Don Atkins (M1BUL) – Silent Key

Don Atkins (M1BUL)

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing away of Don Atkins (M1BUL). Don died on the 9th January 2017 having just celebrated his 85th birthday.

A great supporter of the club

Don has been a member of the Southport & District Amateur Radio Club (SADARC) for about twenty years and taken part in almost every aspect of the club’s activities with great enthusiasm. He spent many of his years serving the club members by holding office on the committee. Several of those years were spent as the Chairman where he used his wide range of life and business experiences to great effect. Don helped to build the club up from the few regulars that attended every month at the end of the 1990s to the club we see today.

Special events were a favourite activity

Special events were a passion of Don’s as he strove to publicise both the club and hobby to the public. He could always be found talking to visitors and explaining to them, in a very easy to understand way, what the mystic art of amateur radio actually was and how accessible it could be to them.

Honorary Lancastrian

One of Don’s favourite special event stations was our Lancashire Day celebration event in November. At the end of the day’s operating the traditional Lancashire Day declaration is read out followed by the raising of a glass to Her Majesty, The Queen, Duke of Lancaster. Don partook in this event every year we ran it, but one year Don wasn’t well and couldn’t attend. This didn’t stop him, though, and he spent much of the day on the air supporting us from home.

Despite not being a Lancastrian by birth his dedication to the cause earned him the grand recognition of an Honorary Lancastrian which was bestowed upon him over the air by his fellow club members operating the station. It was often commented on thereafter and he was actually quite proud of the award.

A great communicator

In fact, talking to people is what Don was all about at the end of the day. Whenever one visited a SADARC meeting, it was most likely that the first person that would be encountered would be Don as he always made sure that a warm welcome was extended to everyone that walked through the door.

But he was also a great listener too and could be relied upon to share your burdens with you and this made him a great friend to many.

Champion of youth work

Don also had a passion for sharing his hobby with young folk and he always recognised and viewed their importance in the world generally, but more specifically to the future of our hobby. For several years Don went in to schools with members of the club to share various aspects of electronics and amateur radio with them during National Science Week. He could also be found supporting Scouts during their annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) weekend.

Glass of wine anyone?

Everybody that met Don was touched by his warm and inviting manner. His support, kind words of wisdom and guidance will be sorely missed by all who were privileged to have shared some of their time with him – usually over the famous glass of wine that was always on offer to those popping in or just passing by.

Don, you will be remembered every time we share a glass of wine with friends.

Remember Don Atkins with a donation to Queenscourt Hospice

If you’d like to remember Don Atkins (M1BUL) you can do so by making a donation to Queenscourt Hospice where Don’s wife was cared for several years ago before she passed away.