Ralph Sutton ZL2AOH, our oldest member, mentioned during his talk on CW and FISTS at the November 2015 branch meeting that he conducted regular skeds with three hams, the Three Morseketeers! (Mack JE1CLH, David G3KMG and Jonathan W0XO/7J1AWL.).
In 2009, all three of them happened to be in Mack’s shack in Kimitsu, a city just across Tokyo Bay from Yokohama. Jonathan recorded their QSO with Ralph ZL2AOH and posted it on YouTube. It’s a fine example of an enjoyable rag-chew in very good conditions.
Wellington Branch 50 NZART (WARC Inc) won the inaugural trophy for the most active branch in the Sangster Shield Contest.
This award, in memory of Tony Fletcher ZL2ALJ – a long-time Branch 50 NZART member, was presented to the Chair by the Sangster Shield contest coordinator, Glenn Kingston ZL2KZ at the Wellington Branch meeting on 18 November 2015.
WARC Inc thanks Tony’s wife for the gift that enabled the trophy fund to be established.
While Wellington Branch won the trophy this year, it is to be hoped that other branches will encourage their members to participate in the NZART Sangster Shield contest held each May. The contest involves contacts over two evenings in early winter on QRP CW.
Our regular Wednesday 18 November meeting featured speakers with an interest in CW. It was an interesting night about keys, paddles, bugs and thoughts on the future of morse code.
We welcomed three members of Titahi Bay Branch 42 – Phil ZL2OWL, Max ZL2CVW and Ken ZL2TKY.
Phil and Max brought along their prized Begali keys. Phil has a collection of over 100 keys, but those he most frequently uses are all Begali keys. His Begali collection includes straight keys, mechanical bug keys, and single and double paddles.
Ralph Sutton (ZL2AOH) gave a very interesting talk on his introduction to morse code when he joined the navy, and then his continued use of morse when he joined the Merchant Navy. Ralph joined the ranks of amateur radio operators when he retired in 1990 as a result of encouragement from Trevor King, ZL2AKW, another of our WARC members. Ralph subsequently initiated the establishment of FISTS in New Zealand when the Morse Code requirement for licensing of radio amateurs was proposed for removal. New Zealand membership of FISTS peaked at just over 300 members and there are still over 150 members today.
A number of members shared about their own morse code experiences and George ZL2AG and Alex Paterson both brought along unique morse keys. George’s key was the biggest anybody had seen. He constructed the key himself many years ago. Alex’s key was also made by himself as a teenager. We wish Alex well in the amateur radio examination.