An interesting highlight of the Association's early meetings was the adoption of a QSL card, which would be available for use by all members. The suggestion that a unique design for such a card be prepared and adopted was made by W2BXA at the meeting of May 2, 1958. Now the choice of design of a QSL card was (and still is) a highly individualistic matter with each amateur operator. Hence, the likelihood of getting agreement on a single design, satisfactory to all members of a radio club, was rather remote. Bob Ainge, K2GMO and Ed Benkis, W2HTI, were selected as a committee to study the matter and report at the following meeting. At the Jun 6, 1958 meeting, W2HTI displayed 17 different and beautifully hand-designed QSL cards prepared by his wife, Jean, for consideration by the membership. Selection was narrowed to three designs, which W2HTI offered to have further refined and prepared in different colors for final selection at the next meeting. At the July meeting, about fifteen variations of the three designs were displayed and after much discussion, one was finally chosen. W2HTI offered to have a final sample made and have prices for printing in lots of at least 30,000, at a subsequent meeting.
Much credit and appreciation was expressed for the excellent work of Mrs. Jean Benkis in preparing the many designs that contributed to the unanimous choice of the design finally adopted. (We greatly regret to record that Mrs. Jean Benkis passed away December 20 1974).Her design was used not only for the NJDXA QSL card but also for the Association's Honor and Achievement Awards, and the NJDXA emblem and logo.
Action to create the Association's Honor and Achievement Awards was taken at the March 19612 meeting, when a committee consisting of Hayden Evans, K2BZT, Bob Tuttle, K2QHL, and Bob Morris, W2LV, was created to implement the desires of the group as discussed at the meeting. At the April meeting, the committee recommended two awards: first, the Honor Award given to any operator or group making a significant and noteworthy contribution furthering DX interests, and second, the Achievement Award, given to any DX station giving evidence of working at least fifteen NJDXA members. It is also given to U.S. stations for contact with twenty-five members. A Satellite Achievement Award was later established for non-USA stations making satellite contact with at least five NJDXA members). The recommendations of the committee were adopted and the printing of 100 Honor Award and 100 Achievement Award certificates was authorized. These were available before the June meeting at which time the first Honor Award was authorized for the Malpelo DXpedition Group. Others nominated at this time and subsequently granted the award were Gus Browning, W4BPD, Lyman Rundlett, W3ZA, K4ZA, etc., Jack Cummings, W2CTN, The USSR Central Radio Club, VU2NRM, and Danny Weil.
To date, 51 Honor Awards and 153 Achievement Awards have been issued by
the NJDXA. The most recent of the Honor Awards are: #47 to Herman Bohning, W2MZV for his operation of 4U1UN and handling over 50,000 QSLs for that station; #48 to Ray Soifer, W2RS for first NJDXA member to achieve WAS via satellite; #50 to DARC, Germany, and #51 to JARL in Japan. Recent Achievement Awards are: #150 to VK9XM, #151 to VK9YM, #152 to HP1AC (this is also the 36th award for satellite contacts); #153 to JA1KRU.
In more recent years, the awards program had fallen into disuse. In 2002, Ron Levy, K2CO proposed the creation of a new category of membership to honor those amateurs whose efforts significantly benefitted the DX Community. This award became our Honorary Membership. It is presented to select individuals on the basis of their contribution to DXing and to the hobby. The first recipient of Honorary Membership was Rich Moseson, W2VU, Editor of CQ Amateur Radio.
At the December 1957 meeting, Howard B. Leake, W2PUN, from the Rochester Amateur Radio Association, asked if we would be interested in jointly organizing a W2-DX Roundup. He proposed some central location, perhaps during the month of May. W2DEC was appointed to investigate the matter.
At the May 1958 meeting, a report was given by W2DEC relative to the feasibility of holding a DX-Roundup. Discussions between members of the NJDXA and the Rochester club resulted in a tentative agreement to propose a meeting of DXers at Bear Mountain Inn during October. At the July meeting it was reported that suitable facilities for holding the proposed meeting were not available at Bear Mountain Inn. After further discussions with the Rochester group, it had been At the December 1957 meeting, Howard B. Leake, W2PUN, from the Rochester decided to postpone the proposed DX-Roundup until spring of 1959.
At the February 1960 meeting, it was proposed that the NJDXA participate in the Dayton, Ohio ham convention, scheduled for May. The May meeting was advanced to April 29, so that those planning to attend could do so without missing a meeting. Howard P. Leake, W2PUN of The Rochester Amateur Radio Association, asked if we would be interested in jointly organizing a W2-DX Roundup. He proposed some central location, perhaps during the month of May. W2DEC was appointed to investigate the matter.
No further action was taken on the DX-Roundup. It was not until April of 1963 that Bob Stankus, W2VCZ, moved that the NJDXA hold a W2DXCC meeting and banquet during the IEEE convention of 1964. Gus Browning, W4BPD was guest of honor and speaker at the dinner. There were about 200 in attendance at this meeting.
The Dayton Hamvention is held in a large exhibition and convention center called The HARA Arena. It was a large hall for equipment exhibitors, seven rooms in which meetings can be held, and an enormous parking lot for the thousands of cars and the inevitable and colossal flea market. Over 150 exhibitors have been reported in attendance at the Dayton Hamvention, and heaven only knows how many flea marketers. Campers and recreational vehicles are accommodated at a nearby trailer park. It appears to be very well organized and managed to be so successful for so many years.
In recent years, the NJDXA has had fifteen or twenty members at Dayton and has provided a well identified and publicized hospitality suite for DX attendees. This has become such a popular gathering place for DXers that the room overflows into the hall and the refreshments evaporate rapidly. A high point of interest for those at the North Jersey DX Association suite occurred on Saturday evening at the 1974 Dayton meet. Not one, but three YLs streaked the gathering and set serious DXing back at least a decade. Number one was the brainchild of W0MLY, and she received such a resounding 5-9 plus report that K4VW sponsored the second; number three was a group plan.
The Dayton Hamvention has become a tradition with NJDXA and has done much to publicize the work and achievements of it and it's members nationally and internationally