Chris Whitmarsh, G0FDZ receives RSGB Lifetime Achievement Award

Chris G0FDZ was honoured with the award of an RSGB Lifetime Achievement Award by RSGB President John McCullagh GI4BWM and RSGB Chairman Stewart Bryant G3YSX at our club meeting on 21 March 2024.

It had been a secret well-kept by a few for a number of months and Chris was clearly overwhelmed initially, but it was a great honour for Chris to receive the award from John and Stuart.

Chris G0FDZ receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from John McCullagh and Stewart Bryant
Chris G0FDZ receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from John McCullagh and Stewart Bryant

We scheduled the prestigious visit to coincide with the 21 March meeting at which Ian G0AFH was to give a presentation on VHF DXing. Ian’s talk was a huge success and contributed to a great evening.

Meeting attendance of 55 was the highest at a Cray Valley meeting for quite some time. It was swelled by members of the Windmill Contest Group of which Ian (and Chris) are members. It was also good to see a number of club members in attendance who we do not see that often. Overall it was a great night particularly for Chris, but also for the club.

The President was unable to read the entire citation in the time available, but is it reproduced here for all to see.

“Chris was originally licensed as G8CIU. He has the unique distinction of being the only amateur in the UK to have had a two-way QSO on single every amateur band for which we are licensed. This is from the old 73kHz band, no longer available, through LF, HF, VHF and all the way up to what he and other microwavers refer to as ‘topband’ – 288GHz. He holds the current UK distance record on 288GHz with Roger, G8CUB. He has also built gear for 30THz and has had QSOs on that ‘band’ though it is light frequency, not radio. Of course, equipment for the higher microwave bands has to be entirely home-brewed, and Chris’s excellent construction skills have been critical to his success. The standard of construction of his microwave equipment is outstanding, and his construction skills were the main reason that he was recruited to work at Inmarsat. Very sadly, his health problems mean that ground-breaking microwave operation is now out of the question. Nevertheless his achievement in making QSOs on every single amateur band stands supreme and is something that is unlikely ever to be equalled Chris has also served the VHF/UHF community for many years as beacon keeper for the 2m and 70cm beacons at Fairseat in Kent. Several years ago he rebuilt both GB3VHF and GB3UHF to modern standards and he also managed the move of both beacons from the Arqiva site at Wrotham to the BT tower at Fairseat. Chris served for several years on the RSGB Microwave Committee. He has always been an enthusiastic member of Cray Valley and served as Chairman in the 1980s. He is currently a Vice President of the Society, a position he has held for over twenty years. When the three-tier licence was introduced he put together Cray Valley’s training programme and oversaw updates over the years at all three levels. He was chief instructor and course organiser until forced to step down by ill health two years ago.”