ( Strachan ) Agnes ,  SK, was at the Radio School with Olive Carroll and both wrote their exam at the same time.


Carroll  (Roeckner),  Olive   from Point Grey intercepts 1944-45 to DND 45-46 to sea early in 1947


Waller, Ina was the first YL to get her radio certificate in western Canada, she worked at     VAI/Point Grey Marine then went to DND at Victoria. Late '46, Ina married Vic Zariski who had worked at Lulu Island.  At War's end, Vic was posted to a station up the BC coast


Anderson, (King ) Elizabeth from Point Grey intercepts to DND to sea early in 1947


Thomas, Ron,  later went to VAE and on to being a radio inspector


Scroxton, George


Mayne, Tommy > formerly with the Merchant navy


Bird, Janet


Quilty, Florence


York, (Gomez) Norma


Larry Reid wrote that at its peak, there were 28 intercept operators  in three shifts 


Lulu Island

When the war ended in Europe ended in 1945, many of those interceptors from the East coast were transferred and a new facility at the old Williams Road transmitter site on Lulu Island was installed but the 68 operators there had not reached their peak efficiency when Japan surrendered.

Ryan, Bill

Harrison, Brian

Healy, Art

Devlin, Eric

Good, Ed

Greenwood, Lorne

Krauter, Ken

Lovell, Sy

McCurdy, Walter

Taylor, Charlie "Chas"

Wilson, Lorne  'Scotty'


Palmer (Smith) Lylie received her training in Winnipeg and went from Hudson's Bay Moose Factory to Intercept at Lulu then to Sparks on Norwegian ships  to DOT Edmonton Aeradio


Taylor, Jim > 1944-45

Zariski, Vic

Knox, Malcom

Hyde, Scotty

B ?, Bill

Pre-war at VAI ( a work in progress )


Durkee, Ken M

Field, J.H.  OIC in 1908

Gilliland, T. Gordon

Jones, Syd

J.H. MacDonald  ( 1911 )

1920-23 : Lofty Harris, Daniels, Charlie Acton, Turner, Burford, Kelk, Samuels  Edmunds , Hector F Corriveau, Sam Gold , Bill Parkin, Hollis, Jack Bowerman,


Links   -   Liens


Point Grey  ' Y ' and monitoring station - Richard 'DICK'  Lobb


Some early photos at Point Grey and Lulu Island