On a very solemn, quiet, sad night for me In February 2011, following the death of my beloved husband, Ray Fernandez K4RAY, I received a call from then President of GCARA Joey Tirritilli N4ZUW. He had a humane offer for me. He presented me with the opportunity to finish out my husband’s term as Secretary for the GCARA. I did not know then what a fabulous time I would have during the 11 years that followed. I was re-elected the Secretary for the next 4 years until an unfortunate vacancy occurred in the Presidency with the resignation of John Kramer after a one-year stint of being President following the departure of longtime President Joseph Tirritilli N4ZUW. (Jon had obtained new employment which curtailed his many duties in the club till then.) As we met in October of 2015, Club Sponsor Mike Spivak WB4RFC, shouted my name to run for President. I was shocked and overwhelmed but unopposed, and that is how I came to be President of the GCARA for 2016. I battled nerves and a bad case of inferiority due to my lack of technical matters in amateur radio. Still, I decided to give it a try with the very able help of people like Jeff Stahl K4BH, Joe Ruby KJ4OW, and Bob Walter KI4BFS. Many others helped guide and support me along the way, and to each of them, I say thank you, and I appreciate you. Hams are my most beloved friends and most stalwart allies during these times.

GCARA is now fortunate enough to have much younger people on the Board and newly joining the Club. Since I must return to the workforce in these uncertain times, I have decided not to run for President of the club this year. I am confident that the people running for the Board this year are indeed competent, technical, and very well versed in social media to benefit the club further. I have visions of these people being able to keep this club intact and thriving in the future. I want to thank everyone who has been a loyal supporter of this club and invite you to continue your loving support of this wonderful hobby. It made a world of difference in my existence, and I look forward to seeing it bless others as well.

Melanie Fernandes (KJ4VCT)
Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association

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