After all these years of dreaming, a first QSO!
On June 6 of 2012, just before my 75 th birthday, I was able to fulfill a dream that I had classified as impossible many years ago. Although I am not a licensed Ham operator, I was able to transmit my brand new call sign, 9HS1658 around the world and ask if anyone had a copy!
Lo and behold, I heard my call sign and my name being transmitted back to me for the first time in my life, and I will never be able to express my feeling of joy at hearing that simple message being relayed to me.
Ironically, the contact was Paul Smith, 26HS2624, who resides in the city of Hull, in Great Britan. It just so happens that I also live in the city of Hull, a suburb of Gatineau, Quebec, in CANADA. From that moment on I was hooked on Ham Sphere, and my quest for knowledge of the program was relentless.
Since then, I have made over 500 QSO”s and have 96 confirmed DX countries, which have earned me the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. The assistance given by some of the more experienced operators was magnificent, and I have made new friend all over the world, which I never thought would be possible.
One of those operators,Tony, 29HS132 in IRELAND, who is also an Administrator, was especially helpful, and he and I have become good friends with our nightly round table chats with many other operators around the world, as well as here in Canada. Another friend whom I met on the program, 9HS1713,Wayne, from Ontario recently went on a trip with his wife Sharon, and thanks to Hamsphere we were able to meet on the frequency nightly during that period.
The benefits and pleasures derived from Hamsphere are endless, and although he did not participate in the London Olympics this year, to me the Gold Medal went to Kelly on June 6th, 2012, when he opened a whole new world for me to explore in my Golden years.
Since that magic moment, it has been nothing but pure pleasure for me, as I am sure it is for many other Senior citizens around the world.
NEXT COLUMN: How Hamsphere helps us to revive old and long forgotten memories
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DO YOU REMEMBER? DOES ANYONE ELSE?
Listening to Foster Hewitt broadcasting live hockey games on Saturday night from Maple Leaf Gardens; that fatal attack on Pearl Harbour; Babe Ruth’s domination as the home run king; the short lived Studebaker cars; Al Jolson rising to fame as a black faced singer; Shirley Temple, The Little Rascals, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry movies; etc, etc!
If you do, you are definitely a Senior citizen and those memories will be part of you for the rest of your life. But sharing these memories with family or friends is not always easy, because in most cases they are no longer with us. And although the younger generations are usually tolerant when it comes to listening to us raving about some of our favorite memories, they can never really fathom the meaning that these memories have for us.
But Hamsphere has opened up a brand new avenue of communication with people of our own age who do remember these fond memories and are more than happy to spend time reminising with us about how these events have affected their lives. It gives us the opportunity to share how you felt about thing that were happening way back when that you thought no one else really cared about. But you will meet people that do share your thirst for remembering “the good old days” with the fond and sometimes painful memories.
At the same time, you are making new friends around the world that have the same feeling as you of belonging to a fellowship that you can count on for many years to come.
One good example of the fellowship of which I speak, can be heard on the first Monday of every month on 20 meters, 14.290, at 19.00 hours UTC. The Old Codgers Club, hosted by G1HAH, Brian, and N0KUO Steve, boasts a mixture of young and old operators, and there are always different themes open for discussion by the group.
Friendship, information, memories, amazing QSL cards and QSO’s, all part and parcel of the advantages of Hamsphere.
In future columns, I hope to interview some of you and find out how Hamsphere has enhanced your life and inspired you to new horizons.