Of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (SP3RN)
Of the Foundation of Radio Niepokalanów
Father Maximilian, media enthusiast and broadcasting pioneer. He got acquainted with the radio and operated his own station during his mission to Japan. At the same time, he wanted to establish a broadcasting station in his Monastery in Niepokalanów, Poland, where he ordered a radio building and a transmitter to be built. However, besides radio amateurs, only the national Polish Radio was licensed to operate (since 1925). Father Maximilian obtained an oral permit to carry out test transmissions on short waves, close to the amateur 40 m band. The callsign selected by him was SP3RN, typical for a Polish amateur radio station. That is how Radio Niepokalanów was initiated. It has been active until today.
120th Birthday of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (SP3RN)
75th Anniversary of Radio Niepokalanów
Amateur Radio Activity from 08 January to 14 August 2014
Amateur radio operators wish to celebrate the birthday of their Patron, St. Maximilian (8 January 1894). Although his life ended in martyrdom in unusual circumstances, today we want to express the joy of his birth and works: the foundation of the first Catholic broadcasting station, Radio Niepokalanów, and appreciation of Amateur Radio.
Father Maximilian issued millions of printed publications and was interested in the cinema, radio, and TV in their pioneering days. When on a mission in Japan, he got acquainted with a radio station network (1930) and started his own shortwave station in 1938. He applied for the same in Poland.
The Polish Radio commenced broadcasting in 1926. Father Maximilian spoke on the Polish Radio twice (08.12.1937 and 02.02.1938). To prepare his Radio Niepokalanów for future service, he sent Brother Manswet Marczewski to attend an amateur radio course conducted by the Warsaw Shortwave Club. At the same time, he ordered the construction of the radio building, antennas, and the transmitter in the Niepokalanów Monastery.
Father Maximilian obtained oral permission for test transmissions. On 8 December 1938, radio listeners heard the station whose callsign was spelled as follows: SP3RN – Stacja Polska 3 Radio Niepokalanów, similarly to the way licensed amateurs would do it. The assumed callsign, SP3RN is typical for Polish amateur radio operators or radio clubs, not any broadcasting stations. Thus, there were monks in Niepokalanów who knew about amateur radio movement and they chose that callsign deliberately. The following evidence is provided by quotes from Father Maximilian’s writings: (08.12.1938: “This Station [SP3RN] can be found in your receivers outside the Polish amateur radio band, 41.4 m, between 41.1 m and 41.4 m; …Allegedly, there are 50,000 radio amateurs. Some will listen to us out of curiosity, others maybe with sadness …” 14.01.1939: ”The Radio Niepokalanów station worked on the day of Immaculate Conception and the Sunday after, based on oral permission. …we had to suspend transmissions until a written licence is issued. However, our radio station can be rather of an amateur type.”)
The following special-event stations will operate to celebrate the two Anniversaries:
HF120MK (Adam SP5APU), Błonie
SN120MK (Edward SP5CGN), Błonie
SN120MMK (SP5KOG Club), Błonie
SN0MMK (SP5PEP Club), Warszawa
HF0RN (Jurek SP5NZA), Milanówek
SN0RN (Mariusz SQ5M), Teresin
SN75RN (SP5PPA Club), Niepokalanów, Warszawa
3Z120SMK (Janusz SP9BRP, Henryk SP9JPA), Kraków (08.01-28.01.2014 only)
II2SMK (Luca IZ2SOG), Varese, Italy (08.01-28.01.2014 only)
Polish and Italian Awards will be available for QSO’s (HRD’s) with those stations.