Jim Welsh, GI4JXM, 29th January 2017

| February 27, 2017
Jim Welsh, GI4JXM (SK)

Jim Welsh, GI4JXM (SK)

Jim Welsh, GI4JXM passed away on Sunday 29th January following a long illness.

Jim’s interest in radio went back to the late 50s when he began an apprenticeship in Short Brothers aircraft factory in Belfast, working in the radio section. I often heard about his experiences working on the photo reconnaissance version of the Canberra aircraft and on the huge Belfast freighter. He had encyclopaedic knowledge of all aircraft but had a particular interest in military aircraft from around the world.

He often regaled us with tales about the many well-known radio amateurs he encountered in his work including the late Frank Robb, GI6TK and David Butler, GI3JEX. This insight into the world of amateur radio led on to him becoming licensed firstly as GI8TQN and then, after passing the Morse Test, as GI4JXM.

After his period in Shorts Jim moved on to work for the Electricity Board for Northern Ireland in their control centre near Belfast, becoming the Senior Control Engineer and keeping the lights on throughout NI. His career was to last from the mid-sixties until an early retirement in the late 90s.

Jim had many interests including as already mentioned aviation, target shooting, motor sport of all kinds, photography and railways. In motor sport, he actually took part as a navigator in the famous Circuit of Ireland Car Rally with another friend driving a VW Beetle!

Amateur radio however was the hobby that brought us into contact in the mid-70s, when he and I became firm friends. We later formed the East Antrim Amateur Radio Club in our local village, Doagh, where he was a very active secretary. Jim organised DF hunts, which proved very popular and attracted entries from across the Province. He also encouraged the club to become involved in local community activities and we ran many special event stations at civic weeks and other festivals.

His greatest interest however was undoubtedly RAYNET, where he was my Deputy Controller for nearly 30 years, working across a wide range of charity and sporting events until ill health caused him to stand down. His interest in motor sport was also of great assistance when his experience as a navigator was called upon to much effect when he accompanied rally officials over many forestry stages as their radio operator.

Jim will be greatly missed by his many radio friends both near and far. He is survived by his wife and three daughters to whom the local amateur community extend their deepest sympathy.

Tribute by John McCullagh, GI4BWM

Category: Silent Keys