As we begin 2013, this is the 1,612th Our Past column since it began in an earlier version of the newspaper in 1981.
Looking back at more than 30 years of columns, we see a wide range of topics and today we are pleased to start another year with a special piece that links a local New Westminster building with a radio station.
No, it is not CKNW, but it is very early in B.C. radio history.
The year was 1923, and for a number of weeks at the end of December the community, through its newspaper, watched the activity taking place at the Westminster Trust Building downtown at Columbia and Begbie streets.
Much of the activity was on the building's fifth floor where the required equipment for a radio station was being installed.
Hume and Rumble, an electrical company, did the installation and its "radio mechanics," F. Stirling and Roy R. Brown did the technical work.
Radio was not yet very common, but in the 1920s a group that included Fred Hume and his company in co-operation with the Westminster Trust Company was pushing for this innovation.
The studio and broadcasting room, according to one person's later reminiscences, consisted of one, large, open space and a broom closet that held the heavy broadcasting equipment.
Part of the apparatus used to send the radio signal was situated on the roof of the building, and while there appears to be some disagreement as to the signal's reach, it did quite well disseminating information "of value and interest."
The station, whose call letters were CFXC, aimed to provide financial reports, city market prices, musical programs with local amateur talent, and music from a gramophone playing from "a supply of the very latest and best records."
The management of the station noted proudly that "when radio fans hear CFXC announcing, they will know that it is the Westminster Trust Broadcasting station taking possession of the ether."
Their plans initially called for on-air programming for an hour or two each evening starting with the 7: 30 to 8: 30 p.m. slot.
On the afternoon of Christmas Day 1923, there was a broadcast of seasonal greetings, some Christmas carols and a message from Canon D'Easum of Holy Trinity Cathedral.
While the broadcast was successful and the on-air material was clear and distinct, more work remained with an official opening yet to come.
That opening was held on New Year's Eve, and included a number of comments, speeches and a discussion by Fred Hume on the coming of radio, "the newest field of activity as yet little explored."
CFXC was now on the air from the Westminster Trust Building in downtown New Westminster.
They didn't last long, but they were there at the start of local radio history.
Next week's Our Past will relate some wonderful details from this local, relatively unknown story.