It is hoped that this history will remain a treasured souvenir, both to old members in whom it will awake many pleasurable memories, and to later members to whom it should be an example of the diligence and perseverance of the Founders in their struggle for the establishment of Amateur Radio in N.S.W. How well they and the Wireless Institute of Australia have succeeded will now be outlined.
It was I919. The Great War had ended. Peace was signed. Youth began to cast around for other interests. Cricket, football, tennis and other sports claimed their share, but groups of chaps with technical inhibitions wanted something more than physical activity. What about the comparatively new science of Wireless? It had taken great strides during the War, and now presented great possibilities. In those days, though, a keen interest in Wireless was taken as an indication of a rather strange mental kink, but nothing daunted, a group composed of Frank Geddes, Jnr., Frank Leverrier, Eddie Bowman, E. Swinbourne, R. P. Charlesworth, Les Holdgrove, AIan Burrows, C. Doyle, G. Thompson and Malcolm Perry, after having a few get-togethers at each other's homes, met at Mr R. Charlesworth's home on the night of January 27, 1919, and formed the Waverley Amateur Radio Club.
The first President was Mr. R. Charlesworth; Vice-President, Mr. F. Geddes; Secretary, Mr. Alan Burrows. Mr. F. Geddes, Snr., made a room at the rear of his home, "Altmont," 13 Macpherson Street, Waverley, available to the Club where, from that date to the present day, 2BV has held its meetings. This room (enlarged now) is decorated with some real treasures in the form of DX QSL cards. There also are to be seen some interesting and memorable radio treasures, the most important of these being the first Transmitting License issued to the Club, dated 18th August, 1921, and numbered 249; the first record of the Club's affiliation with the A.R.R.L. ;.the original "Wireless Weekly Cup"; and the headphones used by "Smithy" and "UIm" on the first Transpacific flight. The first wavelength used by the Club was 1100 metres, and the callsign, the letter N followed by a serial number. This was in the days of Naval Control, and when the Post Office took over, wavelengths below 200 metres were made available to experimenters.
The Club's first transmitter, built by Messrs. Thompson, Leverrier and Geddes, used a VT1 with 90 volts on the plate, and succeeded in spanning the air miles to Campsie. This would surely come to the memory of the Founders, if they have seen the fine display of Transmitting and Receiving gear shown by the Club at the exhibitions of amateur gear sponsored by the Wireless Institute of Australia in recent years.
By 1922 the Club had progressed far enough to join with the W.I.A. in organising the Transpacific tests with Californian Amateurs. Through the courtesy of Malcolm Perry, I was enabled to see one of the original entry forms. Entrance fee was 10/-, and non- participants had to sign an undertaking not to transmit during the tests. This contest was won by a ham at Ramsgate.
The Club's next move forward was to organise tests between Australia and New Zealand on 80 metres, and which proved to be the forerunner of the now official N.Z.A.R.T. and W.I.A. tests.
Jack Davis, 2DS, of Watson's Bay, won the initial contest. At this stage I would like to mention that Waverley was the first Club in Australia to broadcast a musical programme, the occasion being a dance held at the Athenaeum Hall, Beach Street, Coogee, the date, 22nd September, 1922, the compere being Mr. R. Allsop, 2YG, whose license did not cover this district, and who got a "please explain" from the R.I. several weeks later. Evidently Vigilance Committees have always been with us. Five metres next received attention, W. Cottrell, 2ZN, experimenting in conjunction with the Club, used a Split Colpitts circuit with 201A's as the oscillating medium. During the next period, another activity, which I think took place about 1926, came into being; namely, an endeavour to further the movement or universal introduction of Esperanto, but with no success.
A feature of this period was the introduction by 2BV of inter-club debates; one of the poignant subjects of the day being, Rack "&" Panel v. Breadboard. Anyone having R. and P. tendencies, generally was looked upon as having subversive commercial leanings.
During 1926 a burning question among the clubs was: "Do we affiliate with the W.I.A. or not?" A few of Alan Burrows' remarks in favour of affiliation are very illuminating. Since that date the Club has aIways been a strong supporter of the W.I.A., and results achieved by that body have amply justified the Club's attitude.
We pass on now to 1930. Mr. Gordon Wells and Mr. Pickerlng, 2KI, had a hankering to find out about television, and eventually the first television transmission in Australia took place between Mr. Pickering's home at North Bondi and the Club rooms at WaverIey, in 1933. Mechanical scanning was used by the two experimenters.
In 1936, the Wireless Institute of Australia held an amateur exhibition at the Presbyterian Assembly Hall, and the first public television demonstration was conducted by Mr. Gordon Wells and Mr. Maurice Lusby. Miss Gladys Moncrieff can truthfully claim to be the first woman to be televised in Australia.
The Club owes a Iot of its technical excellence to Mr. Gordon Wells' ability and his technical guidance during the seven years of his Presidency. Two years ago, owing. to increasing studies, he was forced to relinquish active participation for the present. He has been too busy helping other hams to get their tickets to have ever sat himself, but is aptly described as a "ham and a half."
On his temporary retirement, the Club honoured Mr. Wells with a suitable presentation in appreciation of his efforts, and also made him an Honorary Life Member. On the clerical side, the last half-dozen years or so have been ably looked after by Mr. W. ("Curly") Garland, and the financial side by Mr. Alf West, under whose guidance the affairs of the' Club have reached a steady and level security. These 'gentlemen were deeply appreciative of the work of Mr. Wal Ryan, 2TI, now Vice,President of the W.I.A., from whom they took over, and who had charge of the Club's financial affairs during the difficult depression days. It was due to Wal and his associates unflagging zeal that the Club successfully weathered those trying years.
Space limits mention of many of the well-known amateurs who, at some time or other, have been members of the Club, but to quote just a few: W. Cottrell, 2ZN; H. SegaI, 2VK; T. Brownlee, 2SB; F. Easton, 2BQ; F. Leverrier, 2BK; W. Moore, 2HZ (who was Federal President of the W.I.A. for three years).; H. Peterson, 2HP (State President of the N.S.W. division of W.I.A.); N. B. O'Brien, 2OH (who used to have an input of 120 watts to a single "46"); M. Lusby, 2WN (a member of the State Council); W.Ryan, 2TI (now Vice-President of W.I.A.).
Of the Foundation Members, Frank Geddes and Alan Burrows have gone to meet the Great Brasspounder, while some of the others are still with us, but business and one thing and another have curbed their Amateur Radio activities.
Before leaving this section, I wish to express the Club's thanks to Mr. Gordon Thompson, Mr. Wal Ryan and Mr. Malcolm Perry for making available the first Licence issued to the Club, and also the data for compilation of this history.
Owing to the war our transmitting activities have been curbed, so we have turned to new fields of interest for the time being. The Club is lucky in having as a member and Secretary Mr. J. Howes, 2ABS, who has transferred his fertile ability to motion picture projection. He has built a full size projector and sound system of profession quality, and entertains members regularly in co- operation with Mr. Arthur Henry, on technical and lay subjects, to which we cordially welcome visitors to the Club rooms on any Tuesday evening.
In conclusion, I wish to say that the present executive officers are endeavouring to carry on the traditions laid down by their predecessors, and promise to have the Club extant and healthy at the termination of the present international upheaval.
LIONEL C. WALTERS,