50th Anniversary Proceedings

Highlights from the speakers at the Commemoration Dinner held at the Moeraki Boulders Restaurant, North Otago, on 7 February 1998.


The following ‘old-timers’ from the League’s formative years were in attendance for the dinner:

Jack Blacklock (started DXing in 1932), Ken Mackey (late thirties until 1962), Jack Searle (1937 to 1950 and back in the hobby since 1970 and still going strong), Murray Lamont 1937 to 1960), Don Reed (1939 to 1973), Jack Fox, an active DX listener since 1939), Ross Gibson (since 1946 and still active on shortwave), George Beardsmore started listening in 1947), Barry Williams (started as a hairy-legged 15 year old in 1951) and Peter Grenfell (since 1951).


A minute’s silence was taken in memory of those deceased members who have played prominent roles in the DX League’s success over 50 years. Cliff Couch, who only took up the DX hobby in retirement, paid tribute to Arthur Cushen. Barry Williams of Auckland (National President) paid tribute to the founders and early members who laid the foundation for the League becoming the pre-eminent DX organisation in the South pacific, if not the Southern Hemisphere. He spoke of periods of change in the hobby —transistorised and digital receivers, cold war propaganda and jamming, computers, satellites — and the need for the club to accept change.

Barry then announced the award of ‘Certificates of Recognition’ to John Mainland, Arthur de Maine, Alan Roycroft & Paul Ormandy.


Toshimichi Ohtake of Japan also paid tribute to Arthur Cushen for his helpful advice and kindness when the Japan Shortwave Club was founded in 1952.

Anker Petersen, Chairman of the Danish SW Clubs International, recalled visits to Denmark by Tony King and Arthur & Ralda Cushen. He also passed on greetings from Jens Frost, Editor Emeritus of the World Radio TV Handbook.


Risto Vahakainu from Finland, Secretary General of the European DX Council noted that one of the main differences in DXing between his country and NZ was that the best DX times here were at comfortable times — evening and morning, versus overnight in Scandinavia.

Chris Martin of Queensland, attending his third NZ Convention, paid tribute to Merv Branks of lnvercargill, who started his interest in beverage antennas for MW DXing.


Ray Crawford of Queensland (formerly lnvercargill) spoke of the many friendships he had made through the DXing hobby.

Peter G.renfell paid tribute and made special presentations to the international visitors at convention from Europe, Japan and Australia.


Jack Fox and Ken Mackey reminisced about DXing in Merv Branks “6 x 3“ (the dimensions in yards! Ed) crib (bach) at Riverton. Jack also recalled wartime DX experiences.

Jack Fox of Mosgiel (League Patron) closed proceedings with a look forward. He
encouraged the League to consider running competitions based on  station loggings rather than QSL verifications




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