Wanganui Branch History
Horror of Horrors!! Leo ZL2BGE & Barry ZL2AUS produced SSB rigs for the use of at the ‘74 Field Day (much to the chagrin of the QRP Aristocratic Modulators) and this produced the immediate response at the next meeting of a motion moved by ZL2BBG, seconded by ZL2AWR ‘That the club undertake the building of QRP linears to use in conjunction with the transceivers.’ The Branch Committee appointed an Ad Hoc committee to report on the possibilities regarding a two-metre repeater for Wanganui. The members appointed at this 20 May ‘74 meeting were Don ZL2AJL, Peter ZL2TDI, Tony ZL2DB & Leo ZL2BGE (Convener).
At the 1 July meeting, President Leo ZL2BGE raised the subject of QRP and its desirability on Field Day. All members speaking were firmly in favour of QRO and set aside the March decision re QRP linears. This was confirmed at the August meeting.
A visitor to our October meeting was Jeff Howe.
1975: The March 15 meeting was told that the Ad Hoc committee to investigate the proposal that the Branch set up a 2 metre repeater never got off the ground through the freezing of applications by the NZ Post Office (NZPO) pending a change of policy, NZART had now been empowered to set up a committee to regulate all new applications and make recommendations on granting of licensing to the NZPO. The Branch committee was now instructed to proceed with its work. The meeting also authorised the purchase of a second-hand FT200 (or equivalent) for use at National Field Days.
April saw club stalwart Don ZL2AJL being congratulated on his engagement to Mary McLean.
The Genesis of Channel C Wanganui
At the May 15 meeting, tributes were paid to the memory of the late Don ChisholmZL2JA and members decided that the Branch should apply for a 2 metre repeater license. The Branch also participated in a Hobbies exhibition. In June. the Branch accepted the offer of the Power Board to let us install our proposed repeater in their Shakespeare Road facility. It also was decided to purchase a Waikato VHF Group 2 metre kit. Following discussions between the Branch Secretary ZL2AUS and Doug Gorman ZL2IY, the meeting agreed to disregard the previous advice received from NZART and accept the recommendation that no 2-metre kit be purchased before the OK was received from ZL2CD.
President Leo ZL2BGE was elected the Branch VHF Advisor. (This followed the 1975 NZART decision to dis-empower the regional VHF groups and make ALL Amateur Radio operators ‘US’ and not members of the ‘Them and Us’ brigades by having Council responsible for all matters affecting all amateur frequencies. This they did through the establishment of the VHF Repeater Co-ordination Committee.) Members at the October meeting were informed that a recommendation to issue a ‘Permit to Construct’ and an allocation of Channel C was being put to the Council of NZART. The Branch then suffered problems with attempted third-party interference generated by a small ‘back-stabbing clique’ within its own membership which would not front-up at meetings. (2-metre repeaters seem to have that effect on some people, not only with-in our Branch, back in the early to mid 70s - Ed.)
October 1975 saw President Malcolm (‘Mac’) ZL2AMP and Secretary Barry ZL2AUS run a JOTA station for a District Scout Camp held at Lake Wiritoa. (From 1976 onwards this camp involving Br 48 participation was to be a feature of the local JOTA calendar for a number of years until the Scouts themselves lost interest. JOTA activity was left to individual groups to make their own arrangements if they saw fit to do so.)
The Branch accepted an offer to use the prime Kirkwood Motors site to stage an Amateur Radio promotion at the November 1975 A&P show. This display captured a lot of interest from the public. It was reported to the November meeting that the 2-metre kit and antenna parts were on order or had been purchased and the passing of Alf Holland ZL2RR was noted. November also saw the first of edition of the Branch Newsletter published.