by Anker Petersen, Denmark
The first New Zealand DXing of broadcasting stations dates as far hack as 1930 when low powered North American MW stations were caught on simple receiver sets. After some attempts to organize DXers, the New Zealand Radio DX League (NZRDXL) was formed after World War ll in 1948 and can therefore celebrate its 50th Year in 1998. I had the great pleasure to represent the Danish Shortwave Clubs lntemational (DSWCI) on this occasion.
The Convention was held on 5-8 February 1998 at Camp Iona near Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand. It was very well arranged by the local DXers and chaired by Paul Ormandy. 31 look part in the whole Convention including 5 foreign DXers: EDXC Secretary General Risto Vahakainu (Finland), the Chairman of the Japanese Short Wave Club (JSWC) Toshimichi Ohtake, from Australia Chris Martin and Ray Crawford, and myself.
Several lectures were given and current DX topics discussed during the Convention. Their problems are the same as here in Europe. Very few young people feel attracted by our hobby resulting in falling number of members (currently about 350, some years ago 900) and increasing average age of the members. Toshi Ohtake could report that in the 1970 there were 400,000 Shortwave Listeners in Japan. Today there are only 400 members in the JSWC, but they are real DXers. The future of our hobby therefore was discussed and particularly how the internet can best be utilized to attract newcomers.
The Convention had several nice social events, such as a DX Quiz, greetings over the air ﬁom various broadcasters, a scenic tour, a golf putting contest, a Radio Sprint Contest (identify certain speciﬁed broadcasters within a limited time), an auction and of course DXing during the dark hours where several North Americans and SER Santander, Spain 1485 kHz were heard on MW.
Saturday at 1pm a delicious Anniversary Dinner was held at a coastal restaurant with 50 DXers and wives taking part. Amongst them was one of the founders of NZRDXL, Jack Fox. Many other oldtimers had shown up and told their stories about how they did DXing hack in the forties and ﬁfties. Interesting to note that the spirit of DXers at that time was the same as we all know it today.
It was really a pleasure to meet all these friendly and uncomplicated DXers in New Zealand, and the DSWCI wishes the NZRDXL all the best on its next 50 years.
Anker is Chairman of DSWCI, on behalf of his organisation, presented the League with a pictorial book about Denmark to mark the 50th anniversary. This article ﬁrst appeared in the March 1998 edition DSWCI’s “Shortwave News “