*FORUM* SES v Commemorative…What’s YOUR Thoughts?

Waste of band space or attractive on-air event?  Nauseating misuse of contribution or a bonus for a collector’s QSL card?  What’s your thoughts on special event or commemorative DX?  Take it?  Leave it?  Smash it?  Snub it?

Typically conducted in the spirit of propagating culture (i.e. arts, music, religion, etc.) or sports, Commemorative and Special Event Stations (SES) collectively are perhaps two of the most intriguing activities to appear on the ham or 11m bands behind IOTA or rare DXCC deeds.

While most DX organisations and DX Hunters tag such affairs under the broad banner of SES, though, the two are fundamentally different concepts according our Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) guidelines, with a distinct set of goals or objectives that make each type of activity ‘valid stand-alone activities’.

If you’re looking for a definition, well Commemorative Stations can be explained as this:

“Those activities which mark a unique, often tragic moment in history or give honor to an outstanding person/s whom is more often than not deceased..”

Under The DA-RC practice, these differentiate from Special Event Stations which:

“Celebrate momentous cultural experiences in modern times (sporting and other) rather than celebrate the memory of historic events or individuals deserved of special acknowledgment…”

What makes for an appropriate event to celebrate or commemorate on-air, however, is often the subject of heated debate — not just amongst DA-RC members on the internal mailing list but non-members as well.

Some ham and 11m hobbyists maintain that all SES or Commemorative Station activity isn’t worthy of an appearance on the band, let alone a contact in the log, an exchange of special QSL card to confirm the contact, or even an enclosed contribution and SAE to support the respective Manager.

They argue that home based stations masquerading as rare DX isn’t right.  That such operators are taking easy options in search of the ‘pile-up’.

Others, however, contend that there’s a definite place in the communications hobby for such on-air activities — particularly for those remembering such moments in human existence which should either be ‘celebrated’ or ‘never be forgotten’.

In 43 Division, for instance, Australia’s short but colourful history is littered with calamitous events which might make suitable causes for an on-air ‘commemoration’.  The tragic death of famous, much loved Australians, the occurrence of natural or man-made disasters, social catastrophes, human rights issues and more, can all claim as deserving mention in a Commemorative Station conducted by a 43 Division operator.

And this is just one example, as every DXCC would have their own special ‘story’; their own tragic event or events or countrymen to pay homage to; to remember; to celebrate.

After all, it’s all about bringing attention to an event, a situation, an issue, a shared heartbreak, and raising local, nationwide and global awareness.  And all country’s share these experiences, though unique they might be.

With this in mind, please have your say via the Comments Field about appropriate events for Commemorative or Special Event (SES) Stations…  Is there a past outstanding countryman in your own DXCC, a natural disaster or event significant in your country’s history, worthy of a Commemorative Station; or perhaps a special event — sporting, cultural or otherwise — covered by the DA-RC’s guidelines which might count for an SES?  What can you come up with?

Agree?  Disagree?  We look forward to a healthy debate on this topic!