Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tangier Island CQ

In 1954 the tiny Island of Tangier found themselves without a doctor. After 37 years their resident doc had retired. A Japanese Doctor, Mr. Kato was moved by the islands plight and moved there to serve for 4 years. So in 1958, the island was without a resident physician once again. This time they took extra measures. I'll quote directly from the account of William A. Warner in the book "Beautiful Swimmers, Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay."
"This time the islanders decided to take a more dramatic approach. They invited a boatload of amateur radio operators from Richmond to come to the island and broadcast a continuous "CQ" or call to anyone listening... These actions led to the culminating event a well known television commentator took up the cause and invited a delegation of islanders to plead their case on a national TV network."
The New York times reported it as "The electronic and Elizabethan eras converged here this weekend as this tight little island broadcast a shortwave appeal around the world for a doctor." Alas it failed. After a med student racks up a quarter million dollars in student loans, it's hard to lure them to a small rural island in the Chesapeake.

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