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2015 News Releases




NZART & IARU stalwart becomes a silent key

Date : 25 / 07 / 2015
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

A high performer always seeking a betterment for his fellow radio amateurs worldwide, Fred Johnson ZL2AMJ, died on July 23, aged 83. He played an important role at the World Administrative Radio Conference 1979 where Amateur Radio gained the 30, 17 and 12 metre bands. At the same conference in 2003, he chaired the drafting group on the 7 MHz band that worked on the harmonisation and allocation alignment. The work resulted in the re-farming of powerful broadcasters, and the ultimate widening of the useful band worldwide for Amateur Radio.

Fred Johnson was a Director of IARU Region 3 in 1985, serving until 2004 - the last 10 years as its Chairman, and he was on the IARU Administrative Council between 1988 and 2003. At the 1999 IARU Region 1 Conference in Lillehammer, Norway, he was honoured as a Knight of the Order of the Golden Key by the Norwegian Radio Relay League. He had visited the Wireless Institute of Australia annual general meeting and had a lot of input into the well-being of Amateur Radio in New Zealand. He had been a NZART Councillor & President. In recognition of long service,
Fred Johnson was made Honorary Life Member of the NZART in 1985.

In recognition of his services to Amateur Radio, Fred Johnson, Chairman/Director IARU Region 3, was been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the Queen's Birthday and Golden Jubilee Honours 2002. The New Zealand Institute of Physics gave him the Rutherford Trophy for 2008 for his work in developing the Radio Waves in Schools kits. It noted at the time that the kit has gone to over 50 schools, some Universities and Science Centres.

At the 2009 IARU Region 3 Conference in Christchurch, New Zealand Fred demonstrated the kit made from simple, inexpensive devices that showed the basic principles of antennas and polarisation. He had long been involved in the training of new radio amateurs. The NZART had him as its Administration Liaison Officer with the Ministry of Economic Development for many years.

Born into Amateur Radio, his father Joe had the callsign ZL2GA among others. It was reading the ham radio literature his dad collected, that saw Fred build his first crystal receiver at age 10.
After WWII he constructed a vacuum tube receiver, got his ham ticket ZL2AMJ in 1950, adding a homebuilt transmitter to his station. More on that early history is available via the following Link


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