Neurological Foundation - Chair of Neurosurgery

Charity wins as CB radio buffs say over and out

October 2012

Charities win as CB radio buffs say over and out

The CB radio organisation has been putting out mayday calls for the past decade in a bid to get new membership, but CBRANZ secretary Arthur Driver said it was time to call it a day.

Until the 1990s, CB radio was the main method of mobile communication, he said. But the popularity of mobile phones and laptops with Skype had killed its role in keeping people in touch.

"With the CB, we were limited to the town area.

"We had 'skip' which allowed us to talk to people all over the world, but that disappeared in the 1980s.

"The introduction of computers and mobile phones took away the need for CBs. It also took away the interest of the younger generation. They would rather sit at home playing video games."

At the height of CB radio's popularity in 1986, there were 56,000 registered sets in New Zealand, and the club had 200 individual members who helped provide communications for St John in the region until the organisation got its own system.

Sadly, club membership has all but dried up and the association will be officially closed at the end of the month.

Mr Driver said the club had been operation for the past 36 years, and he had served as secretary for 30 years.

"I'm a wee bit sad. I guess it's a sign of the times."

There is a silver lining among the clouds though. In signing off, the club has evenly split its $25,570 of funds and donated them to the Chair of Neurosurgery campaign and the Otago Cancer Society for research.

"They are both fantastic causes that help local people," he said.

Neurological Foundation Chair of Neurosurgery project manager Irene Mosley said it was a "considerable" amount of money, and the single biggest donation the organisation had received this month.

"While we are sad that a local organisation is winding up, we are thrilled that such an important service as neurosurgery can benefit from the work these members have done for so many years."