Freemasons of Sequin-Level Lodge No. 140, located in Newington, Connecticut, recognized the ARRL with a presentation on Thursday, April 7, 2022. The special recognition was organized and led by the Venerable Master of the Lodge, Jon Faasen, AA1EZ. Faasen is also a staff member of the ARRL, serving as the Member Services Representative within Member Services, Marketing and Communications.
Faasen and his fellow Masons organized the event to recognize the ARRL for its contribution to the Newington community and its role in serving ARRL members and radio amateurs around the world. Newington Mayor Beth DelBuono participated in the presentation, issuing an official city proclamation honoring the ARRL.
The ARRL honors were accepted by a cross-section of headquarters staff that included Deputy Director of Membership Services Kim McNeill, KM1IPA; Head of Member Services Yvette Vinci, KC1AIM; director of emergency management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV; Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV, and Director of Public Relations and Innovation Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. Inderbitzen thanked the Masons and Mayor DelBuono. Inderbitzen also shared some insight into ARRL’s presence as a fixture of Newington since 1938.
While the ARRL was established in Hartford in 1914, the association moved to Newington when construction began on a new headquarters in 1937 on its current seven-acre site. The ARRL station’s move to Newington followed the death of President Hiram P. Maxim in February 1936 and the Great Flood in New England that destroyed the station located in Hartford a month later. The new station opened in 1938, operating under Maxim’s call sign, W1AW, which was granted to ARRL by the FCC as a permanent memorial to him. The station’s small brick building and its antenna park stood alone on the Main Street, Newington property until 1962, when the ARRL moved its administrative headquarters to a newly constructed building on the same property.
Inderbitzen also highlighted the leading role the ARRL and its members have played in advancing amateur radio for more than a century. “For many radio amateurs around the world, the ARRL headquarters in Newington might as well be the center of our universe,” he said. “ARRL is dedicated to the greatest hobby in the world.”