Some History of VBARC
The Vero Beach Amateur Radio Club was formed on November 1st, 1961 with just a handful of local hams. From there it has continued to grow and includes all of Indian River County.
From the beginning the club has worked with the Office of Civil Defense, to assist the local government in emergency situations. That mission continues to this day with our work for the Emergency Management Division of Indian River County and the Red Cross.
In 1965 the club received a letter of thanks from the 82nd Airborne Division for the clubs assistance for providing Emergency Communications between the Dominican Republic and various groups in Florida during the Dominican disaster. VBARC has also been instrumental in providing communications during many natural disasters, including Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004, and Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
In October, 2016, VBARC provided 15 "hams" to man the 15 shelters in IRC, and we were on the air from Thursday at approx Noon, as the shelters were opened, till the all clear was given around 1 to 2 pm Friday, as the shelters closed.
April 2017, VBARC was awarded the designation as an ARRL SPECIAL SERVICES CLUB,
which is a
club that exists to go above and beyond for their communities, and for Amateur
Radio, That is what defines a Special Service Club (SSC). They are the
leaders in their Amateur Radio communities who provide active training classes,
publicity programs and actively pursue technical projects, and operating
W4OT Call Sign History
The Vero Beach Amateur Radio Club has had the W4OT call for over 40 years. According to the Vero Beach Amateur Radio Club minutes of 1963, one of the active members was Harold Sever, W4OT, along with Tom Moyer, W4KEE and Graham Lowe, K4EL. During that year there were 31 active members on the roster. 1963 was also the year that Tom, W4KEE was selected to be trustee of the club station and obtained a station license for the club. During those years the trustee used his or her own call.
The records are a bit sketchy here, but we do know that Harold Sever became a SK in March of 1965. In 1970 the club’s license was up for renewal and it was decided to request a 1 X 2 call. The minutes also showed that Graham Lowe volunteered to become the trustee. The W4OT call was obtained in memory of Harold and thus VBARC had an official call sign. Graham was the trustee for about two cycles of license renewal (at that time the license period was 4 years.) In October of 1973 the club received permission to relocate its station location from a house in a grove (a story for another time) to the Red Cross Building on 17th St. and 25th Ave. It was a unique combination, for emergency communication, and to work hand in hand with the Red Cross. Our station equipment was secured from unauthorized use inside a locked box.
At a meeting in 1975, Ike Roach, K4QM, the “Quiet Man” as he was known, volunteered to become the trustee. He renewed the license and was trustee for two 4 year periods. John Larabell, KF4BN, was the trustee from about 1983 through 1988 (John was Eric, KF4UJO’s dad.) John was vice president in 1991 and president of the club in 1992 while Eric, (then KB4BYP) was Treasurer. In 1988 Richard Jackson, AB4AZ became the trustee and renewed the club license. He remains the club trustee today.