Our History

A Bit of MARS / W4BFB History

The Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society became an incorporated organization on the 25th day of March 1949. Some think that thirteen is an unlucky number but many consider it to bring luck. There were thirteen individuals who were the charter members of this club, twelve of whom held valid amateur licenses. The idea of forming such an association was born in the minds of some three or four amateurs two or three years prior to its formal incorporation.

In the days following World War II, amateur radio was regaining some interest and activity was resuming, after having been terminated during the war by federal edict. Occasionally a few Hams gathered in a 20 by 20 foot recreation room which was part of a workshop situated behind the residence of Sam McNinch W4FUA, on Sharon Lane in Charlotte, N.C. They helped Sam put together his station, which consisted mostly of surplus war equipment. It became sort of a gathering place for a few Hams. They assembled on a random basis and discussed operating practices, or the construction of transmitters and receivers, talked about chasing DX, and other general topics concerning amateur radio. During this era a comradeship developed where the fellows helped each other both in station construction as well as operating protocol. Help was available in putting up antennae, chasing down bugs in one’s equipment, or clearing up TVI, which was a brand new problem. Out of this mutual interest in amateur radio grew the formation of the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society.

The following thirteen incorporators were from diverse occupations:

Earl J. Gluck W4CQ was in broadcasting (WSOC)
Robert E. Dawson W4DSY was in the pickle canning business
Fred H. Hasty W4NZC was a practicing lawyer (future judge)
Bernard Walker W4DIS was a dentist and periodontist
A.L. Blalock W4CAY did voltage regulation at Duke Power
J.C. Gleason W4DLX an electrician with Robinson Electric
Avery Kimbirl W4CLB owned a radio service and repair shop
James (Jimmie) MacLeod W4NHV was a Presbyterian Minister
Clark Prather (no call) was a photographer with the Observer
Roy Scroggs W4CXS was an appliance repair technician
W.J. (Buck) Wortman W4CYB was an engineer with Duke Power
C.A. (Pete) McKnight W4CFL was a newspaper editor/writer
S.S. (Sam) McNinch W4FUA owned a trucking firm

Today it is obvious that since its inception, MARS has undergone numerous changes in personnel, objectives, and methods of operating.