A few days ago I received an e-mail from Rik ON7YD to ask me to pay the yearly membership fee for the UBA. Since a few years they send out these e-mails a few weeks before they send out letters to all members. For those who pay before the letters are sent out they can spare some postage.
After receiving this e-mail I sent this reply to Rik ON7YD (the dutch speaking vice-president of the uba) and to Claude ON7TK (the president of the uba):
(I sent the reply in dutch but translated it here for you, in italic you find some extra explanations to help you understand)
with all due respect to those putting a lot of work in it but I think CQ-QSO (the bi-monthly printed magazine of the uba) is a huge waste of money.
So I’d like a UBA membership of €26/year, or no, I want to pay the regular €45 on condition that the extra money is spent for protecting our hobby and not to waste paper. We are in 21st century and everything can be sent to the members over the internet -almost- for free.
(regular members of uba pay €45 but if there are more than one member in a family they only get one subscription to CQ-QSO and the first member of the family pays €45 and the others only pay €26 so I guess the value of CQ-QSO is 45-26=€19)
And please don’t give me the argument that CQ-QSO is the way to send the official notices of the uba to the members… errors in those official notices have been corrected recently via Facebook. Example: Rechtzetting: er zijn 4 kandidaturen voor de Raad van Bestuur in plaats van 3, zie de UBA website Rectification: Appel aux candidatures des administrateurs Il y a 4 candidatures au lieu de 3, voir le site UBA.
For your information: membership fee for overseas members of the ARRL (without paper QST) = USD 36/year= +/- 28 euro // with paper QST = USD 62/year = +/- 48 euro
Moreover 50% of the space in CQ-QSO is wasted because of the translations, and if you get rid of a number of -to- technical articles almost noone reads, very little of it is left. It’s a pity but this magazine has seen better days. (As a national association in a bilingual country, all articles in CQ-QSO have to be published in dutch as wel as in french)
I repeat my call: get rid of the (paper) magazine and spend the budget gained to promote and defend our hobby, to lobby, to protect and expand the frequency spectrum, to make it easier to get permission to put up antennas etc.
Now, will I pay this membership fee? Yes, and for these reasons:
- a lot of my friends are members of KTK (the local division of uba)
- as a former president of KTK I have a lot of respect for those who have followed me
- the qsl-bureau (which is free for uba members)
- because the uba is the only serious association of radioamateurs in Belgium
One week after sending this mail I still haven’t got a reply… If I ever get one I’ll keep you posted.