Monday, November 03, 2014

RIP Philip H. Robinson

My father passed away last week. He was 97 years old.

I don't normally discuss events in my personal life on this blog, but in this case I'll make an exception.

Dad was a radio guy through and through.

From his obituary:
Although his father was an Anglican priest, the celestial messages that most inspired Phil were those transmitted by radio. From the first crystal set he built for himself as a child, radio was both his vocation and his avocation. He received his amateur (Ham) radio licence during the 1930s and participated actively in the hobby for most of his life, most recently with the call letters VA3 PR. In September 1939 he joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals and was later commissioned as an officer, serving overseas with the 2nd Division HQ Signal Regiment in North West Europe. He returned to active service during the Korean War as a radio instructor in Kingston, ON. In civilian life he worked in communications and electronics jobs in locations as varied as Trois-Rivières, QC; Resolution Island, NU; Turkey; Iran; Mill Village, NS; Hall Beach, NU; Resolute Bay, NU; and Ottawa, retiring eventually in Kenmore, ON, where he became known to his many friends in the Ham world as "the Duke of Kenmore".
Growing up surrounded by radio was probably one of the factors that led me to take an interest in the SIGINT world.

Dad himself never had any direct connection with or knowledge of SIGINT activities. Or, more precisely, he didn't until long after his retirement, when he ended up guarding the front gate at CFS Leitrim for a couple of years while working as a Commissionaire.

That was an ironic turn of events given my by-then longstanding interest in SIGINT, but neither of us would ever have considered using that connection to gather information on the place.

Dad's knowledge of radio did come in handy when I wanted to know the difference between, say, a log-periodic and a Yagi antenna, however.

My brothers and I will miss him.

73, Dad.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

BZ to Phil, and 88 to Bill, from all your silent fans.

November 04, 2014 11:25 am  
Blogger Bill Robinson said...

Thank you.

- Bill

November 04, 2014 12:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bill,

Would a donation in your dad's name to the C&E Museum in Kingston be an appropriate gesture? A lot of us appreciate all the time you put in and it sounds like Mr. P.H. Robinson was a big part of the motivation.

Let us know.

November 04, 2014 2:36 pm  
Blogger Bill Robinson said...

I'm very touched by that suggestion and would very much appreciate the gesture.

I haven't been to the C&E Museum since before it moved to the new building, but in the old location his picture was on the wall (part of the A34 class).



November 04, 2014 4:29 pm  
Blogger CWC said...

There's probably a radio antenna down there somewhere...

November 04, 2014 6:11 pm  
Blogger Bill Robinson said...

Nice photo of the data warehouse there, Chuck. I wouldn't expect there to be any antennas there, but I'm not the radio guy my Dad was...

November 05, 2014 12:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Done, Bill

"In memory of Philip Handfield Robinson (Royal Canadian Corps of Signals; 2nd Division HQ Signal Regiment)"

Other folks can contribute here:

November 05, 2014 10:36 am  
Blogger Bill Robinson said...

Thanks, anon. I really appreciate that.

- Bill

November 05, 2014 1:05 pm  
Blogger macadavy said...

In the spirit of 'Lux ex Umbra': 'Velox Versutus Vigilans'.

November 07, 2014 7:51 am  

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