1958 Long Beach

No one who looked down on the peaceful little seaside resort of
Long Beach, nestled twixt the high hills and the ocean some few
miles north of Otago Harbour, on Saturday, February 15, could have
envisaged how the Serenity of the scene was to be desecrated later
in the evening. Unless; of course, the laying of some 5500ft of
land cable, linking various cribs with an elaborate telephone
system, had previously aroused their suspicions. When a convoy of
about a dozen cars slowly made its way down the steep winding road
of the Long Beach Hill and invaded six different cribs, the airs
became alive with noises and radio signals from most corners of the
world boomed in. More than 8000ft of wire and countless numbers of
radio receivers made this foreign invasion of the privacy of “The
Beach“ possible. And who received these invading signals? But let’s
start at the beginning…

Otago Branch was host for the 1958 Convention held over the
week~end of February 15-16. Northern DXers began to arrive on the
Friday, the sole Auckland representative, Ron Wilkinson, after a tour
of the South Island in his Sports MG. The Canterbury contingent was
Harry Mountford, Ray Davies, Maurice Enright, Don Reed,
Anthony King, Bill Pearson, Arthur Harbrow, and their associate,
Dick Pollard, from Sunny Nelson. Dick and Mrs Pollard, on annual
holidays, taken to coincide with the convention. The Southland
invasion of five cars arrived at 9.45a.m. on.Saturday, and consisted of Des Frampton, Norm Austin, Arthur Cushen,Trevor Service,
Merv Branks, Alex Allan, Neville Clarkson, Bob Cole, Norm Worthington, Evan Simpson, Edgar MacAskill, Dudley Carter, Robin Shaw,
Robert Wering, Brian Bellett, George Goodsir, Sutton Burtenshaw,
and Neville Ross, a total of 18. Otago was represented by Des
Lynn, Jack Blacklock, Harold Barrowclough, Frank McKenzie; Dexter
Powley Ken Mackey, Frank Wilson, Jack Fox, George Beardsmore,
John Powley, Bruce T P, Murray Lamont, Laurie Boyer, while brief
visits were made by Ross Gibson and Ivan Adams. Bruce Clarkson, of
Clyde, Central Otago, made the trip to join brother Neville. Total 45
Things got under way with a motor tour of’ Otago Harbour which ~
included a visit to lovely Glenfalloch Gardens for morning tea. We
trust that those who displayed such an interest in the photographic
display were studying art for art’s sake. Dinner at a city cafe
followed and in the afternoon conyentionites gathered at the Pioneer
Women’s Hall.

Otago President, Des Lynn,expressed pleasure at the wide representation; the considerable number from Southland, Canterbury’s fine total, and Ron Wilkinson, Auckland’s only and first rep at any convention so far. National President, Des Frampton, congratulated Otago on the fullness of the programme and the completeness of the arrangements.

Ron Wilkinson voiced his appreciation of the hospitality of
Southerners. Aucklanders, he asserted are too keen to go about their
business. (Editorial footnote: This is all bunk, Ron. Southerners
visiting Auckland know full well how cordially they are received.)
Harry Mountford, Canterbury president, made some pertinent remarks
concerning Glenfalloch and expressed appreciation of the large
attendance. Southland President, Merv Branks, as Editor_of “The Times” asked
members to send notes regularly. He spoke of impetus DX would receive
if more members set up listening posts 440yards to 880 yards from
power lines and went on to battery operation with directional beverage
aerials. He extended an invitation to hold the Convention in Southland in 1959 and this was accepted.

Ken Mackey outlined the reception it could be expected to hear at,
the beach that night and illustrated his remarks with a tape showing
1000 cycle tones, etc. This included the WVUV Pago Pago special which
was only heard intelligibly at Long Beach. 

Arthur Cushen gave a number of short-wave tips and spoke on shortwave generally. Greetings were received from Derek Howie, in camp, and Bill McLaren
The inter-branch trophies, the Columbus Cup, the Albert Stanton Cup,
and the Hope MacGregor Memorial Cup, were on view and competition
winners were presented with their awards, Items were given by the MT’s
Alcoholic Skifflegroup (Brian Bellett, Trevor Service, Robin Shaw and
Norm Austin), piano solos by Sutton Burtenshaw, and guitar and mouth-
organ duet and songs by Norm Austin, the Scotch hillbilly.

At Long Beach a Quick Counter Lunch was served by the Committee.
DXers were allotted to their respective shacks previously in the
“Billeting and Accommodation“ circular. And nobody believed that it
was XERF coming over the speaker attached to the antenna outside Ken’s
crib. They had Ken “taped” that night. Then DXing continued far into the night,
and all night. Some had no sleep and others who tried to snatch an
hour or so were rudely awakened by tin cans. A total of over 400
leggings was made and of special interest was the special broadcast
for the League over KCV, well received by most when Des Lynn was
called, but not by the said Des Lynn; 9PA was logged on Rugby test.

In the morning an informal meeting was held, photographs taken,
valedictory speeches made, and cars departed for Dunedin where many
DX homes were thrown open to visitors for dinner. Sidelights were a
visit by some to 4ZB and an appearance on the air on Saturday, a visit
to 4XD, the pioneer station, by most on Sunday morning; while special
mention must be made to the souvenir issue of “Otago DX News” with its
topical items and sketch of the Long Beach location. And all this for
a convention fee of 10/-!!! Thank you Otago for an excellent week-end,
well thoughtout, well organised, and thoroughly and capably carried
out to a successful climax, as the following loggings made by conventionites will show. Neville Glarkson was awarded an Atlas for the DXer making the most leggings.

(From the Peter Grenfell DX Times collection)