Wanganui Branch History
1947: In March 1947, Mr Ensoll ZL2SY was given permission to address the meeting and in a ‘brief but aptly worded speech’ presented the chairman with a “gavel” to facilitate conduct of the meetings. (Is this the present-day gavel?) After the close of the ordinary meeting, the local REC volunteers held their inaugural meeting in ‘readiness’ for the next practice night.
At the April 2nd 1947 meeting ZL2HM introduced new member Mr Don Sutherland (later-on to become ZL2AJL - and still later, our Right Hon Patron). July ‘47 saw the congratulating of Harry Marchant (to become ZL2ABN) and Laurie Hartwell (at a later date to become ZL2SY) on their passing the Amateur & Electrical examinations and Mr A R. (Roger) Claridge ZL2CL/ZL2GV (later ZL1RH) was welcomed to the Branch. September saw the resignation of President Eric Holst who was now ensconced in Dunedin as ZL4DE. (Eric worked in the Engineers’ NZR)
A Mrs Sutherland was welcomed to the Branch on 1 Oct ‘47 and at the 5 November meeting, Mr Bruce Barkman ZL2AAJ (later ZL1FH and a Life Member of this Branch) was welcomed. The meeting resolved to hold a ‘Beano’ on December 13 and that invitations be extended to the Marton, Waimarino and Manawatu Branches.
The December 1947 meeting postponed both the BEANO and projected visit to Marton “due to the Polio epidemic precautions.” At the December meeting of the Executive it was decided to offer assistance to sport gatherings and also to request the RI’s permission to operate 2 or 3 sets at one function and to use the Branch call ZL2WR portable.
ZL2WR Portable! 1948: The first such event covered by our Branch was a rowing regatta held on the 31 January ‘48. Radios were set-up at the start, halfway, finish and boat-shed as well as one aboard a launch. Alan ZL2ADS gave a report on the doings of ZL2WR/P at the Feb meeting: (This operation must have proved successful as your Editor can remember hearing the commentary-relays at the rowing regattas being done by amateur radio into the sixties.) At the 4 February 1948 meeting new member Ian Kerr (ex-ZL1SK) was welcomed to the Branch. Ian was well known to many as he was a science master at Tech for quite some years and ran the Tech Radio Club (ZL2AJS). His call sign was ZL2AFR and later, after a transfer on promotion to Paeroa, ZL1BGF.
Around this period, ZL2MF’s perseverance on six metres (after many had flagged the band away) paid off as he had worked several VKs as well as ZLs. At the March meeting, a donation of one guinea was received from the Wanganui Rowing Association for services rendered and Mr Alf Holland (later to become the next ZL2RR) along with Jim Brown ZL2ACT were amongst the new members welcomed.
At the March 1948 meeting, members had to decide the Branch’s position on sixty (60!!) remits on the NZART AGM Conference agenda. It is interesting to note that around this time, members had a say in the appointment of representatives for all districts to the NZART Executive.
The winter months of ‘48 saw meetings being rushed through to give members a chance to make it home before the power black-outs occurred.
At the conclusion of the 1 September 1948 meeting a Junk Sale which lasted two hours was held. (See Photo next page. The date on the photo is incorrect.)
NZART , Break-In and Branch 48! Around this time the Branch was getting up-tight about Break-In and, to a lesser extent, NZART H/Q and the difficulties in not having a paid Secretary manning it. Some very strongly-worded letters.