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Keith Harold Haverfield

VK4APQ

25th August 1927 – 12th July 2010

 
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In 2010 the club lost a great supporter Keith Haverfield VK4APQ. The following is a brief history of Keith's life and his service and friendship to the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club.

Keith was born in Bendigo Vic in August 1927.
After completing only 1 year High School his family realised he may not have academic ability and removed him to a Technical School. After 2 years of Tech he joined his father in an Allen’s Music Store.

During that period the Allen's stores sold radios and radiograms and Keith’s father spent time repairing whatever the Allen's store’s sold. From watching his father Keith began a long love affair with electronics and working with radio’s and building them from scratch.

His Uncle organised his first job - away from home, in Melbourne as an apprentice with Radio Corporations also known as Astor. They were involved in building receivers and transmitters for the army. During that time he did some study at RMIT.

In 1945 the family also moved to Melbourne and Keith was much happier. The family home at Morabben had a large workshop out back and Keith spent much of his time out there building radios and high quality sound equipment – he sold a total of 3 units.

His mum said, "get a real job" so he did as a radio technician with Masons Radio Hampton and he remained with Lindsay Mason for 20 years.

He married Veronica in June of 1952 and moved to Beaumaris. The Radio business boomed with the introduction of TV and Masons shop had grown so he was promoted into Sales. Keith hated it, preferring to be in the workshop designing, building or repairing something rather than talking to customers.

He felt the only solution was to leave Mason radios and start his own business called Personal TV services, but really didn’t sell much except batteries.

Together with his brother Doug they built a 6m molded ply boat called KEDO in the back part of the shop intending to go fishing and mess about in boats.

The only trouble was the brothers would go out in the boat and intending to use the two way radio Keith built to ask other boaties where the fish were but the radio was so efficient they would end up talking to hams in the US, instead of the local fishermen.

Keith was a Freemason for a short time and after having two sons with Veronica his marriage broke down and Keith moved out of the family home and into a house in a scrap metal yard.

To most it was junk but to Keith it was wonderful to be surrounded by such discarded rubbish. Referring to himself as Steptoe he began to build a 40ft steel yacht and completed it using much of the scrap from the yard. He named the boat Solar Gay.

For a man who knew nothing much of boats he taught himself how to do it and accomplished the task. He built a precision sextant and taught himself to navigate, finally sailing away from Melbourne he sailed into Bundaberg in 1980 and settled at Innes Park.

In 1982 he married a long-time friend Gaynor.
7th May 1982 he attained his Amateur Radio licence, 1st August 1982 joined BARC & 5th August joined the WIA.
From the club’s point of view having a member with over 40years of radio experience was a real boon.

In 1983 he began researching building a tower for the club on Mt Goonaneman to replace the 70ft one erected in 1978.
He wrote to the Department of the Army and to Hills regarding the tower section specifications which were becoming available as army surplus.
He had a friend draw up and certify the plans for the tower and saw its final commissioning in 1985.

He served as club secretary 1984 & president 1985-1990 and has always been a real backstop for the club always offering a helping hand to members with an electronics problem.

Like us all he mellowed over time. His sons remember him espousing principles in the 60’s like, Shave; People with beards are hiding something.
On Levi’s & T-shirts; Only thugs wear jeans.
Only to spend his latter years, proudly sporting a beard and wearing denim jeans & T-shirts on his yacht.

Some things did stick – when asked why he wasn't into sport he responded to the last with "Why would you waste energy on sport when you can be designing, building or repairing something?"

In Keith’s long list of things he designed, built or repaired are; TV’s, stereo, radios, a welder, movie projector with sound, battery chargers and a couple of boats.... Although he agreed that a boat was just a hole in the ocean into which you poured all your money.

A celebration ceremony of Keith's life was held on Friday 16th July 2010 and his son’s Raymond and Colin spoke the eulogy along with words from Grandson James, and nephew Wayne.

Rusty McGrath VK4JM spoke as a longtime friend and as Club President on behalf of the club.

Keith leaves a loving wife and fellow ham, Gaynor VK4FGAY and will be greatly missed by all.

 

 
keith11998 Keith with Ross VK4JRO keith2 1998 with Rusty VK4JM keith32007 with Gaynor VK4FGAY
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keith52009 with Joe VK4FDJB
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