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Published on Apr 10, 2016
MAXWELL HOWDEN (call sign VK3BQ, b.1899 - d.1980) at the first dinner of the Australian Radio Amateur's Old Timer's Club, Clunies Ross House, Parkville, Melbourne. In the ensuing discussion, the radio pioneers Ray Shortell, Chris Rainbow, Snow Campbell and many others also comment. This is part of a tape recorded by Bob Cunningham VK3ML, who was instrumental in the formation of this club, which has become increasingly active with the passing years.
Back in 1974 it was suggested to Bob Cunningham VK3ML over the air that there should be some sort of Old Timers Club in Australia which would allow radio amateurs to belong to a common cause that would unite hams who have talked to one another for years. Thus, their first dinner was held on 25th February 1974 at the Session Club, Clunies Ross House, Royal Parade, Melbourne. This is the location of the IREE headquarters, Melbourne which made the Club an ideal venue for their needs. Bob Cunningham chaired the meeting with the able assistance of Ivor Morgan VK3DH, who later became our first secretary. The original idea was to make a qualification for membership of 25 years as a radio ham.
At this dinner they were fortunate in having amongst their guests Alan Butement VK3AD and Max Howden VK3BQ. In the very early days of ham radio Alan was G6TM and made history by establishing contact with Australian amateurs as well as amateurs in New Zealand and, in fact, in many other parts of the world. He spoke after dinner of these early days and the ‘address-in-reply’ was given by Max Howden VK3BQ as one of the first Australian hams to contact overseas stations, in the trans-Pacific tests of 1923. This is all history now and we fortunately have this recording on tape of these talks.
An agreement to form a club was adopted and a committee appointed to administer the Club. This consisted of Bob Cunningham VK3ML (President); Ivor Morgan VK3DH (Secretary); Mervyn Campbell VK3MR; Ray Jones VK3RJ; John Tutton VK3ZC; Les Gough VK3ZH; and Harry Cliff VK3HC.
This was the official inauguration of the RAOTC as a Club.
The tape - a frail C120 cassette - was sent to me by the late Bob Cunningham VK3ML back in the 1980s, and it occurred to me that it may have greater usefulness if it was made internet-accessible.