The Ham Who Invented Elmer


Peter West
According to the ARRL the Canadian Ham who is credited with inventing the term “Elmer” has died. Rod Newkirk, W9BRD/VA3ZBB, of Ottawa is credited with first using the term Elmer in his “How’s DX?” column in March 1971. Newkirk wrote the column which appeared in QST from 1947 to 1978.Over time an Elmer became the name given to anyone who mentored a would-be ham into the hobby. (My first Elmer was Ray Hunter, VE3UR who mentored my dad VE3FWR into becoming a ham.)First licensed in 1937 as W9WRD at 14, Newkirk was involved with radio all his life. In 1997 Newkirk married his wife Betty, VE3ZBB and moved to Canada.Thanks to Peter West for permission to use his article
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