Joseph Lacey Butler
Joseph Lacey Butler was born on November 12, 1901, in Port De Grave to James and Clara
Butler. James left home at the age of 13 and traveled to the coast of Labrador where by the
age of 18 he had become a Marconi Communications operator.
Joseph worked in Makovik, Labrador, and Sable Island as a radio operator. In 1930, he became an instructor in wireless operations with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in Boston. In 1932, he returned to St. John's to build a transmitter on McBride's Hill for the Newfoundland Telephone Company - VONF. In 1936, he acquired controlling interest in VOCM and transformed it from a ham licence to a commercial operation with a 100 watt transmitter.
VOCM's community involvement over the past 50 years has made it a leader in promoting public events. Joseph generously provided the facilities of his radio station to public services and was proud of the appellation applied to VOCM – “voice of the common man”, which he used on his letterhead and in radio broadcasts. The VOCM Cares Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization, is synonymous with the care and assistance shown by Joseph for the underprivileged throughout the province. Today, the foundation is a testament to the strong values of Joseph and his outstanding and enduring contribution to business and community development throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Joseph Lacey Butler died on July 19, 1954, the result of a plane crash while searching for a four- year-old boy.