The way I understood it, QCWA was an organization of veteran amateur
operators, each having at least 25 years experience in amateur radio. We are
not necessarily veterans of World War II, or the Korean War, or even Vietnam - but
we all share 25 years of amateur radio. For newer members such as myself, our "good
old days" include memories of the first solid-state HF transceivers, synthesized
two-meter mobiles, and hand held radios - and these memories are as meaningful to us
as the warmth and glow of tubes are to those who have 25 years as a QCWA member.
Unfortunately, QCWA carries an image of "old hams" with it, as seen by younger hams.
When I was first licensed, my friends would joke about QCWA being the Q signal for
"Pass the Geritol." After 25 years, I'm sure many of my contemporaries still see
QCWA in the same light. In order to increase membership, we need to find common
ground among the current membership and those just reaching their 25th year. For
example, what reminded me of QCWA as the time approached was seeing the petition
for rulemaking filed with the FCC - not exactly the work of "older" people resting
on their achievements, but of those actively interested in the current state of
ham radio. The scholarship program also caught my attention. The "cruise
convention", however, appeared to be aimed at retired and older members, and
not appealing to those of us who still may have another 25 years to reach that
milestone. What it all comes down to is this: Do we want to relax membership
standards when the environment may not be attracting those who are currently
Why did I continue my QCWA membership at age 41?
I am hoping that we as a group can merge with the newer and younger
coming members who will bring with them different experiences and expectations.
I am hoping that QCWA can be a vital and dynamic organization with this influx
of new membership. However, in the event that this does not happen, I will
enjoy the dubious honor of bragging about my 25 year QCWA membership to a
very limited number of members upon my eventual retirement.
Why am I an ex-QCWA member at age 42?
It has been two years, and nothing has changed. New members arrive.
Old members die.
Cruises are planned, and recruitment is nonexistant. Same old, same old. (pun intended!)
QCWA has become an organization that is too "old" to fulfill its stated purpose. It caters
almost exclusively to amateurs of advanced age, rather than amateurs who have been
licensed for over 25 years as stated in its publications. It needs a name change or a new
mission statement to match its unwritten goals. How about "Senior Citizen Wireless Association"
or "Retired Amateur Wireless Association" for a more appropriate name for what we now
consider QCWA? All the old (no pun intended HERE) name means to this amateur is
"Quietly Can Walk Away."
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