Hunt on to identify local scouts in 40 year old photo
TONY Van Lysdonk has been connecting people across the world via the air waves for years.
Now, the Gympie radio ham is trying to bridge time by identifying a group of local Scouts who featured on the front page of Amateur Radio magazine 40 years ago.
The Scouts were photographed taking part in the 1963 Jamboree-on-the-air, an event still held every October to give Scouts and Guides throughout Australia and overseas the chance to connect with each other.
Their photo was used as a cover shot on a 1964 edition of the magazine, which credited The Gympie Times with supplying the image.
"I picked the magazine up at the Sunshine Coast Radio Club which I'm still a member of," said Tony, who joined the Gympie Radio Club when he moved here from the coast a few years ago.
"A bloke brought in some old copies of Amateur Radio magazine he found in his garage. I looked at this one and noticed it had a Gympie photo on the front page and the credit on page two said the picture was provided by The Gympie Times."
Tony says it's fitting that he stumbled on the 40-year-old magazine just weeks after Gympie Scouts and Guides joined the Jamboree-on-the-air for the first time in 10 years.
"I've just finished doing Jamboree-on-the-air with Scouts and Guides in Gympie," he said.
"The jamboree is always held in the second week in October - it's when local radio clubs invite Scouts and Guides to talk to other Scouts and Guides around Australia and throughout the world.
"In Gympie, we made contact with four or five groups; each group can be up to 200 people, so we communicated with a lot of people.
"We involved all the Scout and Guide groups in Gympie for that weekend and all of them got to speak on the radio.
"It was a good weekend - one of the best I've been involved in for 24 years of doing jamborees."
Tony said the Gympie Radio Club was going from strength to strength.
"Our memberhip is growing rapidly," he said.
"It started with about 20 members but now has up to 40 because we instigated a scheme whereby if people joined the club, they would get their Foundation Amateur Licence, which allows them to talk to people around the world on HF (high frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) radio.
"And we've done away with morse code, which has got a lot more people into the hobby.
"Morse code was like another language and people didn't want to do it so now we just teach them basic radio theory."
Tony said he'd be interested to hear from anyone who recognised any of the Scouts in the photo.
"It'd be good to see if any of them still live in Gympie," he said.
The Gympie Radio Club meets in its rooms on the Old Gympie Railway Station platform every Wednesday from 10am.
For more information about the club or to identify any of the Scouts in the 1963 photograph, phone Tony on 0488025538.