Well we are off to a good start for 2021. January saw two successful online meetings for me, as I tried to figure out just what I am doing, but by the time the second meeting (Board of Directors) rolled around, I realized that I was starting to get the hang of it. And while I may still be a little green at manning the helm, the crew is able and seasoned, so we are in fine shape. We have some great things to do this year, to take the Club in some new and interesting directions, and hopefully we can have a blast just getting there.
The new Technical Committee is off and running, under the direction of Jon Pearce, WB2MNF, and is doing exactly what I envisioned it to do, which is overseeing and coordinating the various technical projects that the Club is working on. Big improvements will be made this year to both the VHF/UHF and HF stations, as well as to various infrastructure items like the grounding and power systems. The guys from the "SkunkWorks" have taken responsibility for the VHF/UHF station, and I have a couple of enthusiastic newer members who want to do the same for the HF station, but they will need some help, so if you have the time and/or ability, please contact me via email or phone and get signed up.
We had an unexpected insurance inspection of the Clubhouse, but did get enough short notice to be able to get most of the glaring and obvious infractions that we could find corrected prior to the inspector's arrival. Our most sincere thanks go out to Charlie Olinda, N2SRQ, who was able to quickly get us new tagged and certified fire extinguishers for the Clubhouse that were sorely needed to replace the old outdated ones. And he did this at no cost to the Club. It is members like Charlie, and we have a number of them, who make this Club great and make it possible for us to enjoy the amenities we have that most other radio clubs just dream about.
As most of you know, we were forced to raise the dues this year in order to maintain a balanced budget. Our operating expenses rely mostly on dues and the hamfest to be paid, and the expenses have been rising while the revenues have been flat. We were concerned that we might experience a drop off in membership if we raised the dues, but we took a chance because we were bound by the by-laws to do so. Well I am happy to report that new membership applications are rolling in at a refreshing pace. And when you look at all of the benefits of membership in GCARC, there is little wonder why so many have seen the value in that small expense. Rest assured, your dues will be well spent for the benefit of all our members. And you will get a lot more out of the Club than the dues cost you. Thanks to all who have renewed their memberships, and to those who have not, please don't forget. March 31st is the deadline to renew your membership dues.
We are hoping to have a Field Day kickoff meeting within the next month or so, and the fact that we were able to pull off a successful FD last year during the height of the pandemic panic provides some real assurance against the kind of uncertainty that we had last year. We now can say, with great confidence, that we will have a Field Day this year, and it will be even better than last year! And last year, it was great, by the way. I for one am looking forward to it. Field Day is THE reason I got my license 45 years ago, and the reason I first joined GCARC. It is still my favorite event of the year. More news to come!
I have appointed Jim Clark, KA2OSV, to fill the vacant directorship left when Jeff Welsh, KD2AZI became Vice President. Just when you thought you were out, we pulled you back in!
That is about all I have for now, so I hope everyone is on the air and making contacts. Propagation will be steadily improving so if you are not on the air, now is the time to get that station operational. If you need any advice or assistance, contact one of our Club Elmers listed on our web page. Hope to see everyone on the next meeting.
March 31st is the deadline to renew your membership.
73, Tony Starr K3TS