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2018 News Releases




Activation of VI70MI

Date : 22 / 06 / 2018
Author : Peter Clee - VK8ZZ

VI70MI is a Special Callsign issued to Commemorate 70 years of ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions) for Macquarie Island, which since 1947 have served Australia in the south polar regions.

The first ANARE Expedition to Macquarie Island was in March 1947.

The Special Event Callsign will be active from June 20th until August 31st 2018. (Winter Season)

All HF bands 160m-10m, SSB, CW, RTTY and possibly digital modes also.

If you have an interest in activating VI70MI please contact Lee VK3GK as there are certain operating requirements and criteria needed.

Email Lee at

VI70MI will be joining the WAP World Antarctic Program and we are awaiting a WAP allocation.
For further info on WAP, see:

*** Please Note: This Commemorative activity is from mainland Australia OC-001 and NOT from Macquarie Island. ***

Both Zone 29 and Zone 30 will be active using VI70MI

In 1912, Australia pioneered the first radio communications in Antarctica at the Commonwealth Bay base via a relay station at sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Australia established its first stations in the subantarctic at Heard Island in December 1947 and Macquarie Island a few months later in March 1948.

The sub-Antarctic station on Macquarie Island was officially opened on 21 March 1948, with a team of 14 expeditioners staying for winter.
For the first time, expeditioners were not cut off from the world; instead receiving regular news, and sending official and personal messages back home.

Wintering Party on Macquarie Island in 1948 :
Officer in Charge : Alan R Martin
Medical Officer : A Roger Bennett
Cook : Charles F (Charlie) Du Toit
Diesel Mechanic : Charles H Scoble accidentally drowned 4 July 1948
Diesel Mechanic : T Frank Keating from 4 Aug 48. landed from RAAF Catalina flown by S/L R H S Gray
Radio Supervisor : Geoff Mottershead
**Radio Operator : Peter W King
**Radio Operator : Gersh Major

Biologist : Ron Kenny
Meteorologist : Alan R Martin
Weather Observer : William M (Bill) Monkhouse
Weather Observer : Ron M Chadder
Physicist : Ken C Hines
Physicist : Charles S (Charlie) Speedy
Photographer, Department of Information) : Norman R (Norm) Laird

The station was commissioned on 21 March 1948 after Wyatt Earp had arrived at Buckles Bay. The first ANARE wintering party comprised 13 expeditioners. On 4 August 1948 an RAAF Catalina flying boat piloted by R H S Gray visited the Island to put ashore a diesel mechanic to replace Charles H Scoble who was accidently drowned a month before. The Catalina returned to Wigram, New Zealand the same day with mail. Sheep and goats were introduced and comprehensive long term scientific programs were initiated.

(Information above collected by Max Corry)

To date there has never been a Ham Radio DXpedition to Macquarie Island.
The only activities are from Hams stationed on the island for Summer or Winter tours.

Currently Norbert VK0AI is the only active operator on Macquarie Island

The Special event callsign VK70MI is to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of the first ANARE base at Macquarie Island, March 1948.

On Monday 6th August 2018 the National Council of the ANARE Club, will be holding a Commemorative Dinner in Hobart for the event.

Although I have been unable to find out when the first Amateur radio operators went to Macquarie Island, we do know that there were 3 radio operators in 1912, Ainsworth, Sandell and Sawyer and that there were two on the first ANARE expedition in 1948, Peter W King and Gersh Major.

The activity is to raise the profile of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), Amateur Radio in general, ANARE, Parks Tasmania and the Antarctic Research programs globally and within Australia.

A special commemorative QSL card will be available after completion of the activation via M0OXO our QSL manager.
OQRS will be available and also LOTW.

*** Please do not send your QSL cards via the VK buro as they are not required - Please just request your buro cards by OQRS for a fast return! ***

Page Last Updated: Friday 22 June 2018 at 18:13 hours by Peter Clee


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