Some historical photographs from the HARG archive. See if you recognise any current or past members.

"The First Ten Years"

Compiled by Norman Campbell, VK6UV.


On Friday 28th January 1983, thirty people met at the Kalamunda Hotel, in the downstairs function room, at the invitation of John VK6HQ and Des VK6SU, and as a result of that meeting the Hills Amateur Radio Group was formed. 

After several months of meeting at the Kalamunda Hotel, we were invited to move our meeting place to the Kalamunda Senior High School, and this was duly done, and meetings were subsequently held there. 

Later, (in 1989) Richard VK6BMW, one of the members of the group had dealings at the time with the Lesmurdie Guides and Brownies, and he was able to negotiate a tenancy for the group at the Guide Hall, at the junction of Sanderson and Brady Roads, at a peppercorn rent, paying only for services used, electricity etc. We moved into these premises and were given a space as our own at the end of the hall. However we needed security, both for equipment and operating space, and so the call went out. This was responded to by Norman VK6UV who was able to provide (from sources not known) panels, doors, door frames, benches, venetian blinds, and fluorescent lights. Fred VK6UR was renovating his home, so the group headquarters became the proud possessor of fitted carpets. 


On 30th January 1987 VK6HQ established the first edition of the "Beacon" the HARG Newsletter. 

On 3 February 1987 the Hills Amateur Radio Group stood before a Justice of the Peace for the swearing of the deeds of incorporation, the following attended: 

VK6NV, VK6CF, VK6HQ, VK6NSU, VK6UV, VK6IK and VK6CU (Guest onlooker)

During February 1987, 30 Founder memberships were established 

At this time a refreshment facility was organised comprising tea/coffee, and the cost was 20c per cup, to be paid into an Honour Box. (In spite of inflation, six years later - still 20c per cup, and sometimes with a bonus of biscuits or cake!) 

On the 25th March 1987, a live demonstration of AMTOR was given to the group by Peter Hackett VK6PK. 

Eric Hawkins VK6YQ, a founder member, and one of our stalwarts, passed away on Sunday 29th March 1987 after a short period of illness. 

New members subscriptions were set at $5 per annum plus $5 Beacon postage, on 30th March 1987. 

The April 1987 Meeting, held on the 29th, had a talk by Jenny and her OM Trevor VK6YJ our white stick members, together with faithful "Jess", showing technology for the sight handicapped, with demonstrations of a Perkins Brailler, talking scales, MOWAT sensor, braille-writer, talking calculator, talking clock and more. 2 

John VK6HQ and Norman VK6UV ran a very well attended 'Radioactive Fun Rally, with ten carloads of enthusiastic Amateurs, their families and friends enjoying the challenge of Car Rallying and Amateur and CB Radio combined

Results were: 
1st Phil VK6ZPP
2nd Phil VK6ZKO
3rd Gary VK6XQ

Cy VK6IK gave a talk on Antennas on 29th July 1987 which was well received, and this was preceded by the following Committee being elected unopposed: 
President - VK6HQ, John Hawkins 
Vice President - VK6CF, Chuck Farkas 
Secretary - WCE571, David Brown 
Treasurer - VK6NSU, Sue van den Avoort 
Committee - VK6UV, Norman Campbell & VK6VU, Neville Newham 
QSL Sub Bureau - VK6ZH, Milan Udall 

On the 10th August 1987, the Club calling frequency of 145.600 MHz Simplex was adopted, later to change to 146.45 to accommodate Novices on 2 metres. 

The October 1987 edition of the Beacon had the following "Diary Notes: 
  • October Meeting Gordon VK6AGX "Valves in Linear Application"
  • November 1st Tic Hill Picnic
  • November 3rd VK6HS "Your Health Today - the Pritikin Way"
  • November Meeting Video
  • December 8th WIA Christmas Party
  • December 12th Dine-out Williners Restaurant
  • January 88 Meeting Annual Junk Sale

On the 8th December 1987, the Hills Amateur Radio Group received an award from the Wireless Institute of Australia for Outstanding Service to Amateur Radio". 

During the 1987 Kalamunda Festival a display was held in Stirk Park which was considered to be a success from the Amateur Radio point of view. The station displayed by Neville VK6VU was definitely the highlight. 

The working fund at this time was $61.48. 

28th October 1987 saw Gordon VK6AGX displaying a natural ability at the blackboard with an interesting talk on valves in linear applications. 

Two stations were fired up for the 1987 JOTA with Roleystone Guides and Brownies entering JOTA for the first time, the HF Station operated by Maurice VK6ATP and VHF by Trevor VK6YJ. The stations were 'on air' about 0130 UTC, HF Antennae tuning well, this was a long wire strung between two trees conveniently placed for 20 Metres. For 2M a pole with a roll-up antenna was set but this did not give the right results, so Hartley VK6ZHB went home and brought back a ground plane and a linear capable of 80 watts. A few contacts were then 3 made through Channel 8, and one into Gosford, North of Sydney, via the satellite link on channel 4. The day was held together by Laurie VK6ZLD, Christine VK6ZXD, Hartley VK6ZHB and Maurice VK6ATP. 


VI88WA - the Bicentenary callsign was activated by HARG members during the month of February 1988, they were VK6CF, VK6HE, VK6HQ, VK6IK, VK6XC, VK6ZH and VK6AEA. 

Events during March 1988 were a practical night on the first, at 7.30 pm and a Picnic/Foxhunt at Carmyah at 1130 am on March 6th. 

It was during April 1988 that the Committee of the HARG decided to write to the Kalamunda Shire Council along the lines of ".......whilst the Group's premises at Kalamunda Senior High School had proved eminently suitable for lectures and general meetings it was felt an additional venue where a permanent radio station could be both secured and operated and where members and their families could meet socially was desirable. Additionally, such a radio station could be of service to the Community in Emergencies...........does the Shire know of the existence or future availability of, suitable accommodation within the Shire confines?........." 

As a result there seemed to be the opportunity of the group leasing our own Club premises for approximately $500 per annum! 

At the August 1988 meeting, Cy VK6IK gave an interesting lecture on Linear Amplifiers. 

The 1988 Kalamunda Festival attracted a lot of interest from the passing crowd (particularly the blackboard showing who we were in contact with...) Some of the operators of the day were Norman VK6UV, Merv VK6APM, Keith VK6BRK, John VK6HQ and Richard VK6BMW. 


Some items of interest during the early part of 1989 were a talk by Greg on Seismology on 22 February, and a visit to the Perth Radar Station at Kalamunda on 25 February. 

29 March 1989 saw Glen Ogg delivering a stimulating lecture on interference, with emphasis on what is the operators' responsibility, and what is the Departments' responsibility. 

At 26 April 1989 the Treasurer advised funds of $192.28. 

Planning started in July 1989 for the Kalamunda October Festival to be held on 28 October and it was at this time that we moved to our new Clubrooms at the Paxhill Guide Hall, in Sanderson Road, Lesmurdie, thanks to the efforts of Richard VK6BMW. 

On 31 May, Will VK6UU gave a talk on the problems of the Repeater Group and the linking of 70 cm, particularly with the Novices and the legal use of a 2 Metre repeater linked toa 70 centimetre repeater. 

June 1989. Sam Wright G3CYT joined the Group. 

August 1989 saw Membership dues double to $10 per annum, with an additional $5 for Beacon postage, and at 30 August the Treasurer reported a balance of $358.72. 

An extremely interesting talk was given on 27 September 1989 by Brian Goodchild of the Cartographic Names Committee. 

The weekend of 21,22 October saw the Group hosting JOTA with many Scouts, Cubs, Guides and Brownies passing through the Station. Unfortunately there was a very large solar flare on Thursday prior to the JOTA week-end which practically wiped out all HF Communications, this was however beyond the control of the Group. The week-end was not completely wasted however, as many youngsters managed to 'talk' to others on the Radio, even if we did use 20 Metres to East Fremantle and Riverton. Use was also made of the Aussat link to VK/ZL enabling a number of the young folk to 'DX' on 2M. Thanks were due to the usual 'core' HARG members who made it all possible - Merv VK6APM, Fred VK6UR, Norman VK6UV and Richard VK6BMW. Thanks were also due to David VK6PDA and Phil VK6ZKO for liaising with the Scouts and Guides. ( David also stayed overnight to babysit the equipment), John VK6RI and Trevor VK6TS for operating on Sunday morning, and Sue VK6NSU and Adrian VK6CU for dropping in and out over the week-end to assist where needed. 

28 October saw an excellent turnout of members for the Kalamunda Festival, those helping with their presence and enthusiasm or equipment loan were - Merv VK6APM, Fred VK6UR, Milan VK6ZH, Phil VK6ZKO, Richard VK6BMW, Trevor VK6YJ, Sue VK6NSU, Adrian VK6CU, Trevor Wright, Sam VK6YN, Gordon VK6YBT, Les VK6EB, Poppy VK6YF, Chuck VK6CF, Cy VK6IK, Phil VK6ZPP, Alyn VK6KWN and John VK6ZKZ. 

9 December saw the 'end of year' Christmas windup and barbecue - 'BYO Meat' - the Club supplied salad and rolls. 


During the early part of 1990, the new club premises continued to improve with security being increased for the safe storage of equipment, Cy VK6IK provided two regulated power supplies, Phil VK6SO produced a single channel VHF Transceiver to which Fred VK6UR immediately fitted crystals for 146.45 MHz (Club frequency), also producing a co-ax switch to accommodate our many antennae. Also at this time Gordon VK6YBT loaned the club his Swan 350 complete with power supply. 

12 Teleprinters appeared in the clubrooms courtesy of VK6SO! 

The 1990 Annual General Meeting was held on 25 July 1990 and after much to-ing and fro-ing a new committee was elected. 

JOTA 1990 came and went with the club establishing the usual station for the Guides, Scouts, Cubs and Brownies, many thanks were owed to Merv VK6APM, Fred VK6UR, Richard VK6BMW and Phil VK6ZKO. 

27 October 1990 brought the Kalamunda Festival and a station was set up in Stirk Park for the day. 


1991 came upon the Club all too quickly, and activities taking place were the 1991 John Moyle Contest on 16 March at Mt Gungin, and a Radio Orientated Fun Car Rally (or Radioactive Rally!!) on 7 April, and later in the year, Camp Quality, where a HF station was set up for a week. 

Equipment continued to be acquired with the appearance of a HF Rig, a photocopier, a Grid Dip Oscillator and a Noise Bridge, together with numerous other pieces of club owned property! 

Events such as those listed, including static displays at the local libraries, continued over the following year, culminating with the holding of "Ten Year" celebrations at the Kalamunda Hotel where the club had its inception some ten years previously, the room upstairs was taken over by members and their wives/girl friends and a very friendly dinner was held, the end of the evening being marked by the presentation to Trevor, VK6YJ, our white stick operator, who received the inaugural plaque for 'Amateur of the Year'. 

Thanks Norm! 


The dates and events shown in these documents have been taken from past Minutes of Meetings and recollections of members. Any errors or omissions are unfortunate and unintentional. It is accepted that not all events have been included due to limited availability of research time.

Please contact the author if you have additional comments or amendments.