By Ann Walker ZL1TRH / ZL1BFB
Ian Walker, the driving force behind the restoration of the Musick Memorial Radio station, died on 30 July 2010.
He was known to fellow radio amateurs as ZL1BFB, a callsign now held by his wife Ann.
Ian’s interest in radio began with a discarded crystal set which he repaired and listened to in bed using the wire-wove mattress support for an antenna.
One of his first jobs was at SOS Radio in Queen Street, Auckland, where he picked up a working knowledge of radio theory and componentry. From there he moved to the Auckland telephone exchange and then on to the Radio Inspectors Branch of the Post Office, where he remained for the rest of his working life. He was trained and mentored by the late Morrie Parsons in the art of interference detection and direction finding. These were to remain the prime focus of his work until ill health forced his retirement in 1999.
Trips in the Deodar and the Westpac Helicopter while looking for EPIRBs were his special delight. He once was stranded for several hours in Coromandel township when the helicopter was called to an emergency and could not get back to pick him up.
He was a founder member and chairman of the Suburban Amateur Radio Club (since renamed the Musick Point Radio Group), and it is due to his vision and drive that the club now occupies the Musick Memorial Radio Station. He had an excellent rapport with representatives of the various agencies who were responsible for the administration of the site, and was never happier than when he could relate the history of the station and the work of the club to a sole casual enquirer or a hall full of people.
He never failed to acknowledge the help of his fellow club members and the wider Amateur Radio community. The work will continue. His legacy is the continuation of his vision for the restoration of the station to a working entity and as a permanent home for all aspects of Amateur Radio.