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This page contains the late Geo G3ZQS' introduction to FISTS and his explanation of how he chose the name FISTS.
G3ZQS' Introduction to FISTS
There has long been a demand for an organizations such as this not only to fill the void left by the declining numbers of ex-professional operators but to nurture the interests of those who are drawn to the mode but lack the operating skills. It's just these Amateurs who would otherwise be tempted to exchange the key for a microphone if the satisfactions and pleasure of Morse were to be denied them by a lack of opportunity. Such opportunity is rare when one is a beginner and the bands appear to be populated by c.w signals which are well beyond their limited skills.
FISTS is peopled by those whose love of Morse has urged them on to encourage the beginner, to dispel those initial moments of fear and help them reach out for a joy known only to a small minority of Radio Amateurs.
A love of MORSE and a concern for its perpetuation are the only requisites for membership. There is no specific speed requirement and neither is membership of the RSGB or other National body demanded. The aims of the club are:
a) To further the use of Morse Code on the bands
b) To encourage the newcomer to the mode
c) To engender friendships within the membership
You will appreciate that in order to effect these goals, the club must render itself open to the novice operator and have a healthy sprinkling of Veterans to encourage them.
Subs are due on the anniversary of the month in which you joined. There will be approximately 12 newsletters per year which will depend largely on your own contributions and you are encouraged to offer comments and observations.
We have our own QSL bureau which distributes members cards free as far as is possible and members may also chose to adopt the club QSL card.
In addition, we have a talking newsletter for those who are visually handicapped.
One of the greatest spin-offs of a club of this nature is the firm and lasting friendships which are a direct result of membership and consequent on-air contacts. You are encouraged not only to meet other members on the air but, if the opportunity is there, on a Social basis also. Should you wish to invite your current friends to join the club, you are at liberty to nominate them bearing in mind the criteria mentioned above.
We look forward to receiving your reply.
73 de GEO G3ZQS
G3ZQS' Explanation of how FISTS got its name
"TOPS" was the TOPS CW Club - Telegraphy Operators Society, which is now inactive. Phil GW8WJ became a Silent Key on 28th August 1990.I used to be a member of TOPS before it went out. Quote on their banner was "Where FISTS Make Friends". A "FIST", as you know, is nothing more than a CW operator's reference to another operator's keying characteristic.. Phil (TOPS founder/secretary) was delighted when I told him of the connection though he was later to follow his XYL and his beloved dog, but I will never forget the enthusiasm which came back from his old vibro.
73 de Geo.
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