ISSUE 17, April 2006
Editorial
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening

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    As with Freemasonry, so amateur radio is ‘universal’ and Lodge treasurer Roger Brown (g3lqp), Senior Fellow of the Polytechnic University of Tirana in Albania, was part of a group of rsgb members to teach the amateur radio examination syllabus to Albanian students.
    Called ‘Project Goodwill’ 40 amateurs from 10 countries went to Albania – once the rarest amateur radio country of all – to put the subject on the university’s syllabus.
    During the Second World War, radio amateurs had to hand in their transmitters – as had also been the case in World War One. But because of their expertise, some ‘hams’ found themselves recruited into a top secret organisation, the Radio Security Service (rss), largely because of their expertise in Morse code.
    The role of the rss, which came under the Secret Intelligence Service, was to track down illicit wireless operations being operated by the Germans inside the UK, and amateurs (including women) were taken on as “VIs” – Voluntary Interceptors. After the war, the rss became the Diplomatic Wireless Service.
    Although Morse is no longer compulsory in rsgb examinations, many amateurs still use it. Christopher Jones (g3rcu), Radio Fraternity Lodge secretary, for example, is a member of a unique group of radio amateurs, the First Class cw [Morse] Operators’ Club (foc). They have a worldwide membership which is restricted to 500 members.
    It was during the war that John Clarricoats was on special duties connected with training raf personnel in radio communications. As his obituary, published in the RSGB Bulletin in June 1964, explained:

‘Many a serving member [of the rsgb], during the war, found himself suddenly pulled out of his unit, transferred to other duties without even knowing how it was done. The secret lay in the vast knowledge of almost every individual member and his potentialities contained in that phenomenal memory…’







Top:
The Lodge badge was described by one of the Founders, John Savage, as: ‘This drawing is simply the motif for the centre of the crest and is ideal in its simplicity and Masonic nature in that the antenna can be likened to an acacia bush, the capacitor represents a coffin, the earth symbol is self-explanatory and the two pillars represent a porchway or entrance.’
Middle:
World at their Fingertips – the history of the Radio Society of Great Britain, written by John Clarricoats
Below:
John Clarricoats, secretary of the Radio Society of Great Britain for 32 years and first Master, and subsequently secretary, of Radio Fraternity Lodge No. 8040


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