On a cold rain/snow mix Saturday morning Apr. 30th, 2022 the WestCumb ARC hosted the 5th annual Symposium for Maritime Amateur Radio Technicians at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill NS.
After two years of cancellations due to COVID the event was nearly postponed again due to a rise in COVID cases but with the organizing committee making masks mandatory, it was decided to go ahead. There were only a few cancellations due to masking but many amateurs emailed me personally and thanked us at the event for mandating masks.
The event was set at a maximum 150 registered members and sold out in less than two weeks. Flea market tables also sold out quickly.
We had the most displays ever at SMART with tables representing Maritime Contest Club, Radio Amateurs of Canada, Maritime Lady Amateurs, Old Timers Club, Roger Stein VA1RST from Halifax running the VE1-VE0 QSL Bureau and Douglas Silliker VY2DS from Summerside running the VE9/VY2 QSL Bureau. We were also expecting the Nova Scotia Amateur Radio Association (NSARA) but they had to cancel at the last moment due to a illness.
Everyone was treated to free coffee and tea when first arriving and everyone received a free barbecue lunch which included hamburgers, hot dogs, water and a soft drink.
There were eight classes during the day and also a presentation in the afternoon from Nova Scotia Public Safety Field Communications.
This was a real team effort to hold the event this year, losing seven regular volunteers but several new members stepped up.
The list is long of whom to thank so here goes. If I miss anyone my apologizes.
The Municipality of Cumberland for the donation of the Community center for the event. Eileen Davage Marketing Officer at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Center who worked with us very closely to prepare the building for our use. Ron Maine and Mandy Hunter from Maintenance who were instrumental in helping us with any problems throughout the day.
The mayor of Cumberland County Murray Scott for the opening remarks in the morning.
Mike Johnson VE1MWJ who was the MC for the day and also worked tirelessly at obtaining funding for the event, buying of food and collecting the barbecues.
Mike Masters VE1ZB for helping Mike VE1MWJ with food items.
George Dewar VY2GF who looked after finding the presenters for SMART22.
Dana Rushton VE1VOX for getting the licenses for the raffle and 50/50 draws.
Kevin Burke VE1KEV for looking after the setup of the flea market / display tables and also working the barbecue.
Robert Mannette VE1RMJ for the setting up of computers in each class and working the barbecues.
Robert's girlfriend Amber who helped look after the raffle ticket table and helped give out the food during the lunch hour.
Ron Bickle VE1BIC for the setting up of sound systems and computers in each room, video recordings and taking all the official photos for SMART. Coming Soon.
Tom Hughes VE1TWH for video recording the classes and setting up a YouTube channel dedicated to SMART. Coming soon Jim Hannon VE1AFH for manning the canteen throughout the day for tea & coffee.
Mike Embree VE1MY who was looking after call-ins via ham radio throughout the morning on VE1WRC. Later in the day Mike also looked after the Old Timer's Table, WestCumb ARC table and helped out on the 50/50 table.
Ron Blue VE1BBB who worked the 50/50 table.
Terry & Sue Duncan VE1AS / VA1SIS who looked after the Raffle tickets.
Frank Marks VE1FSM who as a new member to the WestCumb ARC looked after selling of items that had come our way lately from the wife of a former amateur radio operator.
Joe Clememts VY2JC/VE1JCC and his wife Tracy who looked after receiving the funds and passing out the name tags as amateurs entered the building in the morning. Joe and Tracy also helped give out the food during lunch hour.
Tracy also drew all the tickets for the draws at the end of the day.
Jean-Pierre Ouellette VE9ADV from the Moncton ARC who helped out with the barbecues.
John Langille VE1CWJ who during lunch hour held a class outdoors in the snow/rain mix and showed his skills of making several satellite contacts on a pass including Greenland, Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany, France, and Spain.
John Scott VE1JS was also there again this year looking after award verification and LOTW confirmation.
We would like to thank the presenters whom without them there would be no classes.
Craig Seaboyer, VE1DSS, Al Penny VO1NO, Neil Hughes VE1YZ, Chris Pye VA1PYE, Jean-Paul LeBlanc VE9BK, Bill McMaster VY2WM, Fred Archibald VE1FA and Bill Karle VE1YY.
Thanks also go out to all the sponsors for the event including Scott Davis N3FJP for his annual donation of his amateur radio software package, Radioworld for their regular contributions of gift cards, Mike Embree VE1MY for his donation of an antenna, Craig Seaboyer VE1DSS and the Antigonish ARC for their donation of a Raspberry Pi kit, Moncton & Area ARC, Greenwood ARC, Kings County ARC, Loyalist City ARC and the Truro ARC for their donation of several gas cards, ICOM Canada and Yeasu USA for their ball caps and Nova Scotia Public Safety Field Communications for their donations.
The main event this year was the arrival of Nova Scotia Public Safety Field Communications who attending this year with two of their new communication vehicles. The team of Scott Hawkes VE1SLH, Al Cyples VE1CYP / VE1TMR and Mark Turner VA1TMR spent the day showing off the vehicles and answering any questions brought up by amateurs. At 2pm in the afternoon Scott gave a presentation to everyone in the arena and it was very well received.
Winners of the Grand Prizes were Lorne Anderson VE1BXK who won the 50/50. The other half of the 50/50 was donated this year to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Fund.
The three other Grand Prizes donated by the WestCumb ARC included a Diamond Vertical Duel Band Antenna won by Ken Holmes VE1UF, Yaesu FT-70DR portable Fusion radio won by Mike Caissie VE9MTV and Michael Harvey VE1MBH walked away with the Yaesu FTM-300D Mobile Fusion Radio.
Finally we would like to thank all the 127 amateurs who braved the weather, the price of fuel and still dealing with COVID to take in the event this year. Not one person complained about wearing masks.
Without all of you this event would not have happened.
Hope to see many of you again next year at SMART23.