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Elphinstone Chronicles: The vegetarian friendly kind of ham

Our friend and Elphinstone Chronicles founder, Gayle Neilson, has very interesting people in her Area E neighbourhood. Living across the street from her is the president of the Sunshine Coast Amateur Radio Club Society (SCARCS), which sounds like the most illustrious club to hit the Elphinstone region ever. The society, which has been operating nearly four decades, is very supportive and helpful in getting people into the hobby. They are always open to new members, or the “ham-radio-curious.” My first astute questions were along the lines of why do they call it ham radio? And is there a “beyond” version? I had grave concerns as a vegetarian. It turns out there is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the intricacies of this query which I was obviously not the first to ask. Suffice to say, it is slang for an amateur radio operator. Ham radio communication is not reliant on telephone or internet networks and many SCARCS members have batteries, generators or solar power to run their radios in an emergency. This renders particularly poignant, given the mass blackouts caused by the windstorms here on the Coast last week. Gayle dropped in on an exciting event last month and wrote the following on what she found:

“On Oct. 15, the Sunshine Coast Radio Club Society hosted the 6th Robert’s Creek Scouts for ‘Jamboree on the Air’ event. Robert Beaupre, club president, says they had about 10 members on hand to set up antennas and help the Scouts to operate the stations. He says it’s, ‘an annual event started in 1957 where Scouts learn about radio communications and try to make contacts with other Scouts around the world. Six Scouts participated this year and made contacts using both voice and digital methods, mainly with stations in the USA.’ Beaupre adds that some members volunteer with the SCRD’s Emergency Communications Team and that one of the radios is a portable station from the SCRD. He says the Jamboree is an opportunity to test some of the SCRD’s equipment in the field.

“Two Radio Club members gave a presentation on amateur radio to the Scouts on the Wednesday prior and on the day of the events, Scouts were able to talk to other Scouts as far away as New York State.”

Are you ham-curious? Beyond-ham-curious? SCARCS members meet each Saturday in person and various times during the week on the air. Check out their website for more details at, and anyone wishing to connect can email and find out where they will be meeting

Have you heard the other hottest club on the Coast is accepting new memberships? The Elphinstone Community Association uses your annual membership fee towards events and community projects based on what you want to see change in Area E. At $10 per year, it is a steal. The most valuable part is that your membership gives you a vote at monthly meetings, so you affect what they do here and how they do it. Vie for exclusive opportunities to join the board during the yearly AGM, with titles such as President, Treasurer, Secretary, and much more! Get involved and join the club, email for more info.

I would love to hear feedback, take suggestions on topics in our neighbourhood, and hear from all 3,883 residents of Elphinstone. Email me at


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