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1976: Over the New Year break we had our first visit from the A.C.R.M. Morwell Committee with much awaited news of what had been happening at executive level.


In February it was our first A.G.M. There were seventy-two members in all and the A.G.M. was well attended. The old committee was returned to office and a new position was created, that of Public Relations Officer. Ray Farmer was elected as our first PRO.

Now is a good time to do some name-dropping. John Williams, then a reporter for one of the radio stations, always contacted us for a comment regarding CB articles and he was always available to help when we needed something pushed.


Another was Jerome Cordeaux; Ray and I spent hours doing talk back shows with Jerome. Ian Wilson, a Local Member for Parliament, was invaluable in contacting the Minister for Postal and Telecommunications. He would prompt answers to that which we could get no response. Ian also initiated the issue of media releases to us.


At first he would have his secretary pass on copies of his but in the end we got them direct. Ian Wilson also opened our Seminar in February 1977, but more of that later.


ost importantly, it was Dianne Beer’s 1975 article in the Messenger that started the ball rolling and had it not been for her, nothing would have flowed as easily as it did.

The membership was now too large to hold meetings at members’ houses so we looked around for suitable lodgings and settled on the State Emergency Services Headquarters at Northfield.


We also introduced meetings each month, when previously they were every two months and soon we needed to change our venue again. In June our numbers reached one hundred and the new meeting place was the Northern Districts Y.M.C.A. Hall at Kilburn.

In July we started preparing for our biggest promotion yet, “SEMINAR 77,” to be held on the Australia Day long weekend in January. It was a mammoth task to organize and two extra members were opted onto the committee to assist. We also introduced Auxiliary Membership to cater for the many people who wanted to help but for whatever reason, weren’t full members. Membership was now around 150 and in the first month, 13 auxiliary members joined.

September was one of the busiest months ever. The invitations for SEMINAR 77 were now printed, 2000 to be exact and they were sent, posted and hand delivered to all corners of Australia. The response was initially very slow but we assumed this was due to uncertainty and did not panic immediately.


During times of skip, the members pushed the cause over and over and eventually Australia listened. Inquiries started to come in, we were asked about accommodation, our plans and our purpose. No longer was it felt a doomed exercise.

The Minister for Postal and Telecommunications, Eric Robinson, had invited all interested bodies to submit a submission regarding Citizen Band Radio and as the seminar was only three months away, it was decided that our submission should be held over until after the seminar. The submission would then include accurately, the views of all the various clubs that attended.

We also had to plan “EXPO 77,” an electronics spectacular that was to be held at the Wayville Show Grounds just one week prior to the seminar. To make things worse, Channel 2 contacted us about doing a segment for “TODAY AT ONE.” This segment was brilliant, we had our say, we had extended airtime and we were invited to come back again for a future programme.


As a result of that programme, our numbers increased rapidly. We now had 170 members and 17 auxiliary members. However, you don’t get members without applications and again many interstaters tried for membership, and again we had to knock them back.


Many of the applications came from interstate truckers who, because of their jobs, could put South Australian addresses on their application forms. By the time we realised what was going on, it was too late, they were already signed up and the precedent was set.


So, in order to be fair, we accepted applications from anyone who could provide a South Australian address, even though we suspected they lived interstate.

This arrangement didn’t suit all truckers though and their applications were becoming very frequent. Local membership from within their own states no longer catered for their needs either and it was obvious something had to be done.


Some of the truckers were quite well known to the South Australian Committee and we had many discussions about the problem. We finally decided to hold a meeting where all truckers could have their say and the venue would be at the South Australian and Victorian border.


All truckers were asked to at least stop and give their views but those who had the time were urged to stay for the meeting. The committee of ACRM flew to Bordertown and from there we were driven to the border.


As Chairman, I opened the meeting and after much discussion, a motion was put to start a new club. The club would be “Trucker’s Radio Australia” (T.R.A.) and the call signs would reflect the state the member came from. TRS denoted South Australia, TRV was Victoria, and so on.


The club would cater for the needs of truckers in particular and it could accommodate membership from all states. The Committee was elected and for the new club to be an affiliate of the A.C.R.M. the initial papers were drawn up. We left Bordertown confident that the move was correct. The T.R.A. proved to be a long-standing viable organization and truly a part of the early C.B. history.

In October the numbers went over the 200 mark and another 50 members joined in November. By December there were 310.


The meetings were a place where friends could chat and we made sure that there were enough social activities, observation trials, barbecues and the like, so “getting to know you” wasn’t too difficult. For Xmas ’76,” 90 members including their families descended upon the unsuspecting proprietors of the Hahndorf Mill.


A bus was arranged to get us there and back and we had a ball. The place catered for about 200 people so we decided that night, we would do it again for Xmas ’77, only this time we would fill the place.

Christmas 1976 was already hectic but there was one important undertaking to be done. Before anything could be put forward at the seminar, or included in a submission to the Department for Postal and Telecommunications, we had plenty of researching to do, research that had to be accurate so our first incident reports were created. Our aim was to accurately formulate criteria that were based on fact and the incident reports would be used to corroborate our claims.


The statistics proved invaluable to our cause but more than that, for the first time ever, we had been made horribly aware of the many calls we handled of an emergency nature.

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