Over Easter weekend, the normal quietness of Otokitoki Camp at Godley Head
Christchurch was shattered by the 50 Dxers and helpers who settled in for
Convention 77. The unseasonal warm weather, some fine DX catches and a busy round of social activities all helped to make the event a memorable one for those who attended. With League-members from all over NZ, Austrelia and Hawaii, Convention 77 surely was an international event.
Registration at Friendship House set the pace for the weekend, and the
organizers had visions of their programme going all to pieces when the scheduled 15 minute tours of Radio Avon became up to an hour long! The staff at the station went out of their way to field difficult questions from the probing DXers. It was also learnt that 3XA will move to 1260kHz with the new frequency allocations .Then, along that long and winding road to the Convention site and the first of many good feeds.
On the first night, the power noise had many worried that the site might be
poor for DX. A little Aussie ingenuity and some DXers huddled around their sets
out in the open proved otherwise. Tables and chairs under the trees, longwires,
loops, and spotlights were all put to use, and the weekend provided some
Keith and Gwen Glover from Melbourne were Convention VIPs and the well known voice of Keith was heard on Saturday morning as a very successful auction. Bidding for some items was quite strong and vintage radio magazines were very popular. Volume 1, Number 1 of “Tune In” fetched $10.50, a VOA pennant $6.50 and some special Radio Australia car stickers reached $5.00, Overall support for the auction was good, and the 150 items offered put Convention ’77 on a sound financial footing. Bob Boundy became known as the “Five Cent Man”!
A trip to Ferrymead Historic Park was well received and the vintage radio display brought back many memories. Restored trams and steam trains carried the
visitors around the site. Then it was off to Sumner for some, drinks, a slap-up
meal, and a funny movie which left at least one local DXer in a poor state for
DXing. Meanwhile another group had returned to Godley Head, and fish and chips was the lure for the Latins, with fine reception from Central and South
on the broadcast band.
Sunday morning and the rain came. A mid-morning start was made along the scenic Summit Road, through Gebbies Pass, and on to Akaroa, where sunshine and blue skies abounded. A French language station was heard well and for a time it thought that Radio Akaroa was on the air; A badly timed Radio Australia ID ended the ruse, but the French atmosphere of the town was brought to life.
some took the time to wander around, others tried to find a key to unlock the
pavilion. An excellent picnic meal followed, and then news of yet another Canterbury first — branch members Lance and Gay Johnston became the proud parents of a little baby girl!
Keith Glover presented League President Sutton Burtenshaw with an Aboriginie
boomerang and received a miniature New Zealand flag in return. The weekend also saw over 20 DXers attend a special meeting of the Adelaide based Southern Cross DX Club. As well as the usual DX competitions, prizes went to Chris Martin the best FM reception — Christchurch Airport; to Merv Branks as the oldest DXer present; to Peter Mott as youngest DXer; and to Norm Maguire of Honolulu as the most distant DXer present. The usual convention goodies were all made available and the Voice of America turned up trumps with bicentennial pens, cups, rings and balloons!
The DX was good. Many aerials were available, as well as wire for temporary
rigs. Several hundred yards east of the camp found the MW DXers out in force
for portable reception. The evening brought cand Surinam lear reception of Monte Carlo opening at 014145 GMT, and carriers from Sevilla 775, Nice 1557. and Munich 1602. Latins included stations from Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Surinam. Signals from the Caribbean area were Antigua 1165, Bahamas 1540, Caymans 1555, Dominica 595 and 545, Haiti 1035, and St Kitts 1265.
At 5am on Monday morning DXers sat outside in a warm breeze to hear 2CC, JOQR and KZOO, all on 1210 with Radio Otago off for 15 minutes, and a fine ID from elusive KHLO 850 at 5.50am. Middle East, India and Indonesia were well heard.
The DX specials were highlighted by VL2NI Norfolk Island. This 50 Watter pounded through with a fine series of calls and music. For 50 minutes, ears
strained on 1490 for Lord Howe Island but 2AY proved just too strong. Most of
the action focused on MW, but SW calls from Radio Australia were well heard,
other calls were scheduled from Radio Bucharest, Radio Prague, Radio RSA,
Radio Nacional de Brasilia and Radio Tashkent. DX prizes included an award to
Ash Nallawalla for a 10kw AIR outlet and Bruce Cavanagh with Benin 4870 for
the best African. Merv managed to log Radio Australia!
Covention 77 was a great time for all, with bargains at the auction, plenty of
time to meet and talk with those faces behind the names, some exotic DX,
the hard working Hadlers – Carol, Helen and Susan, the CB boys who kept contact with the outside world, the Alaskans who didn’t quite make it, and the
cows at night! The Canterbury folks found hardly any problems to worry thcm and had as much fun as their visitors. The organisers would like to say thank you
to everyone who made Convention 77 run so well – your help made it all worthwhile. After 15 hours sleep I woke up to find out that I missed DXing, so
I will be making plans now to attend Convention 78 at Tiwai! Now, where
I put those gumbo0t? – Penned by David Ricquish.
Convention Roll Call:
Paul Aronsen, Invercargill
Ray Babbage, Wellington
Keith Barton, Adelaide
Jim Benzoni, Hamilton
Bob Boundy, Christchurch
Pamela Boundy, Chruistchurch
Merv Branks, Invercargill
Philip Brooks, Wanganui
Jim Buckley, Sydney
Sutton Burtenshaw, Invercargill
Ian Cattermole, Blenheim
Bruce Cavanagh, Invercargill
Bryan Clark, Wellington
Lance Cullen, Invercargill
Arthurn Cushen, Invercargill
Alan Gilmour, Greymouth
Keith & Gwen Glover, Meklbourne
Austin Hadler, Christchurch
David Hadler, Christchurch
Gerald Harper, Christchurch
Jamie Hines, Christchurch
Lance Johnston, Christchurch
Tony King, Wellington
Chris Mackerell, Christchurch
David McNabb, Nelson
Norman Maguire, Honolulu
Chris Martin, Sydney
Ernie Moore, Brisbane
Peter Mott, Christchurch
Ash Nallawalla, Dunedin
Bert Nettleton, Christchurch
John Newman, Oamaru
Bruce Officer, Christchurch
Paul Ormandy, Oamaru
David Ricquish, Christchurch
Jack Searle, Haumoana
Mike Smith, Matamata
Harry Weatheryley, Melbourne
Andrew White, Christchruch
Brian Withers, Christchurch