1956 Riverton Rocks

DX CONVENTION As Recounted by Ken Mackey
With the most enjoyable convention now but a memory, members are already looking forward to the possibilities of when and where next year.
Present were Basil Coombe (Palmerston.N), Dick Pollard (Golden Downs, Nelson), Ivan Adams, Jack Blacklock, Harold Barrowclough, Ross Gibson, Des Lynn, Bill Masson, Frank McKenzie, Bill Milne (Dunedin), Alex Allan, Merv Branks, Dudley Carter, Arthur Cushen, Bob Cole, Laurie Dale, Des Frampton, George Goodsir, Eric Mclntosh, Ewan Simpson, Bill Thomson (Invercargill), George Beardsmore, Ken Mackey (Dunedin)…The near omissions are ours…Ed.

Firstly Board members held a brief meeting at 10a.m. at Des Framptonl’s. At 1.15pm’Gonventionites foregathered at Branks’ Corner Shoppe where car loading was organised (thanks to drivers) and the entourage moved off to the Southland
Centennial Fair; Members spent an enjoyable two hours inspecting the most
interesting stalls and displays (The League had a striking advertising
board in Chas Beggs’). Merv spent most of his time with a blonde at the
coffee stall(it was free), while others were interested in the TV or its
female operator.On arrival at The Rocks things were highly organised and
Merv had a team to repair one of the aerials. There was no mistaking Merv
up a tree – an opossum has more hair. Came teatime and cook Carter (nobly
assisted on Sunday by garbage Goodsir) came clean and served a meal fit for
any ***** hotel, Des still has some lamb chop between his teeth. Ivan’s
tape recorder was the next course but most members found that identification
signals and languages were hard to digest. Sets were then hooked up and
groups gathered to tune some poor BC signals. By this time the heavens had
opened and a typical sou‘wester was on. During the deluge in walked Southland’s Radio Inspector, Bill Woodward, who had braved 27 miles of storm to
give a most interesting talk on tracking down radio interference. Many
members went to bed thinking there was little chance of further DX. However,
conditions came right and some interesting Eastern signals got through (also
6VA on official opening). SWers were also busy. The night watch went to
bed at 5.50a,m. and Merv chose to do a little repair job with the axe…
yes, it woke us all, so the second shift arose to try for non-existant
Africans and Europeans. During the morning Merv gave a talk on DX in general
Basil Coombe’s KEAN verie was discussed and the League’s reasons why such
a logging was impossible at the time were explained. In the afternoon talks
were given by Ken Mackey (North American reception), Arthur Cushen (shortwave listening and reporting) and Des Lynn (Northern tour). After photographs, (Ye editor would like some) the Otago Conventionites after (once more) a hasty after(again)noon tea departed, while Basil and Dick stayed on in
Invercargill as the guests of Des and Arthur. (We have had many, many fine
expressions of thanks for the hospitality of the Southlanders, even though
some of the visitors had to sleep on Eric’s hard bunks or on the floor at
Merv’s. As one member put it: “It didn’t need Bill Thomson’s streamer
banner to welcome us at the gate, even Saturday night’s storm couldn’t
damp the warmth of Southlands welcome and hospitality.”…Ed.)

(From the Peter Grenfell DX Times collection)