Farewell to a friend, Bob VE6YR

Bob VE6YR with the certificate he received in September 2009 for 3rd worldwide low-power in the TARA RTTY Grid Dip contest.

The radiosport world lost a great competitor with the passing of Bob McCarthy VE6YR on December 22, 2009. Bob was an avid radio contester, particularly active in RTTY (radio-teletype) contests.

One of his most recent achievements was finishing third worldwide in the 2009 TARA RTTY Grid Dip contest low-power category — quite an achievement in the most active category.

I always looked forward to hearing Bob on the air, and although we never got to meet in person, he was a wonderful radio friend and competitor.

We “met” many many times in contests over the years, most recently in mid-October. Bob was one of my first contacts on teletype back in June 2002 (when I held the call VE7ASK) and we shared nearly 100 logged contacts in the years since then.

As a very new RTTY contester back in 2002, I noted after my first-ever Worked All Europe RTTY contest:

“No matter how I fared, the experience instantly becomes part of my personal golden old days of radio. Time to pause and reflect, thinking about the stations I heard, the ones that got away, the quick notes of encouragement from guys like Bob (VE6YR)…”

What an inspiration Bob was to me in those early days, and he continued that encouragement every time we made a contact or in his emails.

Bob was an original and frequent member of our Aurora Busters team, which was a bunch of Canadians competing together in the North American QSO Party RTTY contest. I noticed Bob was less active on the air in the past couple of years, but when I asked he always got on, even if he hadn’t been planning to, and was an invaluable teammate in several NAQPs over the past few years.

I particularly remember how we often shared greetings as two of only a few operators on the air from Canada in the SARTG New Years contest early on New Year’s Day. This goes back to 2003 for me, but Bob was doing the New Year thing a couple years before that… in fact, I believe he got me going with this annual tradition.

So long Bob. You will be missed here.

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