Bruce Hunt VK6XV
Times were somewhat different then, but somehow more exciting for someone that was interested in amateur radio. I remember the first time that I came down from Bruce Rock by myself to attend a training school for the bank at which I worked. In those days one did as one was told. Fortunately I had had a hockey injury that prevented me going on the first training school that I was meant to go on and I was rescheduled for a second that meant that I was in Perth for the monthly meeting of THE Wireless Institute.
I had no idea where Hooper Street was, so my folks had given me extra money (junior bank workers earnt very little - $30 a fortnight in 1970) so that I could get a cab to and from the meeting. I felt somewhat overwhelmed when I entered the Institute of Engineers building with all its rows of wooden seats and the hall was full - probably around 80-100 members there. There was a lecture on calculating induction and a demonstration of various "tools" that had been used to make the physical devices. After the meeting we were served tea and biscuits that was organised by a fellow that was a listener (cannot remember his name, but he should be remembered by many).
The SWL "Tea Boy" is WIA LIFE Member L60022 Don Lorimer.
I was a kid and all the other were so elderly to me, but a fellow by the name of Harry Pride came over and introduced himself and then introduced me to several other members. I was invited to his shack in Como (or thereabouts) for the following Saturday. I think that he had a Yaesu 107 line, but may be wrong. I was hooked - up until then I had been using a Eddystone receiver, but actually seeing the other side, the actual transmitter, antenna, the morse key and the like added the realism to all the photos that I had from a decade old ARRL handbook that I had been given when I was at school in Merredin. I went back to Bruce Rock and asked my folks for a Wireless Institute membership for my upcoming birthday and started to get the very thin, but always interesting Amateur Radio magazine. It took me a few years before I got my license (it was hard when you lived in the bush), but I finally got there and have never looked back.
The world has changed, but the principles have not. Many, but not all, amateurs will want to get together for an eye-ball and to exchange ideas and fellowship. Having been laid low for health reasons for a decade, it is good to get going again and see the same spirit that was evident in that hall in Hooper Street (now the upper part of Murray Street), West Perth alive and evident in clubs such as HARG and NCARG and the various SIGS, such as WARG and the VHF Group still attracting those that are enthusiastic about this great hobby and public service vehicle.
The enthusiasm is still there, it is just in a different form.
Bruce Hunt VK6XV