SELARC -- 1974 to 1998
(A history program presented to SELARC on June 15, 1989 by R. Priez, WB5FBS)
A Brief History Presented on the Anniversary
of its Organization on June 4, 1974
At 7:30pm on Tuesday, June 4th, of l974 a group of seven amateur
operators and several non-hams met in the Civil Defense Room of
the Hammond Post Office Building for the purpose of establishing
a local amateur radio club.
Licensed amateur operators present were Ottis Arnold, K5AIY, of
Bedico; Hillery Bickford, K5AHD, of Ponchatoula; Richard Cutrer,WA5TQX
of Amite; Leey Mapes, K5AHL, Bob Priez, WB5FBS, and Ralph Shaw, K5CAV,
of Hammond; and Jimmy Valega, WN5LSH, of Springfield.
Non-amateurs present were Sam Garafola, Hammond CD director, Douglas
Jordan, Assistant CD director, Larry Rogers and Wiley Traylor, former
WN5EAS (now AA5FA).
This group, chaired by WB5FBS, adopted a resolution forming an amateur
radio club, and adopted a proposed constitution. In discussing a name
for the organization it was decided that the wide-area representation of
the members should be reflected. The second Tuesday of each month was
selected as the regular meeting night.
Charter Members Meet July 9, 1974
On Tuesday, July 9th, the first official meeting of the new radio
club was convened. The name of the new organization was adopted as
the SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB (it would not be until
3 months later, in October, that SELARC would become the official
acronym of the club.) Dues were set at $1 per month.
The officers elected at that meeting were as follows:
President - Bob Priez, WB5FBS
Vice-President- Ralph Shaw, K5CAV
Secretary-Treasurer - Alex Langer, K5EEB
The original charter members signing the new constitution that night
were Milton Bardwell, W5BAV, Pete Liuzza, WB5ERM, Leey Mapes, K5AHL,
Malcolm Myers, W5SPI, Douglas Jordan, Jim Valega, WN5LSH, Ottis
Arnold, K5AIY, Ralph Shaw, K5CAV, Hillery Bickford, K5AHD, Larry
Rogers, Robert Priez, WB5FBS, Wiley Traylor, Emmet Herring Jr, WA5PFS,
Rick Webb, WA5PCE, Louis Pechon, and Joseph A. Locascio, K5CIT/KH6IGJ.
That list includes 3 silent keys (Mit, Hillery, and Louis); 7 current
SELARC members (Mapes, Myers, Valega, Shaw, Rogers, Priez, and
Herring); and 4 who have maintained continuous membership in SELARC
for the past 15 years (Mapes, Myers, Priez and Shaw.)
Highlights of the FIRST YEAR ('74-75)
Even in its first year, SELARC was very active in promoting amateur
radio and club activities. Some of its events included:
amateur radio license class for new licenses and for
member upgrades were conducted by K5CAV (Ralph organized annual
license classes for the next ten years)
a SELARC on-air net was established on 75 meters on 3.910
meeting weekly on Thursday nights
a mini-hamfest was held that first year in November at Champ
SELARC applied for a club station license; an escrow fund was
established for that new-fangled thing on VHF--a 2 meter repeater
in January SELARC participated in the annual Simulated Emergency
Test, and in June in the first of its 15 annual Field Day exercises
Jim, WN5LSH, was elected secretary-treasurer to fill out the term
of Alex, K5EEB; in turn, Wiley, WN5MXE, was later elected to fill
out the term of Jim, WN5LSH; 2 new members joined during that first
year: John Ward, K5MUI, Loranger, and Allen Pierson, W5EGG,
Operating under its new club call, WB5NET (trustee is WB5FBS), was
activated at Civil Defense EOC in Sept '75 during a hurricane
threat to the LA coast; WB5FBS in Hammond, K5EEB in Ponchatoula,
and WA5TQX in Amite tied the parish CD centers together and to the
state emergency net.
In October of 1975, new officers were elected: President Ralph Shaw,
K5CAV, Vice-President Rick Webb, WA5PCE, and Secretary-treasurer
Wiley Traylor, WB5MXE.
It was at this time also that the meeting time was moved from the
second Tuesday of each month to the third Thursday of the month.
Meetings continued to be held in the Civil Defense Operations Center
in the basement of the Hammond Post Office Building.
SECOND YEAR ('75-76)
In its second year, SELARC had 17 members on the roster. Meetings
were moved to an upstairs room (206) of the Science Bldg on the SLU
A raffle was held to raise more funds for the VHF escrow fund; and
the first of our almost-annual crawfish/shrimp boils was held at
the QTH of K5MUI in Loranger.
Earthquake in Guatamala provided the club a chance for media coverage
when several members handled Health & Welfare traffic on HF bands.
A campus ham club, SLUARC, was organized by K5CAV, complete with a
club room & station equipment. SLUARC worked with SELARC on many
events in coming years (club call, WD5FIG, with K5CAV as trustee).
Allen Jr., WN5UBY, made the Pierson's our first 2-ham family.
Chris Fischer, WA5RRN, built and installed the first 2-meter repeater
on the northshore for SELARC. WR5AQB (FCC repeater calls), with WA5PCE
as trustee, filled the RF void between NO and BR; the machine stayed on
the air for the next 11 years ('til January '88). In appreciation of
his work, Chris was granted a life-time honorary SELARC membership.
THIRD YEAR (76-77)
SELARC grew to 29 members in this year, representing Hammond, Bedico,
Ponchatoula, Robert, Loranger, Springfield, Amite, Independence,
Roseland, Folsom, Covington, and Magnolia & Osyka, MS.
The club newsletter, which was sent out monthly since October of the
first year, was officially named the "SELARC Hamster". (From l974 'til
June '88, WB5FBS, would edit over 100 issues; from July '88 to '89,
AA5FJ served as editor; Bob Mixon KG5SW was editor until his death in
1990; Mickey Bennett N5OUH assumed editor duties until '93, followed by
Jack Stang N5XVJ from '94-'96; Paul Terrell KC5PAL, '96- '98)
New officers: President- Wiley, WB5MXE (now AA5FA); Vice-President-
Richard Cutrer, WA5TQX; Sec-Treas - Bob, WB5FBS
Club meetings were moved to downstairs (103) of Meade Hall (Science
Bldg) in January '77, where SELARC continues to meet.
2-meter net met on Sunday evenings; the first almost-annual Christmas
social was held at Sammy's Restaurant in Hammond; members pledged
$5 each as SELARC's share to support the coming 1979 National ARRL
convention to be held in BR.
June Field Day activity produced the SELARC record high of 798 points.
Dues structure was expanded to allow additional family membership for
$5 per new family ham; Sept '77 saw Hurricane Babe hit the SE La area
with considerable tornado & flood damage in Tangipahoa parish. K5EEB,
WB5FBS & WB5LSH provided emergency CD traffic during the threat. For
several days after, SELARC members assisted Disaster Survey Teams with
FOURTH YEAR ('77-78)
New officers were: Mel, WD5FQG, Pres; John, K5MUI, VP; Mit, W5BAV,
Still growing, SELARC numbered 32 members; we also listed our first
Silent Keys- Hillery, K5AHD; John, K5MUI; and Clyde, W5VII/W5FBO
Mit, W5BAV, was elected VP to fill John's term; Ted,WB5VRO, was
elected Sec-Treas to fill Mit's term;
Highlight program of the year was guest speaker Paul Rabito, W5HR -
La's oldest active ham- who talked about early spark radio and his
visit with radio-pioneer Marconi
This was also the 'Year of the Turkey' -- area repeaters were victims
of malicious interference by 2 NO hams and their imitators; the two
were caught (largely thru efforts of the NO VHF club) and convicted
in Federal Court to prison terms, fines, and loss of commercial and
FIFTH YEAR ('78-79)
Still growing, SELARC reached a membership of 38, and held our first-
ever family picnic at Hidden Oaks campground; other events included
the crawfish/shrimp boil and the Christmas social at Kluchins in
New Officers were Mit, W5BAV, Pres; Doc, W5TJY, VP; and Ted, WB5VRO,
The third annual shotgun raffle (which were held to fund the club
treasury and repeater repairs) was a success; computers & ham
radio were popular topics at meetings; and officers terms were extended
to two years.
Heavy flooding in Mississippi caused cancellation of the Jackson
Hamfest in April; Vince, WD5CZJ, wins first prize at the BR hamfest-
a complete HF station & all-mode VHF transceiver.
SIXTH YEAR ('79-80)
New officers elected to serve 2-yr terms: Pres-Jim, WD5GJK, VP-W5TJY,
Sec-Treas-Howard, KA5CBT; membership at 37; social events included a
fish fry at Hidden Oaks and the Christmas social at Bear Creek
Ponchatoula dedicated its new Community Center, which featured a
fully equipped HF & VHF CD Emergency Communications Center--K5EEB, CD
Director, and Barry, N5AKG, Communications Officer, were proud to
demonstrate the ham capability; W5EGG demonstrated the ease of handi-
talki VHF autopatching.
Bob, W9INF, served as chairman of the first of SELARC's annual January
Hamfests, held at the community center in Ponchatoula.
SEVENTH YEAR ('80-81)
Constitution changes were adopted which split duties of secretary and
treasurer; K5CAV (who was elected to fill term of KA5CBT) was elected
treasurer and Leo, WB5WFS, was elected secretary.
2-meter repeater (now WB5NET, since FCC recalled repeater call signs)
was moved from WTGI site to the new tower at Tickfaw, with a new
antenna and at greater height, much improving the coverage area;
unfortunately, lightning hits took it out of service several times
(giving WD5CZJ lots of extra work to do!) until new grounding and
surge protection systems were installed.
Hamfest was held at the Armory in Franklinton in cooperation with the
Washington Parish Club; K5EEB & N5AKG provided radio assistance to the
Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.
Doc, W5TJY, in role as VP, proposed a new dues structure to replace
the $1 per month; this would better cover increasing costs and
activities of SELARC. The proposal was approved.
EIGHTH YEAR ('81-82)
Membership reached a new high of 42; new officers were Pres-Joe,
WB5UTY (now WE5F); VP-Larry, WD5HLE; Sec-Mel,WD5FQG; Treas-Ralph,K5CAV
Silent keys: Francis-WA5OKF; John Meyers-K5SMS; and Lyle 'Doc'
St. Amant, W5TJY
FD (this year and for the next few years) held at Camp Hurricane Bait
on the mouth of the Tangi River and Lake Ponchartrain thanks to KC5KJ
This was one of the few years with no Christmas social; Pres Joe Dick
resigned shortly before the January Hamfest; Larry, WD5HLE, assumed
office and conducted a successful SELARC Hamfest held in the
12 Oaks Cafeteria at SLU.
NINTH YEAR ('82-83)
Elections were held to fill the vacant VP spot, with HP,KC5KJ, winning
the job; later, WB5FBS was elected to fill the term of secretary WD5FQG.
Membership stands at 31; and annual Hamfest held for second time at
12 Oaks at SLU.
WD5GJK AND N5BFC work on proposed emergency operations procedures for
coordination with Tangi Sheriff's Office and Hammond PD; K5AZU gets
media publicity for his 30' EME antenna farm
TENTH YEAR ('83-84)
Regular elections held with KC5KJ as Pres;LU1LAZ/W5 as VP, WB5FBS as
Sec; and K5CAV as Treasurer; roster shows 27 members
SELARC donated funds to the LCARC for operating station at the NO
World's Fair (K5WF); Hamfest at Old Men's Gym (its present site for
past 10 years); and another successful FD on the Tangi River
N5EBM, Tom, was selected to lecture and travel in Portugal; Dues
changes included adding $10 repeater fee, but eliminating the $5
initiation fee for new members and adopting a $5 senior citizen
This was a record year--not ONE tropical storm in our Gulf area; BUT
a garbage truck knocks down the tower in Tickfaw, destroying all
antennas and several transmitters in the tower shack. WB5MXE secured
permission to relocate the WB5NET repeater at its old WTGI site and
the change was made in a few hours--even before some repeater users
knew of the accident.
ELEVENTH YEAR ('84-85)
Membership list totals 35; W5BAV elected vice-president to replace
Hum who returned to LU1-land; after some unfortunate experiences
with unauthorized repeater link efforts from groups in NO and BR,
SELARC voted to not enter into linking agreements with other clubs.
Christmas social at Don's; another successful Hamfest at Men's Gym
W5BAV, KC5KJ and Howard, KA5TRT form an ARRL Volunteer Exam team and
offer license exams for the first time at the hamfest
W5EGG is still providing legal assistance to resolve problems from
the tower incident at Tickfaw; HP Forbes, KC5KJ, is named Hammond's
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR; he was also SELARC'S chef-emeritus for the
fine cooking at the Field Day weekend at Camp Hurricane Bait.
SELARC family cook-out had to be postponed twice due to severe
weather and Hurricane Elena.
TWELFTH YEAR ('85-86)
With membership on the rise again, the club totals 38 members; new
officers are Ray, K5AZU, Pres; David, KA5UAI, VP; WB5FBS, sec; and
Silent key - Jessie Yaun, KD5UW
After 11 years of organizing SELARC license classes, K5CAV turns over
the task to K5AZU; Christmas social at Murphy's and Hamfest at SLU
are both very successful
This is the year the SAINTS came to Hammond for summer training and
SELARC participated for first time with communications aid for the
LA SPECIAL OLYMPIC STATE GAMES at SLU; W5EGG reports final settlement
of the 1984 tower incident with SELARC getting a new antenna (this is
the antenna which was installed this past summer of '88)
Joe, WO5R, Don, W1IDK, and Robert, KB5AAK, begin work on the SELARC
digipeater; K5AZU and WD5HLE begin building a new VHF machine for
repeating on 145.130MHz
THIRTEENTH YEAR ('86-87)
Although tridecaphobes held their breath, this was one of the best
years for SELARC. Membership reached the record high of 51, and the
Christmas social, crawfish boil, Hamfest and FD were all successful
Bryant, N5GWF, puts up UHF repeater on 444.250; antenna for 145.130
is installed at 7th Ward Hospital midway between Hammond and
Ponchatoula on a new tower at 300 feet
SELARC participates in SPECIAL OLYMPIC GAMES; WD5FQG named Professor
Emeritus of Art upon his retirement after 34 years at SLU; we get a
new club logo which Mel designs for us.
FOURTEENTH YEAR ('87-88)
New officers elected were: WO5R, Pres; Joe, N5HDW, VP; KA5UAI, Treas;
and Phil, KB5DKT (now AA5FJ), sec; 47 members are on the roster
Christmas social at Don's; Hamfest at SLU Recreation Center; Crawfish
Boil; Special Olympics; SLU FUN RUN; Hammond Air Show; and FD are all
successful events (FD score of over 1000 points beats previous high)
A new 147.000 machine finally retires "Ole Faithful" at the Tickfaw
site; later the new antenna is also installed and coverage is notably
Ad, W5NON, institutes W5YI exam sessions & has several successful
graduates on the air; AA5FJ assumes editorship of the SELARC Hamster.
FIFTEENTH YEAR ('88-89)
On-air nets include the 75M (3.8725) and 10M (28.425) groups; the
- 130 repeater is installed at 7th Ward Hospital tower site.
SELARC assists the SLU PEMM club in local run; Christmas social, Hamfest,
FD '89 at Hammond Airport and license classes taught by Hank KC5KJ are
all successful. Jack Milchanowski KG5FI is gaining recognition in national
archery competitions (but son Jeff is bringing home all the trophies!).
SELARC provides communications for MS "Tour for Cure" 2-day 150 mile bike
ride for the first time with over 700 cyclists riding from Hammond to Percy
Quin park and back.
Silent key: Milton 'Mit' Bardwell, W5BAV
(Miscellaneous items of interest of the first 15 years:)
over 20 license classes taught by SELARC
highest membership was 51 in 1986-87
8 silent keys-K5AHD, K5MUI, W5VII, WA5OKF, K5SMS, W5TJY, KD5UW, and W5BAV
over 1 dozen crawfish/shrimp boils
held an annual Hamfest since 1980
124 issues of newsletter have been published
11 men have served as President since beginning in 1974 ---
WB5FBS, K5CAV, WB5MXE (now AA5FA), WD5FQG, W5BAV, WD5GJK,
WB5UTY (now WE5F), WD5HLE, KC5KJ, K5AZU, WO5R
(This brief history program was presented to SELARC on June 15, 1989
by Robert Priez, WB5FBS)
- ------- END OF FIFTEEN YEAR HISTORY ----------
SIXTEENTH YEAR ('89-90)
New Officers: Don W1IDK, Pres.; Bob WB5FBS, V-Pres.; Ernie N5NIB, Treas.;
Bob Mixon KG5SW, Sec. and "Hamster" editor.
Successes include Hamfest, FD '90 at QTH of N5NIB, Hammond Balloon Fest,
Christmas social at Lil Johnny's and Spring Crawfish Boil at QTH of N5OQT.
Club roster totals 36 members. In addition to MS Fall "Tour", SELARC begins
providing communications for the MS "Spring Breakaway" bike tour in the Abita
Springs-Northshore area. Dave, KB5MFI (now N5QOX) takes over as secretary and
Alex K5EEB as editor due to death of Bob Mixon.
Silent Keys: Jim Pounds, WD5GJK and Bob Mixon, KG5SW
SEVENTEENTH YEAR ('90-91)
Club roster grows to 54 members; equipment advances include adding a 2nd
digipeater on 09 (to supplement the 145.01 digi), and upgrading to a digital
controller w/voice mail and speed dial on the 147.00 repeater.
Harold Bennett N5OUN is honored as the grand marshall for the Kentwood
Christmas parade. Christmas social at "Blue Room" in Ponchatoula, Hamfest
chaired by N5NIB, Spring Crawfish Boil/Fish Fry and FD are all big success.
SELARC receives awards from LCARC and ARRL Section Manager Wondergem for its
support of amateur radio public service and repeater operations. The SELARC
"Hamster" is selected BEST NEWSLETTER in the state, under the editorship of
Bob Mixon KG5SW.
EIGHTEENTH YEAR ('91-92)
Still expanding, our membership climbs to 58. New officers are: Lou N5OQT,
Pres.; Erma KI5LH, V-Pres; Harold N5OUN, Sec; Tyrone N5XES, Treas; and
Mickey N5OUH, editor.
January Hamfest in the University Center is one of the most popular and
successful ever; Mel AA5OB designs SELARC QSL card for club; FD in Husser has
great food/poor propagation! Phil AA5FJ scores over 200,000 points in ARRL 10M
phone contest. Alex K5EEB organizes local ARES team to coordinate with state
organization and civil defense.
The Feb. '92 tornado in Natalbany provides the new EC with a real test. The ARES
weekly net on 147.00 repeater and Tangi 10M Roundtable Net are begun. New
antennas for 444.250 and 145.130 repeaters installed at 7th Ward Hospital site;
Norm Landry W5VUH receives life- membership in recognition of his lifelong
services to amateur and SELARC.
Hurricane Andrew gave Tangi ARES & SELARC a chance to show their stuff. Alex K5EEB
and Ernie N5NIB organized the local response and received praise from local
authorities for amateur radio participation.
NINETEENTH YEAR ('92-93)
New Officers: Ray K5AZU, Pres; Barry N5RXK, V-Pres; Dave N5QOX, Sec; Tyrone N5XES,
Successful Fall & Spring MS bike tours, Christmas social, summer cookout at N5NIB
QTH, and simulated emergency test (SET) were held. No FD participation, but N5XES
represented us in the 10-X summer QSO party. SELARC offered packet radio and VHF
repeater classes, and in spite of the number, 13th annual Hamfest chaired by N5QOX
and N5NIB was a big success. Ten year old Scot Serou KB5YNA becomes youngest SELARC
and ARRL Delta Division member.
SELARC donates 20 books amateur radio to SLU Sims Library and Hammond Miller Memorial
Library. The digipeater TNC's are replaced with new KAMs. After many years (since
1976) of free tower space, the sale of Tickfaw tower requires monthly fee.
Silent Keys: Lucille Pounds, KB5ASJ, Leey Mapes, K5AHL,
and Dick Roper, WM5L
TWENTIETH YEAR ('93-94)
Officers elected are: Ernie N5NIB, Pres; John KB5WWT, V-Pres; Tyrone N5XES, Treas;
Inez N5TPG, Sec; Jack N5XVJ, editor. 46 members.
N5NIB reactivates FD activity, first foxhunt, and successful Hamfest chaired by
WB5FBS (provided best weather ever!), Christmas social, Spring Crawfish Boil/Fish
Fry at N5OQT, and MS bike tours. Fall MS tour raises over quarter-million dollars
for Louisiana victims. Mel AA5OB organizes CW classes; communications for Tour de
Ron KB5QVI is appointed Public Information Officer for ARRL; KSLU installs amateur
radio phone and packet station. WAFB-TV (Ch. 9, BR) donates a 6M repeater which
SELARC makes available to Ponchatoula CD. The Tangi ARES installs digipeater on 03,
moves to 07 (N5NIB-7).
After many years, dues are increased to cover club operating costs.
TWENTY-FIRST YEAR ('94-95)
New officers: John KB5WWT, Pres; David Pechon KC5DAJ, V-Pres; N5NIB, Treas; N5QOX,
Sec. Membership peaks at 69 on roster.
More than 70 people attend the Christmas party at Catfish Charlie's; license
classes by N5QOX and meetings at Ponchatoula Community Center and SLU Meade Hall
(original site of SELARC organization in 1974).
Communication projects include MS Fall & Spring Bike Tours, Tour de la Louisiane,
largest ever simulated hurricane drill held in parish.
Special election due to resignations of officers:
Pres-WB5FBS; VP/Sec-N5QOX; Treas-N5XVJ.
TWENTY-SECOND YEAR ('95-96)
Thanks to legal expertise of Allen Pierson, W5EGG, SELARC reorganized as non-profit
corporation: Southeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club, Inc. The Board of Directors
consist of newly elected officers:
WB5FBS-Pres; N5QOX-VP; Nikole KB5YZJ-Sec; N5XVJ-Treas. 57 members are on club roster.
The Spring social on the river at QTH of Bill & Peg Borstel, Hamfest, MS tours,
Christmas party, packet classes by KB5SKW, and meetings in Hammond, Ponchatoula,
Kentwood and Amite are all successful events.
FCC fines and suspends license of Metairie ham KB5UJD (Irvin Foret) for willful &
malicious interference on local repeaters. Phil AA5FJ scores in Top Ten in ARRL 10M
contest. New backup batteries donated by Ned KC5IHR are installed at repeater and
digipeater sites. Paul KC5PAL, Ken AC5BQ (now N5LD) and Harold N5OUN install
emergency equipment at Kentwood Emergency Red Cross Shelter at the high school.
New Kenwood repeater is purchased to replace old 145.130 repeater.
TWENTY-THIRD YEAR ('96-97)
Officers & Board of Directors: Jack, N5XVJ-Pres; Dave, N5QOX-VP; Paul, KC5PAL-Sec;
Ned, KC5IHR, Treas; KC5PAL is editor of "Hamster".
Flooding caused by Hurricane Josephine in October activates Tangi ARES; Hurricane
Danny in June also brings emergency communications activation. Alex K5EEB recognized
for ham radio efforts. Ernie N5NIB is honored as 1996 recipient of Boy Scout District
Award of Merit. 17th Annual Hammond Hamfest chaired by N5XVJ is another success.
Some SELARC members participate in FD with Ozone Club of Slidell.
New digital ID board for 145.130 machine is installed and WB5FBS makes contact with
Astronaut John Blaha KC5TZQ on Russian space station MIR. MS Fall & Spring tours and
Christmas social at Coach N' Four are successes.
TWENTY-FOURTH YEAR ('97-98)
Board of Directors and officers re-elected; ARES/SKYWARN net under Erma KI5LH handles
first communications for severe weather in north Tangipahoa Parish and tornado damage
in Covington. Several days are committed to clean up in Covington; later flooding in
Slidell requires Tangi ARES assistance again. The Fall MS Tour raises over a half
million dollars for MS victims; the summer BBQ, Christmas party and Hamfest are
successful. Club roster lists 56 members.
Since 1974 only two have held continuous membership in SELARC --
Ralph Shaw, K5CAV and Bob Priez, WB5FBS.
(Prepared & presented to SELARC meeting on June 11, 1998 by WB5FBS.)