Allan hits the airwaves to keep in touch with friends
GYMPIE Second World War veteran Allan Booth has a box full of friends right at his fingertips.
The war veteran, 90, is an avid member of the Gympie Amateur Radio Group and has the complete set-up in his room at Gympie's St Patrick's Villa Nursing Home.
Mr Booth, who is blind, may be vision impaired but his fingertips tiptoe around his radio equipment with complete ease.
The amateur radio hobbyist specialises in morse code in addition to using the hand-held microphone during his transmissions.
Morse code has a special place in Mr Booth's heart as he used the groundbreaking method of communication during the Second World War as a member of the Royal Australian Air Force.
"I used morse code in the air force during the war and it's great to keep it alive," he said.
"I like using the radio because it's about making friends and you never know who you are going to talk to."
Mr Booth has a morning ritual involving chats with Venus, 87, from Utah in the United States. He also speaks with Bob from Florida and Alf in Cape Town.
Radio's reach is connecting Mr Booth with a worldwide network of friends without a wifi connection, smartphone or tablet in sight and he wouldn't like it any other way.
Founding president of the Gympie Amateur Radio Group, Bob Dixon, said the group was keen to welcome more members into its fold.
The club is based at the Mary Valley Heritage Railway after members funded and carried out extensive repairs on a termite-riddled building.
"Amateur radio is an old hobby that has been around since the turn of the century and has only ever stopped during war," Mr Dixon said.
"I see it as a conversational hobby."
Anyone interested in the Gympie Amateur Radio Group can visit http://www.gceginc.org.au for further details on how to join.