1971 Leithfield Beach


Special Convention Issue. April 9th 1971.



“On behalf of the Canterbury Branch I would like to welcome you all to the New Zealand Radio DX League Convention being held at Leithfield Beach. It is pleasing to see so many travel so far to take part, especially our friends from Australia. From memory this would be the first time we have had an overseas visitor at a Convention. Christchurch is a beautiful city and I hope you can see as much of it as time will allow. This being the first time a Convention has been held over Easter the longer weekend should help to make it one of the best ever held. Many of you will be renewing old acquaintances and many names in the “DX Times” will now come to life. The DX Specials arranged should be of interest to all and I hope conditions will be as we would always like them.

Thanks to the Canterbury Branch members who have done all the work to bring this weekend to reality. I feel sure all attending will go home with many memories of an enjoyable weekend. Ray Crawford.


The stations listed below have advised they will be calling Conventionites this Easter. Send in plenty of reports, chaps, and make sure they are detailed and courteous. We thank these stations for their interest.

Saturday April 10th Radio Hauraki (1480) 10.00pm.

Radio i (1590) 10.30pm.

Radio Waikato (930) 11.00pm.

Sunday 11th April 9RB (810), Rabaul, Papua New Guinea will make a short announcement during their regular programme at 00.59am, and again at 1.58am.

Monday 12th April 4QO (910) Eidsvold, Queensland. 2.05 – 2.20am. (Please note this will be after 4QB has signed off.)


Branch President, Ray Crawford. Vice Presidents, Stephen Reed and David Dwyer. Secretary, Ian Peterson. Liaison Officer and Convention Quartermaster, Don Reed.

Conventionites will be accommodated in three baches at Leithfield. No. 90 (Reed’s) No. 88 (Costello’s) and No. 81 (Stanbury’s). Please note NO alcohoIic beverages in No. 81. Please respect this, as these were the conditions of hire. The store at Leithfield Beach will be open to about 7pm. most nights – see sign outside shop with times of closing. There is a Telephone box near the store and toll calls can be put through to anywhere callers wish, but do have lots of small change to put in the slot! Amberley is about 3 miles away – go up to the main road and turn north. Christchurch is 25 miles from Leithfield Beach.


Members have been allotted to baches as evenly as possible so that everyone present should be able to find a seat in front of a receiver and later on a bed. Members are permitted to wander from bach to bach as much as they wish to hear and see how the other groups are getting along, but please find a bed in the bach to which you have been attached. Dinner and tea will be provided either at Costello’s or Reed’s, as will supper Friday and Saturday night. But each bach will be expected to arrange breakfast for it’s own members, as well as any late suppers required during all-night DX sessions. A Canterbury member has been appointed leader in each bach to organise the rations, and to supervise a clean-up at the end of the Convention.

BACH NO. 81. Dwyer (leader) Williams Troon Mason Riquish Bolton Babbage Stevens Johnson Crawford

COSTELLO’S Kotow (leader) Mainland Weatherly Lynneberg Aronsen Cavanagh Cushen Rogers Campbell Lynn Garden

REED’S Stephen Reed (leader) Clark Robinson Gloistein Corder Newman Pearson Branks

D. Reed McKenzie, R.Crawford, A. Crawford.


You’ve heard how the Scots founded Dunedin, the English founded Canterbury, and how the Parliamentarians founded Wellington – but while you’re here for the weekend we’ll give you local history instead.

Leithfield was founded by John Leith, formerly a sea captain who settled by the Kowhai River in 1857. He surveyed the land and in 1862 ¼ acre sections in the “Township of Leith” were auctioned for $25 (£12. 10. 0) each. In three years this price rose to $35. One of the largest flourmills in North Canterbury was operating near the township for years and its four great sails were one of the local land-marks – and even used as a landmark by ships sailing along the coast. Later Leithfield became a changing place for the horse teams of Cobb & Co’s coaches on the run to Hurunui. In 1862 John Leith cut a track down to the beach and he spent a 1ot of time advertising Leithfield as an ideal health and holiday resort. He built a new hotel and called it the “New Family Hotel” trying to entice Christchurch families to spend the summer there. The beach and lagoons could have made Leithfield the “Brighton of Canterbury” but despite his efforts the settlement never became more than a quiet country town. The town of Leithfie1d died in 1872 when the railway was put through to Amberley and bypassed the township. John Leith then left Leithfield and was last heard of as the light-house keeper at South Manukau Heads.

During the past few years extensive shingle banks have drifted south along the coast, spoiling the beach somewhat, the appearance of the beach changing from day to day as sand or shingle is washed in by the tide. Although Leithfield township supports a very small population Leithfield Beach has 161 baches on the domain, and there are no vacant sections. The new motorway has brought the Beach within 30 minutes travelling time from Christchurch.


In 1954 Des Lynn who was then National Secretary of the NZDXL paid a short visit to Christ church, and with Don Reed visited all members of the League then resident in the city. Shortly after this a meeting was held in the rooms of the Pioneer Sports Club, and it was decided to form a Branch of the League here. First President was Don Reed, and the first Secretary was Ivan Kilroy. The second President of the Branch was Maurice Enright who had created a sensation some years earlier by logging 250-watt Yanks on a one valve “Hikers One” at Cardrona in Central Otago. Some years later Christchurch gained Ken Mackey and Des Lynn from Otago, and for a while was HQ of the League, as well as printing and despatching the NZ DX TIMES, a job which is still handled locally. Many Conventionites will recall stalwarts of earlier years in the late Arthur Harbrow, and Anthony King, now of Wellington. Another keen worker for Canterbury has been Dick Pollard from Golden Downs in Nelson, who usually travels down to Christchurch for the annual meeting every year. Lately Ray Crawford from Invercargill has been working at Lake Coleridge, and thought nothing of driving 80 miles to Christchurch for a meeting often going straight home to do a night shift at work. The backbone of most clubs is the secretary and Canterbury has been very lucky in having Ian Peterson looking after this side of the organisation for the past 8 or 9 years. This convention is the fifth held by the Canterbury Branch, a record that no other Branch can approach.

Canterbury Branch – next meeting at John Cottons , 221 Estuary Road, 22nd April.





3.00 pm. Gather at LEITEILD BEACH. Set up Listening Posts – erect aerials.

4.30 General Instructions for the weekend. Allotment of baches.

5.00 Tea, followed by first DX session.

8.50 At Costello’s – EVENING PROGRAMME

DX Forum.

SW Quiz.

10.30 Supper.

11.00 Late evening DX session.


10.00 am, NORTH ISLAND v SOUTH ISLAND Cricket match. Teams will be announced

Friday evening.

12.30 pm. Lunch. Followed at 2.00 pm. by Official photographs.

2.30 Leave for Christchurch International Airport. Afternoon tea can be obtained at Airport (members buy their own.)

4.00 Conducted tour through Weather Office at Airport.

5.30 Cocktails at Blenheim Road Motor Inn.

6.00 Dine at Blenheim Road Motor Inn. ($2. 75 per member)


Welcome by Canterbury President.

Replies by National and Branch representatives.

Convention BC Quiz.

A spot of Comedy (we hope!)

10.30 Supper. ALL NIGHT DX STATIONS Watch For Calls from NZ stations and Rabaul early Sunday morning.


12.30 pm. Dinner.

Afternoon free. We hope to take visitors into Christchurch on sightseeing tours. Details on Saturday night.

5.00 Tea. Followed by Evening DX.

10.30 Supper. Late night DX. Remember 4QO at 2.05 am. Monday morning.


Early breakfast at all baches.

9.00 am. Competition winners announced for DX contests.

9.30 Clean up – break up. Farewell to Convention ‘71.