A New Year’s Resolution for us
As this is the season to sing Auld Lang Syne, it also raises thoughts about friends and acquaintances in Amateur Radio from years past.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
That traditional song translates to "times gone by" and is about remembering family, friends and associates from the past and not letting them be forgotten – “should auld acquaintance be forgot”, as the lyric goes.
WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH believes that we should strive to bring inactive radio amateurs back again, and has started the ‘Bring Them Back’ project that many can join.
Roger said: "From the ACMA's register it is clear that there are many radio amateurs who pay their licence fees year-in and year-out, but are not heard on the air, and rarely seen at hamfests or club meetings.
"Although they maintain an interest in the hobby, but choose to be, or perhaps have to be, inactive for one reason or another.
"Likewise, there are those who let their licence lapse, and have no current callsign, but their interest in Amateur Radio smoulders beneath the surface nevertheless."
As he dug deeper the topic soon became a theme, backed up with anecdotal evidence including some visiting maker faire DIY events, that there was an undercurrent of revived individuals lured by the modern Amateur Radio.
Roger said that if these radio amateurs could be encouraged to revitalise their once-burning interest, the hobby would be all the better for it.
WIA Vice President Fred Swainston’s stint as administrator in the National Office over recent months has revealed a steady stream of one-time radio amateurs applying for callsigns as the first step in returning to the hobby.
"If you think about it, there are many situations where you know, or discover, a colleague or acquaintance once held a callsign - they may well be amenable to being encouraged to return to Amateur Radio," Roger said.
"Personally, I’m in the habit of reading Amateur Radio magazine (print edition) on my daily train commute to and from the Sydney CBD.
"On one occasion, I happened to be sitting next to a fellow traveller who saw me reading AR and struck up a conversation. Before I got off the train, I gave him my copy and encouraged him to take up his hobby once again. Did he do it? I don’t know, for sure," he said.
On another occasion, at a business event, a fellow recognised Roger VK2ZRH from his days editing electronics magazines and he struck up a conversation – mostly reminiscences about the “good old days”. He went and applied for a new callsign and is now back on the air.
Roger VK2ZRH said: "Think about this - if each of us who have been in the hobby for some time took the opportunity, wherever it arose, to encourage a “lapsed” radio amateur to return, those with callsigns would be higher and the number active on the air would increase too."
He proposes that many of us to get behind a project for 2016: Let’s call it – Bring Them Back.
There are many more situations where individuals may have let their interest in Amateur Radio lie dormant.
Roger VK2ZRH said he had only outlined a few examples. He suggests we look out for the opportunities - in doing so it will be a positive move by the hobby, helping to make it to grow and thrive.
Click Here To Return To Previous Page