The radio hobby that Benjamin de Forest (Pat) Bayly had in his youth helped to co-found a radio station in Moose Jaw and led to phenomenal communication feats during World War II. After graduating from the Faculty of Law in 1923 at the University of Saskatchewan, Pat began to study electrical engineering at the University of Toronto. His expertise in the field was such that in his third year he lectured fourth year students. He remained on staff, with war leave, until 1951.
In 1941, under close association with the British Director of Security Co-ordination (Sir William Stephenson), Pat became Assistant Director, with British army rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He set up Communication Centre “Hydra” at secret agent camp X (near Oshawa) and designed special equipment to link New York, Washington, Ottawa and Britain. To handle confidential traffic he invented the cipher machine “Rockex,” which is now used worldwide for diplomatic communication. His activities influenced Canada’s radar development, and his work was acknowledged through the Order of the British Empire (1946) and fellowship in the Institute of Radio Engineers (1947).
Pat moved Bayly Engineering Ltd. (est. 1946, Oshawa) to Ajax in 1948, where his municipal leadership led to incorporation, with him as the first mayor in 1955.