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A rare piece of history donated to the ReStore

Recently our St. Catharines ReStore received a donation for e-waste that looked like it was out of an old sci-fi movie, but when Dan Gilliam, the St. Catharines ReStore truck driver, saw it, he knew what it was immediately.

It was a radio receiver out of a Lancaster bomber.

The Avro Lancaster bomber is the most famous and successful heavy bomber of World War II and is the most recognizable and celebrated aircraft in the greater Hamilton area. The Marconi radio receiver was installed in Lancaster Bombers in 1940 and used for the pilot and crew to communicate to each other, home base and other planes.

Dan has a passion for preserving military history. His great-grandfather, Nassau Briggs, fought in World War I and he is proud of his family’s military heritage. Instead of pricing and selling the radio at the ReStore, he contacted the Canadian Military Heritage Museum to see if they were interested in it – and they definitely were.

“I knew it needed to go somewhere that the history would mean more than the monetary value,” said Dan.

The radio will be on display at the Canadian Military Heritage Museum of Brant County once the research is completed.

“It’s a real treasure to have,” said Bob Ion, Director of The Canadian Military Heritage Museum. “It’s a piece of a larger artifact that has served in the war. If that thing could talk, the stories it would tell of all the boys and men who have talked in it. We are just thrilled that he brought it in.”