The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has honored past ARRL President and outgoing IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD (ex-KB6ZV), with the Michael J. Owen, VK3KI, Memorial Award. Presenting the award was IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA. The award’s namesake served as IARU Region 3 chair and as President of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA). Although Stafford is stepping down as IARU Secretary, he will continue to represent the IARU to the ITU Development Sector.
The presentation took place at a dinner on the opening day of the IARU Region 2 General Assembly in Viña del Mar, Chile. The Owen Award is bestowed upon an individual with “an outstanding trajectory of service to Amateur Radio,” IARU Region 2 said, in announcing Stafford as the award’s recipient.
Stafford’s service to organized Amateur Radio began as ARRL Santa Clara Valley Section Manager from 1983 until 1986, when he took office as ARRL Pacific Division Director. He served in that post until 1990, when he became an ARRL Vice President. In 1992, the ARRL Board elected him to be First Vice President, and in 1995, he succeeded George Wilson, W4OYI (SK), as the 12th ARRL President, after Wilson suffered a stroke. He served as ARRL President until 2000. Stafford served in several IARU Region 2 capacities and has been IARU Secretary since 2009.
The ARRL Board has appointed former ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, to succeed Stafford as IARU Secretary, a post he has held previously.
Owen, who died in 2012, may be best remembered for his WRC-03 work on Article 25 — a package of revisions to the international Radio Regulations specific to the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services.