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Friday, September 25, 2015

Civility, Ham Radio, King Hussein, and the International Brotherhood

Hi Bill,

Interested to hear you talking about civility ... My introduction to amateur radio was via a Heathkit GR 64 and Roy, G3PMX. When I finally took my ticket - 1970, and passed, I called him on the phone to tell him - he told me to come on up to his QTH, I did, via an old bike taking about 30 minutes to get up the hill. When I got there, he put me on the mike, the guy the other end was really great, talked about being a part of an international brotherhood and a movement for world peace - just a magical first contact ...

Roy asked me if his call seemed a little odd, it did, it was short, JY1, but I was really slow to cotton on to who I'd just spoken to... What really blows me away to this day was that the King of Jordan sat in his shack and waited for a 16 year old kid to pedal up the hill just to give him a fantastic first contact ... My only regret is that I never got to speak to him again to say "thank you" - when you talk about legacy radios, it isn't the tech that we need to hold on to, though we do, it was what that man did to reach out to a fellow amateur.

By all accounts, he was a fantastic guy, he used to sit at Roy's kitchen table drinking coffee and just being one of the guys ... Sadly I was at sea by then hence not meeting him.

Roy knew him because he worked for Marconi & put the antennas on the palace, Hussein just appeared having that Roy was an amateur and they had a long conversation about radio - when he turned to leave, Roy asked his name so that he could stay in touch - Hussein told him to just ask for Hussein the radio guy - never let on that he was King ...

Roy said that on several occasions, JY1 travelled to the UK more or less incognito and hired fairly innocuous cars to get about the country simply because he was here as an amateur, not a head of state …
I really do regret that I never got the chance to say “thank you” to him – it was the sort of gesture that I have always thought typifies what you have tried to support and continue, and is indeed carried on by the likes of Joe Taylor who once took the time to respond to an email from me explaining how to set a WSPR system up despite being Nobel Prize winner !! 
 Great example of the spirit of amateur radio transcending all else :-)

 73s, Nick, G8INE

1 comment:

  1. Just in passing -- you always see that JY1 is sitting in front of a Drake Line. Perhaps he had other stations but typically in the photos I have seen the Drake gear appears as his rig of choice.


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