DE TIMOR - LESTE
A TOUR OF DUTY FOR UN-WFP IN EAST TIMOR
In August 1999 Peter Casier ON6TT send a mail to the DX mailing lists
asking for candidates to fill a WFP Telecom Officer vacancy, at the time I was looking for
a change in my life and imediatelly replied.
Some weeks later the phone ringed and Northern Angola was to be my initial training as a UN-WFP TC officer.
But that did not happen, for personal reasons I had to say NO to Angola.
A couple of weeks later TV Networks were showing the terrible events and turmoil in East-Timor (a former Portuguese Territory under Indonesian ocupation), a very serious humanitarian crisis situation was growing and Peter phoned me again, they needed a Telecomunications expert and I was determined to go this time.
Joe Brian Poole G3MRC / 5X1P (you can see us in the photo at the Díli
repeater site) was already in the field and waiting my arrival to get back to
Uganda were he worked.
Our mission as Telecom people was to project and install a reliable comunications network througout the territory both in HF and VHF (voice and data) in order to allow a link between WFP offices and also Mobile to base.
In the photo you can see us building up a mobile "Codan" HF station. Notice the Codan multiband vertical antenna mounted in the front.
Spite the DX media kept on labelling 4W6EB as a DX'pedition operation, this wasn't true, amateur radio came as an adition to my job as a UN Officer and we had to wait for the actual licensing until March 2000.
The only legal and credited 4W licenses were the ones issued by UN New-York (Alain Moerenhout), this was also the supervising agency for Amateur radio operations.
Here is a copy of that License, in the last line you can read "The present authorization is valid from 14 March 2000 until further notice...".
Working conditions were my Kenwood TS-50, 100 watt and home-made Delta-loop antennas, I had no donations from big radio/antenna companies, nevertheless if you get to use your own Telecom Engineering and DX pile-up skills instead of letting others do the technical stuff for you, it should be enough to compensate the lack of Yagis and Linear Amps. (ofcourse the Solar Cycle helped...).
On the other hand I have to say that the TS-50 reasonable price and the QSL card printing expenses were in part sponsored by "GITEI Comunicações Lda.".
"In the photo I was probably working you", but if you have doubts have a look in the Log-search:
4W6EB made a total of 9464 QSOs to 121 DXCC Entities and is the first station ever from East-Timor to achieve DXCC Award (N#24769).
(Yes my Delta-Loop antennas really "smoke").
9200 QSL cards replied.
Radio-operator Gary Taylor and José 4W6EB at the WFP Radio-room.
Late February 2000 António 4W6GH arrived in East-Timor working for the UNTAET Military, he was quite active in all bands including in RTTY.
In a courageous move
António (and the Navy Marines) went to Island of Atauro IOTA OC-232 in July 2000 to
activate this all time new-one.
Having dinner with some good friends, Jarek and Fernando (right photo) thank you for all your support and true friendship.
You were right: "I should have stay longer".
Special thanks to Jaromir Sliwinski, Reny, Fernando Inglês, Pascoela, Greg, Ruben Carvalho, Chico, Peter (ON6TT), Lopes (CT1CJJ) and Julio (CT1ZW), your friendship and support made me go ahead !
Gitei Comunicações, CDXC, Diamond DX Club, REP and NPDXG sponsored the QSLs.
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