My friend Paul Hudson, aka the Ace (CWA, the CW Ace) recently faced some serious health issues. When I was first a ham in ’72, Ace was one of ‘the guys’ in Toronto circles, but despite that, he was always friendly and helpful to this young ham. He was the showrunner at McCurdy Radio, and I encountered him again professionally when he was one of the suppliers to the CBC Toronto Broadcast Center project in the late ’80s / early ’90s, and again personally when I joined Leitch Technology, whose co-founder Bob and he were friends forever. Last time I saw him was a few years ago at the annual NAB show (just finished) in Vegas. Knowing he was sick, I called and spoke with him last week before I went down there for this year’s NAB. He was just heading out the door and only had a few minutes to chat, and we made a plan to hook up when I returned and catch up. I’m now really glad I called him and we had those few minutes together.

I was at the Durham fleamarket this morning, and before opening, I was at the TFM table thumbing through a binder of old 8X10s of equally old hams from the sixties. Imagine my surprise at finding a photo of him and Van ARV. I snapped it with my iPhone, and sent it to him by email, and then sent it also to our mutual friend Stan HRU. About an hour later, I received a text message from Stan telling me that Paul had passed away.

Paul would not want a moment of silence, he’d want you get on the air and make some noise, preferably on CW. Strangely, I bought a sweet little Chinese hand key (a mint K4 on a nice crinkle black steel base) at the flea this morning between sending the photo and getting the news, and I think I’ll plug it into the rig and work some CW in memory of the Ace. I guess that’ll be “Ace’s Key” from now on.

73 Ace, thanks for everything. dit dit, buddy.


A very young Paul Hudson, VE3CWA on the left, Van, VE3ARV on the right.
Two of the nicest guys you would want to meet.