Geneva, Sunday 5 February 2012
One of a number of plenary sessions of the 2012 World Radio Conference was held on Friday the 3rd of February 2012 and this meeting was unique in a very special way. The well-known Nobel laureate in Physics and amateur, Professor Joe Taylor K1JT, addressed the assembled delegates and presented his view on the future of radio communications. Professor Taylor was introduced to the meeting by the ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré HB9EHT and both Professor Taylor and Dr Touré mentioned their passion for amateur radio and how it led them to their present careers. Following Professor Taylor’s talk he was presented with the ITU Gold Medal for his contributions to radio communications; the ITU gold medal is the highest award that the ITU can grant.
Dale Hughes VK1DSH
The day was special in another way as well; it was the 50th anniversary of the ITU International Amateur Radio Club and its club station 4U1ITU and a special function and dinner was held to celebrate the event. Some 150 people attended the event including many amateurs who are serving with their national delegations at WRC12. During the function a number of awards were presented to celebrate the anniversary. The ITU Secretary-General Dr Touré, former ITU Secretary-Generals (including Australian Mr Richard Butler) were awarded for their past and present support of the IARC. Former and present office bearers of the IARC were also recognised for their support. During his opening speech to the 50th anniversary gathering, Dr Touré again spoke of his passion for amateur radio. He emphasised the role of amateur radio in providing technical training and emergency relief, particularly in developing countries as well as its creation of worldwide fellowship through a shared interest in radio communications. Professor Taylor continued with the theme and mentioned the names of amateurs, from Marconi on, and their inventions that have changed the world.
Many prominent amateurs attended the event, Kay Craigie N3KN the president of the ARRL, Tim Ellam VE6SH the president of the IARU, representatives of all three IARU regions and national amateur radio societies and many others. During the dinner the ARRL President presented Professor Taylor with the 2010 ARRL Doug DeMaw W1FB, Technical Excellence Award for the November 2010 QST article “WSPRing Around the World” that was written by Professor Taylor and Bruce Walker W1BW.
Ken Pulfer VE3PU and Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP were also recognised for their service to the amateur community through many years of ITU and IARU activity. In particular, Ken Pulfer for his 14 years of attendance at study group meetings and WRC’s in Geneva. Ken is now stepping down as chair of ITU study group 5A which deals with amateur issues; his wisdom and knowledge will be sadly missed.
It was an excellent event and highlighted the importance of amateur radio and the support it receives through the various national societies, the IARU and the ITU. It was a proud and significant moment in the history of amateur radio.
Dale Hughes is a member of the Australian delegation to WRC–12, representing the amateur services and nominated by the Wireless Institute of Australia.
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