Ham radio oficianados now have a regular place to meet and enjoy their hobby.
On Monday evening, Hon. Minister of Communications, Works & Labour Paul Lewis officially opened a new building for the Montserrat Ham Radio Society.
Father Carlyle Vyphuis blessed the building, which is located in Salt Springs and boasts a spectacular view of the North West side of the island.
President of the association Victor James Sr told those gathered for the ceremony that this journey has been long having lost a previous building to the volcano in the 90s.
Since then the association struggled with the loss of many Ham operators to emigration and had been working to set up a permanent place since 1996.
James acknowledged the contributions of former president Bruce Farara in purchasing the land on which the building now sits and John Ryan who over the years provided labour free or at minimal costs to the group. The Montserrat chapter of the Rotary were also recognized for their tireless efforts to raise funds to complete the building. A total of $30,000 was given the to association from the club along with more than $37,000 from BINGO and other fundraisers.
Minister Lewis commended the group for their drive and commitment to a hobby which has provided critical support in times of emergencies.
HAM operators are able to talk to people all across the world and have provided communication support during disasters such as for Montserrat with Hurricane Hugo and more recently Hurricane Erika.
By February 2016, the association plans to start providing the first level course for Ham operators to encourage more people to learn and become licensed. The president noted that today’s technology now allowed for operators to speak to Ham Radio channels via a laptop or cellphone.
Check out photos of the new building on our Facebook page.