Brief History of QCWA's New England Chapters
The earliest presence of QCWA in New England was Chapter 3, The Boston - Providence Chapter. Chartered on November 1, 1955, its meetings alternated between Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island. After several years of inactivity, a new chapter was formed, New England Chapter 24, chartered on April 4, 1964. QCWA membership had expanded to a point that an image of broader coverage was needed. This chapter encompassed members from all the New England states.
Problems within this group caused a loss of interest for a few years. Some members intent on renewing a QCWA chapter met at the Boxboro hamfest in October of 1978 and appointed a committee to consider formation of a new Chapter. Wes Randles, W4COW, Blanche Randles, W4GXZ, Walter Woodward, W1RCJ, and Onie Woodwrd, W1ZEN, met at the home of Wes and Blanche and prepared and mailed a letter to New England QCWA members announcing a meeting at the home of Walter and Onie. Eleven members attended the meeting on February 3, 1979. Although a number of names for the new Chapter were considered, a unanimous vote resulted in the name "Yankee Chapter".
The group elected Wes, W4COW/1, as the first President with Onie, W1ZEN, as the first Secretary/Treasurer. Wes then appointed as first Activities Manager, Marv Fickett,W1LAV, and Joe Santangelo, N1JS, as Net Manager, all until the first annual meeting in April 1979. The Yankee Chapter Number 112, was chartered by National on February 15, 1979. Charter Membership was held open until the April meeting (forty six attended) and eventually the chapter had sixty Charter Members. The chapter's charter was presented by Jack Titterington, W1EOF at the April meeting. A Newsletter was planned to be issued every quarter and more often if possible.
As QCWA membership grew in New England, it was apparent that geographic areas of New England needed to support their local membership. The first chapter to form outside Yankee was the Pine Tree Chapter, Chapter #134, serving the State of Maine. That was followed by Twin State Chapter #146, serving Vermont and New Hampshire; Nutmeg, Chapter #149, serving Connecticut; and the most recent, Pioneer Chapter #183, serving the Pioneer Valley region (Central Massachusetts and North Central Connecticut).
If you are a new QCWA member living in New England, check into one of these chapters. Meeting and participating in the local chapter can add to your enjoyment of ham radio as well as meeting interesting people who can easily become life-long friends. And remember, spouses are always welcomed at chapter meetings. Programs are planned to be of interest to the ham and non-ham. Hope to see you there soon!!!
Material for this brief history was supplied from old memos and notes by Blanche Randles, W4GXZ; Walt Kornacki, W1YOC and Joe Santangelo, N1JS. My thanks to these folks for their inputs and review. Chuck Walbridge, K1IGD, Secretary/Treasurer, Yankee Chapter 112.