The other day, on the FOC member reflector, someone has asked how Tim, VK3IM, was doing. The other guy replied to him that Tim had suffered from a serious illness and had had his radio gear stolen while he was in the hospital. I have been concerned about Tim since I read this conversation about him.
Drew, VK3XU, another FOC member, has given me a call on 40m this evening. I thought he was the right person who could let me know how Tim had been doing. So far as I heard from Drew, Tim had a prostate cancer operation which left him lasting pain. In addition, Tim has met a traffic accident, which has injured his spine. It was another cause of chronic pain to Tim. Tim has had surgeries on spine twice without good results. He also has had his equipments stolen as told in the reflector.
It was a really sad news to me. I have met Tim as VK3AZY in 1960s. Since 1980s, we have talked many times, especially when he used to commute to the city of Melbourne from Mt. Eliza on an old Mazda Van in 1980s. He used to put out a big siganal from his old FT101B and a whip with a big top hat on the roof of his car. For the past decade, he has been retired and won't be so active on the radio. I haven't had so many chances to talk to him recently. I knew he had had health problems for the past years. I still hold fond memories of good QSOs with him. When I came back on the air at a dorm of a med school hospital in early 80s, I had only 14AVQ on the roof. He has given me an idea to utilize the metal roof for the radial. We shared old friends like JA5AI or VK4CC, who went SK years ago. We used to have a big round table with them those days. Though Tim is a little bit older than me, I felt so close to him like a brother in ham radio.
There should be so many CW operators all over the world who remember a little bit chirpy but stable his signal from his mobile set up and his way of operation, very sociable and kind. Keep ears open to Drew, who told me he would try to get in touch with Tim and give us the up date on Tim in the FOC member reflector or somewhere.