G. C. W. Browne



Telecom Head Retires. Started in 1914 - Retired in 1955. Served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the First World War. Died in an automobile accident in 1956.

Le responsable des télécommunications prend sa retraite. A commencé en 1914 - A pris sa retraite en 1955. A servi dans la Marine royale canadienne pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. Décédé dans un accident d'automobile en 1956.


Honoured by U.S. -Canada Colleagues

G. C. W. Browne, Controller of Telecom receives scroll

from P. S. Bogart, of the United State a Embassy

A/O M de Niverville makes presentation of movie camera to Mr. Browne, (middle) Mr. Nixon, new Controller of Telecom looks on.


Believed to have been the first occasion in which Federal civil servants of the United States thus honoured a civil servant of Canada, a unique ceremony took place in Ottawa recently when the Department of Transport's retired Controller of Telecommunications, G.C.W. Browne was presented with a scroll and a wrist watch from his many friends and acquaintances in Washington. The presentation was made by Philip S. Bogart, Transport and Communications Attaché of the United States Embassy in Ottawa on behalf of United States officials in the communications field of the State Department, Military Services, Coast Guard, Civil Aeronautics Administration, as well as Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior.


This laconic but informative teletype message sent to the donors at Washington after the ceremony described the ceremony in these words:


"Presentation ceremony for Browne was most gratifying. Intimate gathering in Air Vice Marshall de Niverville's office attended by Assistant Deputy Minister (Minister and Deputy out of town) plus 20 for last glass and reading of your scroll. Browne was deeply moved and numerous colleagues commented on splendid relations of US Canada communicators. Several commented only such relationship could produce such a moving gesture as yours. I am sure effectiveness your action was enhanced by its unofficial character.''


Previously the Radio Electronics Television Manufacturers Association of Canada and the Department of Transport had honoured Mr. Browne. The first, by presenting him with an all-waveband portable radio receiver and the latter with a complete movie taking outfit and 1;100 bond. Messages of appreciation were read among others from the presidents of the Radio Amateiirs of Canada Association, Canadian Pacific Telegraphs, and the Canadian Overseas Telecommunications Corporation.


In making the presentation of movie camera and equipment or. behalf of his colleagues in the Department of Transport, Air Vice Marshall de Niverville, Director of Air Services, said that Mr. Growne "has done his duty nobly and well and he will leave a void in the Department which will he very difficult to fill. "


He stated that Mr. Browne because of his lengthy career in the Government radio service was a well-known ran not only in this country, but in most countries of the world because of his attendance at and the contributions which he made to international conferences. The Director extended the Department's ''best wishes for many years of happiness and contentment in your well­earned rest."


In thanking his D.O.T. colleagues for having honoured him in his retirement, Mr. Browne said 'I would like to say how much I enjoyed my years of service as a civil servant. It has been a very wonderful experience. One cannot go through a lifetime service of over 40 years without benefitting from it and without deriving from it quite a bit of enjoyment from the very situations and the challenges with which one is faced in a lifetime like that, especially in the Telecommunications Division which has within it in the radio field such a rapidly advancing and expanding orbit.''


In the ceremony at Niagara Falls, Ontario, where the Radio Electronics Television Manufacturers Association of Canada were holding their annual convention earlier this year, Ralph A. Fackbush, who made the presentation on behalf of RETMA, said that Mr. Browne ''had played animportant part in the Atlantic City Telecommunications and the Radio Conferences of 1947,and in the North American Regional Broadcasting Conferences of 1949-50. Ire had also been very active in organizing the international aero­nautical radio services now provided by the Department of Transport, and in every way, since his first association with Government radio services in 1914, had proved his worth as an able public servant of the highest calibre.''


George Cecil Watson Browne is a native of Ireland and a graduate in civil engineering from Trinity College, Dublin. He was engaged in radio development activities in the United States for a number of years and later in marine radio work in Great Britain. tie entered the Canadian Government radio service in 1914.  During World Var 1, he served with the Royal Canadian Navy ending up in charge of technical and practical instruction at the Naval Wireless School at Ottawa. Returning to the then Department of Marine, he was placed in control of a group of Direction Finding Stations on the Last Coast. In 1934, with the formation of the Department of Transport by the merging of the Department of Marine and the Department of Railways and Canals, Mr. Browne was appointed Assistant Controller of Radio. In 1947 he was appointed Controller of radio, later changed to Controller of Tele­communications.


His close association with marine matters and personal contact with his opposite numbers in the United States bore fruit in the conclusion of the agreement for the promotion of safety on the Great Lakes by the means of radio telephony, a document which resulted from some 15 years of co-operative research between the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Communications Commission of the United States and the Department of Transport in Canada.


Obituary - Avis de décès

G. C. W. Browne



Untimely Death of G.C.W. (Cecil) Browne


The untimely death in an automobile accident of G.C.W. Browne, retired Controller of Telecommunications came as a shock to his many friends both in and out of the Department. The November, 1955, issue of News on the DOT carried biographical notes of his extensive career and contribution to telecommunications. The Ottawa Journal carried the following editorial which more aptly describes the views of his many friends than any words of ours.



Cecil Browne, retired Controller of Telecommunications who was killed on Thursday in an automobile accident, was not an old man but he was of the old school. That is to say, he always took time to be polite, always found it easier to smile than to snarl, invariably did his business quietly and congenially and with more thought than fanfare.


The Civil Service cannot very well pause for two minutes silence when any of its members passes. But it might well have paused in the case of Cecil Browne if in so doing there was acknowledgment of his gentle qualities and a resolve that somehow even in these days of bustle and slap they must be maintained.



Links   -   Liens

Television Appreciated (Coronation of the Queen)


1954 - G. C. W. Browne congratulates award winner A. G. E. Argue


F. G. Nixon Appointment to Replace GCW Browne in 1955


1955 - Radio Pioneer Retires - E. D. Hayman