A Tribute: Craig Mills, ONZM, ZL2MD

The following notice was posted in the Branch 48 newsletter (November 2003):

The Wanganui Amateur Radio Society records with regret the sudden passing of Patron and Life Member Craighead William (Craig) Mills ONZM, ZL2MD on Tuesday September 30th at his home in Wanganui.

Craig was born in Hawera May 1926, raised, and educated in Palmerston North. During 1947 Craig became licensed as ZL2ADG and he took up employment with the Ministry of Works. He joined up with the Wanganui Club when transferred to this area in 1948 serving time on the committee before eventually resigning in August 1952 when he moved on transfer to New Plymouth. Several years later he was transferred to ZL1-land: firstly to Rotorua then later to the Bay of Plenty for a spell at Te Mahoe. The call sign ZL1OG was assigned to Craig during this northern sojourn.

Craig rejoined the Wanganui Branch at the 4 April 1966 meeting and was elected to the Branch Committee during that year and later on served two terms as President. In 1980 Craig was elected to the position of AREC Section Leader; the position in which he was to serve our Society for twenty years. In 1986 Craig also accepted the NZART Conference ‘87 Committee’s invitation to be its President for the ‘River City’ Conference.

On his return to Wanganui, Craig switched to the town and country-planning directorate, becoming the Ministry’s district planner in 1974. Following his ‘retirement’ he became involved with various high-profile civic organisations as well as giving 30-years of service as secretary and member of the Historic Place’s Trust Wanganui Branch. In 1999 Craig became an Officer of the Order of New Zealand Merit, for services to the community.

Wanganui Branch NZART extends sincere condolences to Barbara and the family on their loss.

I knew Craig as the club AREC Leader, a position he held for many years. From 1988 to 1990 (approx), I was his deputy. Craig and I went on several search and rescue exercises together. We also were involved in several car rallies where we (along with several other Branch members) provided the communications support – all good training for emergency communications in the field.

I was new to all this and Craig was a great teacher – a very patient man. He had a great sense of humour and it was just a pleasure to work with him.

I consider it an honour that his call sign has now been assigned to me.

Neil Whittington ZL2MD (ex ZL2TJH)
Palmerston North
New Zealand