CKCR Story Page
You are invited to submit stories of the early days of CKCR for publishing on this page. All former staffers are invited to join in the memories.
Robert Gibbons Wednesday, 7/25/07, 9:07 PM 
 As a kid of about 7 or 8 I appeared on the stage of the lyric theatre in a talent contest sponsored by and broadcast by CKCR radio.It was called "Tooner- ville Talent Contest". It was a memory I have never forgotten and which may have been contributed to my eventual career in the "entertainment Business" as a producer/director of tv programs at the CBC in Toronto. I didn't win the conest but what great memories I still have of that CKCR event. I eventually worked at CFCO, CKOX and CKOT radio with CKCR announcers Dave Cash and Leo Dow circa 1956- 57. Anybody know where those guys are or if any tapes of Toonerville exist? Not bloody likely but nothing ventured..... Regards.....Robert Gibbons. (Mississauga, Ont.) 
 From: Elmira (originally) 
 Where did you hear about our page?  surfing 
Ursula Scherfer  Writes abour her father BEN SCHERFER who hosted "THE GERMAN HOUR" 

Hi ... I absolutely love the website.  There are so many names and faces that bring back great memories.  I'm currently living in Ottawa but whenever I come to KW, I usually end up running into Reg Sellner at Ethel's on King St in Waterloo.
I must admit that I found the site by googling my dad's name and CKCR together.  Unfortunately the two didn't come up together but it lead me to your site which is great!

I can't remember exactly which year Dad started the "German Hour" but I do know it was while it was still CKCR and Dick Austin was there because I once got to sit on his lap (I was still a little kid) while he was on the radio.  And, I loved when Dad brought me along to the Dunker building and I sat outside the room with the "ON AIR" sign above the door.
I have some pictures of Dad while on the radio at the station and also preparing the shows from his home office.  Let me know if you'd like copies of the pictures and I'll gladly email them to you.
Hmmm, your site also reminded me that Grantly very nicely agreed to stick his head in at my 16th birthday party! Dad arranged that and it made all the teen guests happy.
Other memories that are coming back due to the site are .... Shuffle Shop with Jack Shoone and/or Ian .... Night Hawk Rock with both Jack and Ian Byers (oops, we always called him Eenie Beenie) at the room on the top floor of KW Auditorium.
I very happy that I found your great site ... let me know if you want the pictures.  I'll try to find out from my Mom exactly what year he started "The German Hour" unless you already know.
One of the things that made me feel good when I moved to Ottawa, was that I could still feel like I'm home because I see both Jeff and Lisa on the CTV news.

University Highlights, the halfrour
weekly radio program of
.the University, will be heard this
Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on radio station CKCR, Kitchener.
Features scheduled for Fall
listening include an examination
of Jazz, Folk Music and the Folk
arts, Choral and Operatic Music
as well as French Canadian Culure,
Politics and current events.
This weekly program is enirely
under student direction and
presents as many students as
possible through their programning.
If you are at all interestecl
in radio and would like to try
your hand at broadcasting, con-
tact this year’s student director
Mr. Richard Comber at 742-8139
The story to the left was published in the University of Waterloo Student Newspaper
Vol 3 No. 3  Friday Oct. 12  1962
Waterloo County Hall of Fame: Don Cameron 

b. 1936

Don Cameron was born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island in 1936. He began his career in broadcasting by announcing at the race track in Summerside. In 1956 he started work at Radio Station CJRW in Summerside. In 1957, Don took a job with CKTB in St. Catharines, Ontario. Don came to Kitchener in 1958 as Sports Director for Radio Station CKCR and later with CKKW. In 1979 he became part of CKCO-TV Sports and continued there until his retirement in 1998.

Don gained much of his recognition as the voice of the Kitchener Rangers. He has been their play-by-play announcer for over thirty years. Other highlights of his broadcasting career include reporting on the KW Dutchmen from the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics, broadcasting the Memorial Cup on four different occasions and reporting on the Briar National Curling Championships, Skate Canada, the Canada Summer Games and many other national and international sporting events.

Don Cameron has given much to the community. He promoted local amateur sport through his radio and television broadcasts. He coached the Kitchener Kieswetter Ladies Senior Fastball Team from 1973 to 1978. In 1975, they won the Canadian Championship and in 1976 they finished second.

Don has also served his community through CYO, Big Brothers, the KW Press Club, Knights of Columbus, the Granite Club 
and the Jazz Club. He is married to a very supportive wife, the former Carole Stoesser.

This information is from The Region of Waterloo website (Hall of Fame). 

CKCR QSL Card (1510 kHz, 100 W), Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, 1934

Here he is preparing the show (eg writing commercials, listing songs etc) out of his home office.  The shortwave radio was eventually brought into this office and is sitting on that shelf behind him.

Here are the pictures that I have .
The first two are at the station while doing The German Hour live. The guy behind the glass recording the show is Tom Ulmer who now lives in B.C.

As news from Germany was part of the show (at least in the early years), he would get it from a shortwave radio so that he could read the German news into the show to pass it along to the people in KW through. In the picture you can see  the old radio he used to hear the news from Germany... which, by the way, is sitting on a 1950s German cabinet "pre-8 track" cassette player which I still have (but unfortunately no tapes of that size and era to play on it)

Originally, he prepared (rewrote the German news, wrote commercials and comments etc, listed songs) the show from home and then read that material from the station on air live.
When playing tapes became a more usual way of doing such radio shows, he would originally tape them at home which meant as kids (my sisters and I) had to be really really quiet in the house while taping was going on.  The door to his home office at that time was padded in the hope of keeping any noise out.
In later years, the taping was done at the station and, of course, the program was no longer live ... all on tape.

Tom Ulmer Sunday, 1/20/08, 10:49 AM 
 The individual in the picture of Ben Scherfer recording the German Hour was myself, Tom Ulmer, doing the operating at the old RCA console. I still have many happy memories of those years, the 60's working with Jack Schoone, Grantly, Alan Murray and Hoppy while working at CKCR, 1490. In addition to recording the German Hour, I worked with both Grantly and Alan Murray doing the news on their programs with Grantly into the wee hours of the morning..... 2 AM I believe, Saturday nights. I also noted in the list of announcers one of the morning men "Jack Barr" was missing as was Albert Dyclater known as DicAlberts 

This note arrived Saturday May 10, 2008 from
London ON

Hello Dan.
  Enjoyed reading up on the history of K-W from your website.
There is a picture to which you are looking for the name 
of the person on the far right -- "untitled 10" I believe
is the correct page. 
  Well here is the rest of the story! :)
The gents name is Bill Tschirhart - here is a little background
on the picture when I contacted him.

 "Yes, that’s me on the far right. The photo was taken in 1994 in the main office of the school where I spent most of my teaching career (17 of 32 years), Margaret Ave. School in Kitchener. It was an inner city school with a “tough” reputation that was totally incorrect.  I always said that we were the best kept secret in the entire school board. We had a very diverse student body in every way (socio-economic, cultural etc.) and a great staff.

The occasion of the taking of the photo was our school’s centennial celebration. Rod Hoddle (far left) was a graduate of the school and a former local radio personality. It was his idea to produce an “in house” radio programme on the weekend of the event. He invited many former local radio personalities to participate, some of whom are also in the photo. It was great fun!!!! I was the staff on air personality for the weekend. I clearly had the best job of all the staff!"

  Bill today is one of curling most sought after coaches -- so he's still teaching! Currently he's the competitive consultant for the World Curling Players Association. Hope this helps solve a mystery. 

All the best 

Dave Thomas 

London, ON 

Story Arrived Thursday May 22, 2008

 David McKnight      [  thank you Dave for sharing this memory ]
Thursday, 5/22/08, 12:27 PM 

Cecil was my father and I can remember him mentioning many of the names from your story page.  I still have several poetry books that my dad and mother used during their broadcast from the Walper Hotel.
I have two pictures of him at work, attached.
David McKnight

Submission on former employee of CKCR Cecil McKnight. The following is copied from my genealogical history. Unfortunately, I do not have the date of this paper. An almost identical article appeared on Page 14, Northern Lifestyle, Wednesday, Sept.17,1980. I assume this is a Sudbury newspaper or section thereof. Cecil died 21 Jan 1995 at St. Catharines. The Port Colborne Tribune life and times of cecil McKnight by Paul O'Brien with inserts[.....].

"Mention the Golden Age of Radio, or anything about radio in general, to Cecil McKnight, and he'll be able to answer just about any technical question you may have. One of Port Colborne's newest citizens, having moved here with his wife Marion in 1980, Cecil spent most of his adult life in or around a radio station. He has pretty well seen it all. Although his family is originally from North Dundas, Cecil calls Preston his home. And it was there, while the world was in the grip of the Great Depression, he first became interested in radio work...thanks to his brother. "It was the middle of the Depression, but my father had a regular job. He worked on the Grand River Railroad. I had finished school at Galt Collegiate Institute and I went to work pumping gas in Kitchener. It was one of those old style stations where you actually had to pump the gas by hand. I was paid $3 a week there until the place went under." " My brother had begun taking a correspondence course in radio maintenance, and that was when I became interested in radio." The maintenance end of radio didn't appeal to him for some reason, Cecil says, and he began looking into a job at the local radio station CKCR. "The station is now CHYM. I just kept hanging around the place until they gave me a job." [hired as a disc jockey for $15 a week] [ eventually Cecil ran a disc jockey show on Sunday evenings where he and his recently married wife Marion, recited classical poetry in between records.] [ To supplement income, he peddled "Wearever" aluminium pots and pans door to door during the depression] " I remember we had two turntables and one console. We'd start up, and there would be a snap and a crackle." Cecil says while the station did play a few records back in the 30s, there was very little news on the station. " I can remember we used to shut the station down in the afternoons, " he explained. He left the job in his home town for another in St. Catharines with CKTB. "That's where I first got hard knowledge of radio experience, " he recalls. The station was owned by Ed Sandel, and had a 100 watt radio transmitter tower. "There were a lot of do's and don'ts in those days, and radio stations weren't allowed to adveritise beer, " Cecil explained. It just so happened that the owner of the station also had some interest in a beer company called Silver Spire Beer. They painted the transmitter tower silver, and the station was henceforth known as the Silver Spire Station. Cecil was working in St. Catharines when World War II broke out. Like most of the men in this country, he was called into action. When the army learned of his broadcasting background, he was employed as an army broadcaster in Newfoundland with station VOCM and the Newfoundland Broadcasting Company. "We featured music and original Canadian talent, but the main thing was a major newscast every day at noon. Much of the war news came from wire services and American army news." At the time, Newfoundland was not part of Confederation, and the manager of the station was careful to edit every broadcast unless Newfoundlanders, who would ultimately make the decision to join the Canadian Confederation, would recieve Canadian propaganda. [McKnight's program followed a 15 minute commentary by a Newfoundlander known as the "Barrelman". The Barrelm" 
 From: Kitchener 

Cecil McKnight, an early CKCR employee
Click here to add text.

Here's the cast of the "HAPPY HOUR" show on CKCR `this picture was likely taken in the 1940's accordi ng to rych. Do you recognize and of these people. If you do let us know, we'd love to add names as they become available

"Photo courtsey of  the local history collection of rych mills"
"Photo by Kitchener Waterloo Record from local history collection of rych mills"

Here's Louis Armstrong being interviewed on CKCR ~ who is the announcer??

rych writes...........

"Here is one I found in a junk shoppe a couple of years ago....there is some vague hint that these may be members of the Weichel family of Elmira who were quite musical but I havent been able to confirm....I would guess mid 1930s..note the framed pic of the same couple on the piano ! They likely had the publicity pic taken in their home to reinforce the theme of the progarm which was probably a nice homey, drop-by-for-some-music-and-readings type thing....I doubt they broadcast from the home..."
"Photo courtsey of  the local history collection of rych mills"
The following pictures are from the historical collection of rych mills. rych has a keen interest in the history of Kitchener and Waterloo, is an accomplished author and past president of the Waterloo Historical Society. During weekends in the the summer months you will find him in the Victoria Park Gallery, an historical display room beside the pavilion, which houses hundreds of fascinating memorabilia celebrating the history of Berlin/Kitchener and Victoria Park. rych has been the long time production guy at CKKW, CFCA, Oldies 1090 (now the new KFUN at 99.5), and KOOL-FM. There's a ton of material on rych mills... just "Google" him!

I am so pleased that he has agreed to share some of the historical radio pictures he has collected over the years, and maybe we can entice him to share a few stories about personalities he has come across in the business.

The 1940 sign was a landmark for a couple of decades when the studios were in the Arcade Building before the call letters changeover in the mid 60s....the building where the sign hangs from housed Wolynetz Gown House, Weston Credit Jewellers, La Vogue as well as the Arcade 
which had a barber shop and for a while in late 60s early 70s, Colonial 
record Shop..the arcade entrance was between Wolynetz and Weston 
Jewellers..... at the end of the arcade hallway one went up a flight or two 
of steps and the studios were at back of bldg amongst doctors' and dentists' offices....the front part of that building burnt out in the 1990s and the rear part now houses O'Brien's Pub (formerly the Still).
At left, the Lyric sign is on the bldgs which have been torn down to make way for the City of Kitchener's Center Block development....(note the Palladium! I got tossed out of there in the late 60s for having too long hair!!)...actually I just checked out the flic on the Lyric's marquee and it is Peyton Place with Hope Lange and Lana Turner so the pic is 1957....the Lyric just showed first-run movies...pic was taken from a balcony on the still-standing Mayfair Hotel building....the CKCR sign featured a little dutch boy and dutch girl...wonder what happened to it!!!!


"Photo by Kitchener Waterloo Record from local history collection of rych mills"
I mentioned that rych is an accomplished author, his book "Kitchener/Berlin, 1880-1960 " is a fascinating look at the history of Kitchener.
You can order the book through the following link,

<   >

You may be able to purchase the book locally as well, ask at your favourite book store.

Paul Cassel submitted this old shot with the story.....

"Here’s a photo of the CKCR transmitter building under construction at “RR3 Kitchener”  after the move in 1941 and power increase to 250 watts.  Actually it was located the end of Guelph Street just beyond the dip under the xway and Riverbend Dr

The guy in the doorway is the late Eric Enns who, at the time, was a German immigrant and the station engineer.   Shortly after this, he was walked out of the station by RCMP as a security risk."   

Don Daynard checked in with this tid bit...........

Hello there.
Was browsing around in your Radio page and came across all the "poop" on CKCR. I'd almost forgotten, but I was there, briefly, in 1959. I was hired as News Director, of all things, and didn't have the faintest idea of what the hell I was doing but nobody seemed to care much. Ellen Flood was the "Woman's Reporter" and that's about the only name I can remember now. We had one newsman who, rather unfortunately, was what they used to call "shell shocked" from the war. If you came up behind him and made a loud noise, he was screwed for the rest of the day! Very strange. I think Ellen Flood did tv work too, but again, can't remember exactly. She was rather a nice looking gal as I recall. I guess I should mention, too, I got fired late in '59 but didn't really give a damn as my wife and I had already gotten our papers and Green Cards to immigrate to the States and we left for California in February of '60, the day after my sons second birthday!
All the best, 
Don Daynard (Danard), ("Dazzling" Don) etc etc etc

About the man....

"Don Daynard, also billed as Dazzling Don, is a Canadian radio personality and a former television film critic. Daynard hosted CHFI-FM's morning drive time show from 1987 to 1999, for much of that time with co-host Erin Davis. Daynard continued to host Saturday Night Oldies for the station until his full retirement in 2003. Daynard had worked in Toronto radio for decades. In the mid- to late-1960s, he hosted a midday shift at CFGM."

"Don Daynard, also billed as Dazzlin Don, is a Canadian radio personality and a former television film critic.

Daynard hosted CHFI-FM's morning drive time show from 1987 to 1999, for much of that time with co-host Erin Davis. Daynard continued to host Saturday Night Oldies for the station until his full retirement in 2002.

Daynard had worked in Toronto radio for decades. In the mid- to late-1960s, he hosted a midday shift at CFGM. In the late 1960s, he hosted the morning show at CKFH. From the 1970s to 1984, he hosted mornings at CKFM, departing in October 1987 for CHFI.

Daynard's voice, portraying a radio announcer, is the first voice heard in the 1982 film Porky's. In 1977, he guest-starred in the Canadian television sitcom King of Kensington.

In the early 1980s, Daynard hosted a television series discussing and reviewing feature films for the Ontario educational television network TVOntario."