Let the Circle Be Unbroken – Thoughts on the Brotherhood of Amateur Radio

It isn’t that often I write on eHam, specially about non-technical issues.

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Fellow Amateur Alan W4LGH has posted an interesting piece on the Fraternal Brotherhood of Hams being a thing of the past.

All sorts of people have waded in responding with their thoughts. There are a number that in detail lay the blame for society’s woes on Politicians, the Internet, this & that… about the only thing not blamed is Global Warming!

Here is my contribution to the thread.

Fraternal Brotherhood of Hams
by K9ZW on January 28, 2007

Gentleman and Ladies,

The issue has absolutely naught to do with politics.

We, as amateurs cannot so easily displace responsibility, and tag some external factor as the cause.

Each of us should take a moment of instrospection, not look about for scapegoats, even if just in jest.

The cause is us.

Each QSO is a glorious chance to make a new friend, to reach out to someone or somewhere we’ve not contacted before.

Each fellow amateur is our chance to be an Elemer, even if only in small ways & with just our encouragement and respect.

Yesterday I spoke with a long retired old time Ham who told me that he was greatly looking forward to taking an Amateur Radio seminar in a couple months. Though he is likely qualified to teach a goodly portion of the classes himself, his thoughts were to quote “you’re never to old to learn.”

That ideal of continued self-improvement & sharing of respect & of our knowledge should be among the main things we all strive to share.

It still is magic, and though the Brotherhood may appear to be tarnished at times, it is not broken.

Now it is up to each of us to put principle before trival issues, to remember first what we all share, and not the secondary things in which we differ, and most of all to take the “Golden Rule” to heart in our amateur operations.



NOTE: I’ve had some enquiry as to the word “Brotherhood” as being male. I prefer to think that in this use it can be used as if Amateur Radio was a Trade or Profession, that is in a gender neutral aspect reflecting a commonality of experience. The Suggestions to replace “Brotherhood” have included “Fraternity” which though the Latin root is less familar, is also based on the Latin for “Brother”. “Sodality” is perhaps more accurate, but we are not accustomed to hearing this word outside of organized religion. So “Brotherhood” stands, and like many a youngster’s secret club, we’ll include the Ladies as well.73


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