WALES TO WAHROONGA
FIRST WIRELESS MESSAGE CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
22nd September 2018
In the Northern Welsh town of Waunfawr on a cool and overcast night, the Australian Prime Minister William Morris Hughes drafted a message for Senatore Guglielmo Marconi to send to Australia by wireless. It was Sunday 22nd September 1918 and the Prime Minister had just returned from the battlefields in Europe.
This was to be the first direct wireless message sent from the United Kingdom to Australia and the recipient was Mr Ernest Thomas Fisk who had an experimental wireless station in the attic of “Lucania“; his residence at the corner of Stuart and Cleveland Streets in Wahroonga. Since that historic day, a monument has been erected at the corner of the two streets, unveiled in December 1935, when the former Prime Minister, Mr ‘Billy’ Hughes, addressed the assembly and Marchese Marconi also spoke by wireless from Paris in France.
On Saturday 22nd September 2018, centenary celebrations were held at the monument. The celebration opened at 1pm with the ‘The Ku-ring-gai Male Choir’ singing the Welsh and Australian anthems. At 1.15pm, the precise time of its receipt in 1918, the original Morse code message was heard by all present and a Radio Operator from the Hornsby and Districts Amateur Radio Club deciphered the message. The message was then read out to the large crowd gathered around the monument, including Fisk family members, Politicians, local Councillors, members of the public, wireless enthusiasts and historians.
The assembly then moved to St Andrew’s church hall across Cleveland Street where further celebrations took place. There were many displays including old and new wireless equipment, an amateur radio station operated by the Hornsby and District Amateur Radio Club with a special event callsign VK100MARCONI and their were official postage stamps to commemorate the day.
The celebration was a good opportunity to showcase amateur radio to the visiting public with the Hornsby and Districts Amateur radio Club, the WIA and the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) providing information displays which gave good exposure of the various facets of the hobby and attracted great interest.
The celebration attracted nearly 500 visitors and, in addition, there were also 360 viewers of the event being live streamed through Youtube and wotch.live on the Internet. This can still be viewed on the links below.
Activation of the special event station VK100MARCONI will continue until 21 October.
Direct QSLs to HADARC, PO Box 362 Hornsby NSW 1630.
QSLs within Australia to include a SASE for return card
Overseas QSL requests to include 3 green stamps (or equivalent).
Cards without SASE or green stamps will be returned via the buro.
- Centenary Celebration Flyer
- Live stream of the event (on wotch.live)
- Live stream of the event (on YouTube)
- VK100MARCONI operating roster
- Operating Instructions for VK100MARCONI
- Archives of Sea Land and Air magazine: August, September and November 1918 issues.
- The first direct wireless messages from England to Australia - Colin McKinnon VK2DYM SK