Sue Stephenson, a long-time member of the Hervey Bay Radio Club enjoys the company of her fellow “hams”.
Sue Stephenson, a long-time member of the Hervey Bay Radio Club enjoys the company of her fellow “hams”.

Bay radio club ready to ham it up

IT’S AN opportunity which cannot be missed yet it could very well be.

The Hervey Bay Amateur Radio Club has been given the chance to have a special call-sign for the celebration of the Wireless Institute of Australia’s 100th anniversary.

Three days have been allocated to select radio clubs across the country during a three to four-month period starting in March.

Because the call-sign, VK100WIA, marks a special occasion it means more radio enthusiasts from around the world will be tuning in to Australia.

Hervey Bay Amateur Radio Club publicity officer Reg Wheller said the anniversary provides a great opportunity to promote the Fraser Coast to a larger-than-usual overseas audience.

The only hitch, however, is the club would prefer more amateur radio operators to become members to help man the station for the three 24-hour shifts.

Mr Wheller and club president Wade Millwood agree the best part about being an amateur radio operator, or HAM, was communicating with people from everywhere and learning about how they live.

“I always get a big kick out of talking to someone whether they’re in Antarctica, Brazil or New Guinea,” said Mr Millwood who lists the Sultan of Brunei and the King of Spain as some of the people he has chatted to.

“Just after the landing on the moon I spoke to the helicopter pilot who retrieved the astronauts.

“It’s in your blood isn’t it?” added Mr Wheller.

The men are definitely addicted to radio; they have both held their licences for about 33 years and they both know morse code. But that requirement is no longer necessary, they explained, with foundation and standard licences as well as advanced.

The aim of the club, Mr Wheller said, was to foster amateur radio in the community, give it a chance to advance, and create an opportunity for similar people to meet.

The club held its first meeting on October 28, 1987 at the local SES headquarters on Old Maryborough Road.

Mr Wheller said membership was fairly slow to start but over the years it grew.

Now however, there was the need for more HAMS so the club could take advantage of the Wireless Institute of Australia call-sign.

In an attempt to attract more people the club will hold a sausage sizzle at its Pialba headquarters in January or February.

All members, ex-members and anybody else interested in amateur radio will be welcome and can call Mr Millwood on 4124 6253.

Mr Wheller and Mr Millwood have their fingers crossed they will get the numbers to be able to use VK100WIA for the full three days.

“It’s a special call-sign; there will never be another one,” Mr Wheller said.



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