Four Island amateur radio operators spent hours at the start of January spreading the word about the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Industry Canada created a special call sign to mark the anniversary: VE100VIMY.

Vimy celebration

A truckload of soldiers celebrates the 1917 victory at Vimy Ridge. (Canadian War Museum)

P.E.I.'s radio operators reached 2,400 people and told them about the famous Canadian victory.

"It's a very short conversation that you have," said Ron Huybers of Kensington, one of the four operators.

"You exchange name, what kind of equipment they run, and a lot of people ask us, 'What is this all about?'"

Province taking turns with call sign

Huybers said the farthest person he reached was in Namibia, in southern Africa. He said at least 60 per cent of the people he spoke with knew about the battle.

Bill Glydon of Alberton, P.E.I., Doug Silliker of Summerside, P.E.I., and Ken McCormick of Clinton, P.E.I., also participated.

Amateur radio operators in each province get to use the call sign for a week. Nova Scotia was first, then P.E.I.

Quebec is using it this week. All provinces and territories will get a chance this year.

The goal is to attract visitors to the national website for the battle.

With files from Laura Chapin