Is anyone not happy to see the end of this year 2020? What a year of changes caused by the election mess, pandemic disrupting all social fabric of this nation, and all the other issues that we will not bother to mention. I would like to focus on the new year and see what the members want to do in BARC. In February, we have had to suddenly cancel all in person meetings (eye ball QSO’s) and shift to on line Zoom meetings. This was painful but like most changes, it has good and bad features. The good feature was that we had fabulous meetings with speakers that would never agree to come to Greenville to small club. We hosted the co-founder of Elecraft talking about the technology in the new K4 radio. Marv Hoffman updated us on the ARRL inner working. Two talks from Brian Harrison on Amelia Earhart’s last flight and the radio technology in use at that time. The second was the FCC’s efforts to secure the airwaves during WWII. These and more videos are now hosted on the new web page https://W4AMC.COM/next-meeting/ for you to enjoy at your leisure.
That also brings up the issue of the expiring old BARC web page: we had to archive the old web site to qsl.net and start a new site at WordPress making it more modern and secure (https) saving money along the way! There is a link at the top of the new site that will take you to the archive of the old site if you want to see old photos, activities and info stored there. Please visit the new site often as we intend the new site to be the central hub of coordinating our activity and documenting our accomplishments. We still have the Facebook groups of W4AMC, W4AMC-friends and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service – NC. These are there for quick posts and look up information on the fly. I have found people seem to be more comfortable going to a secure BARC web page than going onto Facebook. We are slowly building the new web pages to support our actives. Please send suggestions and corrections to David Meeks webmaster (at) w4amc.com.
It is DUES time again! Please mail your $20 membership dues to Brightleaf Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 8387, Greenville, NC 27835. See the membership page on W4AMC.COM for more details. We all must continue to support the club and the activities as this last year has been very difficult for all. We must pull together and support each other and enjoy this hobby as a (Covid) stress relief.
The budget for 2021 will be the same as the 2020 budget. There have been both ups and downs in the expense categories such as the savings from not needing to pay for a meeting location but then that was partially offset by the costs of the Zoom membership. We saved some money with the web page hosting changes. A complete report for the next year is being prepared by Jim Lowe.
Goals and aspirations for 2021
The goal for next year needs to be fluid as the situation will probably change but it is looking more likely that we should be able to have a REAL FIELD DAY at Oakwood School next year, I do not know with or without masks and that depending on how fast the vaccine is distributed. My optimistic hope is that normal will return by June or July but stay tuned!
Education of new hams, licensing and the Oakwood school has been put on hold and should be restarted when things open up again. We will need to have volunteers to do lessons, be Elmers and VE. We should start offering testing to small groups and get started again.
We should pull out our emergency communications skills and equipment to get ready for the new year’s hurricane season starting in September. This is what has made Amateur Radio really useful to the rest of the population and justifies our ownership of all the bands that we have. There are many groups and corporations that are all too willing to steal our spectrum. We, as a group, need to reclaim our reason for being and show the rest of the world that they need us in times of crisis by being prepared. We may need to take the ICS courses 100, 200, 700, 800 in order to be able to play with the “big boys” from state and local government agencies. This is not above our pay grade! Who is going to volunteer and help put us back on the EmCom map or are we willing to sit quietly and let the “big boys” take our spectrum?
The hope is we can get back to “normal” by July. In the mean time we will continue on Zoom and hope that everyone joins in on the “new” fun while in lock down. Please let us start to shake off the Covid-19 blues (yeah I am referring to the 19 pounds that I gained being inactive) and get out and start participating in all kinds of activities. Volunteer and help run your BARC organization. Let us know what works with constructive suggestions and then volunteer to help bring the suggestions to life. The BARC board, officers and I cannot do it all without your help. We all see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a freight train coming!
Barc President for 2021
info @ w4amc.com