It was a double celebration for the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club on Saturday with members commemorating 60 years in the community as well as news of a new clubhouse.
The club took advantage of a lunch before organizing an open day for residents to learn more about their radio activities.
Event fans Ryan Flynn and his kids Kaylee and Xander Hogan-Kelly and Dalyhla Burke said they were excited to see what radios could do.
“We learned about radios and Morse code,” Dalyhla said.
“Normally kids don’t get to know radios and stuff unless they’re on a farm,” Ryan added.
“So it’s a great opportunity. “
Club secretary David Nebe said the members were in the process of moving to their new location, the former Boy Scout den in Bundaberg North, and thanked the local Boy Scout groups for allowing them to find another foyer.
“With the radio club we are doing something called JOTA – Jamboree On The Air – and we have been doing it for over 30 years with local boy scouts,” said David.
“It’s an annual global event where kids can use the radio equipment to talk to other Scouts around the world.
“As it turns out, they said we can use their unused Boy Scout Den here to the north – and that really suits us.”
Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club WICEN coordinator Gail Lidden said that throughout her 60 years in the community, the club has been able to help in many situations.
“Our equipment is completely portable, which is how WICEN works to provide emergency communications when there is no power,” said Gail.
“They can take us in a helicopter or a flood boat in an emergency to help communicate.”
Gail said an example of Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club’s support was during the 2013 floods when she ran Bundaberg North station which was isolated without electricity.
“It was about eight days and people were calling and I was radioing the town and the communication was going on,” she said.
“Whether it was helping stranded tourists or calling an ambulance, we were able to help by radio.
“We had fruit pickers who couldn’t reach their families and I called one of our members who lived on the town side and they were able to Skype them and tell them they were fine. “
Gail told the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club that the sky is the limit when it comes to communication, whether working with radios or talking to astronauts.
“We have state-of-the-art radio equipment or you can be as old-fashioned as you want,” she said.
To find out more about the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club Click here.