On April 17, 1977, 20 Highland County area amateur radio operators gathered in the Farm Bureau conference room to discuss organizing an amateur radio club to serve the interests of the amateur radio community. Additionally, the club would promote the hobby and serve the community and local government with communication services in times of need or emergencies.
The results of the gathering created the Highland Amateur Radio Association which was overseen by a board of trustees comprised of Dr. Bill Terrell, Paul Levo, Donald Irvin, Gary Harris, Bob Patton, Jim Hamilton and John Levo. The first officers elected were Gary Harris, president; Randy McNeil, vice president; and John Levo, secretary/treasurer.
From those humble beginnings, the association has grown from the original 20 charter members to the present 130. The majority of those FCC licensed amateurs are Highland County residents.
Partially through the club’s promotion of amateur radio and the public’s positive impression of the service, the Federal Communications Commission database reports there are more than 200 licensed amateurs with Highland County zip codes. Additionally, HARA has become one of the most respected amateur radio clubs in the United States and recently was notified of an international honor.
On Tuesday evening, April 12, the members will observe the anniversary of the club’s founding with special refreshments at the conclusion of its business meeting to be held at the Highland County EMA Office, 1487 N. High St., Hillsboro, beginning at 7 p.m.
HARA President Pat Hagen urged any licensed amateur radio operator or anyone with an interest in radio communications or electronics to attend. A special invitation is extended to past members and others who may have had a license in the past. Hagen also reminded all of the upcoming monthly “Brunch Bunch” gathering on April 9 at the Hillsboro McDonald’s. It, too, is open to anyone with a ham license or radio communications interest.
More information about amateur radio can be found at www.arrl.org. Information about the Highland Amateur Radio Association can be found on the Club’s Facebook page or by contacting [email protected]
Submitted by John Levo, Highland Amateur Radio Association.