It’s with heavy hearts we give our deep heartfelt condolences to Pat Larter – KF7PKT, who recently lost his wife ~ KF7URU to a valiant fight with cancer. Linda was also a member of the 76’ers – and she will be missed by all. She passed away Thursday, January 23, 2014 around 6 am. Pat, to you – our best and my the Lord bless you during this most difficult time.
More recently, over the last few weeks – I’ve received some emails inquiring as to why the 76’ers don’t have certain types of training meetings, above and beyond our net. We’ve had others asking why a certain training item isn’t being covered during the net.
Now, I want to stress here . . . that . . . there isn’t anything wrong with these types of questions but it certainly appears that a reminder of who the 76’ers are – needs to be restated. We’ve had to do this in our past history and it appears that we need to take time to cover it once again.
In our preamble, it states that we are not a Ham Radio Club. We are a Social Group. With this in mind, the 76’ers have been known to roll up their sleeves and go to work helping an entire community in Utah County. We have helped many hams, from out of town to find a location, or have water brought to them, or get them aid. We’ve called the police, and stand ready to do so. We’ve provided aid in various forms. Even among ourselves.
This is who we are . . . in part, but it isn’t our focus, it’s not what drives us, or why we call ourselves the 76’ers.
So, what I’d like to do is give a little background about the 76’ers because it will lead into my final point. Nearly two years ago, we had a representative from ARRL inquire about what was done to cause the 76’ers to come together and not only maintain its numbers, but sustain growth.
The ARRL Rep let me know that for many decades they had tried and tried again . . . to form a group or a club of ham radio operators many times. Each attempt ended in failure. They resolved that Utah County would basically not have a club or group.
The simple answer for this is the PURPOSE of the 76’ers. It’s true other radio clubs have socials and get together once in a while – but their purpose is usually to be a more formal group of Ham operators – as it should be.
However, the 76’ers started out with an idea – to be a place where everyone can come, put their feet up, if you will, and basically relax. Just rag-chew, share personal stories, and learn from one another. This is even why our roll call policies are laid back as they are. We don’t want to cause undue pressure. This is our main focus.
This isn’t to say we won’t take time to teach or help Elmer a new operator. As time went along, we noticed that some training was needed. This is why our net formed the Discussion Forum.
And during our discussion forum – each of you are welcomed to bring up any question about what interest you. There is a good chance that your listeners will have the experience to help you with your question.
So, as your chairman – I’d encourage you to use this time to bring up a question for discussion. We hope that each of you won’t feel any trepidation using this forum. It’s our experience that many of us, if not all of us – learn something each day when we go on the air – or simply possum on the side.
We’d hope that each of you would feel like you are part of a huge family – because you are as a member of the 76’ers.
So, I’d like to motivate each of you to remember what the focus of the UARC 76’ers is. We also encourage you to join UARC and attend their meetings, for in depth discussions or training. We’d also suggest joining emergency preparedness groups if this is what you’d like to do.
As 76’ers, we don’t want to lose our identity by allowing our focus to be spread out in several different veins of interests. The camaraderie is the cohesiveness which bonds us together. This camaraderie must be maintained and nurtured by staying on track.
Personally, I can’t thank each of you enough for what each of you bring to the table. Your knowledge and experience enriches us. Your camaraderie strengthens each of us. Your desire to help your fellowman enhances us and deepens our appreciation for who we are.
Several years ago – those who were members of the 76’ers at that time – asked me to be your Chairman – and I couldn’t be more proud to know each and every one of you. I feel a deep heartfelt gratitude to be involved in each of your lives.
I also want to thank BBQ, OMG, MGT, & RUR for their unwavering help and support – because there is no way to run a group like this by yourself. There is so much more that they do behind the scenes to help the 76’ers thrive. Again I give my thanks to them – and so many more of you.
L. Richard Heward – K7KGK