In 1974 the South Okanagan Amateur Radio Society was formed and registered under the Societies Act and generally became known as SOARS. This was done in order that an application for funding could be made under the then existing Federal New Horizons program.
The local representative for this area was a Mrs. Beacham. As a result of our application and her submission the SOARS group received $14,496. A meeting with the then Mayor, Frank Laird, approved the additional space the present club now uses.
The funds were used to purchase a commercial repeater for Mt. Kobau, a complete station and linear, test equipment, beam antenna and tower, fridge, stove, air conditioner, extra room improvements and other miscellaneous items.
The Federal Minister in charge of the New Horizons Program made the awarding of funds over a telephone hook-up connected to a public address system. The press were present and the event received considerable publicity. The present Radio Club is still enjoying some of the SOARS benefits.
(Information courtesy of Al Miller VE7)
Here is a picture taken in 1967 at the time of the Okanagan International Hamfest. This includes almost all the club members at that time. The Hamfest alternated between the U.S. and Canada and at that time was organized pretty much by Marg Frazier of Oroville and Bill Sharp (VE7DB) of Penticton. When the site at Okanagan Falls no longer became available we moved to Gallegar Lake and Illahie campground near Summerland. I will try and come up with the calls of Jack Riley and Bob McArthur. By the way the first club meeting I attended in 1961 was in the old Penticton jail on Van Horne Ave. Al Miller.
1967 Hamfest at Okanagan Falls. Left to right: Norm Taylor – VE7BNT, Johnny Munro – VE7AO, Edna Wilkinson, Kay Kid, Phil Wilkinson – VE7ALV, Marg Miller – VE7DKC, Marg Taylor – VE7BNU, Al Miller – VE7KC, Jack Riley, Bob McArthur.