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Mike_Dalrymple_GM4SUC

Silent Key – Mike Dalrymple – GM4SUC - Founder of the ILLW

Obituary by Ayr Amateur Radio Group

 
Photo of Mike operating at Turnberry Lighthouse

It is with great sadness that we wish to note the passing of Mike Dalrymple, GM4SUC, a long standing member of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group, and who served so effectively as club Treasurer for over nineteen years.    Mike died on the 21st of December 2005, after a prolonged period of illness that was bravely borne.

 

Mike was a founder member of the Ayrshire RAYNET Group, and became the Deputy Controller shortly after its inaugural meeting in January of 1985.  He remained in this office until retiring in 1999 due to the ill health of his wife Doris. He was a most able Event Controller, and his input to the development of the Group in the years that followed proved invaluable.   Most notable during this period was the involvement of Ayrshire RAYNET and Mike’s own personal participation, in the tragic events of the Lockerbie air disaster.

 

Mike was also keen on Special Event Stations, and organised many over the course of the years, including one commemorating the life of John Paul Jones, the father of the United States Navy. Another was the “Northern Lights“ Weekend  in Scotland, which became the seed  for what was to become the annual International Lighthouse and Lightship event. With the cooperation of other interested Amateur Radio enthusiasts world wide, Mike worked tirelessly to develop the ILLW into the major international success it is today, with currently some forty countries being represented.  One reason for this success is its simplicity, being conceived as a “fun” weekend, with no pressure to make large numbers of contacts; and there, as he intended, to be enjoyed by radio enthusiasts throughout the world.   The ILLW, held annually on the third weekend in August, will remain as an enduring tribute to Mike’s legacy.

 

mikes_plaque

Professionally, Mike served as an Air Traffic Control Officer with the National Air Traffic Services at Atlantic House in Prestwick. He leaves his wife Doris, son Andrew, daughter-in-law Lorraine, and grandson Scott living in Scotland, whilst son Paul and his children, Ben and Emily, live in France, and daughter Jacqueline, in London. He will be sadly missed.

Vale Mike GM4SUC

Update at 30 June 2006: Mike's family recently scattered his ashes over the grounds of Turnberry Lighthouse and on 19th August the Ayr Amateur Radio Group erected a stainless steel plaque at the lighthouse in memory of Mike.

Update 5 October 2011: Turnberry Lighthouse now carries the unique ILLW identifying number UK0000 in memory of the link between Mike and the lighthouse where he spent many hours with his fellow members of the Ayr Group. The Lighthouse has now (2016) been sold to an American developer, Donald Trump, who has renovated the cottages and tower and an overnight stay at the site costs around $3,500US

 

turnberry

 

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To all my ILLW friends,

Reluctantly I am seeking your help in meeting the annual costs involved with keeping the ILLW web site up and running. For many years now these costs have been met willingly by me but living costs are catching up with us now that we are retired.

There is no 'organization' or 'group' titled ILLW. This is just an annual event "owned" by you, the entrants and participants without any legal entity involvement. The event relies very heavily on this web site and its Mirror site and without them the event would probably not take place. I am now seeking your financial assistance in keeping these web sites hosted and maintained and to avoid spoiling the look of the sites with advertising material.. It is not a huge cost so I am not seeking large amounts of money but every little helps.

If you would like to help, please use the PayPal button below if you have a PayPal account, if not please use the "Donate" Button. Any contribution, no matter how small, will be gratefully accepted and faithfully applied.

 

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Thanks for listening and if you made a donation, thanks for your generosity.

Kevin vk2ce

 

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International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend

Statistics - Entries submitted via our on line entry form or email.

COUNTRY 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Aland Islands 1 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Algeria - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
Alaska - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 - - - - -
Argentina 1 2 4 9 9 14 20 20 19 21 30 27 20 11
16 26 18 14
Aruba - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - 1 -
Australia 4 5 12 27 25 27 29 25 30 40 51 49 57 66
72 69 66 69
Austria - - - 2 1 1 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 1 3 2 1 2
Azerbaijan - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - -
Azores - - - - - - 2 - - - - 1 - 1 - - - -
Balearic Islands - - - - 1 1 - - - - - 1 - - - - - -
Barbados - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 2
Belgium 1 3 3 5 3 4 7 9 9 8 11 10 6 5 5 3 1 1
Bermuda - - - 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Brazil 1 6 8 7 4 3 3 1 2 - 2 1 - 1 2 1 2 -
Bulgaria - - - - 1 - - 1 - 1 - - - - - - - 1
Canada 4 7 3 6 6 9 9 5 12 13 8 10 12 14 15 21 14 17
Canary Islands - - - 1 - 1 3 6 1 - - 1 1 - - 1 2 1
Chile - - 1 - - 1 - - 2 7 3 1 5 10 1 3 6 2
China - - - - - - - - - - 2 3 - 1 1 1 1 -
Crete - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
Croatia - - - 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - - 2 - - 1 -
Cuba - - 1 - 1 1 1 - - - - - 1 - - 5 7 13
Curacao - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 -
Cyprus - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - -
Denmark 12 20 19 24 21 18 15 18 9 10 11 6 4 3 8 12 13 11
Dominican Republic 1 - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - -
Egypt - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - -
England 15 17 18 23 29 37 38 33 28 32 36 43 41 37
33 38 38 45
Estonia - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
Faeroe Island 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 -
Falkland Islands - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 - - - 1 -
Finland 6 3 6 9 8 7 10 12 9 10 9 12 10 11 12 6 10 8
France 3 1 2 2 1 3 4 4 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 4 4 7
Germany 8 11 11 27 28 37 39 40 38 37 46 55 60 53 58 72 66 74
Gibraltar 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Greece 1 2 3 2 2 - - 3 3 - - - - - 1 - 1 -
Guyana - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hawaii - 2 1 2 - - 1 - 1 - 1 - - - - - - -
Honduras - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 1 1 1 1 -
Hong Kong - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1
Indonesia - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - 1 - - - -
Iceland 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2
India - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 1 2 1 2 4 3
Ireland 1 1 6 6 4 1 5 3 2 2 3 3 3 6 5 10 12 7
Isle of Man 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 2 1 1 - 1 1 1 - 1
Israel - - - 6 2 3 2 2 1 1 - - - - - - - -
Italy 3 1 2 3 4 7 6 11 8 11 5 5 6
8 6 9 8 7
Japan - - - 1 - - - - 2 - 1 3 3 1 1 2 3 -
Jersey (Channel Islands) - - - - - - 1 2 1 1 - - 1 - - - - -
Kalingrad 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Kuwait - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 -
Latvia - - - 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 - - - - 1 1 1 1
Lebanon - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3 - - - 1
Lithuania 1 2 1 3 3 5 3 4 3 2 2 3 - 1 - - 4 -
Malaysia 1 - - - - - - - - - 1 9 1 5 - 16 8 8
Malta - 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - 1 - -
Market Reef - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - -
Mexico - - - - - - - 1 - - - 1 3 3 2 - 1 -
Namibia - - 1 - 1 1 - - 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 - - -
Netherlands 6 7 6 9 10 11 14 15 18 19 21 25 29 22 30 18 21 20
Netherland Antilles.
- - - - - - - - - - 1 1 - - 1 1 - -
New Caledonia - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - -
New Zealand 8 10 6 9 4 4 5 5 6 2 7 13 8 10 5 8 10 7
Northern Ireland 1 1 4 5 2 4 5 4 2 2 2 3 5 4 3 6 5 4
Norway 5 7 7 4 5 4 7 5 7 6 5 3 3 2 1 - 3 4
Panama - - - - - 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 1
Peru - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
Philippines - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 1 - -
Poland 14 10 5 4 3 3 4 5 5 6 8 2 6 4 6 7 6 7
Portugal 1 2 1 2 2 4 3 1 1 4 5 3 5 9 11 9 7 10
Puerto Rico 2 1 1 3 3 3 4 2 3 5 5 5 2 3 8 6 7 7
Reunion Island - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - -
Romania - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 2 1 - 2 -
Russia, Asiatic - - - - 2 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
Russia, European - - 1 2 5 2 2 - 4 - 1 1
1 1 3 2 - 1
Saint Helena - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - -
Saint Lucia - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - -
Sardinia - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - 1 - -
Scotland 8 8 9 14 9 14 14 11 11 11 8 13 19 16 17 20 17 19
Serbia - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - -
Slovenia 1 - - 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 1 - - - 1 1 -
South Africa 7 5 11 8 13 10 8 12 13 9 12 14 14 17 19 17 17 15
Spain - - 1 1 1 1 4 3 6 10 3 4 5
5 2 7 3 2
Sri Lanka 1 1 1 1 1 2 - 2 2 1 - - - - 2 3 1 2
Svalbard Island 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sweden 10 14 16 16 15 27 23 29 27 28 26 34 25 21 22 22 22 21
Switzerland - - - - - - 1 1 1 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 2 1
Taiwan - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 1
- 1 3 -
Thailand - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1 -
Turkey 1 - 1 1 3 5 8 8 5 3 1 3 3 3 2 1 3 -
Ukraine - 1 - 1 1 3 1 10 10 8 7 2 1
1 3 3 3 -
Uruguay - - - - - 1 1 2 1 3 2 2 3 2 3 4 4 3
Venezuela - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1
USA 20 46 68 83 68 72 54 41 47 45 43 47 55 80 71 66 93 72
Wales 4 2 4 5 6 1 8 12 11 6 6 7 9 7 7 7 8 8
Total: C'tries/L'gts 40/158 36/204 44/255 46/348 45/317 48/369 52/383 48/382 48/377 43/380 50/406 50/442 47/447 55/470 47/473 54/526 56/544 46/507

 

Please note: this list is by no means and does not purport to be, an accurate assessment of the total number of Countries and Lights which participated each year. These are the ones who lodged an entry form.

There were quite a few Lighthouses and lightships on the air each year for which an entry was not received in time for the event. This list is purely for historical reasons as an indication of how the event is growing in popularity each year. The event developed from the Scottish Northern Lighthouses award weekend.



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History of the Lighthouse Weekend

Mike Dalrymple GM4SUC smallIt all started in 1993 during a wet wintry evening when two members of the AYR Amateur Radio Group in Scotland, John GM4OOU and the late Mike GM4SUC, after a club meeting were talking about creating an event in the summer when club members could get out on a sunny weekend and play radio. Various themes were considered; ports, airports, historic Scotland sites, the Firths of Scotland, castles etc. but it was finally decided that lighthouses of Scotland would be ideal.

Following research it was discovered that the lighthouses of Scotland were controlled by the Northern Lighthouse Board in Edinburgh who were not only responsible for the lighthouses of Scotland, but also around the Isle of Man. Approval was sought and obtained from the Northern Lighthouse Board to establish amateur radio stations adjacent to their property. In February 1993 an invitation was sent to all Scottish clubs and the Isle of Man club to join in the fun of a weekend, to be called the Northern Lighthouse Activity Weekend, by establishing an amateur radio station at a lighthouse during the third weekend in August. This first year's event saw 11 stations established at lighthouses, operating primarily on the HF bands, with each station making approximately 750 QSOs over the weekend.

nlaw 1

The following year the Scottish clubs were involved in a weekend activity with the theme of Scottish Firths (river estuaries), so two years elapsed before the next Northern Lighthouse Activity Weekend. During this period Anne-Grete OZ3AE enquired through a letter to Practical Wireless if there was any lighthouse activity on amateur radio. Following discussions with her it was decided that Danish stations could join in the fun of the weekend. Quickly Germany, South Africa and France asked to join, so the name of weekend was changed to The International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend . It was at this time that John, GM4OOU, due to pressure of work, had to cease his connections with the event. The weekend became an annual event taking place over the third full weekend in August and has slowly grown in popularity and in 1999 there were 204 lighthouse/lightship stations in 36 countries until now when some 450 stations in over 50 countries take part. Full statistics and guidelines for participation can be found elsewhere on this web site.

The main reason the event has become so popular is because it is NOT a contest. It is a relaxed fun weekend without the pressure of a contest. The guidelines are simple and the onus is on the operators to act within the spirit of the weekend which is simply to expose amateur radio and the plight of lighthouses to the public. This is why it is important for the ham station to be as close to the lighthouse/lightship as possible and with the controlling body’s approval.

Turnberry lighthouse

Turnberry Lighthouse ILLW UK0000

A few years ago the International Association of Lighthouse Keepers decided to have an annual open day for lighthouses all around the world to encourage visitors to visit at their lighthouses. They decided that no better day could be decided upon other than the Sunday of the ILLW. This move has been highly successful as the media have become involved in quite a few of the countries involved in the event.

This year’s event takes place on the 3rd full weekend in August so if you haven’t done so already, find a lighthouse nearby and get a group together or do it solo and fire up a lighthouse station. In most cases if you don’t intend operating from within the lighthouse itself or one of its cottages, you really don’t need to get any approval. Most first time entrants are so enthused with the event that they return year after year. A report from the Burlington ARC, Canada summed their first participation in these few words:

“The greatest delight of the day was the active participation of the visiting children who showed a remarkable interest in the whole idea of amateur radio, especially the use of Morse Code.
It was an honour and a delight to participate in this adventure and we look forward with increased enthusiasm to next year's participation.”

Sadly, Mike Dalrymple passed away in December 2005. He was the Treasurer of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group. The event is now dedicated to Mike’s memory as is this official ILLW web site where you will find the event guidelines, an on line entry form and lists of participating lighthouse since 1999. In recognition of the link between Mike and Turnberry lighthouse, it now carries the unique ILLW identification number UK0000. Mike's friend, John Forsyth GM4OOU, is still in Scotland and is quite impressed and amazed the way their "baby" has grown over the years.

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Please Help

This web site has been personally funded by me since 2000. It is the backbone of the ILLW event which brings so much pleasure to a lot of amateurs and others. Please help, if you can, with the ongoing  expenses of keeping the web site operating.

Thanks in anticipation. lighthouse 24 279677

Kevin vk2ce