It was a double celebration for the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club on Saturday with members commemorating 60 years in the community as well as news of a new clubhouse.
The club enjoyed a luncheon event before hosting an open day for residents to attend to find out more about their radio endeavours.
Event-goers Ryan Flynn and his children Kaylee and Xander Hogan-Kelly and Dalyhla Burke said they were excited to see what radios could do.
“We’ve been learning about radios and the morse code,” Dalyhla said.
“Kids don’t normally get to learn about radios and stuff unless they are out on a farm,” Ryan added.
“So this is a great opportunity.”
Club secretary David Nebe said members were in the midst of moving to their new location, the old scout den in Bundaberg North, and he thanked the local scout groups for allowing them to find another home.
“With the radio club we do something call JOTA – Jamboree On The Air – and we have been doing that for over 30 years with the local scouts,” David said.
“It’s an annual worldwide event where the kids get to use the radio gear to talk to other scouts all over the world.
“It just so happened that they said we could use their unused scout den here over North – and it is really suitable for us.”
Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club WICEN coordinator Gail Lidden said throughout their 60 years in the community the club had been able to assist in many situations.
“Our equipment is totally portable, so that’s how WICEN works to provide comms in an emergency when there is no electricity,” Gail said.
“They can take us in a helicopter or a flood boat in an emergency to help communicate.”
Gail said one example of the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club’s support was during the 2013 floods when she ran the Bundaberg North station which was isolated with no electricity.
“It was about eight days and people would call in and I would relay a message over radio to town and the communication would get out,” she said.
“Whether it was helping stranded tourists or calling for an ambulance, we were able to help through radio.
“We had fruit pickers who couldn’t reach their family and I called over to one of our members who lived on the town side and they were able to Skype call them and tell them they were okay.”
Gail said at the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club the sky was the limit when it came to communication, whether it was working with radios or talking to astronauts.
“We have state-of-the-art radio equipment or you can be as old-fashioned as you want,” she said.
To find out more about Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club click here.