VR6A 1938 Pitcairn Island
Actually VR6AY, read the following article



Andrew Young, VR6AY, with typical old time spark transmitter. Pitcairn's first operator!

Andrew Young, VR6AY, Silent Key (1988)

Andrew Young, VR6AY, of Pitcairn Is. died on 17 March 1988, just one day before the 50th anniversary of the first telephone operations from the island. He began his career by signaling to passing ships by lantern in the early 'twenties. In 1922 the Marconi Co. sent him a crystal receiver and in 1928 a New Zealand radio enthusiast supplied a small spark transmitter - so Pitcairn was on the air with a raspy cw signal so familiar in those days. In 1937-38 a group of amateurs inspired by an article in QST in August 1937, sent a modern valved station, capable of phone and cw operation. On 18 March 1938 Pitcairn went on the air.

An article in January 1938 QST had this to say about Andrew: ''No real amateur surrounded by his modern radio equipment of today could have read the tale of Andrew Young's determination (referring to the 1937 article) to keep his little island community in touch with ships that passed beyond the horizon without the feeling of pride in classing him as a true ham. Lacking both equipment and power facilities has carried Andrew Young, alone and unguided these many years, over obstacles insurmountable to most of us."

Andrew was 88 but his spirit lives on! Out of less than 50 inhabitants on the island, six are licensed amateurs, which puts Pitcairn's amateur population at 12 percent - probably the highest in the world.
--Radio Communication (quoted in The DXer, October 1988, newsletter of the Northern DX Club).

QSL Patrick Rigg Collection
Stamp from the estate of W5KC
Magazine article David Ransom, Pitcairn Postal Magazine #3, June 1999, Tnx W5KNE
Info courtesy of W5KNE and "The DXer" newsletter