Centennial Convention Will Be an Event to Remember, ARRL President Says
ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, is eagerly anticipating the ARRL National Centennial Convention this week with a sense of history, awe, and honor. The Convention gets underway Thursday, July 17, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Craigie said this week that to be President when the ARRL celebrates its centennial “is an extraordinary good fortune that I am sincerely grateful for.”
“Imagine standing at one end of a row of 15 people,” Craigie said. “Now imagine that on the other end of the row is Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW. Being the inheritor of ‘The Old Man’s’ legacy is enough to daunt anybody who doesn’t need ego-reduction surgery, even before you factor in the other 13 presidents — all of them outstanding radio amateurs.”
Among those attending the Convention will be all but one of the living past Presidents of the ARRL. They are Harry Dannals, W2HD (1972-1982); Larry Price, W4RA (1984-1992); Rod Stafford, W6ROD (1995-1999), and Joel Harrison, W5ZN (2006-2010). “I spoke with Jim Haynie, W5JBP, who regrets that he can’t attend but sends his very best regards,” Craigie recounted. Haynie served as ARRL President from 2000 until 2005.
Craigie will host a Presidents Breakfast on Saturday morning. “In addition, we will welcome Richard Crouch, N6RC, grandson of the third ARRL President, George Bailey W1KH/W2KH,” she announced. Bailey served as the League’s president from 1940 until 1952. Crouch, an ARRL Life Member, is from Campbell, California. “I am honored to be in the company of these people,” she added.
The Convention features a full schedule of Thursday Training Track classes and Friday and Saturday forums. Craigie said she believes that League co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim would be “delighted” to see these on the Centennial Convention program. “Coming from a family of inventors, he was devoted to cutting-edge technology of the early 20th century, not only in radio but also other areas such as in cinema and automobiles,” she said. “Technology has advanced so much in the years following his lifetime that he wouldn’t know what most of our presenters are talking about, but he’d figure out that we are moving confidently straight ahead into the future.”
That would please not only HPM but “the other visionary radio amateurs who began the history we’re honoring this weekend,” Craigie speculated. “He would also see that the ARRL is still the relentless advocate for Amateur Radio that it was in his day. I think that would put the biggest smile of all on the face of the original W1AW.
ARRL Chief Operating Officer and Convention Co-Chair Harold Kramer, WJ1B, will preside at the official Centennial Convention opening ceremony at 8:30 AM on Friday, in the Pre-Function Area in from of the ARRL Centennial Ballroom on Level 6. Kramer and President Craigie will welcome the anticipated 500 to 1000 attendees. CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, Convention Co-Chair and ARRL New England Division Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, Convention Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, and ARRL New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, also will be present.