Jim Smith, VK9NS (SK)
Jim Smith, VK9NS (ex-P29JS), of Norfolk Island, Australia, passed away Tuesday, February 10, after a short illness. He was 80. A noted DXer and ARRL member, Smith was #81 on the Islands on the Air (IOTA) Honour Roll.
According to The Daily DX Editor Bernie McClenny, W3UR, Smith was first licensed in 1947 as VS1BQ in Singapore: "Through the years, Jim operated as CAR (VU4 Nicobar), VS1BQ, DL2TH, HZ1AB, MP4BER, 9V1PR, P29JS, VR4BJ, H44BJ, G3HSR, C21AA, T3KJ, T3AJ, VK9YS, VK9XS, VK9NS, VK0JS/VK9N, 9M8JS, VK0JS, ZL0AAB, ZM7JS, ZL1BUN, T30JS, T1JS, T32JS, T33JS, A35MR, A51JS, S21U, WR1Z, WR1Z/KH9, S21ZA, VK9WW, A35MR/p, A51MOC, VU2JBS, NO1Z/KH1, VK9WW, WR1Z/KH8, H40AB and A52JS, just to name a few." Smith was originally from Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.
McClenny said that in 1980, Smith founded the Heard Island DX Association (HIDXA). Three years later, along with wife Kirsti, VK9NL, Smith put the rare VK0/H on the air as VK0NS and VK0NL. "Over the years, Jim put on several all time new countries -- as well as many rare ones -- from the Pacific and Asia," McClenny said. "In fact, he took part in the regulations for Amateur Radio in several DXCC entities. When not out on DXpeditions, Jim could usually be found on 14.222 MHz."
Mike Tessmer, K9NW/VK9NW, who visited Norfolk Island for a week in November 2004, remembered Smith fondly on the Society of Midwest Contesters' e-mail reflector: "I spent three wonderful afternoons at Jim and Kirsti's house having tea -- coffee in my case -- and discussing all things DX. Jim showed me the old Collins gear he was restoring. I even picked up a few QSL cards from some of his past DXpeditions. Great memories!"
In an e-mail to ARRL Membership and Volunteer Services Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, Andy Chesnokov, UA3AB, told how he first met Smith in Bhutan in 2000 while on the A52A DXpedition. "Boy, Jim was quite upset with us operating from 'his territory,' Chesnokov said. "But we went along quite nicely after few minutes, and he even allowed us to operate his tiny station there. I met him few times after that and he was a true gentleman."
Calling him "a serious DXer," McClenny said Smith worked all countries on SSB, Mixed and only missing one on CW. In April 1986 Jim was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame. One of Smith's last big projects was writing his autobiography, The Old Timer. Smith is survived by his wife Kirsti, VK9NL, and his four children: Bruce, G3HSR, Stuart, Sheena and Fraser. Condolences may be sent to Kirsti via e-mail. -- Some information provided by The Daily DX