The idea of a radio society on the University of British Columbia campus came into prominence when students decided to play records on an old gramophone in the student cafeteria at lunchtime. Members Struan Robertson, Ozzie Durkin, Dorwin Baird (later of CJOR), Victor Freeman and Malcolm Brown got involved in a university publicity campaign, and “Varsity Time”, an information variety show, became a regular feature on CJOR, Vancouver.
UBC Radio became an official club under the “Literary and Scientific Executive”, the predecessor of the Alma Mater Society (AMS). “Varsity Time” moved to CBC radio for two shows a week.
Pierre Berton, who later achieved a distinguished publishing and broadcasting career, was the Radio Society’s chief announcer.
UBC Radio was recognized as a major campus group. “News from Campus” was broadcast on CKWX, Campus sports on CJOR.
UBC Radio became RADSOC and got MUSSOC (Musical Society), a weekly program on CJOR.
“Varsity Time” moved to CKWX and, together with MUSSOC, RADSOC produced programs for CJOR, CKMO, and CBR (later CBU).
RADSOC was called “the leading Canadian University radio society” and moved into new studios, opened by Dr. Gordon Shrum, honorary RADSOC president.
Under president Ray Perrault, RADSOC expanded, and two weekly programs were produced for CKWX and CKMO.
Affiliation with the Western University Radio Federation created three new programs using CBC facilities. UBC Radio Club moved to “ultra-new” facilities in Brock Hall.
Closed-circuit broadcasts to residences began. UBC Radio Club and CKWX (BC Association of Broadcasters) operated a twenty-two week school for commercial radio. The first full commercials were run on UBC Radio.
Carrier current replaced closed circuit to UBC residences. (the signal is carried to radios throughout the campus area over the electrical power lines.)
FM was first discussed for RADSOC.
Radio Club moved to new, professionally designed studios (at the time, the most up-to-date in the city) in the newly completed Student Union Building. RADSOC officially became CYVR.
For operating without a licence CYVR was shut down for six months by the AMS. Changes in CRTC regulations requiring licensing of carrier current stations were the reason. CYVR had applied, but continued to broadcast pending approval. The station was shut down in January, but CRTC decision 74-260 approved the licence application, and UBC Radio was back as Thunderbird Radio, CITR.
On July 26, the CRTC approved broadcasting of the station on campus via AM carrier current at 650 kHz.
CITR was fed for the first time through cable in the Vancouver area.
CITR made its first application to the CRTC for an FM broadcast licence.
CITR changed from an AMS club to an AMS service organization in recognition of the service CITR provided to the students of UBC. Hopes for FM dropped when the Department of Communication froze applications in the city.
CITR got really involved outside its studio doors for the first time since the 1940’s by joining the National Campus Radio Organization (NCRO later known as the NCRA). From NCRO sprung another affiliation, pioneered by UBC Radio and University of Alberta radio: the Western Association of Broadcasters, a Western Canadian campus support and information group that had died out twenty years earlier. CITR incorporated as a society. September 14th: Low Power FM licence approval.
April 1st: CITR commenced broadcasting in mono with 49 watts at 101.9 FM. First song: “Dancing in the Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas.
On January 11, the CRTC renewed CITR-FM's licence until September 30, 1985.
July 20: First stereo broadcast. Towards the end of the year, CITR proposed to go high power at 107.9 MHz, but the Department of Communications turned it down due to potential interference to radio navigation facilities at Vancouver International Airport.
November: CITR proposed a unique and special licensing plan using a directional radio antenna (for the first time in Canada) to allow the use of 101.9 MHz simultaneously in Vancouver and Victoria at a substantially increased power.
October 8th: CITR celebrated 50 Years of UBC Radio with a gala reunion dinner. The Perrault brothers, Ray and Ernie— former RADSOC presidents in the 40’s — were honoured as Great Trekkers for their outstanding contributions to the University over the years.
February 2nd: CITR increased power to 1800 watts. First song: “Have Not Been the Same” by Slow.
CITR starts broadcasting BBC world news from satellite.
CITR became the first radio station in Vancouver on the internet with an email address and gopher site.
CITR won a "Standard" Award for outstanding APEC coverage
CITR opened a new studio, and commenced live broadcasting on the web, as well as continuing to be the broadcasting voice of the University of British Columbia on 101.9 FM
On February 23 the CRTC renewed the licence of The Student Radio Society of the University of British Columbia's CITR-FM. The licensee proposed to devote six hours per week to French-language programming, and two hours per week to third language programming (directed to six ethnic groups in five different languages).
The CITR-FM licence was renewed by the CRTC on May 22.
CiTR 101.9 FM, the University of British Columbia station, threw a big party to mark its 75th birthday. The event, dubbed the Diamond Radioversary Party, took place at Chapel Arts.
Written by Bill Dulmage, Gord Lansdell - Updated April, 2013