From Ken Massie, WN8F SOARA Charter Member 

This is how the SOARA — ARES/RACES club was founded in 1990. Bill Parsons, N8LCA of South Point, OH was a member of the ham radio club in Huntington, WV. Bill was in the Army Air Corps starting in 1945 and retired in 1966. After retiring from the service he went to work for the U. S. Postal Service in Huntington, WV. One day Bill was talking to a friend and former Postmaster of South Point, OH by the name of Buel Collins. Buel was now retired from the postal service and employed as Emergency Management Agency Director for Lawrence County, OH. He had just attended an Emergency Management Agency at Columbus, OH being attended by most Ohio County EMA directors. At this meeting Buel was asked if he was taking advantage of the help that ham radio operators could give in emergencies. He was not, he was not aware of any help hams could give. Upon returning home he asked his ham friend Bill Parsons if he knew of any hams that may be able to help. Bill knew Michael Love, WB8YKS of South Point, OH and also a member of the ham club in Huntington, WV. Bill had heard Mike speak at the club meetings and was impressed with his knowledge and possible leadership. Bill recommended and gave Buel Mike’s phone number. Mike agreed to help and sent letters to all Lawrence County hams inviting them to a meeting in South Point, OH. Many hams attended and offered to help and support a local club. Buel the EMA director was notified and was very happy about this. Bill Parsons, N8LCA has been a charter member and active member until his wife’s sickness and death forced him to slow down. Now Bill has heart problems and doesn’t like to drive after night to club meetings but still supports SOARA — ARES with both donations of money and radio gear to be sold and the money donated to SOARA — ARES. Later Michael Love, WB8YKS, Charles Callicoat, KB8CJB, AND Wetzel (Butch) Peyton, KB8CWE filed incorporation papers with the State of Ohio as SOUTHERN OHIO AMATEUR RADIO, INC. These three hams learned that Fred Jones, WA4SWF had a repeater for sale and purchased our first repeater from Fred. Then they got it installed at location in the Chesapeake area high on a hill. The property owner allowed for this use. Coordination papers were filed for the repeater frequency of 146.715. Soon this was approved and the repeater was on the air. The repeater has since been replaced with another repeater and moved a short distance to a high tower, same property owner. Michael Love, WB8YKS also formed our local Amateur Radio Emergency Service under ARRl. For many years he was our Emergency Coordinator. Lawrence County, Ohio had a ham radio club that disbanded in the late sixties or early seventies. They provided emergency communications for our communities under the Civil Defense Agency, now called Emergency Management Agency. John Kizee, W8EPJ was the ARRL Emergency Coordinator. Ken Massie, WN8F was a member and still has his old ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Corps for Public Service card signed on July 19, 1966 by W8EPJ.

Club Call sign W8SOE

Al Kammer (W8SOE) was licensed as W8SOE from 1933 until his death in 1981. He was from Michigan, maybe the Mt. Clemens area. Al’s son-in-law is K8MRS, and his daughter, (granddaughter of K8SOE) is Trisha Dominguez, KC0VCX. W8SOE was the father of Trisha’s mother. The Southern Ohio Amateur Radio Association, Inc. club call was KD8BXN. In 2005 it was decided by the membership to get a new club call that would connect with our emergency work. Our Trustee member, Steve Sheers, W8AFX searched the FCC ham license database for a suitable call. After much searching Steve found that W8SOE was available. This would be a perfect call for our club W 8 SOUTHERN OHIO EMERGENCY. Steve applied and soon received the call of W8SOE. That same year the grandaughter of Al, Trisha, applied for her grandfathers call but she was too late, SOARA had already received it. She then sent the above picture and letter describing the situation to our club. Trisha hopes that we will give respect to our new call as at one time it was the call of a great ham and person. Al was very active in Amateur Radio. We will take very good care of the call of W8SOE.

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