The crackle emanating from the little black box transported Ethel Williamson back in time a few decades and whisked her halfway around the world at the same time. The former lighthouse keeper, who turns 103 in March, clapped her hands in delight as the voice of a stranger in Melbourne, Australia, broke the static on the little ham radio that sits by the window in her room at a St. Catharines long-term- care home. "Can you imagine what it is?" she said Monday afternoon, shortly after chatting to the man through the radio's hand-held microphone. "To be able to talk to Australia -- it's a miracle, it really is." It had been at least 20 years since Williamson had spoken to anyone via radio, but the Welland branch of the Handy Ham Amateur Radio Club of Canada set up a radio for her at Niagara Ina Grafton Gage Village so she could get back on the airwaves. "I can't believe that. It's wonderful, it's just wonderful," she said after testing it out the first time. Williamson learned how to operate ham radios after the Second World War when she and her late husband, Cyril, raised their sons, Doug and Bruce, while running the Port Weller lighthouse. The couple lived at the landmark overlooking the lake for 25 years. Williamson learned Morse code and earned her radio operator's licence nearly 60 years ago, taking the call letters she still has today -- VE3DTW.