*MEET* 224DA011 Arthur

224DA011 Arthur in the RSGB allocated Gilbert Islands group (OC-017) is one of his country’s best-known and longest serving hobbyists; a regular on the scene of Freeband radio comms and in the logs of island chasers for more than 20 years!

Transmitting on the citizens band from tiny Abaokoro Village on Western Kiribati’s far-flung Tarawa Atoll, 224DA011 Arthur is also a member of the old Delta-Tango group of Australia in which he uses the same unit number as his new Delta-Alfa call.

The site of the Battle of Tarawa during World War II, Arthur’s island QTH has a large aqua blue lagoon of over 500 km2, and a wide coral reef swarming with unique sea life.

One of less than 300 people who live there, 224DA011 Arthur resides just 1m above sea level on one of the atoll’s string of tiny islets.  These are separated in places by wide channels that are “best crossed,” says Arthur, “at low tide.”

Here, across the crustal blue lagoon in north Tarawa, lifestyles are more traditional and sustainable than in the South.

Arthur’s simple house, for example, was built and thatched by hand like most others in the village.

A nearby coconut palm supports a vertical antenna some 10m off the ground.  According to Arthur, this delivers a strong signal from a Ranger 2950 transceiver hidden away inside.

A good result in the 2008 Oceania Contest, as well as a long list of spots on Cluster dk, confirm his prowess behind the mic!

Close by Arthur’s hut, you’ll spy a traditional hand-crafted wooden canoe which has been used by this happy DA-RC member and his 5 adult children (4 daughters and 1 son) for almost 50 years.  Fishing for shellfish and other species in the sea and lagoons, in fact, is one of his most favourite past times.

The canoe is also used to transport Arthur and family to some of the stunning islets of South Tarawa.  Despite retiring from his job as a civil servant some time ago, he and his family sometimes trade building supplies and food such as breadfruit,  papaya and banana trees, as well as coconut and pandanus, at simple market stalls.

His daughters, all village women, weave their own colourful mats, baskets and screens for trade also, in addition to a couple of his girls working as a teacher and an accountant in the city centre.

As well as housing one of Micronesia’s best and most active 27 MHz DXers, Arthur’s village accommodates the main service infrastructures such as the offices of Eutan Tarawa Council, a junior secondary school and the main medical centre.

Keep a listen out for 224DA011 Arthur on the international calling frequency 27.555 MHz USB.  You can also find him chatting with other operators in the beautiful Kiribati islands on 27.335 MHz USB in his native language however he’s always keen for a QSO with his international radio friends.

QSL Info:

  • Via DA-RC HQ OC, PO Box 3140, Browns Plains LPO, QLD, Australia, 4118