On Saturday morning (16th April 2016) Marija and I made a bright and early start from Renmark, and headed out to the historic Overland Corner Hotel for the 2016 BRL Gathering. The BRL Gathering is hosted by the Riverland Radio Club, and this was to be the second year for the Gathering.
We arrived at the Overland Corner Hotel at around 7.15 a.m. and found that there was already a core group of amateurs and their wives/partners, in attendance. A number of those had stayed overnight in their caravans and campers at the rear of the pub.
After saying g’day to everyone and helping out setting up a linked dipole for the Riverland Radio Club Net, we enjoyed a great brekkie cooked by Ivan VK5HS and Peter VK5FLEX, consisting of toast, eggs and bacon, all cooked on the barbie.
This was followed by the Riverland Radio Group Net which was run from the Overland Corner Hotel.
A boot sale then took place with a number of bargains on offer. I was fortunate to come away with a few bargains, including an IC751 transceiver, a Mini Palm Paddle and two antenna tuners (all previously owned by Larry VK5LY-now silent key).
We all then gathered together for a group photograph in front of the hotel.
It was then time for some more chatting and mingling, with the pub opening its doors. A few of the fellas, including myself took the opportunity of some nice cold beverages. We also enjoyed a very nice meal at the pub.
After lunch, the more formalised part of the day took place, with a quick chat by Ron VK5MRE and then all of the amateurs introducing themselves and telling the group a little about themselves. This was followed by the draw of the raffle, with a number of very nice prizes being awarded. Ivan introduced me as the newly elected WIA Director and kindly asked me to draw the prizes.
Tony VK5FTVR was then awarded with the BRL Award which he was very chuffed with. The Award certificate was issued for achieving the most number of points gathered during 2015 and 2016 during the Riverland Radio Group Nets.
I also gave a very short talk on the WIA and the recent proposal submitted to ACMA. I also announced details of the recently launched Murray River Parks Award and information regarding the 4th level of this award. Ivan VK5HS, Peter VK5FLEX and I had decided that a plaque would be awarded for those amateurs who activated/worked all of the qualifying parks along the Murray, in honour of Larry VK5LY. Larry became a silent key in late 2015 after battling an illness diagnosed earlier in the year. Larry was one of the stalwarts of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award and the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program. It is a fitting tribute then, that a plaque would be awarded in his honour. We had one minutes silence for Larry.
It was then back to enjoying the company, the sunshine, and the ice cold Bundies from the hotel.
The weather for the day could not have been better, with the top temperature reaching around 28 degrees C. The shade of the trees and the umbrellas was sought after by all.
This is always a great weekend, and I highly recommend the BRL Gathering. Marija and I will certainly be attending again next year.