Back to our roots

This is an editorial from September 1927 QST. It describes how The Old Man himself described the values of ARRL. Much of it applies today, and to the crisis we face at ARRL. What forethought from a true visionary! We must stay true to The Old Man's vision for ARRL and its directors - selfless service to Amateur Radio.

Thanks to Gerry, W1VE for this item.

The Reason Why

By Hiram Percy Maxim, President, A.R.R.L.

QST for September, 1927

SITTING back in the old armchair, with the last issue of QST read from cover to cover and with everybody else in the house asleep hours ago, I fell to thinking of amateur radio to-day and amateur radio of other days. As the blue smoke curls slowly upward from the old pipe, visions of early A.R.R.L. Directors’ Meetings float before me. I see those old-timers grappling with problems of organization, with QRM, with trunk-line traffic and rival amateur leagues. I see sinister commercial and government interests at work seeking to exterminate amateur radio. They were dark days, those early ones.

To-day I see Amateur Radio an institution, recognized by our American government and on the road to recognitions by the other governments of the world. I see a fine, loyal A.R.R.L. membership of 20,000 standing shoulder to shoulder and believing in each other and still blazing the way in radio brotherhood taking shape, in the form of our I.A.R.U.

And as the last embers of the old pipe turn to grey ash, I ask how it all came about: that the A.R.R.L. should have succeeded and all its opponents failed. The answer is clear. It is because with our opponents there was always some kind of a selfish motive to be served for someone, whereas in our A.R.R.L. we insisted from the beginning that no selfish motive for anybody or anything should ever prevail. Everything that A.R.R.L. undertakes must be 100% for the general good. That policy bred loyalty and confidence. With those two things an organization can prosper forever.