|The awards and commendations that are given out by the SJRA fall into two main categories: on the air accomplishments open to all amateurs and recognition of individuals for efforts in advancement of ham radio, open to SJRA members only. In the first category for on the air accomplishments, there are two award certificates available to hams: the South Jersey Radio Association Achievement Certificate and the VHF Colonial Award. Explanation and rules for these awards can be found here. In the second category, recognition of individual contributions, there are four awards: the Amateur of the Year Award, the Long Term Service Award, the President’s Award, and the Award for Technical Merit. A general explanation of each award follows.
The SJRA Amateur of the Year Award was established in 1950 to recognize individual members for their work in the advancement of amateur radio and their contributions to SJRA. The award was renamed for Harry W. Densham in 1965, the year of his death.
Harry Densham was one of the original founders of SJRA (then known as the South Jersey Wireless Association). He attended the very first organization meeting on June 12, 1916 and was elected Treasurer of the newly formed group. He served as president from 1922 to 1925 and was widely respected for his contributions to the association as well as his on-air activities and experimentation with VHF. His interest amateur radio began in 1911 and he was first licensed as 3LP in 1914. His other call signs included 3EH, W2EH,and finally W3EH.
Harry’s entire amateur affiliation was an outstanding example of the true “ham” spirit and those who receive this award are recognized by the club for carrying on his tradition. The recipient is selected by the SJRA Awards Committee.
Gordon Kressel, W2BQ, was one of the founding fathers of the SJRA when it all started in 1916. His original call sign was 3BQ and during World War Ihe taught code at the wireless training school held at the Collingswood High School Physics lab. Gordon was a very active member of SJRA from 1916 to his death in the late 1980’s. In 1980, SJRA created a very prestigious award for members that had performed outstanding long term (at least 5 years) service to the club and amateur radio. This award was known as the Gordon Kressel Award and naturally the first presentation was made to Gordon in recognition of his contributions to the club during the first 64 years of SJRA. If you look through the list of the recipients, you will recognize people who have made major contributions to the club for many years. The recipient is selected by the SJRA Awards Committee.
This award is presented to the teenager making the most outstanding contributions to the SJRA in the judgment of the club’s president. The award was created in 1970 by Charles Jenkins III, W2OGZ in honor of the past achievements and dedication of his father Charles Jenkins, Jr., W2VX during his many years of service to SJRA. W2VX was SJRA President in 1930 and 1931, and served many years on the board of directors, and as Chairman of the 25th and 50th anniversary celebrations.
The SJRA celebrated their 80th Anniversary in 1996 and a new award was created that year and presented during the December membership meeting. There are many aspects of amateur radio and some amateurs have unequal talents in their technical abilities. So for the first time ever the SJRA award for Technical Achievement was presented to E. Miles Brown in 1996. If you know W2PAU at all you know he has great technical abilities and is very free to share his knowledge with all who have need of technical information. After the award was presented to W2PAU, it was announced that future bestowals would be known as the “E. Miles Brown Award for Technical Merit”. The recipient is selected by the SJRA BOD.
Joe Duffin W2ORA was a friend to everyone. He was the type of individual that would encourage anyone to bring out their best. Joe’s can do and work together attitude was true to the nature of a good Ambassador. To this end the SJRA Board was inspired the SJRA to create this award. To that end the Award was presented to Joe Duffin W2ORA in 2009. This is the highest honor bestowed to any SJRA member. Since the original issuance of the award it is now referred as the W2ORA award.
The following criteria is considered for recipients of the award.
- Licensed amateur radio operator for at least 25 years.
- Is always promoting friendship and/or camaraderie with all amateurs, both local and international.
- Must be an individual who is trusted by anyone he/she meets either in person or on the air.
- Encourages others to reach their highest potential.
- The nominee should be someone you can call a true friend and has made a difference in the lives of many individuals.
- Embraces and exemplifies the true spirit of the hobby of amateur radio.
- Has perpetual enthusiasm.
- And finally, above all, this individual should truly represent the “Gold Standard” of amateur radio.