Dick was educated at Stratford Technical High School, Taranaki, then joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force at Blenheim as a Boy Entrant. Later after two years study at the RNZAF Electrical and Wireless School, Wigram, Christchurch, coupled with service at Defence Main Signal Centre, Wellington, he graduated RNZAF Communications Fitter. In addition he sat several civilian exams and gained First-Class Certificate in Radiotechnology, Radio Technicians Certificate, Registration as a Radio Serviceman, and Registration as a Radio-Electronics Serviceman.
He continued study by correspondence toward NZ Certificate in Engineering but this lapsed with the growth in other interests, including the fun and antics of a group of young radio amateurs. This informal gang later formed the Wellington VHF Group. He was licensed ZL2TGQ on 15 July 1966. He was fond of relating the story of his first contact, which was made from the Defence radio station in Messines Road, Karori, using the ground-to- air radio equipment. The contact was with Anthony ZL2AZJ, also in Messines Road, a distance of about 400m. Definitely not VHF DX!
After 8 years service in the RNZAF Dick joined AWA NZ Ltd and after 1 year as branch manager, Napier, he was appointed Divisional Manager for the Marine and Communications divisions, based in Wellington. In this role he led the commercial development of AWA in land mobile and ground-to-air radio communications. He joined the newly-established Wellington VHF Group on his return from Napier.
Dick took on evening-class study in marketing at Victoria University, along with 1-year study in Introductory Japanese. At the completion of 8 years in radio and electronics with AWA, he joined ZIP Holdings as sales manager for consumer durable products. This involved marketing of high-volume appliances, kitchen-ware, and solar heating. Later he made the move to join Progeni Systems, N.Z.’s original own computer company as Marketing Manager. Two highlights were as Director of Polycorp, the company responsible for Poly, New Zealand’s own schools computer, and Progeni International, developing the market overseas for computer-based training software.
Later, Dick and Dianne owned two private companies for a number of years, involving the development and sales of training and educational software, and the distribution and engineering of touchscreen systems.
Dick was a member of the Newlands Progressive Association for some years, and served on the Board of Governors, and later the Board of Trustees, (after the introduction of “Tomorrows Schools”, of Newlands College for 7 years.
Dick has held many elected (and co-opted) positions within the VHF Group, including:
- Committee member 2001-2002
- Secretary 2002 — 2007
- President May 2009 to October 2010
His leadership, managerial and inter-personal skills and drive have resulted in many successful projects:
- Creator/designer of the National System Award (NSA).
- Management of NSA 2002, 2004, and 2009.
- Instigator/leader & Project Manager for the Taupo National System repeater station at Maroanui. (Joint effort with Taupo Branch)
- Instigator/leader of the Ngaio Reservoir 955 repeater project
- Instigator of the $10k donation support for KiwiSAT
- Active in the creation of our Digital Amateur TV strategy and standards
- Managed the DATV component purchase
- Active in responses to MED re, 806-960MHz band re-planning, scoping study on Digital Dividend
- Organiser of 2005 and 2007 VHF Conventions
- Sponsor of several VHF Conventions
- Active in public service events, organiser of Bike-the-Trail 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- Lead the design & re-built the Group web-site after the move to the content management system (CMS)
- Frequent contributor of policy and technical articles to Q-Bit
- Technical, managerial and operational support behind many other projects not mentioned here.
In recognition of meritorious service to Amateur Radio and to the Wellington VHF Group, Dick was elected Life Member in October 2010.
In late 2010 amateur radio occupancy at Kordia sites was under threat. This would affect individual branch repeaters as well as the National System. Kordia proposed increased co-location fees that were beyond the means of NZART. Council failed to provide a positive solution and the matter was referred to individual owners to make the best arrangements with Kordia that they could, if any were possible. The then current co-location arrangements with Kordia were due to expire in June 2011.
In an attempt to solve this dilemma, Dick, along with repeater trustees and other interested Amateurs, led the formation of the Amateur Repeater Trustees Association (ARTANZ). This association was incorporated on 22 November 2010.
ARTANZ set to work and developed a sponsorship proposal that was submitted to Kordia in April 2011. The support information featured strongly the social contribution by amateur radio people. The outcome was that an agreement was reached with Kordia for free co-location at 12 Kordia sites, for a new duration of 5 years. Kordia recorded the work done by ARTANZ in achieving the agreement by including a clause in the agreement stating that the agreement was “based on the proposal from ARTANZ 4 April 2011”. This current 5-year agreement is due to expire in June 2016.