CTARC History

History of the Cape Town Branch of the SARL and the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre

Last updated 30 December 2021

History Project Overview:

This is a dynamic document, subject to additional date documented information. In order to keep this as accurate as possible, we will only add information if the year of the information is known otherwise it will not be compatable with this format.

At this point there are still very pertinent points we are missing. If you can assist with any DATED information on any major event of the Cape Town club which is not on our list, please email Rob ZS1SA at zs1ct@ctarc.org.za with the information.

The Chairmen are listed in the year that they were elected or re-instated to that position.

When Happenings

According to OM Bill Downie, (ex ZSL1AQ) when interviewed at the Lighthouse weekend in 2012, before World War 2 there existed only the Cape Town Ham Club.

1946 Chairman Jack Twine ZS1A, Cape Town Ham Club

1947 Chairman Jack Twine ZS1A, Cape Town Ham Club

1948 Chairman Jack Twine ZS1A, Cape Town Ham Club merged with the newly formed SARRL (South African Amateur Radio Relay League)

1949 Chairman Jack Twine ZS1A, The SAARL becomes the national body for Amateur radio in South Africa. We become the Cape Town branch of the SARRL, later to evolve into the SARL.

1950 Chairman OM Jack Twine ZS1A, ZS1EZ OM Ginger Lake in Somerset West sports the first beam in the Cape Town branch, consisting of a converted farm wind mill with its rotating top supporting a 10 meter beam.

1951 Chairman OM Jack Twine ZS1A

1952 Chairman OM Jack Twine ZS1A

1953 Chairman ?

1954 Chairman ?

1955 Chairman ?

1956 Chairman ?

1957 Chairman OM Claude Ingle ZS1OA

1958 Chairman ?

1959 Chairman OM Ossie Dixie ZS1PQ Branch office and station stored at 112 Loop St. Cape Town. The AGM takes place during the Easter Weekend. The branch made a bulk purchase of government brass Morse keys, selling for 1 pound each.

1960 Chairman OM Harold (Willie) Wilson ZS1BF. The April issue of Ragchew says that OM Phil Rabie ZS1TP was elected chairman so this entry needs confirmation unless there was a change in chairman part way through the year.

1961 Chairman OM Fred van Niekerk ZS1CK

1962 Chairman OM Fred van Niekerk ZS1CK

1963 Chairman OM EE (Ted) Baker ZS1RA, Vice Chairman OM Dennis Wells ZS1AU, OM Bernie Crockford ZS1BW moved the club’s equipment from the Motor and General Building where it was stored to Gallo-Africa Ltd. The SARL CT Branch, minutes of 26 August mention that there are 2 other local clubs, The Southern Suburbs group and the Claremont/Rondebosch/Newlands group. Meetings were often held at the International Hotel on Mill St. or the homes of members.

1964 Chairman OM Ted Baker ZS1RA, ZS1AU took over the chair in the latter part of 1964 due to the resignation of ZS1RA. Communications were done for the Fish Hoek/Muizenburg Race. ZS1NE OM Ron gave a demonstration on the new technology called stereo hi-fi, using tape and electrostatic speakers. Branch library started.

1965 Chairman OM Theo Karlsson ZS1P

1966 Chairman OM Theo Karlsson ZS1P, Several members were trapped in a lift on Loop Street for 45 minutes while attempting to attend a SARL meeting. The Ken Harbridge Trophy was donated to the Branch. OM Dennis ZS1AU would obtain an engraved plate for the trophy.

1967 Chairman Theo ZS1P. Len Wells Ham Spirit trophy first awarded to ZS1IM, OM Ray Alexander. Club took part in JOTA at Gilcape Scout Camp. Club to approach city for a 99 year lease for a piece of land for a club house. Ray ZS1IM to investigate.

1968 Chairman OM Ray Alexander ZS1IM. Membership now at 205. Confusion over what policy branch must take now that people of colour may be allowed to write the RAE. Cape Town branch to have its first Field Day.

1969 Chairman OM Ted Baker ZS1RA, The city offers the club land at Epping, which was rejected due to transportation problems.

1970 Chairman ? OM Ossie Dixie ZS1PQ returns to the airwaves after a 13 year QRT. Ossie was first licensed in 1946 after serving as a radio operator in the SA Air force during the war. Ossie was instrumental in teaching Morse code to many aspiring hams to obtain their tickets.

1971 Chairman OM Ray Alexander ZS1(J)IM?, Club had a ham shack at the Goodwood Showgrounds for the Republic Festival which went over extremely well. Call sign was ZS1RSA.

1972 Chairman OM Frank O’Connell ZS1JO, AGM took place on 28 August in Congregational Hall, Main Road Claremont.. Several members are becoming active in RTTY due to availability of inexpensive surplus teleprinters. A mid winter meeting on 17 July had a record attendance of 74, due to RTTY being the topic for the evening.

1973 Chairman OM Frank O’Connell ZS1JO

1974 OM Frank O’ Connell ZS1JO, Ragchew says that 2 meter FM is the latest craze that is sweeping the nation. Cape Town is far behind the rest of the country. The Transvaal has 2 repeaters which are the only ones in the country.

1975 Chairman OM Ulli Dehning ZS1UD

1976 Chairman OM Ulli Dehning ZS1UD

1977 Chairman OM Geoff Tinker ZS1LM

1978 Chairman OM Geoff Tinker ZS1LM. A Document entitled “Memorandum For The Amenities Committee” of the Belvedere Community Centre outlines the Objective of the Belvedere Community Centre Association (BCCA) regarding the Community Centre. In part, it reads: The purposes and objectives of the Belvedere shall be: To provide a venue and facilities wherein the following Participating or Tenant Association can, by mutual agreement, pursue their respective activities. The Belvedere Ratepayers Association, SAMLA Community Centre Association, The 6th Rondebosch Boy Scout Group, The YMCA, The Round Table, Peninsula No. 77, The South African Radio League (Cape Town Branch), any other approved NON-PROFIT body, subject to the provisions of 17.4.1 and 17.7. To provide and maintain facilities for the above purposes in premises to be leased from the Cape Town City Council, formerly known as the Claremont Washhouse in Chess Road, Claremont.

1979 Chairman OM Geoff Tinker ZS1LM. Vice Chairman OM Derek Segal ZS1DP. Meetings taking place at the Congregational Church Hall in Claremont. The Sunday bulletin was held on 7.065 Megahertz and on the 145.050/650 repeater with relays on 80 meters and 2M SSB. Many members are becoming active in RTTY. The annual Hamfest was held in Elgin this year. Work begins on preparing the new club house for occupancy. SARL opposes new city bylaw requiring neighbours permission and permits before installing any type of ham antenna. Branch had a braai at Silvermine reserve on 3 March.

1980 Chairman OM Geoff Tinker ZS1LM CT Branch moves into Belvedere Community Centre. Previously the municipal wash house, it was renovated by the club with the assistance of the Charles Gingold Trust Clubhouse Fund. Opened on Saturday, December 6th by Mayor Louis Kreiner, OM Dan ZS1DF President of SARL and Jock McKenzie of the Rondebosch Round Table. Mast erected at clubhouse on 18 February. OM Bernie ZS1BW presented the chairman with the ceremonial Chains of Office. OM Tom ZR1CL reports Cape Town branch has the highest pass rate in the country for students taking our RAE courses.

1981 Chairman OM Geoff Tinker ZS1LM. OM Vic Hugo ZS1LY runs ham courses. ZS1TTM first amateur station to operate on Table Mountain from the tea room. Members play a critical role in providing the only communications out of flooded Laingsburg. Branch repeater ownership listed as: Cape Town Branch 145.650, Boland 145.600, Cape Town Branch CTB 145.750, WRR 145.700, Cape Town Branch 434.625

1982 Chairman OM Paul Johnson ZS1BR. Club held another successful foxhunt on 2 meters. Old timers night is held once per year, awarding a certificate to those licensed over 20 years, followed by a bring and braai. ZS1CTB is the club repeater, outputing on 145.750 MHz.. The 1982 Hamfest took place at the Mizpah in Elgin 12-14 February. The clubhouse station is open on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays. Monthly meetings average 80 to 100 attendees.

1983 Chairman OM Paul Johnson ZS1BR, ZS1CT wins 2 place in the European DX contest – Phone, Africa Multi Op. with 556956 points. Club runs ZS1HAM at the 1985 Hamfest at Katryntjies Drif.

1984 Chairman OM Geoff Tinker ZS1LM. 15 Key holders to the club station. ZS1CT is awarded the CQ World Wide WPX SSB Contest of FIRST Place, Single Operator, All Band, Africa with a 4 world high score of 4, 461, 805 points. Branch dinner on 3 August had 55 attendees.

1985 Chairman OM Arthur Purcell ZS1LI, Repeater Liaison OM Ulf Demasius ZS1ZO. Cape Town branch joins Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) Discussions and concerns continue about the USSR Woodpecker which has just past its tenth year of QRMing our 40 and 20 meter bands. The June 1985 issue of Ragchew lists Bernie ZS1BW as chairman?

1986 Chairman OM Arthur Purcell ZS1LI

1987 Chairman OM Al Smith ZS1AAX.

1988 Chairman OM Al Smith ZS1AAX.

1989 Chairman OM Dudley Burrows ZS1DB

1990 Chairman OM Buck Taylor ZS1VP, On the night of 28 or 29 July a guy rope snaps on the club’s tower, bringing the tower down onto the clubhouse. The tower and antenna were un-repairable but fortunately only minimal damage occurred to the building.

1991 Chairman George Oosthuizen ZR1ACW/ZS1GJO. Buck Taylor floating trophy introduced. Awarded for outstanding merit. Buck set out the rules of the trophy stating the recipient must be a paid up member of the CT Branch but not a committee member. Shall have demonstrated tangible encouragement to individuals and/or groups with or on behalf of the CT branch and shall have shown evidence of meaningful support and/or personal involvement on behalf of the branch or any of it’s members and shall have represented the branch officially, including contests and competitions, in any field connected with Amateur radio and/or the CT Branch. The clubhouse is open from 10:00 every Saturday morning and on Sundays by appointment. The Sunday bulletin is recorded and repeated on Wednesday nights on the 145.650 repeater at 20h30. The club set up a station at the Maynardville Community Carnival to advertise the hobby. The branch hosted the SARL AGM at the Cape Town Technikon, including a Mayoral reception and buffet dinner. It was considered a great success.

1992 Chairwoman Roz Nelson ZS1JS. The last meeting of the year was a breakfast in the pine forest, Tokai.

1993 Chairman John Haycox ZS1AGH. At the Belvedere Community Centre Control Board meeting on 18 November it was agreed that the Nursery School will make use of the Bill Smit (Committee) Room as the Round Table Clubs are taking over the Minor Hall.

1994 Chairman John Haycox ZS1AGH. Club trophies defined – Ham Spirit awarded to anyone who has shown true Ham Spirit, Branch Participation for outstanding support and effort towards the branch and its membership, John Van Schalkwk CW trophy given to any outstanding CW op in his first year as a ZS, Rally Trophy awarded by Davy Smeda ZR1FR, our Sports Communications Team Manager for rally support, the Wellie Award was begun in 1993 and issued for best attendance the previous year.

1995 Chairman Dudley Burrows ZS1DB, Members purchased their own white plastic chairs (R20 each) for more comfort when sitting in the meetings. Meetings are still being held in the main hall. A small party of 3 Committee members spent almost every Saturday morning for a year making alternations to the clubhouse that had been closed for years. The dividing wall that separated the two rooms was demolished making the Clubhouse L shape. The brick debris was used to raise the level of the access pathway that had been a serious problem in winter. A sink was installed. Thereafter the Clubhouse was used for monthly meetings.

1996 Chairman Dudley Burrows ZS1DB. Cape Town Branch of the SARL ceased to exist on 1 July. The name of the Cape Town club, after considerable debate changed to the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre rather than Cape Town Amateur Radio Club. This was believed to be more appropriate considering the close association with the Belvedere Community Centre who shared the facility with the CTARC.

1997 Chairman Dudley Burrows ZS1DB. ZS1HJH receives the Len Wells Ham Spirit trophy for assisting members with technical problems, Outing to Cape Town Radio organized by ZR1PDT Pierre Tromp. Pierre hopes to organize a visit to the Silvermine operation in the near future. Mill day operation at Mostert’s Mill.

1998 Chairman Bud Voortman ZS1B, Lighthouse Weekend – 24 countries enrolled. CTARC set up a station in Mostert’s mill on 10 May for the British National Mills Day.

1999 Chairman ZS1B Bud Voortman, CTCSS tone board project, ZS98MM International Mill Day operation at Mostert’s Mill, Lighthouse weekend

2000 Chairman ZS1B Bud Voortman

2001 Chairman Bud Voortman ZS1B. ZR1DQ Deon takes over Ragchew from Bernie ZS1BW who has faithfully been the editor for several decades.

2002 Chairman Andrew Roos ZS1AN

2003 Chairman Andrew Roos ZS1AN

2004 Chairman Dave Reece ZS1DFR,

2005 Chairman Dave Reece ZS1DFR

2006 Chairman Dave Reece ZS1DFR,

2007 Chairman Dave Reece ZS1DFR

2008 Chairman Shaun Overmeyer ZS1RA

2009 Chairman Shaun Overmeyer ZS1RA

2010 Chairman Shaun Overmeyer ZS1RA

2011 Chairman Noel Futter ZS1FW

2012 Chairman Noel Futter ZS1FW. A major clean up of the back store room took place where a great amount of misplaced items, mostly donated from the estate of the late ZS1B were found. It was decided to use this to raise funds for the club and begin our first annual flea market. First annual flea market took place first Saturday in March and was a great success.

2013 Chairman Noel Futter ZS1FW. Second annual flea market took place on the first Saturday in March. Considerable controversy erupted concerning the SARL threatening to force the Western Cape repeaters to go narrow band FM, even though their usage is relatively minimal. Concern that this may cause many of our aging members to go QRT on VHF. CTARC and Oakdale club demonstrate solidarity in their objection to this proposed change. ZS1FW institutes the Monday evening CT net, assisted by Mike ZS1FB. Club membership is 68.

2014 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. Secretary Anne Bareham. Club Participation award instituted. This award is for a member who eagerly participates in organized club activities and events and sets an example in their enthusiasm for these events. Members of the committee are not eligible for this award.

2015 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. Annual flea market well attended. Club raised issues with SARL about what happened to the funds from the property that was sold in Cape Town when the SARL HQ was moved to Johannesburg several years ago. SARL legal representative Johann Marais ZS1JM came to the club and made an extensive report about what had happened to the funds as best as he could trace in addition to other issues with the SARL HQ building being built on ICASA property. Jack Twine badge awarded to John ZS1AGH by local SARL counsellor Rassie ZS1YT.

2016 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. A very large flea market was held on 5 March with participants from around the Cape. The 70th birthday celebration of the CTARC (organized by the Secretary Anne Bareham) was held at the Wild Fig restaurant in June. Bring and Buy began where members could bring surplus goods to the monthly meeting to sell.

2017 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. The annual flea market on the first Saturday in March continues to be a popular annual event. Davy, ZR1FR awarded the Willie Wilson Gold Badge. On 7 June a record breaking storm hit Cape Town, blowing the club house antennas down and destroying the mast of I.R. Pope and Sons on top of Tygerberg where our repeater is located. Club membership is now 91 with 23 new members joining this year. Our 20th year at the Green Point lighthouse for the ILLW event.

2018 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. Morningstar remote base station which was built and financed by Fred Ziss ZS1FZ and maintained by Allan ZS1LS is handed over to the CTARC by Fred as a very generous gift. A nominal fee is charged to users to help pay the site rental at Morningstar Airfield. Membership now 103. Our first fox hunt took place in December. Another fantastic International Lighthouse weekend at the Green Point lighthouse and a perfect sundowner evening for the Saturday evening braai on the Lighthouse braai deck overlooking the bay.

2019 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. The UHF repeater antenna has now been installed on the new I.R. Pope tower on Tygerberg and a Force 12 HF Yagi and rotatable dipole installed on the club house mast, thereby rectifying the damaged caused from the June 2017 storm. We mourn the passing of our Vice chairman Noel Futter ZS1FW in October. Many people joining CTARC from Europe in order to make use of the Morningstar remote base station. John ZS1EQ orgainsed a well attended weekend for the International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend at the Green Point lighthouse. A fox hunt antenna building day where many members put together a tape measure foldable yagi for fox hunting was a great success.

2020 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. The year started off normally with one of our best annual flea markets taking place on the first Saturday of March as usual. On 26th of March, due to the new Covid-19 pandemic the state president declared a level 5 lock down effectively confining any citizens who were considered non-essential to their homes. We were not allowed to hold meetings under the Level 5 rules. During the year the lock down rules were decreased and increased by various levels however due to the risk to our members it was decided not to hold our regular meetings. Our anticipated field event on International Mill Day at the Mosterts Mill also had to be cancelled. In November we did have an End of Year function and observed strict social distancing and mask wearing rules. To date the most difficult year your club has experienced although surprisingly our membership did grow throughout the year mainly due to our popular Morningstar remote base station and the ham courses being run by Chris ZS1CDG via the internet

2021 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. We are still very much restricted in our gatherings due the Covid 19 laws. We had our March flea market as usual but were unable to sell food due to the Covid risks. Still a great turn out. We had several meetings during good weather by putting our chairs in a semi-circle outside the club house under the trees and ensuring they were properly spaced apart. We were not permitted inside the Green Point lightouse once again due to the Covid risk so Chris ZS1CDG organised a mini lighthouse operation outside the lighthouse which was well attended.

2022 Chairman Rob Bareham ZS1SA. Half way through the year and the Covid restrictions have been lifted. The June meeting was held in the main hall due to rain and it was the first time we could sit inside in almost a year and a half. Our tiny club house was packed for our AGM and a loud speaker had to be placed outside as many people could not get inside for the meeting.