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Musings About MHR Canada: Excerpt #5

Written by on March 25, 2021

As noted in previous notes in this Newsletter, it was in the early 1970’s, we here in Canada did not have Christian Radio. At that time, a Kingston doctor and his wife told everybody possible that there were two Christian Radio Stations that were worthy of our attention. One was HCJB, a short-wave radio station from Quito Ecuador that was nigh impossible to get except on the occasional clear day. The other station was WMHR out of Syracuse, almost as equally difficult to hear in Kingston on any but the best of receivers!

That did not dissuade Dr. A. Kenneth and Mary Wyllie from getting as many people possible to listen to and support Christian Broadcasting. Furthermore, they did whatever they could to get Christian Radio into Kingston, Ontario, with a dream to, some day, reach Metropolitan Toronto. The first boost to obtaining reception possibilities came when they were able to persuade a local company to work with Mars Hill Radio, Syracuse to rebroadcast their signal on cable. WMHR chief engineer, Clayt Roberts drove into Kingston to assist in installing a directional antenna to capture the 102.9 signal.  Finally, this allowed us to get good Christian Radio in Kingston and its surrounding area. The cable company was quite surprised at how many subscribers they obtained that did not even have a television. Our family was one of those who were willing to pay about $35.00 per month (in the late 1970’s) to get a consistent signal carrying the WMHR programming: and the subscription fee was worth it!

This lasted for about ten to fifteen years until Cogeco purchased the local cable company and no longer rebroadcast the signal of our beloved station. Oh dear! There went our consistent signal. Furthermore, there was still no hope that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, our regulatory agency, would allow Christian broadcasting in Canada. This seemed like a dreadful end to receiving good conservative Christian programming in our area. Now what?

To be continued…

Submitted by Hank Blok
Secretary-treasurer, Mars Hill Radio Canada

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