It has been 35 years since the founding of the Association of North American Radio Clubs ("ANARC"). While rummaging through ANARC's archives during my tenure as Chairman of the Executive Board, I came across some early letters written by one of ANARC's founding fathers, Donald N. Jensen. I found the early, formative days of the association fascinating reading, which, I hope, others might enjoy reading about too. Many of the themes that plagued ANARC in its past have their roots in the 1960s. History repeats itself and provides an interesting opportunity to learn. So, to help celebrate ANARC's 35 years of continuous operation to the hobby community, I have written this retrospective based on Don's writings. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy reading about this slice of hobby history.
On February 10, 1964, Don Jensen (acting Executive Secretary) wrote a letter to various club officers concerning the formation of an association of DX clubs. Quoting from the opening portion of Don's letter:
The time has come for the long discussed alliance of the North American DX clubs to begin to actually take shape. Many club officials and individual DXers have discussed the advantages of such a group on this continent patterned after the successful "DXAlliasen" of the Swedish clubs. The advantages of such a federation of DXing clubs in the area of interchange of information, setting of standards, and speaking to the world with one voice seem obvious if the clubs get behind this effort and contribute their full cooperation.
First, to still any initial fears, I must point out that the alliance is not an attempt to replace any of the existing clubs with a sort of "Super-club." This proposal to form the alliance is a move toward strengthening of each individual club, large or small, through mutual co-operation.
I have volunteered my services as acting Executive Secretary of the alliance to help get it "off the ground." I emphasize the "acting" designation since in due course an elected leader will be chosen to replace me in accord with normal democratic procedures. However, someone must take the first steps. Several persons in the DX hobby have already pledged their support in the initial phases, including Hank Bennett, editor of the Popular Electronics short wave sections, one of the proponents of the alliance of North American clubs. I would like to point out that though we hope to receive assistance in the way of publicity from Popular Electronics, we are in no sense a "child" of this magazine. This federation will be an autonomous group co-operating with all magazines and news media.
The letter went on to summarize some of the possible provisions the new alliance's constitution should include, and solicited comments from the clubs. It was envisioned that Don would remain acting secretary for about six months after approval of a constitution, at which time the representatives would elect an Executive Secretary to a two-year term.
Some of the early examples of action the alliance might undertake included a survey of various problems besetting the DX hobby, a program to interest new DXers, setting of verification standards, country list, etc. Individual DXers might submit a matter for consideration through a club representative.
In closing, acting Executive Secretary Jensen suggested that clubs (1) determine if they would be joining the alliance, (2) appoint a representative, and (3) submit any suggestions in connection with the proposed constitution or any other aspect of the alliance.
The alliance was filled with great promise, as can be gathered from Don's closing remarks:
|I have great faith that the alliance can help to correct many of the problems a number of clubs and the hobby in general are facing today. I hope that all clubs in North America will participate. The idea of this federation is to work for this in the most democratic way possible. I hope that I may hear from you as soon as possible. Thanks!|
And so ended the first official effort at forming a North American alliance of radio clubs.
By early March 1964, Acting Executive Secretary Don Jensen had a pretty good idea that the proposed alliance of North American Radio Clubs would get off the ground. A number of clubs had already indicated they were willing to participate and had appointed their representatives. A reminder was sent out to those clubs that had not responded in the first 30 days, and additional clubs were contacted.
On April 1, 1964, the Association's first constitution was ready for discussion. Quoting from Acting Executive Secretary Jensen: "We are now ready to take the second big step in the formation of a continent-wide league of radio clubs." Up to this point, at least 10 clubs, including all the important ones of the day, indicated an interest in participating. A number of favorable comments and offers of assistance were also received from European clubs.
The first constitution tried to be sufficiently specific to provide definite guidance toward common goals, but not so restrictive that it would penalize either the large or small clubs. The goal of the constitution was to create a federation of sovereign clubs, not a "super club."
On April 20, 1964, the results of the balloting were announced. The constitution, which was voted on article by article, and section by section within each article, was overwhelmingly approved. Twelve sections were approved unanimously, while the other four sections were approved by either 10-1 or 9- 2 votes. Acting Chairman Jensen proudly proclaimed: ". . . I'm pleased to announce that a majority vote was received for each article and section, hence the Association of North American Radio Clubs (A.N.A.R.C.) is now formally organized." In accordance with previous decisions, Jensen's Acting Executive Secretary term began on April 20 and continued for six months.
The following eleven clubs were the charter members of the new association: American Shortwave Listeners Club, Canadian DX Club, Canadian International DX Club, Folcroft Radio Club, Great Lakes Shortwave DX Club, Kentucky DXers Association, National Radio Club, Inc., Newark News Radio Club, North American Shortwave Association, Shortwave Listeners-Certificate Hunters Club, and Worldwide Monitors Radio Club
Four of the charter member clubs still belong to the association in one form or another. Among the charter members that still operate under their original names are: the Canadian International DX Club, and the North American Shortwave Association. The Worldwide Monitors Radio Club became the Worldwide TV-FM DX Association in the late 1960s. Finally, the National Radio Club, Inc. changed its name to the current International Radio Club of America. American Shortwave Listeners Club recently closed its doors. The Newark News Radio Club passed on in the early 1980s, with many of its former members founding the Association of DX Reporters, which subsequently passed away in the 1990s.
The first two proposals requiring a vote of the club representatives were:
Proposal 1: That the fee for each member club of ANARC will be $2 (U.S.) per representative, to be paid by the club. This fee for the first year of operation will be used to cover postal, stationary, etc. costs. Any surplus remaining at the end of a year's time will be carried over to the following year. According to this schedule, clubs with one rep. will pay $2, clubs with 2 reps. will pay $4, clubs with three reps. will pay $6.
Proposal 2-That ANARC sponsor a permanent hall of fame to which outstanding persons in the radio listening field could be named, in a similar manner to the well-known baseball hall of fame. Proposal suggests a committee of 8-10 be chosen to receive nominations, from these committee members (directors) a decision will be made to select those individuals to the hall of fame, with the announcement of recipients announced once a year, Jan. 1. Suggestion continues, four or five members of the hall of fame selected first year, thereafter, two per year. Members so honored could be listeners, broadcasting personalities, editors, writers in the radio field, etc. Further details to be worked out by committee of directors.
With a constitution approved and some business proposals on the table, the new association was off and running.
In May 1964 some bad news surfaced. The Short Wave Listeners-Certificate Hunters Club withdrew from ANARC. Club representative Garry Hammond apologized for the decision, but it was necessary in light of communications from its parent group in California that it should not "subordinate" itself to another group.
The proposal concerning the establishment of fees passed without opposition, 11-0. The proposal concerning the hall of fame was mixed, with six "yes" votes, three "no" votes, and two club representatives completely indifferent to the plan. Most of the negative votes felt it was premature, and there were other more pressing problems to tackle first. It was determined that the narrow vote did not indicate enough general support for the project, so a committee was not appointed at this time.
In late April, the Benelux DX Club sent a communication to all major clubs and organizations in the world about establishing a program designed to move shortwave stations which were not currently issuing QSL cards to verify reports from listeners. It was hoped that a survey of stations that are not verifying would help DXers in selecting stations to send their reports to. The Association's third proposal was to send a communication to the Benelux DX Club in support of their plan to survey non-verifying stations.
The next proposal concerned the establishment of a central clearinghouse for information about courtesy programs. It was hoped that a coordinating committee, appointed by the Executive Secretary, would enable information about such courtesy programs to be spread to all ANARC member clubs. It was also hoped that the "special ANARC committee would arrange occasional courtesy programs for the benefit of all listeners featuring both BCB and SWBC stations."
The next area of focus was the subject of country lists. Many of the club representatives addressed this subject in correspondence with Acting Executive Secretary Jensen. Don thought more discussion was called for prior to taking a vote on the subject. He hoped the club representatives ". . . won't become discouraged because we don't solve all the hobby's problems in a couple of months. As I see it, the big problem now is for ANARC to gain stature in the eyes of the members of the DXing fraternity. We can try to gain stature by concentrating now on mainly service projects such as proposals 3 and 4, those ideas that are within immediate practicality, or we can plow right into the major controversies that have plagued the hobby for years. I hope we can prove we have something real and worthwhile to offer and grow in strength before we tackle all the major problems at once."
By late June the National Radio Club was welcomed to the association. Their club representative was Ray Edge. Apparently the American Shortwave Listeners Club's ("ASWLC") board of directors never authorized the spokesman who said the club would join ANARC. One member of the club accused ANARC of "skullduggery" to coerce the ASWLC to join. The club was undergoing a reorganization, and more news was expected to arrive in the succeeding months.
The National Radio Club, Inc. of Denver, Colorado changed its name to the International Radio Club of America. Its growing membership was now above the 100 mark. The Folcroft Radio Club of Folcroft, Pennsylvania merged with a group known as DX InterNationale, of Newton, Massachusetts.
Proposals three and four each passed with 12 "yes" votes and zero "nay" votes. As a result, a letter was sent to the Benelux DX Club in support of the plan to survey the non-verifying stations as outlined in the proposal. The club representatives were encouraged to have their bulletins publish information about this activity so members of the various clubs could participate. Acting Executive Secretary Don Jensen was busy looking for an individual to serve as chairman of a committee to handle the details of compiling data on courtesy programs during the coming year.
One of the club representatives suggested that the ANARC clubs exchange bulletins, which would promote goodwill, friendship and closer ties between member clubs. It was further proposed that ANARC headquarters be furnished a copy of each club's bulletin. Instead of putting this to a vote, Don suggested voluntary compliance was the best course of action.
The issue of adopting an ANARC country list was put into proposal form:
|Proposal 5-(a) ANARC should adopt a country list. Yes or No. If you vote yes, vote for either (b) or (c). (b) ANARC should adopt the following list as its standard: NNRC's, ARRL's, Other. (c) ANARC should adopt a list; however, the Exec. Secty. is empowered to select a committee of three persons. This committee would determine the list to be used, by either adopting some existing list, creating a new list, or a combination of both. This committee would be delegated to maintain a current list and interpret it in good conscience.|
In closing June's business it was suggested that the club representatives might want to consider drafting some sort of code of ethics or set of precepts, which would be printed by the clubs.
The summer of 1964 saw a decrease in activity by the club representatives. August's letter saw a divided vote on establishing an ANARC country list. There were four votes for adopting no list at all; there were four votes for adopting the NNRC country list; there were three votes for establishing a committee to develop an independent list; and one vote for accepting the ARRL country list. As provided in the Association's constitution, Acting Executive Secretary Jensen cast the tie-breaking vote for not adopting a country list. He felt the great differences of opinion made the project not worthy of consideration at that time.
Two more clubs decided to affiliate with ANARC. A change in policy at the American Shortwave Listeners Club II ("ASWLC-II"), newly reorganized by Gerry Klinck, brought ASWLC-II into the Association. The American Central Radio Club, under the direction of Richard Wood, also affiliated itself with ANARC. The International Radio Club of America ("IRCA") sent word that membership was then at 127.
Letters from individuals seeking information about clubs were coming into headquarters as a result of an article in Radio-TV Experimenter. This steady flow of such requests eventually resulted in the development of the first club list.
Bill Wilson of San Mateo, California was appointed to set up a system to coordinate information on scheduled courtesy programs. Bill was the Courtesy Program Committee chairman for the IRCA.
ANARC fees were slowly coming in, with NASA, CDXC, CIDXC, NNRC, Great Lakes Shortwave Club, NRC and Worldwide Radio Monitors Clubs recently paying.
The club reps were informed about a possible courtesy program from Radio Gambia on 4.820 Mcs. It was too early to be certain of the details, but it looked promising.
Some of the smaller clubs were interested in ANARC printing their bulletins as a service. Unfortunately, the association was not in a position to offer this service.
Acting Executive Secretary Jensen informed the club representatives that his term would end on October 15 and an election was necessary for the two- year post of Executive Secretary. He hoped that the Association could be turned over to some new blood to keep the organization moving forward.
The NNRC proposed allowing more time to consider proposals. The then- current policy was just 30 days. The NNRC proposed a 90-day period. Don suggest that the club representatives might want to consider a 60-day period too. A supplemental letter issued only six days later told the representatives that they could keep the 30-day period if they so desired.
In September 1964, the results of balloting showed five votes to lengthen the period for club representatives to consider proposals to 90 days; two votes to lengthen the period to 60 days; and eight votes to keep it at 30 days. Basically, most felt keeping things moving was in the best interests of ANARC.
Fred Woodley, the Canadian DX Club ("CDXC") representative, proposed an ANARC sponsored annual award to go to the person who is outstanding in the hobby of DXing. The project was viewed as simpler and more workable than the "hall of fame" project proposed earlier in the year. CDXC offered to donate a plaque, which would be engraved with each winner's name. One of the proposed names for the award was "Outstanding North American DXer of the Year."
The topic of an Executive Secretary election was heating up. Only Gerry Klinck, the new Executive Editor of the American Shortwave Listeners Club II, had been proposed to run for the position. As a result of a number of representatives asking the acting Executive Secretary to reconsider his prior position, Don Jensen agreed to stand for election to provide the clubs with a choice during the first Executive Secretary election. Dick England of the Worldwide Monitors Radio Club was appointed ballot clerk for the election.
C. M. Stanbury II, writing in the ASWLC II bulletin, was very positive about the potential of ANARC, but expressed some concerns about the Association not actually representing their memberships unless the club representatives canvassed their memberships prior to each vote. According to Stan, too many DX clubs were the creatures of one man or a small group, which did not provide members with an opportunity to be heard. He feared the formation of a "super dictatorship."
The Denver-based International Radio Club of America continued its growth by reporting 159 members. Under the Association's voting structure, they were now entitled to an additional representative. All the clubs, except DX InterNationale, had paid its dues. A few of the representatives suggested getting together for a face to face meeting to discuss ANARC business.
Closing out the month's business, Don Jensen noted a number of subtle changes taking place in the hobby. Clubs that had had little contact previously were now running features and news items about other clubs. There was greater interest in exchanging bulletins among the clubs. There seemed to be less interest in petty, jealous arguments that previously dominated the hobby scene. While not claiming ANARC was responsible for all the progress, Don felt the association deserved some credit for the positive changes unfolding.
In October 1964, ballot clerk Dick England reported the results of the first Executive Secretary election. With 12 votes, Don Jensen became the first elected Executive Secretary of ANARC. Gerry Klinck received two votes, and was immediately asked by Don to furnish his thoughts and concerns about the problems of the hobby as the Association moved along.
The "Man of the Year" award was approved by a 7-5 tally. It was pointed out that three of the nay votes didn't like the idea of a traveling trophy. Therefore a certificate was proposed to be added which the winner would keep. Each club was asked to begin the nomination process within their respective clubs for this award. A committee of experts would determine the winners based on the documentation submitted. The club representatives were asked not to exceed three pages in support of each candidate.
A special transmission over Radio Gambia was scheduled for December 15, 1964 at 2015 GMT. Wide publicity was being received for this event which was giving ANARC considerable recognition in the hobby community.
The exchange of information about courtesy programs fell through for the season. The smaller clubs appeared uninterested in participating even though they would have been the big winners in this exchange. One club refused to participate because of the individual selected as the committee chairman.
Each month, more and more people were writing to ANARC headquarters to receive information about the Association and its member clubs. As a result, Don Jensen developed a listing of the clubs, which resulted in many new members for the Association's clubs.
Because it did not pay its annual fee, and for not communicating with headquarters, DX InterNationale was dropped from the Association's membership list in November 1964. In December, a letter was received from Bill Wilson, president of DX InterNationale, which stated that their club had officially voted not to affiliate with ANARC. Apparently a referendum of the membership ended in a tie vote which was broken by the executive body of that club.
Each month the club representatives were being asked to begin working on their DXer of the Year award nominations, which were due on February 1, 1965.
The American Shortwave Listeners Club II passed the 150-member mark, which gave them an additional club representative. The newly appointed representative was Bill Sparks of San Francisco.
December saw a flurry of business activity. First, C. M. Stanbury proposed an amendment to the ANARC Constitution which would require each club to hold a referendum putting the question of standards or ethics before their membership before any proposal to be addressed by ANARC could be voted upon. Stan felt it was inappropriate for a handful of people who control the clubs and publish the bulletins to establish the standards for the hobby as a whole. As an amendment, it would require a 2/3 vote for passage.
Closely connected with Stan's proposal was a counter proposal in the form of a resolution by John Callarman. John's resolution would enable each individual club to decide if it wanted to adopt any standards of ethics ultimately developed by ANARC. As a resolution, it would only require a majority vote for passage.
Stan also proposed that after each vote a listing of how each club representative voted should be published in the newsletter by the Executive Secretary. Don pointed out that election results were available if individuals were interested, since he considered them a matter of public record. However, if the club representatives wanted them published, he would gladly do whatever they wished in this matter.
As 1965 began it was time to address the three ballot issues that closed out 1964's business. It was determined that a breakdown of who voted for which issues should be published by an 8-7 tally. Thus, official vote breakdowns were thereafter published after each balloting.
The constitutional amendment proposed by C. M. Stanbury II which would provide for a referendum by the membership of each club prior to any ANARC action on matters pertaining to the establishment of hobby standards received five "yes" votes and 10 "no" votes. Since it required a 2/3, i.e. 11 out of the 16 votes, the amendment failed by 6 votes.
The resolution by John Callarman, which rejected the amendment concept for issues pertaining to standards by allowing each club to decide for themselves, was passed in a 7-6 vote. The resolution was non-binding.
Executive Secretary Jensen's remarks probably summed up the thought of most club representatives on these issues: "In my mind, while a noble thought, it isn't practical . . . the number of hobbyists represented (over 2,000) would make this 'town meeting' form of democracy break down. . . Means are provided for interested individuals making their desires known to their representatives . . . A point that should perhaps be emphasized again is that regardless of what actions the ANARC might approve, there is no way it can enforce its will upon a club that does not decide voluntarily to follow that action . . . We can only succeed with the goodwill and voluntary compliance of the various clubs. Any attempt to force compliance will only fail, I'm sure!"
The results of the Radio Gambia special on December 15, 1994 were disappointing. Only a half dozen reports were received. None could be verified. The quality of the reports was shockingly poor. Other than the publicity value received by ANARC for scheduling it, the special program was of no practical value to DXers.
Nominations for the DXer of the Year award were received from only two clubs, the International Radio Club of America and the Canadian DX Club. Contacts with the Newark News Radio Club and the American Shortwave Listeners Club II indicated they would be forwarding their nominations soon. The February 1, 1965 deadline was rapidly approaching and most clubs had not been heard from. Concern was expressed that not enough support was being received for this activity.
A list of problems ANARC should tackle was presented. As a result, Don suggested the possible formation of two committees. The first would be a manufacturer's liaison committee, which would have the responsibility of funneling ideas about needed equipment from members of the public. The second would be a watchdog committee which would deal with various listener-station problems, such as the non-QSLing matter presently of interest, urging stations to announce frequencies rather than just meter bands, etc.
February 1965 was both a low point and a turning point for ANARC. Quoting from Executive Secretary Jensen's February 11, 1965 letter to the club representatives: "In view of things that have occurred since the last newsletter, and following a general review by the Executive Secretary of the activities of ANARC during the past many months, it seems it is time for all of us to take stock of what the Association has done, and, more specifically, failed to do so far. It is time to consider the path ANARC is to follow in the future!"
The lack of response to the DXer of the Year award nominations was viewed as the latest in a long series of problems with ANARC. Don pointed out "that virtually all the other projects, including the efforts to establish a country list standard and the special BCB broadcast information exchange, either didn't pass or flopped after passage because of lack of interest." It was pointed out that not one progressive action designed to help the hobby has been successfully carried to completion. Perhaps the most significant accomplishment of ANARC had been to smooth relations between the clubs. Many felt ANARC should lead the way to progressive steps that would help all DXers.
Without more nominations being received for the DXer of the Year award, it was determined that it would be only a hollow honor. Since only three nominations were received, it was assumed the other seven clubs were no longer interested in the award. Therefore, consideration was given to canceling it.
Don Jensen felt part of the blame for ANARC not having managed to carry out any sort of progressive steps to help the hobby was the scatter-gun approach taken to date. While Don briefly considered resigning, he determined a new approach might be worth trying first.
With the thought of concentrating on just a few projects at one time, Don announced the formation of three committees. The first was the Broadcasters' Liaison Committee, with Richard Wood volunteering to work on areas of frequency interference problems and poor station verification policies. The second was the Manufacturers Liaison Committee. C. M. Stanbury II was asked to head this committee, which would express listeners' desires in radio equipment. The third was the Ethics Study Committee, with John Callarman being asked to chair this group. It was left open that one more committee might be established that would have specific interest in the BCB or ham listeners, since they might feel left out by the above committees.
The following month Don reported that Richard Wood felt the Broadcasters Liaison Committee "can get progress in this if we unite." A number of representatives felt work should proceed with poor verifiers. John Callarman called to accept the Ethics Study Committee position. John had already contacted a number of people in the hobby to serve on his committee. C. M. Stanbury accepted the chairmanship of the Manufacturers Liaison Committee.
The latest edition of the American Shortwave Listeners Club II bulletin said that C. M. Stanbury II became the new Executive Editor with Gerry Klinck continuing as publisher. The club had recently become all shortwave broadcast DX oriented.
In March 1965, Don Jensen unveiled the Association's first stationery, which was a relatively plain, one-color effort to fit ANARC's limited funds. Stationery was sent to each of the committee chairmen.
A financial report through March revealed that the Association operated with a $6.10 deficit since its inception. Receipts of $40.00 ($32.00 in fees and $8.00 in anonymous donations) were offset by $46.10 of operating expenditures ($15.00 for postage plus $21.80 for letterhead stationery, among other costs). It was expected that the Association would operate in the black in a year or two, so fees were kept the same for the next fiscal year.
A number of favorable comments were received about ANARC's "new look" based on the establishment of committees to tackle a few worthwhile projects.
C. M. Stanbury's Manufacturers Liaison Committee was seeking input from SWLs, regardless of club affiliation, about the subject. The Frequency Recommendations Committee, under Richard Wood, sent a letter to all stations broadcasting to North America about seeking co-operation with international broadcasting stations in selection of choice frequencies at all times of the year.
On April 20, 1965, ANARC celebrated the conclusion of one-year of official operations. With that message, Executive Secretary Jensen reminded the club representatives that it was time to pay the annual fees to finance the association's operations.
Jerry Seckal replaced Dick England as the representative of the Worldwide Monitors Radio Club. Eric Madson, the new representative of the Great Lakes Short Wave Club, presented his biography in the April 1965 newsletter.
Richard Wood reported that August Balbi and Joe Rudolph joined the Frequency Recommendation Committee. Excellent progress was reported in May. Favorable responses had been received from Radio Nederland, Trans World Radio in Monaco, Radio Cairo, Radio Amman, Radio Bucharest, Radio Beirut, Radio Sweden and Radio Australia. By June, the committee was already suggesting frequency modifications to some of the participating stations. Chairman Wood reported the addition of Warren Nordgren to the group. It was reported that Doug Benson would head a subgroup of this committee to be called the Positive Frequency Identification subcommittee. Doug would attempt to convince the stations to announce their exact frequencies in use, not merely their meter bands.
In April, C. M. Stanbury reported that he was still looking for members to serve on the Manufacturers Liaison Committee. He reported in May that his initial contacts were not too successful. It was considered to be a very difficult problem to convince manufacturers that the SWL market is worth consideration. By June, Stan reported Paul R. Donegan, Fred Parsons, Gordon Schiff, W. C. Klontz, Francis Brown and Todd Graves, Jr. had joined the committee. The Heath Company was the first manufacturer with whom the committee was able to report having favorable communications on this subject.
The growing problem of poor quality reception reports appeared to be the concern of numerous club bulletins during 1965. The recent experience with the Radio Gambia special broadcast, and visits to stations by DXers, revealed a deep-rooted problem. Don urged a seasoned DXer to step forward and tackle this problem as head of an ANARC committee.
The fees from the International Radio Club of America, the National Radio Club and the Kentucky DXers Association were not received as June closed. It was speculated that the Kentucky group may have ceased operations. On a positive note, a board member of DX InterNationale suggested the club was once again considering affiliation with ANARC, now that it had completed a reorganization. DXI membership just passed the 100 mark in June 1965.
Some representatives expressed a concern that ANARC should be trying to attract more listeners who are presently not members of any club to join one or more of the affiliated clubs. Unfortunately, there were no concrete suggestions on how to go about this.
In July 1965, Ethics Study Committee Chairman John Callarman reported that a questionnaire was going out to about 16-20 people, active and experienced in various phases of the hobby. This questionnaire was designed to ask those DXers their opinions on important questions pertaining to the hobby. By September, 36 experts in all phases of the hobby had been contacted.
Doug Benson's Positive Frequency Identification subcommittee reported eight persons interested in supporting the group, mostly through the efforts of Serge Neuman's ASWLC column and Benson's column in NASA. To date a letter had been sent to seven different broadcasters about the listener's side of this question.
The National Radio Club passed the 350-member mark, entitling them to an additional club representative. Under a reorganization, the three representatives became John Callarman, Dick Cooper and Ernie Cooper. Only the International Radio Club of America's fee was uncollected at this point. Official word from the Kentucky DXers Association indicated that that club no longer existed, since none of the elected officers wanted to accept the position of executive editor. The club was seeking to merge with another ANARC club or a club that would be interested in becoming an ANARC-affiliated club.
An issue of clubs putting out bulletins was raised. Apparently some clubs had periodic problems publishing a regular bulletin. Many felt it was not appropriate for these clubs to be members of the association without a regular bulletin being published. Although there were past problems, the intent was for all member clubs to publish a regular bulletin.
Closing out July's business was an interesting proposal from the Canadian DX Club ("CDXC"). Club representatives Fred Woodley and Dave Bennett proposed the establishment of an annual ANARC convention. This was discussed during the CDXC convention in early July. Quoting from their letter: "We had several suitable cities suggested, but the one suggestion that seemed to meet with the most approval was that we approach ANARC regarding organizing a yearly get together for all members of all clubs in the organization; sort of a master convention. This would, of course, provide convention fun for members of clubs so small they don't now attempt a convention of their own (or don't do so for other reasons). It would provide an excellent opportunity for all members of all clubs to get to meet DXers outside their own groups. It would provide an opportunity-the same opportunity-for the heads of all clubs to get together to discuss mutual and hobby problems, and give ANARC a chance to hold a meeting some time during the convention weekend to discuss matters of interest." Comments from all the clubs were sought.
As the new DX season began in September, a discussion about allowing the West Indian DX Association to affiliate with ANARC took place and the matter resulted in putting the subject before the clubs as a ballot issue. The representatives seemed split on whether this group would be eligible for membership in the Association.
A number of representatives supported the preliminary thoughts about holding an ANARC convention. However, it was pointed out that a committee would need to be formed to take care of the local arrangements. Don Jensen solicited support in moving this matter forward. It was put on the ballot for a formal vote of the club representatives.
Todd Graves of the Manufacturers Liaison Committee reported that Hallicrafters was changing its policy and would put greater emphasis on SWL equipment. It was suggested that perhaps mail order firms be encouraged to allow a 10-20 day period for the purchaser to evaluate new equipment before being committed to its purchase.
Thanks to a suggestion from Jim Rzadkiewicz, the representative from the Canadian International DX Club, the Association's first club list concept was born. Jim suggested adding information to the list Executive Secretary Jensen was using for those who wrote in seeking club information. Each club was encouraged to get four to six lines of information about their organization into Jensen for the new list.
In October 1965 there was much committee activity for the representatives to digest. Stan Stanbury appointed Fred L. Parsons to the position of vice- chair of the Manufacturers Liaison Committee. By November, Paul Donegan of the committee reported the complete technical breakdown of the new Heath GR-54 receiver. Richard Wood of the Frequency Recommendations Committee was in an automobile accident and had been disabled for a few weeks, which resulted in his committee being a little less active during the latter portion of 1965. Warren Nordgren of the committee had to decrease his efforts due to other more pressing situations. The Positive Frequency ID Recommendations subcommittee chaired by Doug Benson was disbanded after having completed its work. DXer Gerry Dexter, on an informal pilot basis, was looking into the problem of poor station verification policies.
DX InterNationale ("DXI") affiliated itself with ANARC once again, with Wayne Segal as its representative. The International Radio Club of America reorganized, with Paul Kilpatrick as president. Its new representatives were K. G. (Gray) Scrimgeour and Dick Heiser. Don Jensen reported the loss of the NRC's first club representative to ANARC, Ray Edge, who died in an auto accident in October. The status of the Great Lakes Short Wave Club was unknown since they hadn't been heard from since April 1965.
There was much talk about the feasibility of forming a professionally published, all-band DX magazine in many club bulletins. By December it became clear that Jim Howard would launch a new monthly printed magazine for DXers, called SWL News, in January 1966.
Balloting results showed 10 in favor of accepting full affiliation of the West Indies DX Association with ANARC, while three favored associate membership. Nobody voted to totally reject affiliation. There were 12 "yes" votes for holding an ANARC convention in 1966, with only one vote against. Although no clear cut winner in sites was determined, opinion definitely favored the Great Lakes region.
It was hoped that forming a convention would not fall flat on its face like many other ANARC activities that needed volunteers to make them happen. A committee was being put together to help develop the convention idea. A target date of January 31, 1966 was established for formation of the committee. To be successful, each of the clubs would need to promote the convention in their respective bulletins.
November's business closed with an idea from Wayne Segal of DXI: "DXI would like to suggest the establishment and maintenance of an ANARC Bank. This bank would operate on the concept of the United Nations World bank. Its goal would be to aid member clubs which find themselves in sudden financial debt and chaos. Each club would be asked to contribute one certain set amount, say $5, and this money would go into a savings account at a local bank in Racine in the name of the ANARC members, where it would grow. Then should an organization suddenly find itself without funds for some emergency, it can communicate with the ANARC executive and if the reasons weight sufficient merit, proper emergency funds would be appropriated. And when said club is 'back on its feet' it can pay back the bank." Although the suggestion appeared to have merit, the reaction of the club representatives was decidedly negative, principally because of the problems of managing such a fund.
In December's business, Don reported an IRCA proposal to open up their convention scheduled for Milwaukee as a "joint IRCA-ANARC convention." There was also an offer from a west coast DXer to host a convention in Los Angeles. Guidance from the club representatives was sought, since a joint convention and a western location were not considered in the original vote.
The West Indian DX Association became affiliated with ANARC in January 1966. Margaret Hinkson became the club's representative. Unfortunately, the American Central Radio Club discontinued operations primarily because the task of single handedly running a club after Richard Wood's motor accident became too much. The remaining membership subscriptions were transferred to the new monthly DXer magazine, SWL News.
A last call was put out to find a host for the first-ever ANARC convention. Two representatives wrote in, supporting the concept of a joint convention with the International Radio Club of America. Without further input from the club representatives, it was possible that the convention would not happen in 1966.
Don Jensen reported that Tom Guglielmi had volunteered to establish a committee to contact various stations with poor verification policies, with the hope of convincing them to either begin replying to reports or modify their verification practices along lines more satisfactory to most listeners.
In closing January's business, Don reminded the club representatives that his term would expire in October. He would not be seeking re-election. Therefore, the representatives were encouraged to consider nominations for his successor. In May, he was still seeking out hobbyists to run for this important position.
By February 1966, disappointment was evident as only a third of the representatives favored a joint convention with the IRCA; a third were mildly to completely against; and a third did not respond. Without a clear, positive direction from the representatives, Don thought it best to shelve the idea for 1966. In a special letter dated February 20, 1966, he informed the club representatives that Jim Howard had offered to gather a committee of Kansas City, Missouri listeners to host an ANARC convention. Feedback from the representatives was urgently requested. By March it was clear that a majority of the representatives, 10-2, favored the Kansas City location. In April, details of the first ANARC convention were taking shape. It was to be held at the Mushlebach Hotel in Kansas City on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 29 through 31, 1966. The convention registration fee was set at $7.50, which paid for the Sunday noon luncheon and tour transportation, by bus.
In March 1966, the NASA representative, Doug Benson, and the DXI representative, Wayne Segal, asked the club representatives to consider the subject of an ANARC country list once again. Because of the complexity of the issues involved, extra time was allowed for the representatives to vote so that they could confer with their club managements, if necessary. In May, Don Jensen reported the mixed results on this issue. Eight votes favored ANARC adopting a country list; three opposed; three abstained; and four did not vote. A second proposition about which country list to use showed two votes for the ARRL list and seven for ANARC compiling and maintaining its own list. The Newark News Radio Club indicated it would continue using its own list in any event. Other clubs expressed similar plans. It appeared only three or four smaller clubs would use an ANARC-developed list. The feeling was that an ANARC country list would be futile, given the various interests its member clubs represent. Nevertheless, based on the vote, Executive Secretary Jensen put out a call for volunteers to step forward to work on this project.
The financial report saw the Association run a slight surplus of $6.40, which included making up the previous year's deficit. Total receipts of $49.00 included a $5.00 donation, as well as $44.00 in fees. The major expenditure continued to be postage, with $25.00 spent for this item. It was proposed that the fee levels should stay the same for the coming year.
In May, John Callarman presented the long awaited code of ethics for the representatives to consider.
The IRCA's Paul Kilpatrick brought up several issues designed to give BCB DXers greater recognition in ANARC. The first was the establishment of an ANARC Courtesy Program Committee; the second was the development of booklets to teach DXing principles to the many young hobbyists getting involved in Dxing; and the third sought the creation of a committee to study the particular problems of DXing and provide solutions for them.
Closing out May's business, Don shared a letter from Rolf Lovstrom of Norway about a proposed European DX Council.
June 1966 saw a formal call for nominations for the Executive Secretary position. Nominations were scheduled to be received through August 31, 1966. Executive Secretary Jensen stressed that he would not serve under any circumstances, and therefore it was important that the club representatives get nominations in by the end of August. The future of ANARC depended upon it.
Doug Benson (NASA) was appointed chairman of the new country list committee. Wayne Segal (DXI) and C. M. Stanbury (ASWLC) were also appointed to serve on this committee.
Richard Wood's Frequency Recommendations Committee reported continued success working with broadcasters. The Manufacturers Liaison Committee, under C. M. Stanbury, reported the good news about the new Drake SW-4 communications receiver. Tom Guglielmi, chairman of the QSL committee, was seeking volunteers to serve on that committee. In July he reported three committee members were then serving, and Trans World Radio in Bonaire sent a letter expressing the desire to cooperate with ANARC in QSL matters. No unfavorable comments were received regarding the code of ethics drafted by John Callarman. In fact, there were words of praise, and several clubs had already published the code. The European DX Council was making slow progress in forming. They were facing many of the initial problems ANARC faced in getting off the ground back in 1964.
Don Jensen expected the ASWLC to return with mimeographed bulletins in the near future. NASA was holding a referendum about a format change to all shortwave broadcast, and in July it was reported that the club was switching to all SWBC. The Canadian International DX Club elected new officers: Lorne Jennings, president and new ANARC representative; Earl Peters, treasurer; Ed Burridge, editor; and Ralph Grace Jr., public relations. By August the International Radio Club of America solved its problems with the publisher's position, with Bill Lipis in El Cajon, California taking over the task of mimeographing the bulletins. Joe Johnson informed Jensen that the Worldwide Monitors Radio Club's recent problems had been resolved, and a full explanation would be made to the membership in the next month.
After many months of anticipation, the first ANARC convention was held in Kansas City, Missouri from July 29 to July 31, 1966. Despite the small attendance, estimated at only 12-15 people, it was a definite success. The following ANARC clubs were present: American Shortwave Listeners Club, Canadian DX Club, North American Shortwave Association, National Radio Club, Newark News Radio Club, and the West Indies DXers Association. It was felt that an airline strike may have contributed to the small number of DXers present. At the convention, Jim Howard awarded an engraved plaque to Don Jensen for "service to the hobby" during his tenure as ANARC Executive Secretary.
ANARC's first convention was held in 1966 in Kansas City.
This photo shows the convention group, with Don Jensen, the first Executive Secretary, in the top row, 3rd from left.
By early August, no nominations for the soon-to-be-vacant Executive Secretary position had been received. Jensen encouraged the club representatives to consider the position, as they were the best qualified individuals to continue ANARC's work.
In September 1966, the club representatives were informed that Gerry Dexter and Gerry Klinck were candidates for the Executive Secretary position. Information about each candidate was passed along to the club representatives, and ballots were to be returned by October 15, 1966. The new term was expected to commence by October 21.
Country List Committee chairman Doug Benson indicated that his group was making progress toward a basic approach to the list criteria. Richard Wood of the Frequency Recommendations Committee reported a break through in cooperation with the BBC, Norway, the Vatican and Cairo. QSL Committee chairman Tom Guglielmi reported that the International Committee of the Red Cross planned on developing a suitable QSL based on reports from the committee.
Bill Sparks, the American Shortwave Listeners Club representative, was appointed to officially canvass the ballots of the Executive Secretary election. He reported the following results: "I certify that I have canvassed the 14 ballots cast for ANARC Executive Secretary. Result is Dexter, 8; Klinck, 6. Winner is Dexter." With the results official, Gerry Dexter was elected as the association's second Executive Secretary.
As Don closed out business in October 1966, Fred Woodley, the Canadian DX Club representative asked, "Any plans underfoot to re-open the 'Dxer of the Year' bit that we all went through last year? CDXC still has the plaque available . . . and is eager to see this project get off the ground . . . if some of the other clubs (are interested)."
Thus, slightly over 2-1/2 years of ANARC activity closed with the end of Jensen's first elected term as Executive Secretary. Many of the recurring problems faced by the Association over the past 35 years have their roots back to the beginning. Simply put, it's the nature of the hobby beast that a loosely organized, voluntary federation of clubs would experience problems while attempting to band together for a common purpose. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this 32-month odyssey was the question of how ANARC was going to attract more listeners into the hobby, and, therefore, into the clubs, back in 1965. This unanswerable question almost pulled the Association apart in the late 1980s.
Fred Woodley's DXer of the Year concept did eventually get off the ground and continues to prosper. In 1967, ANARC took over bestowing the Man of the Year award, which was initially won by Don Jensen at the 1966 Kansas City convention, with Arthur Cushen becoming its second recipient. He was followed by Bill Eddings (1968), Gordon Nelson (1969), Roy Waite (1970), Don Erickson (1971), August Balbi (1972), Bruce Elving (1973), A1 Niblack (1974) and Hank Bennitt (1975). In 1976 the award was renamed the North American Shortwave DXer of the Year award, with the following individuals scooping up the honors: Don Johnson (1976), Glenn Hauser (1977), and Ian McFarland (1978). In 1979, the award was renamed the North American DXer of the Year award, with Bob Zilmer copping top honors, followed by Larry Magne (1980). After a year of no awards it was decided to split the award into two categories. The title of North American Shortwave DXer of the Year reappeared, with Stewart MacKenzie (1982) being the honoree. He was followed by Roger Legge (1983), Ralph Perry (1984), Larry Lunberg (1985), Gerry Dexter (1986 and 1987), Tom Sundstrom (1988), Mitch Sams (1989), Jerry Berg (1992), Rich D'Angelo (1993), John Bryant (1994), Don Moore (1995), Tom Bryant (1996), Mark Connelly (1997), and Dan Ferguson (1998). The other title recognized the medium wave, longwave and public service band DXing through the North American Specialty Band DXer of the Year award. Its winners have been: Don Moman (1982), John Clements (1983), Mark Connelly (1984), Nick Hall-Patch (1985), Bruce Elving (1986), Ernest Cooper and Bob French (1988), Greg Monti (1989), Ken Stryker (1992), Mike Hardester (1993), and Daryll Symington (1994). In 1995, the North American Shortwave DXer of the Year and the North American Specialty Band DXer of the Year awards were combined into the North American DXer of the Year award.
In 1976, the International DXer of the Year award was created. The following have been the recipients of this prestigious honor: Harry van Gelder (1976), Clayton Howard (1977), Arne Skoog (1978), Mike Hardester (1979), Arthur Cushen (1980), John Campbell (1982), Victor Goonetilleke (1983), Juan Carlos Codina (1984), Ralph Perry (1985), Jens Frost (1986), Finn Krone (1988), Arthur Ward (1989), Arthur Cushen (1992), Gabriel Ivan Barrera (1993), Harry Weatherly (1994), and Takayuki Inoue Nozaki (1995). In 1999, ANARC renamed its top award after its first Executive Secretary, Don Jensen. John McColman was the first recipient of the Don Jensen Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the listening hobby. There are no known award winners to be found in the Association records for 1981, 1990, and 1991.
ANARC conventions grew from the modest turnout of a dozen or so dedicated hobbyists in Kansas City in 1966 into mass media events with attendance in the neighborhood of 300 people. The Kansas City convention was followed by Chicago (1967), Omaha (1968), Toronto (1969), Chicago (1970), Indianapolis (1971), Boston (1972), San Diego (1973), New York (1974), Montreal (1975), Los Angeles (1976), Chicago (1977), Montreal (1978), Minneapolis (1979), Los Angeles (1980), Thunder Bay (1981), Montreal (1982), Washington, D.C. (1983), Toronto (1984), Milwaukee (1985), Montreal (1986), Toronto (1987), Irvine (1988), Tampa-St. Petersburg (1989), and Virginia Beach (1990). During the 1980s, it was not unusual for 200-300 listeners to attend one of these affairs. Unfortunately, success may have been the prime reason for the convention's ultimate downfall. Organizers had to overcome a number of problems to stage a successful event, including a set of bureaucratic convention guidelines which were about an inch thick. Somehow the fun must have left these once special affairs, causing the crowds to dwindle. For whatever reason, after the 1990 ANARC convention the Association got out of the convention business.
Closing a chapter about ANARC's past would not be complete without recognizing the fine gentleman who served in the difficult role of Executive Secretary, now Chairman of the Executive Board, over the years: Don Jensen (1964-1966), Gerry Dexter (1966-1968), Gray Scrimgeour (1968-1970), Wendel Craighead (1970-1972), A1 Reynolds (1972-1974), Dave Browne (1974-1982), Terry Colgan (1982-1986), Don Hosmer (1986-1987), Bob Horvitz (1987-1990), Sheldon Harvey (1990-1991), Rich D'Angelo (1991-1996), and Mark Meece (1997-present).
Today, ANARC continues as an alliance of North America's finest DX clubs devoted to serving the hobby. Its goals are modest and manageable. In recent years it has managed to avoid the unanswerable question about how to attract more people to our hobby and eventually to our member clubs. The result has been a mending of some fences and lots of great hobby activity. Don Jensen discovered the magic formula during the low point of his tenure as the Association's first Executive Secretary, with the establishment of various committees to get projects moving along. After many years, ANARC has come full cycle in the 90s, with the focus on its committees. The ANARC Shortwave Listeners Radio Net meets every Sunday at 10:00 eastern local time on 7,240 kHz LSB to share logs, news and information about the hobby of radio monitoring. The Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications (38 Eastern Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421), chaired by Jerry Berg, preserves QSL collections of hobbyists no longer active in the hobby. The Contest Committee (2 Whits Court, Newport News, VA 23606), chaired by Harold "Dr. DX" Cones, organizes and administers the popular North American DX Championships each March. Finally, ANARC went electronic a couple of years ago with the establishment of a first-class web site under the guidance of Ralph Brandi.
This retrospective on ANARC's early years has given me a much greater appreciation for some of the concerns that plagued the hobby over the years. Despite the many projects and activities ANARC has undertaken, probably the Association's greatest contribution to the hobby has been opening and maintaining the lines of communication among the clubs. The Association came into being as I first discovered the medium wave and shortwave DXing hobbies. In those days I marveled at the efforts put forth by the many different individuals who gave unselfishly of their time and energy. Those teenage years are long gone, but my appreciation for all the people who created the Association and served in a number of different capacities through three decades, remains the same.