A Personal Memory of Dave G8LZE. (1952-2021) Chris G4CLB
I knew Dave for 45 years; well over half of my lifetime. That’s a fact I find hard to believe but it was in 1976 I heard him calling /M, lost in Slough and requesting directions from any listening local. So, in I jumped. The beginning of a lengthy alliance. I talked him into attending a Burnham Beeches Radio Club meeting en route home. That long friendship involved his great participation in us having radio fun, my career in the Fire Detection Industry and support through many of life’s trials and tribulations. There were many radio related experiences, contests, /P ops most of which, judging by photos taken at the time, had a common thread of the essential beer or lager fuelling proceedings! Particular recollections spring to mind – operating field days from The Chilterns and 2m weekend contests from my “penthouse” flat in Slough using Dave’s Nag (non) linear amp and a puzzled caretaker trying to fix the wavy lines on his TV.
Dave had a sound background in engineering having worked in a local electrical repairs shop in Harrow as a teenager. Later gaining an apprenticeship with the then GPO and subsequently managing a TV rental & repair workshop. He always had a musical talent and played many gigs at pubs and clubs. On one occasion he attended a pub where he saw an interesting new piano player/ singer, a youthful Elton John. Joining Zettler (UK) in the late 70’s he developed his sales skills and from where he persuaded me to join the company. Henceforth, my career in the Fire Detection Industry was created. From there he accepted the challenge to set up the UK division of Schrack Components; successfully distributing their relay product. With his characteristic single minded approach and determination (and 16 hour days) he drove the firm into a multi-million pound concern. A multi-national company was so impressed it bought the business.
All of this may make Dave sound like someone solely driven to be the successful businessman. But during these times he and his wife Judy raised a family and maintained those long established friendships.
Having tired of being a captain of industry he was able to move into retirement at a young age. Semi-retirement, that is, as he set up his own business offering web design services. At last he was able to re-kindle his amateur radio interests, a past time that had taken a back seat through salt mine and family commitments. His full call (G4JZS) was reserved for occasional HF airings but his involvement lay mainly with 6m and up where his G8LZE call became a familiar presence on those bands.
Not content with following his enthusiastic ham radio activities he followed-up on his early fascination with music. His guitar playing skills were re-honed and he nurtured another talent as a singer/songwriter making an album in 2020. After he fell SK there were a host of tributes expressed from many well-known V/UHF operators. His widespread renown across the radio community was a bit of a surprise to me but then he was successful in many contests and possessed an ever present considerate operating technique.
From my perspective looking back over our long fellowship I can’t pick any one single event that might summarise our friendship. Rather, it was so many combined generous acts on his part that encouraged me through aspects of my career, interests, life choices and simply – good kinship.
RIP my good pal, Dave.