FOC is a CW fellow club established in UK before WWII. As you may know, in order to be a member, you should get sponsored by 5 different members in, at least, 2 continents, including one UK member. You could stay in nomination list for only half a year. It was supposed that you didn't know of that sponsorship for you until you get invited to the club. It seems that rule is loosened for now even though solicitation or political movement for yourself is not welcomed.
When first nominated back in 1988 or 1987, I could not get sponsors other than those in the USA. Merle K6DC was the first person who recommended me for a member. At that time, I had least knowledge of FOC. When I knew of being sponsored for the club, someone even whispered to me not to join it for it was only an old men's club. In the next nomination, I was successfully able to join the club in 1988. By that time, I knew it was a historically renowned society with the limited number of members, that is, only 500 members in the world.
Ever since, I have had much fun doing with the other members all over the world. It has already been 32 years since joining the club. I have been proud of being a member and have got acquaintance with many members, old or new, on the air and sometimes in person. It was a really fond memory for me and my wife to attend the W7 FOC dinner in Seattle in 1992. I have mentioned of this trip many times in this blog. You may find a short travelogue in this blog in August 2012.
I often regretted not having recorded my sponsors. As I told above, I remembered Merle K6DC used to be the first sponsor for me. Another Elmer K5BGB, Rod, and JH1WIX, Taroh, were among them. Chris, G4BUE, was only G member who kindly added sponsorship to me when I told him my nomination was being expired without any G member sponsor. In a thread for the obituary for Roger, W1AX, who had recently passed in the mailing list of the club, I uttered I wondered if I could know all of the sponsors for me, since I remembered Roger used to be one of the sponsors in the first nomination. A few people have given me personal response to that question. The previous issues of the News Sheets could be looked up in the club's site. They have given me the list of the sponsors in the 2nd nomination as follows.
G4BUE, JH1WIX, W1HZ, N4AR, K4II, K5BGB, K6DC, W6OV, W6TD
What fond memories of those guys! If I remember it right, W1HZ, K4II, W6OV and W6TD have all gone silent keyed. These calls have surely brought me back to '80s when ham radio was more vivid thing with much dream for me.
FOC is just a small club of small number of the members. It might not be known to most people even if they are in this hobby of ham radio. It has occupied a big part in this hobby in my mind for the past 32 years. Even if I eventually resign in the future, it may remain a treasure in my memory. I thank again for sponsorship to all of them. Their calls will be kept in this page of blog and in my memory, not so reliable any longer as before.
It was a touching event for me to get those sponsor calls.