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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX015 (1997)

ARLX015 Royalty on the radio

Special Bulletin 15  ARLX015
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  June 6, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLX015 Royalty on the radio

Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will take to the ham bands briefly
later this month while on a visit to Canada. Paul J. Piercey, VO1HE,
president of the Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs (SONRA)
reports that on June 25, 1997, the Queen will visit Cabot Tower on
historic Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland, to commemorate the
500th anniversary of John Cabot's ''Voyage of Discovery.'' (This is
also the 100th anniversary of Cabot Tower, built in 1897 to
commemorate the 400th anniversary of Cabot's voyage.) But there's
also an historic radio connection to the site. SONRA operates a ham
station in this building to commemorate Marconi's reception of the
first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901 at a location some 300
feet from the tower.

SONRA arranged the contact between VO500JC, the Cabot Tower station,
and GB500JC, in Bristol, England ''in order for Her Majesty to make a
brief statement using Amateur Radio,'' Piercey said. Bristol was the
port from which Cabot began his voyage in 1497. Piercey and Dan
Goodwin, VO1MX, will be the operators for the event.

Although all arrangements for the radio schedule are in place,
Piercey says the exact time and frequency will not be announced ahead
of time ''because of obvious reasons of the possibility of
interference.'' The QSO will be recorded on audio and video for
historical purposes, however. Piercey said it's believed that this
will be the first time a reigning British monarch has participated in
this type of event using Amateur Radio. ''We in SONRA are honoured to
be a part of it,'' he added.

Coincidentally, Prince Philip will be opening Admiralty
House--another historic site and now a museum--at roughly the same
time, Piercey said. Admiralty House--just outside of St John's in Mt
Pearl--was a North Atlantic listening post during both world wars.
Piercey said SONRA is helping to install a modern ham station there
''with a primary focus on satellite and SAREX communications'' (see, but the station might not be
ready for use when the big day arrives. As the Patron of the Radio
Society of Great Britain (RSGB), Prince Philip is no stranger to ham
radio, but there are no plans for him to go on the air during his
Admiralty House visit.


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