Christchurch DXers 1932-1940

CHRISTCHURCH DXers. 1932 – 40.

From February 1940 issue of “TUNE IN”

AT the A.G.M. of the Branch, March 1940, Christchurch will celebrate her 8th birthday. She was the first organised body of DXers in New Zealand, Dunedin being a close second.

The very first meeting of DXers in N.Z. was convened by the writer in conjunction with the Radio Society of Christchurch, on Thursday, Jan 28, 1932. This was the very first attempt to separate DXing from technical radio, and launch it as a specialised hobby. Twelve DXers answered the call, being V. Hogg, E. A. Whitehead, J. Henwood, S. Walton, G. Sadler, Curline, L. J. Marshall, G. Gerkins, R. J. Heese, J. Early, J. C. Stapleton, and “yours truly”. It was quite a successful evening, and led to a further informal meeting in Aril, 1932.

Well, May 1932 saw the DXers officially banded, the first executive being: President, J. C. Stapleton; Vice-President, R. J. Heese; Secretary, E. W. Watson; Committee, Messrs T. Hazard, J. Costley, and A. L. Emerson. In those days we were called the DX Club.

In June 1932 the Executive launched a vigorous, campaign for the reduction of electrical interference (QRM) with reception, particularly the local “Roarer”, in which they had the active assistance and cooperation of the local press, radio engineers, broadcasting stations, and legal advice of the late Mr. E. J. Howard, M.P. (This campaign was not finalised until legislation was brought in to protect listeners, and the “Roarer” silenced some years later.) The subject was fully covered in articles by the writer in “Tune Ins” of April 10, 1933, and Sep. 1, 1935, so will not be repeated here.

The Christchurch DXers settled down to regular monthly meetings, packed with keen DXers, to hear lectures or discuss loggings, the early meetings being in Tisdall’s Buildings Cashel St., and from October 1932, in the Concert Chamber of Chas. Begg & Co. Of recent months there have been many changes of meeting rooms, but the same keen spirit prevails.

On Jan. 1st, 1933, DXers from Christchurch and Dunedin, met in a rai1way carriage at Timaru to discuss the formation of a new national DX society. The Conference consisted of Messrs. E. C. M. Philpott, E. W. Watson, R. H. Thompson, A. L. Emerson, from Christchurch, and prominent Dunedin DXers including Messrs. A. L. Stanton, H. Natta, Sudden, Kerr, Looker, McConachie and Sarney. A photo of this group, taken by Eric Philpott, is to ‘be seen on the R.A. stand at the Centennial Exhibition.

And so the NZ. DX R.A. Inc. was launched, Christchurch DXers undertaking the duties of administrative H.Q., while Dunedin DXers formed the magazine Committee. Thus both Dunedin and Christchurch DXers have had a dual role, that of Magazine and H.Q. Committees respectively, in addition to keeping their local branches going.

The most successful meeting in branch history was at an address by Mr. A. L. Curry, senior announcer at 3YA, on March 11, 1933. 80 persons attended, constituting an unbroken local record. This address was covered in a “Tune In” article, April 10, 1933.

The work of keeping the Branch going and the R.A. progressively active, goes on. Many keen men have been on the Executive at different times, only to drop out again, but one or two old reliable still remain in office in spite of the inevitable ups and downs. In the list of branch secretaries can be seen the names of Messrs. T. Hazard, N. C. Manchester, E. C. M. Philpott, A. H. Harbott, A. Henson and others.

Able Chairmen we have had in the services of Messrs. J. C. Stapleton (six years service), M. Wilson, N. C. Manchester, D. F. Johnson and others.


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