History of OTVARC

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In early 1978 some dedicated amateur radio operators realized there was not a general interest amateur radio clubs on the west side of Portland. Some of them had been members of a club based in Newberg that had existed primarily as a contest club. It was known as Oregon Tualatin Valley Amateur Radio Club. A group of local hams gathered at the Rock Creek campus of Portland Community College for the purpose of creating a new club. Present were: George Morgan, WB3ELG; Bob Orr, KB7CC; Norm Roberts, KB7CD; Warren Winner, W7JDT and Ted McQuary, W7KBR. During this meeting, the new OTVARC was born. The club meeting was held at Sambo’s Restaurant was at 185th Ave and Sunset Highway in Hillsboro. Soon outgrowing the meeting room, they moved to Elmers’ Restaurant in the Beaverton Mall. Programs were produced by Bob Orr and a newsletter was created by Norm Roberts. Membership in this new club hovered in the low 20s. Dues were set at $5.00 a year.

The first project was getting incorporation papers signed and validated by the State of Oregon (May 8, 1978). Officers elected for 1978 were:
President – George Morgan WB3ELG
Vice-President – Dave Marlow AF7G
Secretary – Bill Altman WB7CHU
Treasurer/Trustee – Warren Winner W7JDT

The roster of 1978 charter members:

#1 – Ted McQuary;
#2 – David Herlowe, KB7BD
#3 – William Altman, WB7CHU
#4 – Robert Orr, WF7Q
#5 – Warren Winner, W7JDT
#6 – John LaPay
#7 – Eldon May, WB7BCW
#8 – George McFarlane, WA7FNO
#9 – Al Berg, W7SIC
#10 – Jon Berg, WB7VWX
#11 – Lee (Mae) McQuary, W7KBR
#12 – Dale Justice, K7WW
#13 – Russell Rauch
#14 – Wes Allen, K7WWG
#15 – Jerrie Moore, WB7TKS
#16 – George Morgan, K3HCS
#17 – Norman Roberts, KB7CD
#18 – Maria Roberts, KA7CHU
#19 – Kirke Johnson, WB7PXZ
#20 – Marshall Borchert, KD0DU
#21 – Dennis Boyd, KC7BE
#22 – Joseph Batty – K7TE
#23 – Jim Alex, KA7AUK
#24 – Neil McKie, WA6KLA

Dave Marlow AF7G was elected President in 1979 with Bob Orr, KB7CC, as his Vice President and Warren Knight, N7BIJ as Treasurer/Trustee.

The 1980 Board included Al Berg, W7SIC, President; Winn Tatro WB7TYR, Vice President; Carter Harrison WB7WHO, Secretary and Warren Knight, N7BIJ, Treasurer. This group developed a vision of growth for the club, setting a goal of doubling OTVARC membership during the ’80s and gaining recognition as a Special Service Club with the ARRL. It reached eighty members (nearly tripling in size) and the ARRL granted recognition of the club as a Special Service Club. The club set its 1981 membership goal at 175. During the early 80s, the club hosted a booth at the Clark County Ham Fair, held a campout in the Gorge, partied with a Barn Dance and Halloween event, and created a contest group. A monthly raffle was run by Doug McMurdo W7XI, as a fundraiser for club activities and equipment purchases. The first Christmas Party was held at the Bergs, who more than filled their home with club members.

Special interest groups and club jackets first appeared in 1981. The members were actively providing leadership for amateur radio in Oregon with Section Manager, Dale Justice, K7WWR, and Washington County Emergency Coordinator, Wes Allen, K7WWG, as members. The Rusty Key Contest was established to encourage CW activity on ten meters. The contest was held quarterly on the night after club meetings. More than 26 members participated on a regular basis.

The club meetings moved to North’s Chuck Wagon to allow larger gatherings and longer meetings. The club made a commitment to provide care for members and families with serious illnesses and during times of loss. Don Stanley, KC7CN, was the first recipient of the club’s concern while ill. The Christmas Party returned to the Berg’s home with 120 members in attendance in 1981.

Once again, in 1982, the club moved meetings to the PGE Building at Murray and Scholls Ferry Road. We needed the seating space (300) and facilities for programs and food service. Again, outgrowing the meeting space, and a desire for food service led to a move to North’s Chuck Wagon. The club reached 285 in membership during this period. Bunny Hunts were established once a month. A survey was undertaken to better serve the membership. The average age of members came in at 41 and most members were General class licensees 44%, with 16% being Novice or Technician class and 28% Advanced or Extra class.

In June 1982 the club began assisting with the Oregon State Ham Convention held at Seaside. A club motel was selected and booked for members attending the convention. The club found it difficult to get members to pay $5.00 annual dues in a timely manner. Otherwise, the club was running smoothly, with more than a hundred at many club meetings. The club newsletter introduced “Ollie,” the club mascot, designed by Carl J. Henniger, KA7GHR (SK), to the club.

In 1983, the club moved meeting sites once again, this time to the Beaverton Elks Club. The following year, the Seaside Convention became the ARRL Northwestern Division Convention, SEA-PAC. Club membership reached 229. Our bylaws were amended to make a quorum reasonable for a larger club. It had been 75% of active members or 172 members under the older provision. More than two-hundred-fifty newsletters were being printed on a club copier each month. Some editions went to thirty-two pages. The Christmas Dinner Party was a potluck meal at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in 1985.

In April 1986 OTVARC purchased the 146.96 MHz and 440.250 MHz repeaters on Goat Mountain, near Colton, from the Cascade Repeater Association. Wes Allen, K7WWG updated the equipment to Motorola MSR and MSF repeaters. Since then the club has added a 223.94 MHz repeater to the site. In 1994, the club doubled its annual dues to $10.00 to allow for more projects and cover the cost of printing and mailing the monthly newsletter. Greg Milnes, W7AGQ (SK), ARRL Northwestern Division Vice Director and former club president (1986) became Division Director with the untimely passing of Director Mary Lou Brown, NM7N in 1998.

The club newsletter became The OSCILLATOR in the ’90s. With a new millennium a new editor, Everett Curry, W6ABM picked up the keyboard from Dale LeBarron, W7FBP. Dale carried this monthly role since it was given up by Les Turner, KB7SSE in 1997. The club had a membership of 163.

The second-longest Presidential tenure was held by Betty Mickley, N7REX who served for three years. JD Fort, K7JDF took the reins from Betty in 2000. He has served on the Board in other roles and has taken major leadership in public demonstrations of amateur radio, including Field Day. Don Stettler, KK7TN, picked up the Presidential role in September 2003 with the untimely passing of Harold Landers. Don became the longest-serving President, continuing through 2006.

Club dues increased to $ 15.00 in 2003 with an action by the membership to continue increasing annual dues until it reached $ 20.00 in 2008. The club first offered an email version of THE OSCILLATOR in 2004. Most members elected to receive the electronic version. The club membership stood at 174 at the end of 2004. Stability in leadership has been a strong factor in OTVARC over its history. Five living Presidents in the last decade continue in some leadership positions in the club in 2007.

In 2007, the membership stood at 177 at the beginning of the year. Robert Crocker WN7O, active in club leadership for several years, was elected President for 2007 and served in 2008 and 2009. Bob worked to strengthen ties with the Washington County Amateur Radio Foundation, Washington County ARES, and MARS, carrying leadership roles in each organization.

The 30th Anniversary of the club was celebrated in 2008. By mid-2009 the club exceeded 210 members and was splitting the seams of its meeting site. This Washington County-based club continued to serve a wide area as a full-service amateur radio club. A renewed emphasis on identifying members’ interests and featuring them in both programs and activities made this a strong year.

Pat Roberson, W7PAT, served in 2010 and 2011 as president and due to a shift in the program year, Pat served until May 2012. During Pat’s administration, the club looked for a larger meeting place, during which the club tried several locations. Settling on an invitation from Warren Winner, W7JDT, to consider Sunset Presbyterian Church, the club found a new home for its monthly meetings.

Herb Hirst, K7HLH was elected to serve as president in 2012. He led the club through the celebration of its 35th year in 2013. At the close of 2014, the club membership stood at 212.

Original club history document prepared by Al Berg, W7SIC (SK) and updated in 2015 by Warren Knight, N7BIJ, and Warren Winner, W7JDT.

Previous Officers of OTVARC

Geroge Morgan WB3ELG 1978
Al Berg WB7SIC 1980
Dick Powers WB7ADM 1982
Dave Parker W7LJN 1984
Gino Buell KA7KBH 1985
Bill Merwin N7VZF 1994
Betty Mickley N7REX 1998-1999
JD Fort K7JDF 2001
Robert Crocker WN7O 2007-2008
Pat Roberson N7PAT/KA7PAT 2011
John Bucsek KE7WNB 2019-2022

Vice President
Dave Marlow AF7G 1978
Randy Cobb KA7HJT 1982
John Haide WA7CZA 1984
Hanford Van Hess KE7BB 1985
Chris Black N7MWL 1994
JD Fort KC7ET 1998-1999
Phil Teck N7OY 2001
Herb Hirst K7HLH 2011
Michael Lippold K7MTL 2020
Steve Bils K3SHB 2021

Bill Altman WB7CHU 1978
Carter Harrison WB7WHO 1981
Linda Cereghino N7CZY 1982-1984
Jeff Freedman K7JF 1985
Brad Beach N7NVC 1994
Dale LeBarron W7FBP 1998
Mike McDonald KC7YSW 1999
Everett Curry W6ABM 2001,2011
Barbara Winner WB1ARB 2021

Warren Winner W7JDT 1978
Warren Knight N7BIJ 1981-1982
John Burgess N7DCQ 1984
Randy Stimson KZ7T 1985
Tim Taylor N7UCA 1994
Hanford Van Hess KE7BB 1998-1999
Linda Sutton KC7YTD 2001
Warren Winner W7JDT 2011
Melissa Nelson WA7MEL 2021

Bob Dunshee W7LYK 1981
Dennis Fewell AI7G 1981
Bob Orr KB7CC 1981-1982
Mark Walker W7CLU 1982
Roger Steyaert K7RXV 1982
Bill Whiting WA6VPA 1982
Al Berg WB7SIC/W7SIC 1982-1999
Randy Cobb KA7HJT 1984
Warren Knight N7BIJ 1984
John Koenig NB7W 1984
Jerry Norman ND7T 1984
Linda Cereghino N7CZY 1985
Terry Biggs WB7CHK 1985
Greg Milnes W7AGQ 1985
Dave Parker W7LJN 1985
Rick Rasch KB7NTT 1994
Camber Bybee KB7RGX 1994
Lynn Hurd WB7UNU 1994
Wes Allen K7WWG 1994,2001,2011
Jack Smithson KA7HOJ 1998-1999
Will Sheffield N7THL 1998-1999
Janet Bell WB7FJC 1998-1999
Maureen O’Rourke KA7LAP 1998-1999
Jim Blanchard W7HOW 2001
Alvin Carlson KB7VHI 2001
Julia Landers KD7GQW 2001
JD Fort K7JDF 2011
Phil Kane K2ASP 2011,2021
Ron O’Connor KD7VIK 2011,2021
Terrill Jarvis K7TLJ 2020-2021
Casey Baldwin N7CTB 2020-2021
Candice Bucsek KF7WPQ 2020-2021
David Moore KF7ASP 2021