NEWINGTON — Marking resilience and the importance of maintaining radio communication, the National Association for Amateur Radio turned the clock on Thursday and celebrated the reopening of its national headquarters in Newington.
“Amateur radio is a worthy cause that brings me great pride and joy,” said Rick Roderick, president of the American Radio Relay League. “Over the past year, I have witnessed the extraordinary dedication of ARRL members, staff and the Board of Directors, who without wasting time, have worked together to provide our members with the opportunities they need to serve an active and vibrant radio service for our country.”
ARRL Board members from across the United States, as well as local and state elected officials, partner organizations such as the American Red Cross, Department of Emergency Services and Protective State Public Service, the International Amateur Radio Union, Radio Amateurs of Canada and other members of the community, gathered at the ARRL National Headquarters on Main Street for an official dedication ceremony to commemorate the rededication radio services as the pandemic begins to subside.
Founded in 1914, the ARRL is the national association of radio amateurs and a non-commercial organization of radio amateurs. Its mission is defined by five pillars, public service, advocacy, education, technology and membership. Newington has been its national home since 1936, with over 158,000 members nationwide and over 2,000 members in the state.
Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a popular hobby and service in which licensed participants use communications equipment with a deep appreciation for the art of radio, according to the ARRL.
The organization supports the awareness and growth of amateur radio worldwide, advocates for meaningful access to the radio spectrum, strives for every member to be involved, encourages radio experimentation and advances radio technology, and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public services and emergency communications. .
Glenn Field, meteorologist in charge of coordinating warnings with the National Weather Service, said amateur radio plays a vital role when phone lines or other means of communication are down in times of crisis, such as tropical storms, hurricanes, wildfires and other emergencies.
“The role of our radio amateurs goes beyond the simple collection and retransmission of information. They can access hard-hit areas, allowing us to focus on areas where we want to conduct our storm investigation and maximize our productivity in the field,” he said. “The National Weather Service cherishes the role that amateur radio operators play.”
On behalf of the Congressional delegation, Representative John Larson presented a Special Congressional Recognition Certificate for the ARRL, which recognizes the dedicated and phenomenal service the ARRL and its members have rendered to the State of Connecticut.
After surviving two global pandemics, ARRL CEO David Minster said the organization and its members have seen the good, the bad and the ugly while still being able to continue serving the public.
“It’s a testament to the resilience and dedication of our staff, board members and volunteers,” he said. “We are your friends and neighbors, we celebrate the good times and the bad, and we stand by you when all else fails.
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