Since the first in 1955 a total of 15 Conventions (including both at
North and South Island in l963) have been held under the auspices of the
League and Convention ’72 was the fourth hosted by Southland.
If numbers of radios in use and man-hours of sleep lost are any criteria
it surely must go down as one of the most successful and enjoyable!
Omaui is an exclusive holiday resort at the mouth of the Oreti River
and the old Health Camp buildings, now designated Southland_Holiday Camp
Assn. Inc, proved an ideal site. Nobody saw much of the scenery but
whether this due to the inclemency of the weather or to the fullness of
the programme offered, we would venture to say nix. A total of 31 full-
time and part-time DXers made their presence felt during the week-end,
to the accompaniment of 18 radios, almost as many tape recorders (a sign
of the times?), plus several loop antennas. Thanks to the secondary
school contingent who spent most of Thursday erecting 8 aerials. The
large mess-hall with two dormitory wings on each end, plus the several
individual rooms, made it ideally suitable to separate the sleeps from
Convention opened on Good Friday at 2:30 pm and following an acquaint-
ance session, the dials called. 2CP mixed with 5LC, came in exceptionally
well while 4KZ heard testing, was one of the highlight.s Cyclone Emily decreed
that 4HU was unable to special but the ABC Queensland Network gave the
League a calls. However, 2ML and 2LG were heard.
On Broadcast, HJDK 750 was the only South American but stations were logged
from every continent although unfortunately North American reception
was poor. Altogether 165 loggings were made on BC and 38 on SW. Everybody
heard the specials except Don Reed who someone neglected to
Competitions, trips, talks, discussions, ensured never a dull moment. ‘
The conducted tour to the industrial giant, NZ Aluminium Smelters at Tiwai
was-a privilege that the 43 who made the trip will always remember. The Short-
wave quiz was won by A. Cushen and the Broadcast by M. Branks. The debate
“That Shortwave DXing is more interestsing than Broadcast DX” proved that some DXers were listening on the wrong band. It was observed that all of the top BC DXers showed their hands in favour of SW. A.Cushen led the BCteam and H.WeatherIey captained the SW gang. A digital frequency meter was demonstrated by T.Service and put to practical use on various sets. A talk on propagation followed while on Sunday night D. Reed spoke on North American DX and conditions, and there was a talk on Asian DX by M. Branks who had lots of tips.
The Convention issue of Southland’s DX Digest was a mine of information:
A barbeque dinner in the play shed showed how much the once humble sausage
could be abused and still be edible.- Ray and Alan Crawford’s parent’s
were hosts in themselves and turned on Sunday afternoon tea. At the
Avenal, an Invercargill Licensing Trust Hotel, a dinner (and a jacket
and tie) added tone to the functions.
Raffle results were:-Tinned Fruit Hamper, N.Kendall; Iced Fruit Cake,
S. Reed; Tin of Biscuits, N,Parry; Set.of Glasses, L.Robinson.
Those who disgraced the tables with their presence were, our most
distant guest Keith Barton (Adelaide), Harry Weatherley (Melbourne),
David Dwyer, Nick Kendall, Don Reed, Stephen Reed (Christchurch)
John Newman, Arthur Williams (Twizel), Graeme Shillito (Karitane)
George Beardsmore, Jack Fox, Frank Wilson (Dunedin), Ross Renton (Stirling)
and Southlanders Paul Aronsen, Merv. Branks, Sutton Burtenshaw, Bruce
Cavanagh, Alan Crawford, Ray Crawford, Arthur Cushen, Eddie MacAskill,
Noel Parry, Peter Pryde, Lindsay Robinson, Harry Searle, Trevor Service;
Peter Stonehouse, Roger Whittle and visitors Keith Robinson and Bill
Thompson (a former Southland Branch Secretary).
The success of any such gatherings is measured by the fellowship and,
in this, Convention ’72 was tops. Many were the:humorous experiences
and the true DX spirit was always evident. As National Secretary,
George Beardsmore, has written “the outstanding success story of 1972”.
Canterbury DX Dialog was amazed to find it rained 22 hrs a day in Southland
and the-rain came sideways,whereas in Christchurch it cones downwards.
(From the Peter Grenfell DX Times collection)