Where Southern Mississippi YL started?
Hello my name is Betty Jo Byrd KB5CSQ better known as BJ and will share with you how we started.
If you have listened on HF or 2meters you mainly hear the OM and occasionally hear a YL but not very often. So you would think not many YL’s have licenses but not so. The truth is most YL’s get there novice or technician license to make their OM happy but then they never get on the radio.
Why is that you may ask?
They do not feel comfortable and mainly do not hear other YL’s on the radio so they lose interest. So I had a thought that if we had a ladies group maybe we could get the YL’s more active. I sent out emails to the YL’s I knew had a license and asked if they would like to attend a dinner meeting and bring their OM. This meeting was held on the 2nd Thursday night of August at 6:30PM at Wintzels which was a nice seafood restaurant in Wiggins, MS.
This meeting was the official start of Southern Mississippi YL of the Gulf Coast. The group applied for their SMYL call sign and received KF5BTO. After a few months the group applied for a vanity call sign of a silent key and mentor in our local area, Bill Applebee, KB5MZ. We received KB5MZ as our group call sign in August 2009.
During the next few months the ladies planned a weekly net on 2 meters 147.375 every Thursday night at 7:00 pm.
They elected officers and scheduled the 2nd Thursday night of every month as their meeting night alternating locations from Gulfport to Wiggins to accommodate members in both locations.
You may wonder why the YL’s would include the OM. Some of the ladies do not drive at night and the OM also needed an outing. During these meetings the YL’s discuss their group business while the OM meet and talk about antennas, radio and try and solve the world problems. We usually average 15 to 18 hams at each meeting.
The group decided we needed to get our name out so we decided on shirts and needed a club patch design. One of our members and her husband are local artist and own and operate Frame World of Gulfport, Mississippi. Phil WA5TBG and Sylvia AE5BU Montalbo agreed to work with our idea for a design. Phil WA5TBG presented a patch design at one of our meetings; he gave us his hand drawn Biloxi Lighthouse with our Southern Mississippi YL logo on the outside border. The YL’s voted to accept this design.
Since 2008 the SMYL has participated in Field Day operations and the GOTA station, CQWW contest, and ILLW – Lighthouse/Lightship weekend where they put the Biloxi, Mississippi Lighthouse on the air from the mobile op trailer parked on Hwy 90 across from the Biloxi Lighthouse.
The group has held fund raisers- Raffle of ICOM, 2200H, working on editing a member cookbook, and the newest project, wine bottle slumping.