The Te Awamutu YLs, Clarrie ZL1BDZ and Win ZL1BBN were president and secretary of WARO and 25 members attended the 1972 AGM in New Plymouth - a record number. In 1972 Marion ZL1BKL became the first WARO member to be elected as a Councillor of NZART, an office she held for many years. Since that time Karen ZL2AQO and Cathy Purdie ZL2ADK have served the Association as Councillors. Quite a number of YLs are serving on NZART Branch committees holding all offices from committee member to president. Older members, such as Thelma ZL2JO rejoiced in this trend as, she had been forced to battle male prejudice in the 1930s.
Endorsements for the Award:
Continued interest in the Award helped keep YLs on the air, and also up to date with QSLing, as confirmation cards were required. At the 1973 AGM it was decided to have endorsement seals, which featured the WARO 'diamond', for additional WARO contacts, and these were popular with award hunters. By 1975 130 Awards had been issued.
Many members became the first woman to go on air in their district, and so featured in the news pages of local papers. The preponderance of the OMs meant that the early YLs were attracted to WARO for it's fellowship and activities.
Headlines from the 1970s Scrapbook include: "First Woman Radio Ham in City" - Cecily Treweek ZL4AT in Invercargill, and "Hawkes Bay has Lone Woman Radio Ham" - Karen ZL2AQO in Napier.
YLs made headlines for a wider readership when the NZ Herald in November 1974 featured Marion ZL1BKL and Carol ZL1AJL on a DXpedition to the Chatham Islands. These girls had to really work hard with a barrage of contacts over a contest weekend, and certainly proved their competence as operators.
As new membership lists were published each year, the numbers increased overall, and there were a growing number of Overseas Members. This came about primarily because of mutual sponsorship promoted by most YL clubs, particularly YLRL, CLARA, and later ALARA. In this system, a ZL operator could pay subscriptions to WARO for (e.g.) a Canadian YL operator, and she would reciprocate to CLARA. This was so much easier than bothering with overseas currency, and could result in a close bond between the YLs concerned. Some YLRL members formed their own local YL clubs (e.g. BAYLARC in the San Francisco area) and they sponsored a DX member into YLRL. This sponsorship has brought friendship to many YL amateurs, and a few have been lucky enough to have been invited by their "adoptees" here or else have visited them overseas. Zelda ZL3AAB and Thelma ZL2JO were two who visited the USA in 1974-75 and met their 'host' club members as well as other YL members of WARO. In the 1980s increasing numbers of operators are able to have 'eye-ball' QSOs with their sponsors.
Magazines from other YL clubs have been exchanged over the years, perhaps the most unusual coming from the German and Japanese groups, with very few words of English in either...interpreters necessary! Much easier to read have been YL Harmonics, The Clarion and the ALARA newsletter. Receiving these magazines encouraged more operators to be active on the HF bands. DX YL nets were publicised, and award hunters began to try for awards such as YL-DXCC - this is not easy, YLs have to be worked in 100 different countries, but fun to try for.
In 1975 members were saddened to hear of the death of ZL1BGL Bill, OM of Sylvia (now ZL2LS). Sylvia was a foundation member of WARO and all members admire the way she has continued to operate her station alone (with the support from her son Peter and daughter-in-law Jackie) in spite of a physical disability. Pearl Neilson ZL2QY was also welcomed that year as a member, and became the first partially sighted YL in WARO. June ZL2WE became the second white-stick operator in 1985. At the 1975 AGM Thelma ZL2JO was created the first Honorary Life member of WARO, and all members warmly supported this tribute. For the second time an all YL team went out from the Auckland area in the National Field Day Contest, 1975. They were Carol ZL1AJL, Marion ZL1BKL, Alma ZL1BHK and Audrey Arthur ZL1AUD. The girls enjoyed the experience and hoped other YLs would follow their example.
When NZART celebrated their Golden Jubilee in 1976 WARO was asked to contribute a short history which was published in Break-In that year. Membership of WARO stood at 80 members at that time.
At the AGM in 1975 Collin Shaw ZL1CS offered to donate a cup as a trophy for a contest to be run by WARO. Thelma ZL2JO was appointed Custodian, and an organising committee of Celia ZL1ALK, Vicki ZL1OC and Collin ZL1CS were elected. The first WARO contest was announced in June 1976 with the object "To create YL activity on 80 metres". This was held over two, three-hourly periods on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April 1977 and was well supported by OMs and 17 WARO members. The WARO Contest Cup was won by Carol ZL1AJL and six OMs tied for first place certificates! After some modification to the rules, and encouragement to YLs to participate for a short time if they could not manage the whole period, this "tie" for certificates has not happened since.
It was good to see Mavis Stafford VK3KS a new overseas member, take part in the contest as the only DX YL. Mavis continues to support our contest whenever she is able.
1977 also saw WARO's first "Cover Girl" when Lesley McNamara ZL1BOR featured on the June cover of Break-In. The WARO page was still regularly having a photo and short history of new members, and not only was Collin Shaw involved photographing the WARO group at every AGM, but in also 'chasing up' newcomers and taking individual photographs.
President Cecily ZL4AT and Secretary Valda Checketts ZL4CC at that time were both from Invercargill, and although they felt isolated, they were able to keep in contact with members on air. Subscriptions in 1977 had been set at $1.00, the first increase since WARO's inception.
Marion ZL1BKL and Carol ZL1AJL again took off on a DXpedition, this time to the Kermadec Islands accompanied by Dave ZL1AMN (Carol's father) and Eddie ZL1BKX. The yacht trip home was "sheer Hell" according to a crew member, but many radio contacts were made and some DX hunters made happy.
On 16 December 1977 WARO suffered a severe blow with the death of Thelma Souper ZL2JO. As stated earlier, Thelma had been the instigator of our group, was the only Honorary Life member, and was completely dedicated to WARO's cause. She was Award and Contest Custodian and had previously held the positions of secretary and president. Thelma had amateur friends in many countries, she had awards and contest certificates from all over the world and had been a very competent and interesting operator for 46 years. Members heard of her passing with a feeling of deep regret and sorrow. At the 1978 AGM it was unanimously decided to call our WARO Contest the Thelma Souper Memorial Contest in her honour.
By 1978 the new custodian of Awards and Contests was Vicki ZL1OC, and the contest committee was asked to draw up rules for two new sections of the WARO Award, VHF and SWL. The "Pania" pictorial award continued to be popular and Conference at Napier meant that all members of the AGM were able to be photographed with "The Lady" herself. The two new sections of the Award came into operation from 1 January 1979, and many were pleased that at last there was to be participation by 2 metre operators. Heather VK2HD was a visitor at the WARO meeting in Upper Hutt in 1979, and this was a great pleasure, especially for those who had worked her on the bands. Aola ZL1ALE told members that she would be part of a DXpedition to Nuie, Tonga and Western Samoa and this took place successfully in July 1979.
New Secretary Lesley ZL1BOR began the "booklet" format for the Newsletter in June 1979, and this attractive layout was enhanced by a cover picture of "Pania of the Reef" from the Whakatane 'printing office' of Collin ZL1CS. Members really appreciated the change, particularly the little drawings, cartoons and snippets of news which could now be included. Membership had increased to 114 total and the 1979 Bulletins contained articles from DX YLs, on overseas travel, DXpeditions and introductions to new members, as well as the usual news, minutes and contest information. The Secretary had always been kept busy with monthly articles for Break-In and the quarterly Bulletin, and the extra effort put in to the new format was considerable. At 1978/79 AGMs there was some interest in making up a WARO booklet featuring photos of members and including a short history of the club on similar lines to "CQYL" which had been donated to WARO by Louisa Sando W5RZJ of YLRL, but this was not actioned. It was a good idea, but not easy to implement as membership changes rapidly and 'up-dates' are constantly required.
An idea which did proceed was the production of a badge. From the beginning WARO had used a modification of the NZART and YLRL diamond with the word WARO across it, as a letterhead, as Break-In page heading and on QSL cards. After the adoption of "Pania" as the Award picture, Collin had produced writing paper with "Pania" heading, and it was felt that this emblem would be good for the badge. In 1979, Vicki and Collin were given the task of drawing up a design and having samples made up, but the design of a figure proved too detailed and other ideas were sought. The design of the ALARA badge, using the map of Australia as a base was discussed, but New Zealand is not an easy shape! So, after a considerable amount of thought, work and worry for Vicki and Collin the suggested idea of the NZ Giant Mountain Buttercup (Ranunculus Lyallii) mistakenly called the Mt. Cook lily, was approved. This attractive flower, which is unique to New Zealand and outstanding among the ranunculus family, was felt to be an appropriate symbol for the club. The badge with its colourful finish was made available to members in 1981, in a choice of three styles; a pin clasp, with bar attached for callsign, or with a ring for neck chain. WARO was very pleased with the result. Collin Shaw ZL1CS in recognition of his services to WARO, was invited to become Patron of WARO and he accepted in 1980. The Badge, like our WARO award was supplied with a descriptive note. Brenda Shore ZL4OQ who was then Associate Professor of Botany (Otago University) gave some interesting background information on Ranunculus Lyallii and also made available to members an attractive notecard of her own "buttercup" design.
As more commercial gear such as all-band transceivers, came on the market, so the number of Grade 1 operators increased and DX WARO membership also. The 1980 membership list contained 29 overseas members and it seemed they were coming to New Zealand as well. Marcia Rast K6DLL and OM Ted had met as many WARO members as they could when they travelled the country in 1979; and history was made when two DX members, Poppy Bradshaw VK6YF and Elizabeth Anderson YB0ADT (now VE7YL) met on the Cook Strait ferry in November. Both Elizabeth and Poppy were chasing the WARO Award on VHF and there was plenty of desperate 2 metre calling as they travelled. The hospitality from WARO members was appreciated and many good personal contacts made. One DX member, who has not visited here, but is very well known, is Diana Hughes G4EZI who has been a frequent contributor to our Bulletin with her delightful sketches and cartoons.
It was with regret that in October 1980 WARO reported the death of Rene Walker ZL2LO who had been a member of WARO since 1962 and, as ZL4DG, was president 1966-67.
50 Year Milestone:
A milestone in Amateur Radio and a special occasion for WARO was the achievement of Myrtle ZL4GR who celebrated 50 years on the air in February 1980. On behalf of the WARO Executive, Brenda ZL4OQ presented "Myrt" with a special 50 year WARO Award and asked her to accept Honorary Life membership of WARO. It was a great occasion - Break-In featured Myrtle on the cover April 1980 - and the event was covered in the Otago papers. A tape was made of the presentation and it is a delight to hear Myrtle's irrepressible sense of humour. (This tape can be borrowed from the Librarian.)
One or two local YL meetings had been held at Hamfests or Club dinners over the years, but the first semi-official WARO get-together was held at Otaki in November 1980 for ZL2 girls. The first licensed YLs from the Wairarapa, Lynn Sayer ZL2TOK (now ZL2PQ) and Pauline Carr ZL2TVY (now ZL2QW) were joined by Pearl ZL2QY who had organised the event and six other YLs. Since that time the ZL1 girls have held their first get-together in Te Awamutu in 1982 and these functions have continued on a regular basis at various venues in the North Island.
1981 - WARO's Constitution:
Under the able presidency of Sabina (Biny) Owen ZL2AZY, a Constitution was drawn up, as it was increasingly obvious that extra officers and clearer guidelines were needed. The secretary/treasurer had a daunting task as she stuggled for copy for Break-In and the Bulletin as well as the routine work. When the new Constitution was ratified in 1981, the control of the Club was entrusted to an Executive Committee, to supplement the previous President, Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer. This created new positions of Immediate Past President, Contest & Award Manager (non elective), Librarian (non elective) and Editor and Publicity (non elective). The Secretary and Treasurer jobs could be separate and other members co-opted as required. At the 1981 meeting Vicki ZL1OC was confirmed as Contest and Awards Manager, and Celia ZL1ALK as Librarian, positions they still hold. New Editor of the Bulletin became Biny ZL2AZY, although the secretary continued the Break-In column, and for the first time members elected a separate treasurer, Carol ZL1AJL.
A slightly altered cover was approved for the Bulletin, still using the "Pania" symbol. It was decided to publish details of YL nets, ISSB nets, Activity Days, etc as a lift-out centre-fold of the Bulletin. Monday nets were still running regularly with 10 - 14 check-ins and Greta Gotlieb ZL2AGS was asked to try a CW net on the 4th Monday. WARO was pleased to have Pearl ZL2QY accept the position of president in 1981 as it was I.Y.D.P. (International Year of the Disabled Person).
The Council of NZART had invited WARO's president, along with other officials, to attend their meeting on the Friday preceding Conference. Quite a number of our presidents including Pearl, have been able to attend, thus complementing the visits made by NZART presidents to WARO's AGMs.
The new format and copying method for the Bulletin meant that all Reports, Balance Sheets and complete copies of the Minutes could be published and thus the membership was better informed. Subscriptions had been increased in 1980 ($3.00) to cover postage, etc but the majority were agreed it was worthwhile. Executive meetings were held on air, and this enabled matters to be actioned much more quickly and a wider range of opinions sought on any potentially controversial issue. YL Activity Day - the 6th of the month - was re-activated by Diana G4EZI and a number of YLs were heard calling CQ on the hour on all bands ..... when they remembered!
Members Travelling Overseas:
Jocelyn Wilson ZL2BAO joined a group of NZ DX League members on a trip to Rarotonga in 1982 and became another DXpeditioner. Quite a number of travelling YLs applied for and were granted DX calls while visiting overseas. Elva ZL1BIZ and Alma ZL2AWP had permanent VK calls, but others had visitors callsigns and were mainly active on 2 metres. Biny ZL2AZY wrote of her experiences in USA and Britain and this made entertaining reading.
Reprinted in January 2002 from the NZ WARO Bulletin of March 1987 - Jeanne Gilchrist ZL4JG
Next Page 1982-1987