From

Cassette HQ - Box 431 - Jaffrey NH 03452

John Johnston K3BNS

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There have been many requests foi help from cJub presidents, club members, and people who are trying to form clubs. This article, originally printed in April, 1966, gives a dramatic picture of the typical ham dub. The authorr now assistant in charge of Amateur and CB affairs of the FCC, a/so advises that the club president is not elected as an honor he is elected because it is believed that he can perform the work necessary to prevent the club from looking like that in his article. One of the biggest mistakes the president can make is to push his pet ideas; he should be able to guide the club in the course of action that they want to take. The president is a leader and should set an example for each future president of the organization.

One of the more interesting facets of amateur radio is the opportunity to participate in unique organizations loosely identified as 'radio ham clubs." Upon considering thai each member has progressed through a filtering process designed to eliminate all but the most dedicated, it is interesting to observe the results. First he has had to culture an interest in a very demanding hobby, subject himself to an agonizing period of learning rules, theory, customs and Morse code. Next under protest. he has indulged in outrageous expenditures for equipment, (hen he has been further motivated to seek out the companionship of similar individuals. Finally, he not only endures, but delights in, attendance at regular club meetings.

These meetings follow proceedings thai have been universally adopted. One familiar with these rituals can freely move from one geographical location to another and find solace. Unfortunately t these rites are not documented and the uninitiated must ¬°earn them the hard way+ The constitution of any given club is usually of little benefit, for example, and reference to it can only result in confusion.

The most important things to bear in mind are that the members attend these meetings for entertainment (viz: night out from the XYL), and the club presideni is charged with providing some type of diversion, such as a speaker. In fact, some observers are of the opinion thai this is his only purpose, and ins re-election is dependent upon his degree of success in this vain.

All radio club meetings are called to order 45 minutes after the announced time. This allows a period for members to indulge in a quainl pastime known in amateur radio as the "eyeball QSG/ This informal preliminary event is comprised of impromptu discussion centered on three (3) general areas of exaggerated claims:

I- Lamentation of the heavy demands placed upon one's station by rare DX operators desiring a QSO.

2. The amount of high power one is utilizing, including various precautions to insure that a minimum of 1 KW output is always maintained.

3, The vast superiority of one's equipment; the extent of the claims being in proportion to his desire to unload it.

Of particular note are the audience participation entertainment meetings where a special game is played. The neophyte would be advised to suppress his urge to fully participate in this game until the rules are fully understood. It begins with the president announcing. Tonight will be a business meeting!1' meaning he couldn't obtain a speaker.

Upon this signal, the members are alerted to critically observe the proceedings, concentrating upon finding the "debate item/' As the chairman routinely calls upon each committee head for a report, some of the more dedicated members warm-up for the main debaie event with comments and questions somewhat relevant to the report. Candidates for team captain can thus identify themselves.

The main debate item is usually selected between 15 and 20 minutes after the call to order, when boredom has set in. While the scope of these items are vast, there are certain criteria which must be met in order to enjoy full participation,

1, Under no circumstances must the debate

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