History of the W6PIY call sign

Ray Dibb (W6PIY) was a member of WVARA who died sometime in the late 1950’s. When Ray died, his call sign was assigned to the club as a memorial to him.

The early Field Day use of the W6PIY call sign resulted in the phonetics “Poor Idiot Yelling”.

Ray used to live behind Frank Glass (K6RQ) on National Avenue before Ray became a silent key. Frank recalls that Ray was a retired Coast Guard lighthouse keeper.

Ray was a member of WVARA when Frank (then W6MVL) was President in 1956-1957.

Ray may have been an original WVARA member when WVARA had it’s first President, Dick Drew (K6BYG) in 1953-1954. Or possibly when Al Townsend (W6TXT ?) was President in 1954-1955, or when Earle Greer (W6HWS, silent key) was President in 1955-1956.

Initial WVARA meetings were held in Dick Drew’s living room. Later WVARA meetings moved to an Italian cafe in “downtown” Campbell and then to the old Cambrian school in the late 1950’s around the time Ray Dibb died. The school is now long gone and has been replaced by housing in the Bascom and Curtner area.

Actually in Ray Dibb’s time the name was West Valley Amateur Radio Club (WVARC). Later when the club registered as non-profit organization, a name scan showed there was already a WVARC, so the club had to become WVARA for incorporation.

Based on an e-mails from Frank Glass (K6RQ, ex W6MVL)

Marc, W6ZZZ