OMISS HISTORY NOTES

(For Informational Purposes)


HISTORY OF THE O M INTERNATIONAL SIDEBAND SOCIETY, INCORPORATED

The co-founders of the O.M. International Sideband Society, abbreviated O.M.I.S.S., were Rob Koziomkowiski WB2JVP, now KA1SR and Earl (Pete) Gray KC4IF. The objective of founding this society was to combine the best ideas of other nets already in operation into one informal society whose first priority would be traffic, and a society that would hopefully appeal to amateur stations worldwide.

According to notes in the logs of NI4U Doris Francis and others the net began officially on June twenty-eighth nineteen hundred and eighty-one (06/28/1981) and immediately followed the closing of another successful net on the frequency of 7.233 Mhz.

When NI4U Doris Francis joined the net or society on June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and eighty-one (06/30/1981), KA1SR Rob asked if she would assume the duties of a net secretary. Rob KA1SR informed Doris NI4U that Pete KC4IF would be the Vice President and the QSL manager, and that he (Rob KA1SR) would be the President of the society.

The procedure, at this time, was to issue the first one hundred OM Sideband numbers to O.M.s only, who would be charter members. Y.L.s wishing to join the OMISS society before OM number one hundred was issued would be issued numbers beginning with one hundred and one. This is why the society has one hundred and ten charter members, the first one hundred being OMs and numbers one hundred and one through one hundred and ten being YLs.
A copy of one of the first membership certificates, issued to KC3N (now KC5R), OM # 65, can be seen here.

The first few weeks were hectic and time consuming for all members, but it was also a very happy interlude, KA1SR, KC4IF, NI4U and about fifteen other members spent long hours as net controls, writing letters, and contacting other hams via the radio, inviting them to join us on the OM Net. Shortly after the net began, it was announced by KA1SR that we were moving the net to the frequency of 7.250 Mhz so we could begin the OM net operation earlier in the evening. The net could be called an overnight success because of its informal format and the amount of check-ins the first few weeks. Notes from the log of NI4U as net control for July eight, nineteen hundred and eight-one (07/08/1981) showed the net closed at 0625 GMT with twenty-two check-ins and July thirty-one with fifty-nine check-ins. These are but a few of the nights when NI4U was the net control station and many other members had more check-ins than these did when they were net control stations.

KA1SR as president appointed himself as Treasurer and Membership Chairman, KA4FBS Howard as Director and N5CJA Jim as Director. The first official board meeting of the OMISS net was held July thirty, nineteen hundred and eighty-one (07/30/1981) for the purpose of discussing an informal Constitution and by-laws. Those attending the first meeting were KA1SR as President, KC4IF as Vice President and QSL manager, NI4U as Secretary and KA4FBS and N5CJA as Directors. Other directors appointed by KA1SR were OM #4 XE1AE Fernando C. Vallarta, OM #5 KC2RG Earl B. Turner Jr., OM #6 N9AXV Emil Harel, OM #7 John T. Duckworth, OM #8 KB4LS Lawrence E. Coleman, OM #16 KM4Q Jack Francis, OM #20 N5EHD Ray D. Daily Jr., OM #44 WB6ZGS Conley Lake Messenger, OM #90 Herb J. Haas and OM #72 KP4DEX Freddy Ortiz.

OM #131 WA4RRR Alice F. Blair was the first net coordinator for forty meters. WA4RRR Alice became the focal point around which the net revolved in the following weeks. WA4RRR Alice was on net frequency almost seven nights a week either as net control station or relay station. The success of the forty-meter net is mostly due to the efforts of WA4RRR Alice. WA4RRR was fired by KA1SR Rob without any action of the board of directors or even a board meeting. The O.M.I.S.S. net lost many of the original members and net control stations due to the circumstances under which WA4RRR Alice left the net.

KA1SR Rob again appointed KA2DLK, KA4DEK, and XE1AE Fernando C. Vallarta as members of the board of directors without any actions by the board of directors or even a board meeting. KA1SR Rob decided the net would move to a new frequency due to the foreign broadcast stations on 7.250 Mhz. The new net frequency was announced as being 7.275 Mhz. The net again lost several original members because of not knowing the net had moved frequency and they assumed the net was no longer operational.

The O.M.I.S.S. net opened on eighty meters in the later part of August 1981 with KM4Q Jack Francis as net coordinator. KM4Q Jack was a member who spent almost seven nights a week as a net control station. By the efforts of KM4Q Jack, the net became established on another band.

The twenty meter version of the net opened in the month of August 1981 on the frequency of about 14.336 Mhz. Through the efforts of many members we finally became established on the twenty meter band on the frequency of 14.290 Mhz. KB4LS Lawrence Coleman was the net coordinator for this band, and like many others mentioned before spent many long hours on this band. KB4LS Lawrence was also a net control station on forty meters of the O.M.I.S.S. nets many nights.

The operation of the ten-meter and fifteen meter nets are a bit sketchy in the files and log sheets of NI4U Doris. The President KA1SR Rob appointed and fired net coordinators, quite often, with the board of directors having no knowledge of most of the decisions being made. The notes of NI4U Doris states that ten meter net was a big success due to the efforts of WB7FEN and WA7WOW. N5EHD, KC2CK and WA7WOW established the O.M.I.S.S. net on the fifteen-meter band. The President and co-founder of the O.M.I.S.S. net, KA1SR Rob was given freedom by the board of directors and the membership to chose and fire those stations he wished to, whenever he wished to. In the process we lost many of our earlier members who had helped establish the society.

NI4U Doris was personally receiving letters from members, stateside and DX, by October 1981, who having paid their dues to the President and applied for various awards, had received nothing in return. A letter from member #371 Rudy CT1MX, whom Doris NI4U had sponsored as a member, prompted her to inquire of other DX members if they had received membership certificates or net information. Letters and word of mouth soon confirmed that DX members had received no certificates and most did not even know they were members or had been sponsored by stateside members. A letter from KN4C, along with many others soon led Doris to inquire, among the stateside members, as to how much money they had paid for awards and if they had received them. Very few member, it was found, had received awards they had applied and paid for. Most inquiries led to the simple fact that they had cancelled checks to prove they had paid for the awards and sponsored DX stations for membership.

Doris NI4U brought the information concerning awards, membership of stateside and DX stations and the funds of the society to the attention of the President in late October, but was told all was well and the certificates and awards had been mailed, and that the problems existed with the postal service. Shortly before November 1981, the President asked NI4U Doris if she would assume the duties of Treasurer and Membership Chairman, as he expected to enter the hospital for tests some time shortly after the Christmas Holidays. At this time Doris NI4U was told if she assumed these duties, she would receive the net records, printed certificates, awards, mailing envelopes, and the funds of the O.M.I.S.S. Society would be transferred to her. Doris NI4U assumed the duties of Treasurer and Membership Chairman on November one, nineteen hundred and eighty-one (11/01/1981). She received several Xerox copies of membership certificates, along with mailing envelopes, from the president and had to pay postage due on the mailings. The funds from the O.M.I.S.S. account or printed awards were never forthcoming. The first dues received and the first OM member issued by the new Treasurer and Membership Chairman was OM #501. Throughout the months of November and December, with no funds or printed awards, Doris NI4U tried to keep the society intact.

Many complaints from members had been received by Doris NI4U pertaining to certificates, awards, and money. A check in the amount of ten dollars was received by Doris NI4U from the president KA1SR Rob to help pay postal expenses. The check was sent to the bank several times and each time was returned due to insufficient funds. Doris NI4U decided it was time for action on behalf of the society if the society was to survive. Doris NI4U took from the files the "bad" check she had received from KA1SR Rob and contacted the bank in which the O.M.I.S.S. account had been established. The bank was the " Newport County Trust Company" in Rhode Island. Doris called the bank, explained who she was, and told them the circumstances under which she was calling. The bank kindly put her in contact with a Mrs. Smith who informed Doris that the O.M.I.S.S. account had been left with a one-cent balance for a period of several weeks. Mrs. Smith of the bank asked if Doris NI4U had the authority to close the account, as they no longer wished to handle the account.

The board of directors meeting on November twenty five, nineteen hundred and eighty-one (11/25/1981) had the following action taken. Dissolve all rules, regulations, and informal constitution and disband the executive board. Any and all decisions before this date of November twenty five nineteen hundred and eighty-one (11/25/1981) shall become null and void. KA1SR Rob made the announcement that he would, by himself, restructure the O.M.I.S.S. society. The new officers of the O.M.I.S.S. society would be KA1SR, Rob as President, KC4IF, Pete as Vice President and QSL manager, NI4U, Doris as Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Chairman and Awards Manager, KA4FBS Howard as Director, KM4Q, Jack as Director, KP4DEX, Freddy as Director, KA2DLK chairman of the advisory council, W7HYW, Herb as member of the advisory council and WB6ZGS, Lake member of the advisory council

The board of directors board meeting on January seventeen nineteen hundred and eighty-two (01/17/1982) accepted the resignation of KA1SR Rob as president and KA4FBS, Howard as board of directors' member. A constitution written for the O.M.I.S.S. society was read by NI4U Doris and was approved by the board. The general membership was in agreement with the board of directors as to their action concerning KA1SR. An election was held and KM4Q Jack Francis was elected the new President of the O.M.I.S.S. society

KM4Q Jack and NI4U Doris decided to contact KA1SR Rob by mail to see if they could obtain an explanation about net records and the O.M.I.S.S. bank account, before they made the situation public to the membership. KA1SR Rob the president at the time had stated he was in ill health and they felt they owed him time to explain his actions. KA1SR was active on all bands during the month of December and presided over the December twenty-eight nineteen hundred and eighty-one (12/28/1981) board meeting but no explanations were forthcoming from him as to why there were no funds in our O.M.I.S.S. account and why members were not receiving certificates and awards they had paid for.

The board of directors and the OM members were informed in January 1982 by Doris NI4U of the complaints she had received and of the financial status of the O.M.I.S.S. society. Doris NI4U was instructed by the board of directors to send a letter to KA1SR Rob on behalf of the board, asking him to come to the following board of directors meeting and explain his actions.

In answer to the request of the board, a letter of resignation from the president, KA1SR, Rob was received. Xerox copies of telephone invoices of calls made to OM members was included with his resignation. The telephone charges of calls made to OM members amounted to over five hundred dollars ($500.00) and had been paid from net funds. There were no further records received from KA1SR Rob.

With the resignation of the president KA1SR Rob accepted by the Board of Directors, the board then called for an open meeting with the membership and the members below OM #560 agreed to pay an additional one dollar ($1.00) for life time membership and this would help the society financially. The society would become "Life Membership" to all new members who would pay a one-time amount of four dollars ($4.00). N8BKH donated one thousand printed membership certificates. WB4JBP, Dave Palmer volunteered to become the awards manager for the society. Within a few weeks an election was held and KM4Q Jack Francis was elected the new president.

The members knowing the circumstances under which the board of directors had been trying to keep the net intact, and knowing the financial situation, immediately following this board meeting several members, who cared enough to keep the net in operation sent donations. The first donations received were from WA4RRR, WB6ZGS, W5PWG and KA3GCV. Many other members, later, donated funds but these four members were the first to respond with donations and kind words to encourage the officers in their efforts to keep the O.M.I.S.S. society alive. KA1AKI and many other members donated stamps, money, certificates and printing costs in helping the O.M.I.S.S. society to keep operating.

An informal meeting of the O.M.I.S.S. society was held on march seventh one hundred and eighty-two (03/07/1982) to announce the names of the new president and the officers elected by the membership.

This was the first election held by the O.M. International Sideband Society. The new officers were KM4Q Jack Francis, President, KC4IF, and Earl "Pete" Gray, Vice President, NI4U, Doris Francis, Treasurer, KP4DEX, Freddy Ortiz, Director, KF4HW, James Moore, Director and N8DTA, Larry Martin, five band net coordinator.

Several members and officers of the O.M.I.S.S. society had requested in February 1982 that KF4HW use some ideas from the existing constitution and by-laws and put together a constitution, by-laws and articles of incorporation that would legally be acceptable to the State of Kentucky. After several writings and rewrites of this information, the board of directors decided at their March 19, 1982 meeting to approve the articles of incorporation and forward them to the State of Kentucky for acceptance. The incorporators of the "OM International Sideband Society, Inc." would be President Jack Francis, Vice President Earl "Pete" Gray, Secretary-Treasurer Doris Francis and Director James E. Moore. On May 7, 1982 The OM International Sideband Society, Incorporated became a corporation authorized by the State of Kentucky and recorded in the Boyd County Court House, Catlettsburg, Kentucky. The process Agent for the Corporation shall be KF4HW James E. Moore and the business office for the corporation shall be 3021 Forestview Drive, Ashland, Kentucky, 41102. KF4HW Jim through Internal Revenue Service secured the tax-free status of the O.M.I.S.S., INC., on December 10, 1982.

The history of the OM society from the time it was incorporated until the present time is reflected in the minutes of its board of directors meetings.

It is hoped that this history of the net and society will clear up any questions some of you may have as to why the net was founded and the circumstances under which the net almost became a disgrace to the amateur community. Hoping this will stop any speculations as to why the removal of OM #1 from the O.M.I.S.S. membership.

KC4IF, KM4Q, NI4U and KF4HW along with KP4DEX did everything we could to correct any mistakes that may have been made in the early forming of the society. Each of us has tried our best to keep this net in operation and to see that it is run fairly and honestly.

We have had our problems in the past and I'm sure from time to time problems will occur in the future. I sincerely hope that each OM member will reflect upon the history of this net, giving credit for its founding to OM members one and two, and remember those five people who continued in the face of adversity to have enough faith in the O.M.I.S.S. and its members to carry on our nets. See the minutes of the board of directors meetings for further information concerning our nets.

FROM:
James (Jim) E. Moore, KF4HW
3021 Forestview Drive
Ashland, Kentucky, 41102