Wanganui Branch History
The Hopper Legacy!
The late Norm Hopper started printing QSL Cards in 1927. When he became licensed as ZL2GH during 1928, the legend, ‘PRINTED BY THE NEW ZEALAND HAM PRINTER ZL2GH,’ appeared across the bottom of his product.
The QSL printing business was a spare-time interest. The Editor’s OM started working for Gordon Duncan, a confectionary manufacturer (Thistle Sweet Shop was his retail outlet) in 1928. One of the employees the O.M. became friendly with was a sweet-maker by the name of Norm Hopper; hence the O.Ms eventual brief fling as a ’Pirate’ in 1930! Norm greatly helped ’ZL2ES’ get on the air (See Page 8)
Massive power-line and tram-car QRM was reportedly deafening at ZL2GH’s QTH. By May, 1932, he was reported as saying that QRM to BCLs had restricted, if not put an end to his transmitting hours.
Norm appeared to have let his license lapse around this time and concentrated on his QSL Printing operation in his spare time; the legend changed to ‘Printed by the Ham Printer, 39 Dublin St. Wanganui NZ’.
Upon Norm’s passing in 1959, son-in-law (the late) J.W. (Bill) Lee took over the part-time business. Bill filled in his days down Taupo Quay as the Leading Mechanic at the NZR Road Services Garage. J.W. Lee Print, 48 Tinirau Street, Wanganui, NZ was in business up until his passing away thirty one years later in November 1990.
Bill’s daughter Brenda, and son-in-law Colin Anderson took over the 63 year-old family business but, a few years later, closed it down.
New Zealand Radio