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The History of
The Kentucky Amateur Radio Society

By Jim Brooks, KY4Z

Amateur radio operators have been present in Bardstown for many, many years. They are bankers, teachers, businessmen and women from all walks of life.

The first hint of an organized radio club was kicked off by the then-editor of the local newspaper who was both a native son and amateur radio operator, Dave Greer, N4KZ. Several small articles were published regularly in The Kentucky Standard regarding an organizational meeting for anyone interested in ham radio and computers.

The year was 1986.

CLUB FOUNDED. From these meetings the club had its start, and by mid-1986, monthly meetings were being held. Late that year, the club announced it would conduct a Novice license class. This writer and his brother, along with several others entered the hobby via this class, which was completed in early 1987.

KARS has never been an extremely formal club, and its structure has always been very loosely knit. There were no club dues for several years. At some point $10 was the suggested amount for dues to help defray the costs of the newsletter. All amateurs were welcome at club functions regardless of dues-paying status.

CLUB OFFICERS. Seldom were more than 3 officers ever elected; these typically would have been president, secretary and treasurer. Sometimes the secretary and treasurer's position would be combined.

The list of past KARS presidents includes Dave Greer, N4KZ; Gary Miracle, KM4BG; Dick Baynham, N9RR; and Jim Brooks, KY4Z (my apologies to anyone left off the list). Ed Fowler, KC4RIY is currently serving as president.

Like any radio club, KARS has seen both active and dormant times. In the end, a club is nothing with its members, whom volunteer their services to make the club function.

NETS & REPEATER. In an effort to support the new license privileges that were allowed by Novice Enhancement which gave Novices 10 meters phone privileges in March 1987, the KARS 10-Meter Net was launched. At the time there was no repeater in Bardstown, and most Bardstown hams met on the Springfield 2-meter repeater owned by Murray Walker, W4SJH. A 2-meter net was also started for the same reason.

Like the club itself, the KARS nets were also informal, but served as meetings "on the air" and a place for hams to discuss radio-related events and enjoy the hobby together.

As KARS nears completion of it's second decade of service to the amateur community, there's no time like the present to get involved in the club. Join it if you aren't a member. If you're a member, volunteer to lead a committee; offer to do a program; talk about your latest DX. The name of the game, after all, is FUN!

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