Society of Wireless Pioneers
California Historical Radio Society (“CHRS” — by Steve Kushman, its President) and the Society of Wireless Pioneers, (SOWP), are pleased to announce the merger of the Society of Wireless Pioneers into CHRS. The Society will become a program of CHRS, as is the Bay Area Radio Museum. The primary purpose of the merger is the preservation of the archives of the Society of Wireless Pioneers, founded in 1968, at the CHRS museum in the historic KRE radio station building in Berkeley, California. Additionally, to the extent practicable, CHRS will continue the work of the Society in honoring marine radio operators, ship board and shore side, and other Morse code commercial and military radio operators, by way of electronic and other publication. This will include the CHRS website: www.californiahistoricalradio.com. Ben Russell, N6SL, the President of SOWP, and Waldo Boyd, K6DZY, its Executive Secretary, have have expressed their pleasure at the merger and their gratitude to the California Historical Radio Society for its undertaking to continue the historical work of SOWP. CHRS plans to reinvigorate the Society’s website as part of its own public presentation which includes Facebook. All active members of the Society of Wireless Pioneers are invited to contact CHRS, especially those in Northern California, through its website. More details of the merger will be announced as its implementation progresses.
Waldo T. Boyd is now a Silent Key, at age 94. He preserved the Society of Wireless Pioneers (of which he was one) and enabled its merger into the California Historical Radio Society (CHRS). One old Pioneer wrote of him: “Walt was the rock that kept the SoWP afloat for many years” (mixing marine metaphors). Waldo started out as a radioman in the Navy in 1932, and actually worked a spark circuit among the “TinCans” in his squadron. He later served in radio intelligence on General MacArthur’s staff in Australia. He enjoyed a career in the military-industrial complex, but then devoted himself to advancing his religion, the Bahai World Faith. He inherited management of the Society of Wireless Pioneers from its founder, Bill Brenimen, and kept it active as long as members could come to meetings. He also fostered the several SoWP amateur radio Morse code nets still in operation. This year CHRS honored him with the 2012 Doc Herrold award for his work in preserving and documenting radio history. He and his daughter Sandy came to the July Radio -by -the -Bay celebration at KRE to receive this award. For this recognition he was grateful on behalf of the Wireless Pioneers he served so long, and whose history he had dedicated himself to preserving. He died of old age, by way of a stroke and quickly, but he was of good cheer to the end. A video interview done at KRE memorializes some of his contributions to the radio art and its history. 73 de Bart Lee, K6VK ##
The California Historical Radio Society is pleased to honor the The Society of Wireless Pioneers in this merger. The Society of Wireless Pioneers is a unique and outstanding society of professionals and amateurs nearly all of whom have a common bond of having mastered the art of radio communicating over world-distances via ‘Morse Code’ with hand key or ‘bug.’ As that Society has so rightly said:
“Many of us have had the weight of responsibility for safety of life directly upon our shoulders. We traveled and were paid for it. At the core of everything we did was our ability to hear through atmospheric noise and make sense of ‘dits’ and ‘dahs,’ voiced code-words, and even at times to ‘make sense’ out of unusual silences. And in our amateur radio operating today the thrill is still present, we have a language that relatively few members of the world’s population even remotely comprehends.
The art and science of wireless communicating is changing more and more rapidly as each year comes into focus and disappears over the horizon. But in spite of the adoption of geo-positioning satellites, burst transmissions at thousands of characters per second, and spread-spectrum techniques for making our communications confidential, CW is an art that we hope will be with us for centuries to come. It is done with the minds and muscles of man, the only artifacts being the key and the ear and their meld with the mind.
SOWP is dedicated to the preservation of both the history and the art of CW radio communication, and of its offshoots. We collect and preserve the history of each advance in the art, but our hearts remain with Morse, and we are content to know that one day some one’s life may be in our hands and only our knowledge of Morse Code will bring help to preserve that life.”
Other Silent Keys: