The Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre held its final meeting for the year on Saturday 26 November 2016. Committee members arrived at the club house and started setting up the braai fires, tables, chairs and canopies from 11h30, in time for the main crowd to start arriving from 12h00 onwards. The weather was good and the wind not too strong. We were very pleasantly surprised to see how well attended the function was - around 50 people at one stage.
Our chairman Rob / ZS1SA opened the meeting at 13h00 and welcomed the club's members, guests and families. He then introduced Dennis / ZS1AU, who had donned his famous tuxedo for the official announcement of the Len Wells Ham Spirit Award trophy.
Dennis took some care to communicate that the award is not limited to CTARC members alone. A degree of subterfuge had to be employed to enviegle the prospective recipient into attending the meeting without giving the game away!
Congratulations go to Ettienne / ZS1AX, who, with his wife Yolanda / ZS1CX, are this year's recipients of the Len Wells Ham Spirit Award. Dennis told us that there had been seven nominations (and he broke with tradition by naming them), but Ettienne was top of the list for his steadfast sticking to his beliefs throughout a dispute with officialdom, where he even had to appear before a disciplinary committee. In the end, having won his point, Ettienne offered magnanimously to serve on the SARL Committee, which he now does. Ettienne accepted the trophy plus the certificates for himself and Yolanda from Dennis.
Ettienne gave a short speech on receiving the award, and thanked our club for the steadfast support he received throughout his stressful ordeal earlier on in the year.
The official business done, we all settled down to an afternoon of great camaraderie, natter, chewing the rag and meeting up with our friends. We were sustained throughout this by delicious hamburgers, ably cooked by Tony / ZS1TM and served up by Anne, Elsabe and Sandi, who were kept busy for a large portion of the afternoon feeding and watering hungry and thirsty hams.
We were very pleased to see a number of new faces at our meeting - some are radio amateurs who have just qualified, others are interested people from around Cape Town. Three new members signed up at the meeting! Welcome!
Members who had placed their orders earlier were able to collect their fancy gold CTARC Name Badges, which look very classy indeed. So classy in fact, that we suspect another batch of badges will be produced before long.
CTARC A3-sized Year Calendars for 2017, laminated and in glorious technicolor, were also on sale. A few were left over and will be on sale again at our January meeting. These useful calendars list all CTARC Monthly Meetings, Events and Committee Meeting dates as well as the public holidays for the year. They also make interesting table mats!
Paul / ZS1S brought along a beautifully constructed MW receiver - solar powered and with a large square loop antenna. This unique rig kept us freely entertained with music throughout the afternoon.
Peter / ZS1PGC brought along his RigExpert antenna analyser and he and Paul were busy checking Paul's discone antenna later on.
The Bring-&-Buy Swop Shop was also in operation. Tony / ZS1TK, Ian / ZS1SX, and Karl / ZS1KC all brought various items along to swop or sell. Excited clusters of radio hams were to be seen crowding around certain car boots which were opened to reveal their treasures within. These Swop Shops will be a continuous feature of our monthly meetings henceforth, with the Mega-Flea Market on 5 March next year being a major event.
Very grateful thanks must go out to a number of people without who's sterling efforts the meeting would have not been so enjoyable:
Rob and Anne, for organising the food and liquid refreshments, and especially to Anne, Elsabe and Sandi, for serving up the food all afternoon long;
Tony / ZS1TM, for patiently and expertly braai-ing the hamburgers;
Noel / ZS1FW, providing the bags of ice that kept the beers and cool drinks cool throughout the afternoon;
Dennis / ZS1AU, for making it all the way here to deliver the Len Wells award (and for wearing that tux in the blazing heat!). Also Tony / ZS1TK, for providing kindly transport for Dennis to and from the meeting;
All others who assisted with setting up, running the event and cleaning up / packing away afterwards.
The meeting ended at around 16h00. A most satisfying event indeed.
We look forward to seeing you all at our next meeting, which will be at the Clubhouse at 14h00 on Saturday 28 January 2017. More info on this meeting will be published in due course.
Photos of the November meeting are [here].