The Green Bay Mike and Key Club was established in 1939 to foster and advance Amateur Radio in Green Bay, Wisconsin and the greater northeastern Wisconsin area. As with all "hams," the club's original founders came from many walks of life and shared a common interest in communication as a hobby, as a means of technical exploration, and as a way to serve their community and nation. Over the years, GBMK members have participated in a variety of public service events, ranging from coordinating communications for walks and races to supporting weather spotting,.
The spirit that brought together the founders of the GBMK continues today. Presently, the club has over 100 members of all ages and interests. Club members represent all available Amateur Radio license classes--Technician, General, and Amateur Extra--each of which carries various operating privileges and frequencies.
Other GBMK activities during the year include an annual banquet for club members and guests, operating events such as the Wisconsin QSO Party, participation in the annual Field Day contest/emergency communications exercise, and a summer picnic. Three GBMK sponsored repeater stations are used for emergency and public service communications support, experimentation, and general use.
GBMK members are devoted to their hobby and welcome opportunities to assist anyone interested in learning more about Amateur Radio. The club meets at 7:00 pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the G.M. Science Building of St. Norbert's College in DePere, Wisconsin. Meetings are open to all, and typically consist of a brief business session. After the meetings, an informal gathering at a local tavern is fairly common. In addition, the GBMK regularly offers licensing classes to prepare newcomers for their initial Amateur Radio examination, or help current amateurs upgrade their licenses.
The Green Bay Mike and Key Club was started mostly as a HF club in 1939. In the Winter of 1938 and 1938 Oliver Davis, W9WLZ; Glen Schlingerman, W9WWQ; Jerry Van, N9VOW; met at Badger State Radio owned by Harold Dole, W9CTH. Oliver had access to an old hand cranked memeo machine and sent notice regarding the organizing a new club. The response was great. This was the start of the Green Bay Mike and Key Club.
In 1956, the Green Bay Mike and Key Club began the process to incorporate. The reason was to remove the personal liability that of anything done in the name of the club. In March 1956 a motion was made by Greg Schneider W9IEI to obtain a club call, by August the callsign K9EAM was issued.
In the 1950's VHF was mostly 2-meter AM and ATV. In 1969 two meter FM stated to emerge in the Green Bay area. In the early 70's VHF FM repeaters started to pop up. This is when the North East Wisconsin VHF Society emerged.
The North East Wisconsin VHF Society was dissolved in 1986 and became the VHF-UHF arm of the Mike and Key Club. For quite some time both clubs talked about combining into one organization. The reasons for the move were many. 80 percent of the membership was the same in both clubs. The membership is paying for two insurance policies. And the purpose of the clubs had become nearly the same; Community service, etc.
It wasn't till 1989 that the Green Bay Mike and Key Club filed for a non-profit status thanks to the work of Mike Willis, W9TQV/KE9QV. The non-profit status helped the financial survivability of the club, when costs of tower and repeater work were depleting the treasury.
Charter (ARRL Charter number 1922)
Whereas it is the desire of the American Radio Relay League to establish bonds of affiliation with non-commercial amateur radio organizations of kindred aims and purposes to make possible unity of action in matters affecting the welfare of Amateur Radio and lend mutual strength; and Whereas The Green Bay Mike & Key Club has declared its sympathy with and allegiance to the aims and policies of the League in its efforts to strengthen and advance Amateur Radio Communications and Experimentation, and has expressed its willingness and desire to cooperate therein:
Now Therefore, under the policies of its Board of Directors, the American Radio Relay League as of this date hereby declares the said organization to be an affiliated body, and issues this charter in the token thereof.
October 21, 1939
The Green Bay Mike & Key Club
P.O. Box 13351
Green Bay, WI 54307
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