General Motors Amateur Radio Club announces affiliation with the former Firebird Amateur Radio Club —
And the creation of “Heritage Membership”, which is available to former members of Firebird Amateur Radio Club
DETROIT, MI — January 16, 2013 – The General Motors Amateur Radio Club (GMARC) today announced affiliation with the former Firebird Amateur Radio Club. The By-Laws of GMARC have been modified to create a new class of membership — “Heritage Members”. This membership is offered exclusively to former members of the Firebird Amateur Radio Club.
In announcing the revision to the By-Laws, President Kurt Broman WU8V noted, “These changes will strengthen the General Motors Amateur Radio Club with the addition of former members of the Firebird Amateur Radio Club — the first General Motors amateur radio club.”
The Firebird Amateur Radio Club was founded in 1966. Its members were employees and retirees of General Motors Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries. At its peak, membership was in excess of 325 members who had a variety of talents, and who had a variety of work assignments within General Motors operations worldwide.
Broman further noted, “By offering former ‘Firebirds’ membership in GMARC, we seek to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of these Amateur Radio Operators who have made many contributions to development of the Amateur Radio Service.” (The Amateur Radio Service is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 47 CFR §97.1, and Amateur Operators must be licensed by the FCC.)
The former members of the Firebird Radio Club host a daily InfoNet on 40-meters 7277.5 KHz called the “GM Net”. GMARC members host a weekly InfoNet on their repeater (WW8GM) located 775 feet above the Detroit River on top of the Marriott Hotel at the center of GM World HQ at the Detroit Renaissance Center 443.075 MHz + 123 Hz PL. This net operates at 8 PM ET every Monday and is accessible via EchoLink® – Node: 99846 (WW8GM). Each of these nets enjoys check-ins from all over the USA and several foreign countries.
Broman stated, “Regular membership in GMARC is open to all persons interested in Amateur Radio Communications.” GMARC also has several honorary members. These members do not have to be licensed operators, but in general, they represent significant standing in the community, state, or nation by virtue of their accomplishments. Among the honorary members are Former President George W. Bush, James Earl Jones – Actor, General Norman Schwarzkopf – US Army (Ret.), Walter Cronkite KB2GSD – TV News Journalist (Ret.), Mike Wendland K8ZRH – Contributing Editor Detroit Free Press, and Harry Pearce KØSNW – Former Vice-Chairman of General Motors Corporation.