Piedmont Chapter 126


Chapter Number 126 of the Quarter Century Wireless Association was born on March 15, 1980 when the National organization of QCWA was petitioned for chapter status. President Raymond G. Low, W1VMD, and Secretary Ellicott Valentine, K4JO, were the principal signers. The following members signed in the order of their admission.

1. Raymond G. Low, W1VMD Silent Key.
2. M.L. Buchanan, W4DSU SK.
3. Ellicott Valentine, K4JO SK.
4. Carlton Schoen, W4NJS, SK.
5. W. P. Pilker, W4YVZ, SK.
6. Lem Holland W4QI, SK.
7. R. Furman James, W4YPZ, SK.
8. George Beckerman, W6ORK, SK.
9. Tom Donaldson, K4DID, SK.
10. Henry Elwell, N4UH, SK.
11. Dave Kennedy, N4SU, SK.
12. Norman R. Mc Laughlin, W4GJR, SK.
13. Paul T . Eisele, WB4AEE, SK.
14. Tom Boone, Jr. W4COC, SK.
15. William H. Callahan, W4CXN, SK.
16. Allen L. Smith, W4IPP, SK.
17. Weldon Fields, W4AJT, SK.
18. Frank Lento, W4OVZ, later W2AIT, SK.
19. Carroll C. Lupton, W4DCL, SK.
20. Larry Sossoman, K4CEB, SK.

The last surviving founding member was Weldon, W4AJT, who passed away on May 6, 2015 after 35 years of chapter membership and 85 years of being licensed.

The first meeting of what was to become Chapter # 126 was held on March 15, 1980 at the Hobo Junction Restaurant in Concord NC for the purpose of forming the new chapter. At that point, election of Officers was in order and was completed with the following results.

President - Ray Low, W1VMD
Vice President - M.L. Buchanan, W4DSU
Secretary/Treasurer - Val Valentine, K4JO
Directors - Lem Holland, W4QI
Furman James, W4YPZ

There were 11 participants at that meeting, with a goal to have Quarterly meetings in different locations in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. That goal has been met over the years.

In March of 1981, a discussion was held regarding a Chapter #126 On the Air Net, and a Sunday at 9 AM using the frequency of 3935 KHz was selected. At the June meeting, it was reported that Net attendance was good, and that practice has continued. In 2007 the net was moved to 8:45 AM Saturdays on 3825 KHz.

At the December 1983 meeting held in Winston Salem, President Buchanan opened discussion of our Chapter handling the National Convention of the QCWA in 1985. That would be a major undertaking for the Chapter, but was enthusiastically received. A proposal to be presented to the National organization was written by Buster Pilker, W4YVZ, and M.L. Buchanan, W4DSU. In September 1984, the National organization gave our Chapter the go-ahead to sponsor the 1985 Convention to be held in Winston Salem at the Hyatt House Hotel on September 26th-28th. The Convention was held and the Chapter was congratulated on a job well done.

The Chapter having had a great success with the Convention, decided at the September 1986 meeting to volunteer as tellers for the counting of votes for the 1987 National Elections. The members of the Chapter carried out the counting. A letter from the QCWA General Manager, Ted Heithecker, W5EJ, after the final tally, ended with, "Piedmont Chapter has done it again - a superb job and we all appreciate it very much."

Over the years, there have been 239 different members joining the Chapter; the current membership as of May 2013 is 90.

Meetings are held in March, June, September, and December, in different parts of the Piedmont area. They are structured to be of interest to the members and their spouses. The meetings are held as Saturday luncheons, with interesting speakers, fine eating establishments, and good fellowship for the men and women attending.

A non-named newsletter was published for the spring of 1980, and was begun by Val Valentine, K4JO. At his election in 1982 as Secretary/Treasurer, Henry Elwell, N4UH, took over the publication of the quarterly newsletter. He continued it until K4JO again took the position of Secretary/Treasurer in 1987. Val felt a proper name for the newsletter was desirable and called it, THE QCWA WAVES; he published it until 1990. There was none published after that until President Walt Van Giesen, AB4DQ, decide to try his hand at one in 1994; our newsletter became the QCWACKER, named we believe, by Bill Hutchins, KM4UO. Walt continued to write it until N4UH took over as Secretary in the spring of 1996, who was followed by Gary Howell, WB4BMJ in 2001. After 2001 W4CC, WA4PVI, W4ONJ and W4TJE kept the group informed on an informal basis until an electronic version of the QCWACKER was started by WB4DCM and K4HF in 2006. We continue to mail copies of the electronic version to those members who do not have an E Mail Address on file with us.

Since the spring of 2002 George, W4DGJ was our net control station for the Saturday morning chapter net until February 2012. We presented George with a QCWA National Meritorious Award for his long-term devotion to the chapter at the March, 2007 meeting. George became a silent key in February 2012 and Carl, KJ4WD has graciously assumed the NCS duties.

Ham Hicks, KB4BR was presented a QCWA National Roll of Honor Roll Plaque in September 2007 for his efforts in getting the Ham Radio Antennas legislation through and approved by NC Governor Easley (PRB-1.)