Barbed Wire Bill
VK5FWMA Bill Northeast passed away last week at the age of 89.
We had a funeral for him at the Laura Civic Centre on the 1st of September. I am sure he would be very glad to see so many of his radio friends turn up to see him off to the other radio shack.
Deano VK5HOG made the trip from Adelaide, VK5HAE Pat came across from Whyalla, Bruce VK5BMC came from Kadina, Brett VK5ZII came from Wallaroo, Mike VK5MCB came from PT Pirie .
Rodger VK5NWE from Booleroo Centre, John VK5FMJC and Mick VK5FMMC from Crystal Brook and Hugh VK5NHG from Farrell Flat were there as well to join our family and friends for the service and cup of tea after.
Brother Bob VK5FB and I VK5CZ were pleased to catch up with everyone and I was glad to be able to hand on Dad’s gear for someone else to get some use of.
Barbed Wire Bill is a long story as anyone who made a QSO with Bill soon found out as he came to terms with repeaters which he more often than not timed out with his long winded tales about his life in the Centre of the Universe which is Stone Hut. He took great delight in telling those city folk to get a road map out and have a look because most of them had never heard of Stone Hut let alone slowed down when passing through it. Bill had been talking from Stone Hut for several years on the CB radio and when the Foundation Licence was started he got his licence about a week before he turned 80 years old and we set up some antennas and he hit the ham bands . One thing that bothered him was a couple hams he met on 40m denied ever being on 27 mhz but Bill recognised their voices from the CB days and he had them cold he had a qsl card or a photo of them on the wall . Bill being the fella he was,was never ashamed of his background or anyone else’s for that matter, no topic was off limits we heard all about the doctor’s visit if we wanted to or not or that thieving so and so who charged a fortune for a car service or new tyres and so on. He was a regular on the 3.618 mhz morning net and as the others gave up on that net Pat, Deano and the two Johns would come on to make conversations most days. I would be kind of reminded if I was busy at work and missed a call from him every morning on 2m to hear yesterday’s news again but I guess that’s what it’s like.
The Barbed Wire Bill story was from a cartoon my sister made of Bill with his hat and corks keeping the flies off sitting out in the scrub block talking on his then illegal CB radio. The antenna was a dipole made from 300 ohm tv feeder and once split down the middle the wire still had those plastic separation sections on it and strung up between two trees it looked like barbed wire. So you can say Bill was one of the early portable operators but as many CBers who care to admit had to operate that way back then living in fear of the RI turning up for a visit. Most Radio Inspectors in reality probably had better things to do.
Vale Barbed Wire Bill
WC 26, MA 271, VK5FWMA .