Letter from the President’s Shack: January 2016
Happy New Year, GARA! I feel honored to have been selected by my fellow members to serve as the president of this wonderful club. GARA has so much rich history in amateur radio in the Greensboro area and North Carolina, it is a wonderful thing to be a part of that. I believe we are uniquely positioned in the history of GARA to do some great things and really build on what those before us have done. Speaking of those before us, there are only a few members around who remember the beginning of GARA. GARA has been around for as long as I’ve been breathing almost, over those 40 years the club has shifted and changed, grown and shrank, and finally wound up where we are today. I feel like I only know the most recent history of the club, I’d sure love to know more. We do have some members who are willing to sit down and share all those stories with us, guys who remember why GARA came to be, where our repeaters were, and where the club was located. We need someone who’d be willing to serve as a club historian, or to head a committee of historians. Do you like hearing all the stories? Got a voice recorder handy? You might be perfect for the job.
Home, what is home to GARA? Greensboro for sure, maybe the repeater site? I’ve heard “The club exists to support its repeaters”, and while I agree that repeaters are a very important part of an Amateur radio club, I’d say that the members are much more valuable. I believe that the club exists to support its members. The membership of the club is what makes the club, new operators and experienced ops all together growing and helping each other. Meeting on the air and in person to share their experiences with each other and help each other grow and enjoy this vast hobby we call ham radio. To that end, I’d personally really love to find a home for this club, a physical place that we can call our own. A place we can have a shack and get together to practice our skills. A place we can meet with each other, even if it’s not the fourth Monday night of the month. A place where we can serve our community in times of need. A place where we can archive our history and build our future. This is one of my dreams as a member of the Greensboro Amateur Radio Association. I think we are finally positioned as an organization such that it would make sense for someone to help us with that dream. We are now a non-profit 501-C3, I believe one way that can help the club is to help us realize the dream of having a place to call home. If you know of someone, a served agency perhaps, or maybe a real estate owner, or anyone else who might see the value in helping us with that, now is as good a time as any to start that conversation.
I’m really looking forward to this year’s activities, we have some great things coming. Scott Toth, our new VP, has already gotten some amazing things lined up for our meetings. We are also uniquely positioned as a club to take advantage of the Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service through ARRL’s National Parks On The Air. We will be a very popular station this year as both N4G at the special event and as W4GSO at field day, there are pile-ups in our future. It’s going to be a lot of fun to activate MP04, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, as a club. I’m sure that the greater ham radio community will really appreciate our efforts in that as well. All these activities take lots of team-work. Those who participated in last year’s field day effort would have seen a taste of what that team effort looks like. Many hands make light work. Soon we will need a Field Day Chairmen, Band Captains, Antenna erectors, GOTA Station volunteers, CW operators, SSB and digital modes ops, Cooks, and all the other roles that make these weekend events a success. When the time comes, remember that the club is here to support its members, and the club is made up of its members, we support each other in these efforts. So jump into the fray and help your fellow members make a couple of great events happen. If we all do a little bit of the work, no one will have to do a lot.
I hope you are as excited as I am about this Amateur Radio Association, about our past and about our future. We are on the cusp of some great things, and if we join together we can easily make them happen, and honor the rich history of GARA. I’m really looking forward to this year, and to watching this group become a more cohesive unit that is ready for anything. Thank you again for putting your faith in me and the rest of the GARA Board 2016, and thank you for your support.