South Canadian Amateur Radio Society History

This page is the history of the club, as it is understood at the moment. If you have any information to add to this document, please contact Mark Kleine N5HZR.

When did the club start?

From the first known minutes, we know that the club was formed in the Fall of 1977 at the instigation of WB5QNK Carl Horowitz, and WB5UWB (later AF5X) Jess McKenzie. From the outset, meetings were held at the Cleveland County Red Cross building on 1205 Halley Ave, in Norman, Oklahoma. The stated purpose of the club, in addition to good fellowship and enhancement of amateur radio skills, is community service, especially through emergency operations. Initially, the business meetings were held on the third Saturday of each month. However, 12 or so members would meet at the Red Cross every Saturday for coffee, starting at about 9:30 am.

Because SCARS is closely allied to the Red Cross and the Cleveland County ARES, the club centered much of its activity on emergency operations. One of the first orders of business was to put up a 30 foot Rohn 25 tower and some dipole antennas. A club station, donated to the Red Cross and kept in order by members, became a reality in the Fall of 1979 after a lot of effort. Many early members had cross-membership with the OU club, the FAA club, and others.


The founding president was WB5QNK Carl Horowitz, with A5AZQ Joe Green as vice president. WB5UUX Charlie McCown was treasurer, and WB5TZZ (later KU5B) Jack Bickham was the first secretary. The first year’s dues were for September through December 1977.

Charter Members / Founders/Dues Payers 1977
SK Ball, Henry WB5NHZ
Barrett, Sam WA5RPP (now W5KF) – Currently in Presque Isle Maine
SK Bickham, Jack WB5TZZ
SK Black, Lee W5MCN
SK Brodie, Bill K3TGY
SK Broudy, Jerry W5MCJ
SK Chapman, Fred K5LDE
SK Curtis, Doyle WD5CHG
SK D’Stwolinski, Louis W5UZD
SK Fisher, Don WB5SKB
Horowitz, Carl WB5QNK – Currently in Noble, OK
SK Ihle, David WB5MSB
Jones, Gordon W5OU – Currently in Norman, OK
SK Kirby, Nathan WD5GWG
SK Kirkland, Norman A. WB5MJM
SK McCown, Charles WB5UUX
McKenzie, Jess WB5UWB – Currently in Florida
SK Michael, Ford W5AIP
SK Oliver, Bill K5KDR
SK Simonds, Charles W5NEN
SK Townsend, H.O. WA5MLT
Wright, Jack W5UUF – whereabouts unknown
Zedd, Q.R. A5A – Neptune

Discussion on the Club Name

This information was provided by Jess McKenzie AF5X

During the first year or two of SCARS’ existence, Jess McKenzie served as its treasurer. Jess McKenzie AF5X proposed the club’s name. He had first used the acronym to denote a “Stress Chemical Analysis & Reporting System” he developed at the Civil Aeromedical Institute, FAA. When Jack Bickham, Carl Horowitz, HO Townsend, Sam Barrett, Gordon Jones, and Jess began to discuss starting a local ham club to support the new Red Cross establishment on the North Base, He proposed the name, “South Canadian Amateur Radio Society” (SCARS) mainly because he liked the sound. The “South Canadian” portion was, of course, inspired by the South Canadian River, said by local Native Americans to block the course of any tornado coming from the Southwest, causing the funnel to skip over the town.

Contributors to Red Cross Antenna & Tower Dec 1977 – Jan 1978

Black, Leland W5MCN
Chapman, Fred K5LDE
Fisher, Donald WB5SKB
Michael, Ford W5AIP
Nelson, John W5AVK
Oliver, Bill K5KDR
Speer, Bonnie & Jess WD5HAM & W5SQJ
Stephens, Don ( CALL ??)

Norman Christmas Party

The first Norman Amateur Radio Christmas party was held in December 1978, at a local Norman Hotel in conjunction with the OU Amateur Radio Club.

Early Banking Transactions

New Business; 2 bank accounts opened at Security National in Dec 1977:
#6471-733 “South Canadian Amateur Radio Society”
#1973-646 “Emergency Radio Fund (ERF) for Cleveland County American Red Cross”

Deposits to the Emergency Radio Fund
On 3 DEC 1977
Jack Bickham $50, Jess McKenzie $50, Ford Michael $5

On 7 DEC 1977:
Don Fisher $25, Jess McKenzie $10

Withdrawals from the Emergency Radio Fund
On 8 DEC 1977:
check $75 to Ed Duclos for 3 Tower sections
Other checks (DEC/JAN):
$14.57 & $35.88 (post hole digger & electronic gear)