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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The World Friendship Society of Radio Amateurs

Rod Newkirk, W9BRD wrote the "How's DX?" column of QST magazine from 1947 to 1978.  He had a wonderful writing style.  His column was an inspiration for many of us -- I write about the impact it had on me in my book SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics and here on the SolderSmoke blog

Rod's son David Newkirk is radio wizard himself and has produced many great articles for QST and other publications.  His dad is a Silent Key and David has taken his call.  

This morning I was looking at an article on David's web site in which he looks at some of his dad's old QSL cards.  Most of the affiliations on the cards (ARRL etc.) are easily recognizable, but there was one that was unclear:  WFSRA.  

David figured out what it was: 

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A W9BRD Affiliation Mystery Solved

My father's pre-World-War-Two QSL cards include the usual list of affiliations: ORS (Official Relay Station), RCC (Rag Chewer's Club), WAC (Worked All Continents), A-1 Op (A-1 Operator's Club). One affiliation, WFSRA, remained mysterious. A clue in the correspondence column in March 1938 QST pointed me to an "I. A. R. U. News" item on page 74 of July 1935 QST, and I had my answer:

W.F.S.R.A.:
    The World Friendship Society of Radio Amateurs has requested publication of the following pledge, which is the sole obligation for membership in the Society:
    "I hereby promise that I will, to the best of my ability, make such use of my amateur radio station as will be conducive to international friendships; that I will never voluntarily permit by station to be used as the tool of selfish nationalistic interests; and that I will do what I can, as a radio amateur and as an individual, to promote world peace and understanding. (To be followed by the signature, address and station call.)"
    Membership in the Society is open to all amateurs in all countries. All that is necessary to become a member is to copy and sign the pledge, and send it to the secretary, Duane Magill, W9DQD, 730 N. 6th St, Grand Junction, Colorado, U.S.A. Copies are preferably to be made in English or French, but may be made in the language of the member."

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The WFSRA was apparently one of the many, many peace organizations that were born in the interwar period in response to the carnage of WWI.  In addition to the QST correspondence mentioned by David, Google shows WFSRA in many articles in UK ham and SWL publications, and  there is one mention of it in the May 1954 edition of Boy's Life magazine.    

Much as the CBLA seems to have been presaged by the FMLA, the IBEW seems to have much in common with the WFSRA. 

1 comment:

  1. I think Rod’s prose and messages wrte without equal, except perhaps by Whiskey 6 Italian String Quartet. A story for another day perhaps.

    BRD’s May minutes of the DX Hoggery and Poetry Depreciation Society rival Homer (Simpson). May 66 is legendary. And like Dr. Seuss, almost every story had a message, some subtle, many not.

    But December 67’s rant Re the folly of tidy homebrew should be if keen interest to all Soldersmokers. In fact, it reads as an ode to the al fresco construction of the Mythbuster. Further comment left to Bill.

    The How’s DX columns come up quickly on the ARRL website with a search for the column name and are worth a look if you didn’t grow up reading them. And if you did.

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