Wanganui Branch History

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In The Beginning!

Sixty years ago, on the 8th May, 1946 Charlie Berry ZL2BY (later ZL1DX) called a meeting of Wanganui Amateurs; this taking place in the old YMCA building. Seventeen licensed and six prospective Amateurs answered the call and heard the reasons for the calling of the meeting.

Following on from this, Alec Rennie, ZL2AR was voted to the President’s chair and ZL2BY was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

Ken Lambert, ZL2BR then moved, seconded by L Barns, ZL2PJ that “we form a local Branch of NZART: - when put, the motion was carried unanimously.

Following discussions, it was agreed that meetings be held on the first Wednesday of the month. Subs were fixed at five bob a year and a fine of sixpence a meeting was to be levied for non-attendance without some reasonable excuse! All members to be financial members of NZART.

A committee consisting of Mr Brian ‘Mac’ McLean, ZL2HM, Mr Alf Whitehead’, Mr Bernie Daws, ZL2SE and Mr Frank Wiggens ZL2MW (later ZL1IP) was elected.

Also present were ZL2MF, Barney O’Leary, E Gibbs, ZL2RW, Harry Ford ZL2SQ, E (Errol?) Hayward ZL2RY, Jack Ensoll ZL2SY and Frank Hoy, ZL2QF with possibly J McGahan, ZL2QG, Don Chisholm, ZL2JA, W (Toby) Bennett ZL2VT and Bill Turner ZL2RR making up the seventeen amateurs present. Also listed was P Stevens (Later ZL2AS).

At the June 1946 meeting it was decided that future meetings of the Branch would be held in the rooms above C.L. Duigans’ at 75 Ridgeway street. At that meeting Don ZL2JA was elected to continue his pre-war activity of looking after incoming QSLs for the locals and ZL2RW, Mr E Gibbs, gave a very “FB talk” on radar and ZL2MF demonstrated his Franklin oscillator.

July ‘46 saw the welcoming of the late Roy Johnson, ZL2MO (your Ed still has the late ‘Johnnie’s shack at his QTH)

ZL2WR: About to be Born!

The meeting of the 3 August ‘ 46 saw Messrs Laurie Cannons ZL2CM and Eric Holst ZL2CO welcomed to the Branch. Mr Holst was later ZL4DE and ZL2DK and was father-in-law of the well-known cook with the same surname. A letter was to be sent to the P & T requesting permission to operate a transmitter from the Club-room. The September ‘46 meeting saw Alan Shearer (later ZL2ADS,) being welcomed to the fold and at the October meeting the executive saw fit to retire to the anteroom and upon resumption, the President intimated that the 30 shilling License fee would embarrass the finances somewhat! It was decided by the meeting that a levy of one shilling per member be made, hence the licensing of the Wanganui Branch station ZL2WR was made possible. November’s meeting saw a motion to let the January meeting lapse, because of holidays, being passed. Our Branch’s first annual meeting was held on December 4 1946.

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