Monday the 6th February 2023, at Clydebank Crematorium, saw a large gathering of family, friends and amateurs (inc a good turnout of WoSARS Members) paying farewell to WoSARS (and CAMHAMS ) Member – Gavin MM1BXF.
Although the wx was a bit grey outside, the proceedings within the Chapel brighten up the winter day with recollections of Gavin’s short but full life.
Led by celebrant Pamela Clocherty, with reflections from Bex – Gavin’s XYL, a ‘timeline’ covering Gavin’s early years at Dumbarton & Aberdeenshire, through his work years in the telcoms cellular industry, the Czech Republic (OK), returning to Cambridgeshire, then finally along with Bex’s, back to Scotland. His early introduction to radio and the mischievous side of it along with his ‘well-kent’ buddy, accomplice and Best Man – Allan MM1BJP. His fascination with the hobby and the ‘amassing’ of kit which never seemed to diminish, to Bex’s exasperation.
The celebration also included a eclectic selection of music which again reflected Gavin’s (and to a certain extent Bex’s) varied tastes.
Farewell Gavin, there was so much to look forward to, but it wasn’t to be.
Checkout more photos of Gavin on the WoSARS Gallery – HERE.
And a short video of Gavin operating from WoSARS Shack, 144 SSB, September 2021 – HERECourtesy of Ray GM4CXM.
Tommy GM3VBT was a long time member of both WoSARS and it’s forerunner, The Radio Club of Scotland (RCS). Although operating from his Glasgow QTH, Tommy was always keen to help out in the many amateur contests and especially some of the SPECIAL EVENTstations that the Club took part in.
On a Club Night, Tommy was usually found behind the serving counter dispensing tea, coffee and biscuits. Always up for a chat as to who was working whom, new members, equipment and developments in the hobby.
Mauritius’ first satellite has aroused overwhelming enthusiasm among students at Forest-Side State College. the 1st school in Mauritius to have decoded MIR-SAT 1, using a Ground-station and appropriate software.
They are the second school in Mauritius to be equipped with a simplified ground station donated by Radio Amateurs. Vickram Mungul, (3B8BBD) and physics teacher at this school is pleasantly surprised to see the girls’ extraordinary enthusiasm.
“The girls were very motivated, honoured and wanted to know more about the project,” he recalls. The Girls’ interest in this Mauritian satellite started over a year ago when they were gradually exposed to the operation of satellites and their importance. Since knowledge about satellites is not widespread in Mauritius, they were first introduced to the NOAA satellite and decoding through the use of appropriate software was explained.
“We were not sure of ourselves at the very beginning as this is a new subject. But, little by little, we learned new things. This is what motivated us to learn more, ”says Christa Gunnoo. She now understands how to communicate with international satellites, but especially what is taught in her physics classes.
Receiving telemetry from the Mauritian satellite was not an easy task for the college. Several tests had to be carried out. Once the tests were completed, there was no sign that the Groundstation was going to acknowledge the first signals.
Aïshani Beeharry-Panray, a Grade 12 student, explains that three software programs are essential for communication. The first concerns the radio, Tracking and the decoder. “The software allows us to know when the satellites will pass over Mauritius and its elevation. We also receive audio and images, ”she says.
The software the girls use is free. They made their own antenna using PVC pipes, solder, pieces of aluminium and glue
………In late August, amateur radio enthusiast Yukio Sakurai (59) from Matsuyama, Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, accidentally received a distress signal for a small boat drifting off the coast of Niigata Prefecture, and gathered information in collaboration with other enthusiasts. It was revealed on the 6th that the Niigata Coast Guard (Niigata City) helped two crew members………….Read MORE ………….
Florence Violet McKenzie OBE (nee Wallace) A2GA/VK2FV/VK2GA
Probably the best known lady amateur operator in Australia is Florence McKenzie (nee Wallace). Born in 1891, she became Australia’s first tertiary educated female electrical engineer, and opened a wireless/electrical shop in Royal Arcade Sydney in 1921. In 1925, Florence obtained her amateur licence and the callsign A2GA in 1925, our first known licenced lady amateur.
During 1922 Florence was involved with starting the Wireless Weekly magazine, along with three other people. This magazine later morphed into Radio and Hobbies and later still, Electronics Australia. The 1948 call book lists her as VK2FV which lapsed about 1959. Regaining interest in amateur radio in 1979, Florence again became 2GA, this time VK2GA, which she held until her death in 1982. In the mid 1930s Florence established the Electrical Association for Women which appears to have been formed mainly to teach women how to use electrical appliances in the home; she also wrote a cookery book for electric stoves, when none were available.
When Florence realised that war was imminent, “Mrs. Mac” as she was fondly known, became acutely aware of the need for radio communications as part of our defence, and the need for people trained in Morse code. She established a no-charge training school in a loft near her shop. Her students were initially, predominantly women and the school became known as the Women’s Emergency Signaling Corps. (W.E.S.C.) During 1940, in response to a newspaper advertisement by the Navy, appealing for trained amateurs to enlist as telegraphists, she offered her trainees. The Naval Director of Signals and Communications recommended to the Naval Board that they be employed at shore establishments and fourteen selected applicants took up their duties at the Harman Wireless Station in Canberra. From this beginning the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) was established in 1941. It grew to a peak of 105 officers and 2,518 ratings during the war.
Mrs. Mac trained the women to teach the thousands of men who wanted a skill to offer the Services. She could also see that if there were women in the services, who were competent in communication, it would free the men for other duties. In her valedictory published in Ditty Box, the ex WRANS magazine for June 1982, she was reported as being “eventually responsible for training more than 12000 servicemen”! American servicemen who were based in Australia were sent to Mrs. Mac for refresher courses. Initially skeptical, they were soon won over by her training methods. Continuing after the war, she trained many QANTAS pilots in Morse code.
Florence McKenzie was awarded an OBE in 1950 and became a SK in 1982 (2021-6-14 ALARA Column A.R. Issue 4 – Jen VK3WQ