Alan Ramsden, who spent more than 50 years on the Nelson Museum’s board and shepherded it through several moves and expansions, has died at 95.
For more than 20 years, Ramsden was also an announcer and manager at local radio station CKLN.
In a 2008 interview with Greg Scott, he explained that his start in radio began one day in 1944 when he was still in high school and was paged to principal L.V. Rogers’ office.
Though puzzled, he reported as requested and was introduced to Frank Payne, publisher of the Nelson Daily News, which also operated the radio station. He learned that the local Catholic bishop was impressed with Ramsden’s voice and wanted him to handle some religious programming.
“Mr. Rogers said ‘Mr. Payne would like you to go and help at the radio station. You’re finished for the day, so you can go,” he recalled. “Frank Payne drove me down and introduced me to the girl working in the office and took off.
“The girl said ‘I’m finished at 5 o’clock. We have a recorded program on at 5. I’ll show you how to do a station break and run the [equipment].’ That’s how I got into radio.”
Soon Ramsden was working at CKLN after school and on weekends. After graduating, he took a job as assistant engineer at a station in Trail, but returned in 1950 to become manager of CKLN. He remained there until 1968, shortly after the station was sold.
Afterward he worked as the City of Nelson’s recreation supervisor and for the Liquor Control Board.
Ramsden was involved with numerous community organizations, but none for so long as the museum. He was a founding member of the society in 1955 and remained on the board until 2011, when he was finally forced to step down due to new term limits imposed on directors.
During his long tenure, Ramsden saw the museum move from the old post office to a former brothel on Lake Street to a new facility on Anderson Street and finally, in 2006, back to the old post office, which is now Touchstones Nelson.
Ramsden died at home on Dec. 11.