Saturday April 18 is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), this year marking the 95th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Around the world, special event amateur radio stations – most sponsored by IARU member companies – will mark the event on air, from April 18 at 0000 UTC until April 19. , at 0000, honing their skills and abilities while enjoying a global friendship with other enthusiasts around the world. The theme of WARD is “Celebrating the Contribution of Amateur Radio to Society”. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH / G4HUA, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic casts the event in a different light than in previous years.
“Just a few weeks ago, many of us couldn’t imagine the levels of isolation we now face and the sacrifices of many on the frontlines of the pandemic, ”said Ellam. “As we have done in past challenges for our society, amateur radio will play a key role in keeping people connected and helping those in need of support.”
Ellam said he was emerging from his own isolation 14 days after returning from abroad. “I am touched by the kindness of strangers who helped me when I couldn’t leave my home,” he said. “It strikes me about the amateur radio operators, who are giving so much in these times of crisis not just helping out live. Amateurs are real volunteers, and I encourage everyone to help the community in whatever way they can.
On April 18, 1925, the IARU was formed in Paris, in the presence of ARRL co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW. Amateurs were the first to discover that the shortwave spectrum could support global propagation, and in the rush to use those shorter wavelengths, amateur radio found itself “in grave danger of being put. aside, ”as the IARU story says. Two years later, at the International Radio Telegraph Conference, amateur radio obtained attributions that are still recognized today – 160, 80, 40, 20 and 10 meters. From an initial number of 25 countries, IARU has grown to include 160 member societies in three regions.
How to participate
- Get on the air. Create your own personal amateur radio “event”. (To list your World Amateur Radio Day event, contact IARU Secretary, David Sumner, K1ZZ.)
- Register for the Echolink World Conference and IRLP 9251. The call sign for the special event will be W7W.
- Find and contact stations using the call sign W7W.
- Create and maintain a special network on the occasion of World Amateur Radio Day to draw attention to the event and allow radio amateurs to start talking about our hobby.
- Make known. If you are the club’s publicity manager, send out a press release and do public relations actions to highlight the event.
- Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day activity on social media using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDay on Twitter and Facebook.
- Use the attach and prospectus that IARU provides to publicize the event, amateur radio and your group or club.
World Amateur Radio Day is not a competition but an opportunity to talk about the value of amateur radio to the public and to our fellow amateurs. It is also a great opportunity to talk about your club and amateur radio in the local media.
In this time of social isolation, amateur radio continues to be relevant in bringing people together. “Social distancing” has long been a positive pastime practice bringing people together culturally through radio while providing communication essential to serving communities.
“My wish for this World Amateur Radio Day is for everyone to stay safe, follow the advice of medical professionals, and use amateur radio and your skills to help us get through this crisis,” Ellam said.